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How We Got Here: Customer Success

As Head of Customer Success, I learned to build a better relationship with my team and understand the key needs of our customers and where we needed to improve.
Pamella Carrasquel
March 26, 2020

Sunlight came into my life at a moment when I needed a change. When I wanted to develop into something different but had no idea what. I met Juan Lagrange (CEO) and Carlos Lagrange (CPO) over a Skype call, having little idea at best of what the company did, and only knowing that I had nothing to lose, so “Why not just see what they have to offer?”. I knew that something in me said “this feels good”.

Pamella Carrasquel (Head of Customer Success)


So with my new lease on life, I accepted their offer as Head of Customer Success where I started my journey building everything that revolves around customer support in Sunlight.

I learned to build a better relationship with the team and understand where we needed to improve. This allowed us to focus on areas of the product that needed reshaping to make Sunlight what it is today.

Here I am listing the Top 5 Customer Success takeaways from my experience working at Sunlight and becoming a leader, all in a short span of time:

1. Be ready to take the risk, it is completely worth it


Making a career change and leaving your stable job for something uncertain can be scary. Trusting strangers with your future is not something I would advise anyone to do, even to this day, if you are not comfortable taking this step. However, if you do make the decision to change your career, you need to be ready to take that risk. Understand that any change - especially a big one - comes with a risk of it not going well, but this is completely okay. 

2. Flexible becomes a way of life


Job descriptions, I’ve learned, are more of a guiding light when you join a startup. You have to be ready to take on jobs which you would not normally do on a regular basis, you have to be willing to put on as many different hats. You need to understand that even though you are overseeing a department, there might be other areas which will need your support, and you should be ready to provide it at any moment.

3. Not knowing the answers is OK


When you start any job, every situation is new and you need to figure everything out from the beginning with barely anything as your starting point. My starting points were “we want our people happy and a response time that is less than a minute”. But we had situations coming to us every day that we did not know how to handle. 

I started taking notes of the different cases that would come up, and making sure I learned the steps I took so I could take action the next time that case arose. After a while you start seeing cases being repeated and your confidence levels go up as you find that you can learn new things. I learned that not knowing the answer was not a weakness, but actually a learning opportunity.

4. A good relationship is important, even if you don’t see each other everyday


At Sunlight we all work remotely. However, this does not mean that we forget that on the other side of that Slack answer is a human just like me, who has their problems and with whom I need to work every day. So, a good team relationship is important. Our team has been lucky in that sense because we are very tight-knit despite the fact that we are all in different countries. We take great care in building and nurturing that relationship and we make sure that each new addition is welcomed. After all, if the working environment is not healthy, the whole system will start slowly (or with great speed) falling apart. 

5. Celebrate the small victories

Working at a startup can be a whirlwind of emotions, excessive work and a lot of the unknown. When we release a feature that changes our daily work and improves it, you can bet you will have a hundred dancing emojis from customer support, celebrating the work the developers have put into making it happen. Taking a few moments to break out from the routine, reflect and celebrate the accomplishments of the team helps in keeping a healthy, happy working environment. This allows your team to see that things are moving forward even when you may not see it.

Sunlight fosters a culture that provides a constant learning experience. Making this career jump has changed me personally and professionally. By taking risks, becoming flexible in your daily tasks, taking notes of different situations that arise, celebrating successes and maintaining positive work relationships can ultimately benefit your company's customer experience. These are the key Customer Success takeaways which have influenced me and our team the most.

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The team loved it. We had 87% uptake in the first month and a 99.9% decrease in admin from the People team."
Jess Hayes
Head of People
"Sunlight was an obvious choice for us. It really pleases the folks that use it."
Chris Wilkinson
Head of People

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