Customer success in a company that almost never loses customers

What is Jeremy Freeman looking for when he recruits talents for the customer success department of an enterprise whose customers come back year after year? He focuses on five main qualities.

Let’s start by rewinding to 2008. Jeremy Freeman is working as an IT consultant in London’s finance sector. When the financial crisis strikes, not only does his job disappear, but so do many other opportunities too. Hundreds of applications, and not a single interview.

New adventure in Norway
“I have many reasons for being grateful for my wonderful Norwegian wife, but back then I had one more reason. So together we packed our bags and headed for a city whose employment market had escaped the worst ravages of the financial crisis,” explains Jeremy.

In 2013 his career got back on track when he joined House of Control in Høvik on the edge of Oslo.

“Although we employed fewer than 15 staff, each week we were gaining new customers thanks to a sales organisation that really knew what customers needed to gain control of their contracts and ongoing commitments. My remit was to roll out the software and support our customers.”

Improving the customer experience
Three years later the company had expanded so quickly that changes to customer management were required. And Jeremy was the one who got things moving.

“We were pretty much a reactive department that sat back and waited for things to do, whether new leads or requests from existing customers. We’ve turned this right on its head – for the benefit of both our customers and House of Control. Now we are proactive in the true sense of the word. We see, hear and contact customers. The focus is on quality and ensuring that our customers actually use Complete Control and our other tools.

“While the name of a department is not always important, we started working in a totally different way when we changed our name from Project to Customer Success. The new approach did a lot to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. It’s hard for me to recall the last time we lost a customer due to poor product quality or service, or pricing. Adopting a proactive approach to implementation and support also makes a significant contribution to the company’s growth.”

“In what way?”

“Well, our customers can often generate greater value and get more from our tools by choosing various add-ons. The key to achieving this is the people who work here. There will soon be 20 of us helping our customers roll out and use our software.”

This is what a dream candidate looks like
“What are you looking for in new recruits?”

“It’s difficult to pin down exactly what is important for each individual, but I tend to look for as many as possible of five qualities in candidates – and in every case, a desire to improve is a must.

● IT expertise: You don’t need IT qualifications, but you should be interested in and know something about functions and integrations.

● Financial understanding: The CFO and their team are often the users of our software. This makes it important to be able to put yourself in their shoes, in particular when it comes to
the new solutions for IFRS 16 and finance leases.

● Follow-up: We provide a service, so it pays to intercept issues and want to resolve them in an optimal and friendly fashion.

● Experience: The more we expand, the more important it is to me for people to be self-starters and confident in interfacing with customers. I’m not afraid to employ people who are older
than me.

● Sales: This is one of the areas I have learned most about at House of Control. Not only have we got better at upselling, we have also found that customer satisfaction and loyalty have
risen in line with our commitment.”

“Are you looking for more team members?”

“I’m always happy to meet qualified talents with an ambition to succeed and who thrive in a fast-paced and rapidly expanding environment. If you have experience of selling finance systems, I would love to hear from you. Please send us an open application letter!”