Customer Success Talk With Helen Shaw (Unbounce)

Danni FriedlandCustomer Success, Interviews0 Comments

Helen Shaw Unbounce

In our 4th “quick round” article, we’re honored to interview Helen Shaw, a customer success manager at Unbounce.

Unbounce is the leading platform for building landing pages. Thanks to its easy to use interface and pre-made templates, even non-technical marketers can create high converting landing pages in no time.

If you’ve ever used Unbounce, you’ve experienced how well-thought out and how much they care about their relationship with their users.

Want to learn how Unbounce utilize customer success techniques through their entire user’s life cycle? Read Helen’s answers below to see how deep the process goes.



How would you define the roles of a customer success manager?

It’s all in the job title. If we aren’t helping our customers reach their goals, we’re doing something wrong! This means we’re accountable to both our customers and our company, so, a great CSM needs to:


A CSM represents their customers’ voice within the company. We need to champion their needs on their behalf with the teams who build and maintain the product!


SaaS platforms are constantly evolving. When new features roll out, customers need to understand not only on how to use it but more importantly, why to use it.

Our customers are busy people: we’re here to cut through the noise and educate them on what they need to know.


At Unbounce, account expansion is handled by CSMs.

Some companies may choose to loop in their Sales team for upsells, but I believe that’s a jarring customer experience.

CSMs build trust with their customers, meaning they’ll know you’re not going to try and sell them something they don’t need.

That trust goes a very long way when it comes to upgrading
customers onto new plans, or renewing their commitment for the year ahead.


Unbounce offers annual plans, but the majority of our customers are still on a monthly subscription. As churn is always a possibility, it’s important to deliver business value every single month.


Subscription-based business models are proven to offer a good level of financial predictability, which is rad, but that predictability is contingent on your customers seeing continual value from your service.

Couple this with the fact that it’s 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a customer than to keep a current one, and it’s clear why CSMs should live and breathe Customer Retention.

If we (CSMs) aren’t helping our customers reach their goals, we’re doing something wrong! Click To Tweet

What does your day to day look like?

When I get to my desk at 8 am, armed with a bucket of coffee, it’s time to dive into my email and open Zendesk and Totango.
Depending on what’s waiting in my inbox, email can take anywhere from half an hour to three hours.

As I’m on the West Coast, the morning is also the most popular time for customer calls, so I’m normally pretty busy!

Afternoons tend to be more chill, so I often use them for less reactive activities like campaign planning and internal meetings.

CSMs should have their fingers in lots of pies, with strong relationships with every team, so once a week I take a new person out for coffee to strengthen ties and make new connections.

One of the joys of working for a growing software company is how much you learn, and all the fantastic people you get to work with!

Name 5 tools you use daily as a Customer Success Manager

Business Gmail – this is my go-to for one-on-one conversations! Couldn’t live without Gmail.
Zendesk – our support team uses Zendesk for customer communication. I love how it integrates with other services to give a fuller picture of the customer.
Intercom – their mass-messaging is great for strategic emails and in-app comms.
Totango – We’re just adopting Totango and already I can tell it’s going to help us be a lot more proactive!
Slack is used company-wide. With 185 employees and over 300 chat rooms ranging from serious work to silly (but necessary) dog memes, Slack is often lit up like a Christmas tree. The ‘mute’ function is my best friend.
You Can Book Me is a free service that syncs up with Google Calendar. It allows customers to book me without sharing details on my other appointments.

Unbounce uses Totango

Unbounce uses Totango


What tips would you give to an up-and-coming Customer Success Manager

Treat your customers as you would your friends.

From obvious stuff like using your customer’s name to keeping notes on their favorite coffee or ice cream, little things can make a big impact.

If you see your customer celebrating something, join in! Tweet about their win, or send them a gift to say ‘well done.’

My favorite thing to do is pack a pinata full of candy and send it to our customers: we do this to celebrate acquisitions and rounds of funding, but gifts don’t have to be large or extravagant.

Sometimes a quick video made on an iPhone or a photo attached to an email is all it takes to make a more human connection.

Treating customers as friends just makes good business sense. Click To Tweet

Treating customers as friends just makes good business sense.

Building emotional equity puts you in a far better position should anything ever go wrong.

Conflict and stress normally occur when people feel unheard or misunderstood: head this off by showing your customer you genuinely care about them and are invested in their well-being. You’ll have better relationships as a result.

Helen Shaw (Unbounce)

Helen Shaw (Unbounce)

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