Meet Bart - Customer Success Manager at Endare
Meet Bart D'hoore, one of our dedicated Customer Success Managers at Endare. Bart shares his journey to Endare, the intricacies of his role, and insights into the challenges and successes of being a Customer Success Manager.
How did you first cross roads with Endare?
I first connected with Endare through a former colleague. He informed me that Endare was actively seeking a Project Manager due to new significant projects. Following a couple of meetings, I joined Endare in April 2016, back when it was way smaller than it is today.
What does being a Customer Success Manager mean for you?
As a Customer Success Manager (CSM), my role is essentially a Project Management position with a primary focus on understanding and addressing customer needs and goals. For shorter projects, this focus can be challenging, given the often shorter-term collaboration and clearly defined scopes. However, we frequently observe that customers may have a preconceived notion of what they want or need, and during the project (often in the analysis phase), we realise that their initial vision may not necessarily be the most ideal solution for their needs. This is why, at Endare, we prioritise the principle of 'fixed price, flexible scope.' As a Customer Success Manager, it's crucial to interpret and collaborate with the customer to find the best-fitting solution.
For long-term projects and ongoing partnerships, my role remains identical – finding the best solutions for ongoing needs, considering the ever-changing landscape and evolving technologies over the years. Typical project management tasks, including budget management, resource planning, scheduling, deadline adherence, and effective communication, are also integral parts of my responsibilities.
Which aspects of your role do you find the most challenging?
In my role, handling multiple projects at the same time, having a good helicopter view is essential. It involves periodically stepping back to oversee different sprints or even projects, ensuring that the solutions align with each customer's unique needs. In my opinion there are 2 main challenges:
- Prioritising conflicting interests
Managing various projects and customers involves navigating overlapping interests, requiring constant alignment of available development capacity. During busy periods, this can be a significant challenge as every customer rightfully sees their project as a top priority.
- Expectation management
Our customers usually approach us when they have an urgent need and expect quick solutions. Effectively and transparently setting expectations during these critical moments is challenging but crucial. People prefer receiving bad news with a clear and honest explanation rather than being left in the dark.
I learned that with the right mindset and a willingness to collaborate, a tremendous amount can be achieved, often in a very short period!
How would you define a successful partnership?
When our customer is satisfied with the delivered solution or end product, meeting the needs they initially outlined. Sometimes, success may involve deviations from the original timeline or budget, but after collaboration and analysis, a different solution may prove more suitable. In such cases, a slight overrun or additional budget is often justified. An excellent indicator of success is when a project leads to a follow-up, regardless of how small the additions or new features may be. Building a sustainable partnership based on trust is a key factor of success.
To conclude, are there any apps you can't live without?
Any online meeting software. In my role, it quickly became indispensable to meet with customers or colleagues instantly online. It made my workflow way more efficient without losing the power of human expressions during meetings.
Outside of work, we recently jumped on the trend of only watching content through casting apps and dropped our monthly television subscription.