Bruce Ahn from our Denver Customer Success Team tells us about the impact he has on his customers’ success, the relationships he's building, and what it takes to be great in this role
When Bruce Ahn graduated from Cornell University with a degree in hotel administration 2.5 years ago, he was sure that he’ll develop himself a career in “hotels, cruises or airlines”. He worked in Delta Air Lines in Atlanta for 2 years focusing on pricing strategies, but when the pandemic tore through the hospitality and travel industries, he saw it as an opportunity for a career change – from analytics to a sales/customer facing role. He moved back to his hometown of Denver, and in July applied to Wix.
The onboarding process left Bruce surprised. “Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect, but Wix has done such a wonderful job to ensure that people know each other. Wix understands how hard it is to WFH and they’re doing the absolute best they can to make sure that we feel like a team. It makes me optimistic that when we’ll eventually return to the office, it’ll be even better. Another thing that Wix does very well is making sure that you feel very rewarded even when you’re working remotely. I get boxes of chocolate every other week, or blankets or gift cards. It might be a small thing, but it means a lot for an employee to receive that”.
So tell us about what you’re doing.
“I’m a Customer Success Manager and I’m really focused on eCommerce strategy. What that means is that we’re making sure that the users on the Wix platform are continuing to grow, and when they grow and when they succeed – we succeed as a company. We want them to be on Wix, we want them to essentially be million-dollar businesses.
“A lot of these businesses are small mom and pop shops with goals of having this as a full-time job. A lot of people have a side project or a gig and they love it, but they can’t financially sustain it, and that’s when Customer Success Managers come in and say ‘Okay, based on the analytics we’re seeing, you should probably have more ‘call to actions’ on your page, or you need to do a few things to optimize your performance. So I think that there’s a lot of ways to look at the Customer Success Management role, but for me it’s a consulting role, it’s a role to really just work with businesses on strategy to improve performance.
“Currently I manage multiple accounts, and the cool thing is that they’re all over the world, not just here in Denver, Colorado. I have clients in Sydney, Australia; I have clients in Tokyo, Japan and clients in London, England. Really all over the world. It’s exciting because I’m not only learning about how American businesses run. I’m getting insights about how UK businesses are being run and how they are being affected, because COVID-19 is hitting the UK differently than how it’s hitting the US right now, so obviously they have to adapt in a different way”.
When do you say to yourself that you had a really great day at work?
“I think about that question a lot. What that means to me is to feel like I have accomplished something in a day in this role. The most rewarding thing is being able to help a small business who is struggling to make ends meet and provide for themselves and their family and being able to help them successfully get on eCommerce and make a lot of money and essentially supplement their income using the Wix platform.
“I’ve genuinely helped someone’s life and for me there’s something very rewarding about helping people. Even in past roles in my short career of two and a half years I haven’t felt this level of satisfaction and I get a chance to do it every single day at Wix, which gets me excited in the morning.
“I’ll give you an example. There’s this Yoga shop in London. They were struggling with their returns on Facebook Ads. They were losing money by investing in Facebook Ads with Wix, they had maybe 90% return on their investment. Then I came in and over the course of three 1.5 hours meetings, I was able to give her suggestions on how to make her website a lot more inviting; how to build consumer trust with payments logos like Amex, Visa etc.; having a shipping policy and money back guaranteed and ultimately fixing the Facebook Ads campaign so it’ll be more captivating. I’m happy to say that she went from 90% return on investment on the ads to close to 550% over the course of about a month or two, and we have a great relationship because of it. She told me she thought about the Yoga shop as a side job but never thought that this business could work. I’ve helped her see that there is potential”.
What does a typical day at work look like?
“It’s a tricky question because there are no typical days in this job. I start my mornings looking through my book of business. I have clients at different stages of the flow process on Facebook Ads. They might have a $79 a month subscription that needs to be pushed up because they’re doing so well. So I see when people’s renewal dates are, because Facebook Ads is a monthly subscription tool, and I ask myself which customers I need to be proactive about based on how well or how bad they’re doing. Then I look at what time it is in their world and if it’s a reasonable time I give them a call and then we chat about what’s going on. That consumes the majority of my day.
In the afternoons I like to do deep dives and see how my customers are performing. If a customer is doing less than 100% return, I’d like to understand what things are driving that and what variables can we change to make an impact and what can we do in the future to test something and optimize performance. After that, to close up the day, I plan what I have to do tomorrow or during the rest of the week. It is very variable but I like the craziness, it keeps it fun”.
What does it take to be a good Customer Success Manager?
“The first thing is being proactive. If I find out that a customer’s return on ads is going down since the last time we talked, or there’s less visitors coming, I’ll give them a call saying something like ‘let’s get on the phone and try something new’, and that’s what builds trust in the relationship. That owner understands that this person is actively viewing his or her customer and cares about their business.
“The next part is just being a person. Customer Success is a relationship game and if you can’t small-talk or you’re not able to talk about sports or about how COVID-19 is going unfortunately these days – it’s hard”.
“I think that everyone sees the role differently so there’s no one size fits all, but for me I would say intellectual curiosity is really important. It’s really just trying to be curious and understand what makes a business tick, and what motivates the business owner. If you can understand what motivates them you can align your interests with theirs.
Interested in joining Bruce? Check out our open positions in Customer Success.