Hello! My name is Arjun Devgan and I joined Amplitude in May 2019 as its first-ever VP of Global Customer Success. Fun fact: on my hiring committee was Amplitude’s first employee who built out the CS function from the ground up here, and now serves as our Head of CS Strategy and Operations. I’ve been in Customer Success for 20+ years across five B2B SaaS companies and I’m proud to be “born in the cloud” having spent my entire career in the subscription economy focused on building programs to scale customer retention & growth. The majority of that time was at NetSuite where I was a founding member of the services team, contributing to the company’s successful IPO in 2007, and helping scale ARR from $20M to $800M, and the services team from 4 to 400 people.
It isn’t clear who first coined the term Customer Success. Certainly, Salesforce (and other early SaaS companies) were pioneers in figuring out the need for a more thoughtful way to preserve and grow their recurring revenue. Gainsight then led the charge in defining and maturing the category and profession. And companies like HubSpot that excelled at practicing it furthered the art. And I am grateful for all those that did, because I love what I do, and I love that what was previously known as “Professional Services & Support” in my NetSuite days has evolved into a vastly more comprehensive customer experience function which now includes Success, Services, Support and Education.
And with so many talented CS professionals out there looking to grow their careers and be part of building the next massive software company, I thought I would share 5 reasons why your next stop should be Amplitude’s Customer Success team.
- Product: Our customers genuinely love our product. Our insatiable desire to innovate and build category-defining technology is one of our greatest strengths as a company. Customer Success is a tough job, and you don’t need your company’s product to make it any tougher. Too many CS folks spend their careers apologizing for the product they support. We’ve all been there—the customer meeting where you spent 45 minutes listening to the customer’s gripes about bugs and functional gaps. At Amplitude, you can spend your time learning about our customers’ business and helping customers leverage our technology. I’ve gone to a business review and had a customer tell me “your product is amazing” before I could find a chair to sit in. The product is that good.
- Real Enterprise CS: A couple of years ago, I wrote this blog post for Gainsight about the CS Identity Crisis where I lamented how so many CS teams were charting the wrong course by pursuing CS models that just didn’t make sense. At Amplitude, you’ll find all 5 tenets of “CS done right” from the aforementioned blog in action here. We are focused on customer outcomes, yet understand that our efforts must ultimately manifest in the form of ARR retention and growth. Through investments in CS Ops, enablement, and process, we are building for repeatability and scale. GTM planning for 2021 is being done jointly across all market-facing teams with shared goals and a focus on the customer experience. And we’re monetizing services that customers need and are willing to pay for. That’s CS done right.
- People First: As one of our most senior CSMs puts it, “We are all in the people business. We just happen to make software.” I’ve spent my entire career in Professional Services & Customer Success and the only asset of a CS team is its people. We offer our time and expertise to our customers, and without the team being inspired and engaged, we wouldn’t be able to delight our customers. Not only is Amplitude extremely thoughtful about the company culture, the leaders in our global Customer Success team always put their team members first. In our most recent engagement results, our managers had a 92% overall approval rating and an impressive 96% score for “my manager cares personally about me.” We will always put you first.
- Deliberate about Diversity: You won’t get lip-service about diversity in our CS team. We value diversity, equity, and inclusion and are proud of the things we are doing well. Women make up 52% of the CS team. And of the 11 people with management responsibility, five are women and six were promoted into management roles at Amplitude. However, we are not as racially diverse as we want to be and we recognize we have to do much better here. It is something we are aware of and are working hard to solve both at the company and department level. It’s our responsibility and we refuse to sugar-coat it even in a recruiting blog. If you are an underrepresented minority, we would love the opportunity to talk to you about a role.
- Amplitude: While we are proud members of Amplitude’s Success team, we are Ampliteers first, and none of what I wrote above would matter if we didn’t work for a great company. 2020 has been a taxing year for most of us. CS teams have perhaps felt more stress than most as a result of the devastating impact of the pandemic on certain businesses in our customer base. At a time like this, how our employers have shown up has mattered. There is a reason 99% of CS team members would recommend Amplitude as a great place to work! We’ve come together and navigated a very challenging six months. Amplitude has seen phenomenal ARR growth in 2020, and nearly doubled the size of its CS team. We also recently earned unicorn status and are one of the few companies in the financial position to continue our market dominance, and march towards being a multi-billion dollar software company.
If you are excited by what you read and want to join our rocketship (we’re actually building one), you can see open roles here. We would love to talk to you.