Meet the Nivo team: Introducing Sarah Mortimer, Senior Customer Success Manager
Welcome to the next instalment of our content series: Meet the team, where we’ll introduce you to the people behind the Nivo brand. We know that we owe our success to our people, follow the series to find out who they are, what they do and why they’re working at Nivo.
Introducing Sarah Mortimer, Senior Customer Success Manager
What do you do at Nivo?
I wear a couple of different hats. On one hand (or head), I manage a full portfolio of our clients to ensure they are getting value out of Nivo and achieving their goals. On another, I am working to build Nivo’s Customer Success programme. This includes putting in place the processes and other operational taks the team needs to be able to provide the most value to our customers, as well as meet their own internal goals and success professionally.
It's probably important to note that I have taken it upon myself to make sure that the team is regularly supplied with a variety of baked goods, as well as remembers to take a break for a pint every now and then.
What are your credentials and past experience, for working in your position?
My whole career has been at Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) start-ups with a focus on Customer Success. I’ve been doing this for 8 years now, and my first role was based in the United States at a growing marketing SaaS company based in Washington D.C.
I didn’t know what Customer Success was at the time, but I got lucky the company I joined wasn’t using it as a buzz word. The executive team really did see Customer Success as a strategy rather than a specific role, and I have two friends, who I consider both to be my mentors, Jamey Jeff and Blaire K., who instilled not just the skills but that mindset in me that I still carry today.
Once I moved to the UK, I continued working at SaaS startups of various sizes and industries, honing my skills to deliver value to clients. I’ve been part of successful start-ups, and I’ve also once had to leave a role because they couldn’t pay me anymore, so I have really seen both ends when it comes to growing and scaling tech companies.
As part of my journey, I began to take on more and more projects at previous companies around Customer Success Operations, meaning I was helping build the structures and put in place the processes that allow Customer Success teams to work most efficiently and achieve what they need to. I’ve launched new onboarding strategies across a continent team, implemented leading CS software that resulted in increased efficiency across the team, and everything in-between.
What is the biggest challenge people in your industry have to deal with that you directly fix?
Some of the previous team interviews in this series have covered the more traditional answers to this question. If you allow me to shift the perspective a bit, I think that the types of customers and prospects that come to Nivo have a specific idea of what software support is like based on their prior experiences. A lot of customers I work with assume that they will get a technical implementation process, some basic training, and then have some place to raise a ticket.
For me, a main challenge when I am first developing relationships with our customers is to build a level trust where they see me less as a temporary means to an end, and more as a trusted advisor. Customer Success is not the same as Customer Support, but most of the time all our customers have ever known is this traditional support relationship.
In my career I have made it a point to work for companies where Customer Success isn’t such a fancy name and sales strategy, but an actual ethos. For me it’s about ensuring that the process from onboarding to launch to the subsequent business reviews is designed around helping our customers achieve their goals. I consider myself doing a good job when my customers tell me of their promotions, awards, and their teams that are smashing it.
What do you like about working at Nivo?
Nivo is the smallest startup I have worked for. I like that at this stage the team is so close knit, and we have a lot of autonomy on some big decisions. Each decision we make as a team in our respective roles is moulding Nivo into the company it’s going to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, and it’s incredibly exciting to be such a big part of that.
What are the values that drive you?
1. Be authentic
2. Be 100% honest, 100% of the time (although honesty without tact is cruelty)
3. Own your actions
And my number one rule? Don’t be a jerk* (to yourself or others).
*Professional word choice
Your top podcasts/books?
This question is my worst fear in interviews. I’m not a big podcaster. I think the only podcast I have ever listened to is Serial. However, I do love to read, but I feel like top non-work books and top career/work books are separate categories. I’ll give you both...
Work – Radical Candor
Non-Work – I’m a big Harry Potter fan, and my mom got me into the Outlander series.
What are your hobbies?
Mainly cooking, baking, but I also love to travel. Covid has forced me to look at more UK based excursions, and I have fallen in love with Cornwall.