After listening to Emilia D’anzica speak on our panel about Customer Success and Parenting, I knew she had to be a part of UpdateAI’s growth. Along with others, she’s been graciously answering my questions and advising my decisions for the past few months. Now, I’m excited to make the relationship official by welcoming Emilia to our Executive Advisory Board.  

As the Founder of Growth Molecules, Emilia leverages her years as a customer success professional to help companies build scalable customer success and customer marketing programs. She’s known for leading successful and fast-growing teams at global companies, including Jobvite, WalkMe, and BrightEdge, and is globally recognized as a top 25 leader in Customer Success.

Four Members of the UpdateAI Family

Emilia’s Customer Success Philosophy

Emilia’s first encounter with serving customers was at her family’s restaurant. Creating and delivering pizza meant providing people an experience of joy. She’s held on to that feeling throughout her career, with a passion for “enabling others joy.”

Her customer success philosophy focuses on three aspects:

  1. People
  2. Processes
  3. Systems

If you can enable your employees to leverage processes in a scalable way, then you’ve hit the jackpot. Otherwise, you risk setting employees up for failure and simply wasting money.

Which brings us to UpdateAI. We’re building a product that enables CS teams to focus on relationships instead of mundane tasks—exactly in line with Emilia’s perspective.

She explained how she struggled with a lack of CSM tools in previous roles, “Being in that seat and not having tools to allow me to be successful, to ask the right questions, and to be able to see where the customer was in their journey, where they were struggling, and where I was struggling—that is what really excites me about UpdateAI. You’re creating a product for CSMs to be able to focus on relationships building.”

With my background in Product Management, Emilia’s tips on customer-led product development really resonate with me. She says, “Don’t get so focused on the product that you don’t even understand how the customer is using it.” She finds huge value in empathizing with your end users.

I’m keeping customer impact in mind as we build UpdateAI—not just how we can incorporate customer feedback, but also how we can include features that allow CS professionals to more easily advocate for customers at their own company.

The Future of Customer Success

Emilia sees Customer Success carving itself out as an established profession with certifications and intentional practices like Sales in the future. “Companies are realizing CSMs need enablement. They need tools and processes so they can ask the right questions, resulting in stronger relationships and more revenue opportunities.”

I continue to hear similar feedback from the customer success professionals I’ve spoken to—the lack of tools is costing them money. Software like UpdateAI will be at the forefront of these enablement practices, creating a consistent tool kit for customer success professionals.

Shared Values: Diversity & Authenticity

When I asked Emilia which of our core values resonated most with her, she expanded on two in particular: Diversity Matters and Act with Authenticity. She points out that your customers won’t all look and act like you, so it’s important to have employees that reflect this diversity.

As for “Act with Authenticity,” Emilia spoke on her own struggles with imposter syndrome: “I have spent so much of my career worrying about why I’m not as successful as the next person. I feel it’s held me back. Now more than anything, I act with authenticity and I expect that from others.”

I struggle with my own desire to keep up with Joneses, so I took Emilia’s advice to heart. She said the best way to stay authentic is to “ask questions and be curious.” With Emilia on our board, I’ll always feel comfortable asking for advice and I know she’ll help me stay curious about what’s best for our customers.

Please join me in welcoming Emilia to our UpdateAI family.

Learn more about UpdateAI

UpdateAI’s mission is to make meetings better so you can do better things. We are building out our platform (www.update.ai) for CSMs just like you. We’re collecting stories, suggestions, and pain points to help us shape the product and we’d be grateful to hear yours.

Reach out directly to me at Josh@update.ai with any ideas for features that can help empower Customer Success Managers — or connect with me on LinkedIn.