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Trucking and Customer Success. Two terms that don’t have a long history together. I’m relatively new to the trucking industry and feel lingering impressions that harmony is not necessarily in excess around my new digs. “Who can get the upper hand?” “How can I push the hardest and get by?” “Why did that person screw up – actually I don’t care, I’ll just never use them again!” These are the phrases that feel rampant in the 3PL, IMC, and Carrier business – but something me, my team, and DrayNow are seeking to overturn.

From day one, Amazon’s motto was to be Earth’s most customer centric company. That hits home with me.  I love to make people happy.  To go the extra mile.  To go outside of my role to help others, both internally and externally, succeed.  At the end of the day, if we don’t go at this whole work/life thing together, then what are we actually doing – why do anything if it can’t be shared?

That leads me to Customer Success.  I would guess that out of all DrayNow customers, the majority have never dealt with a Customer Success team for their shipping needs.  They probably have no idea what it is, that it even existed, or think it sounds incredibly dumb. Thanks to companies like Amazon, technology focused companies realized there is no useful technology without a happy customer.  “Why is that button there?” “How come you were late?” “How can we achieve what your top customers achieve?” How to answer those types of questions and more is the goal of a Customer Success team.

DrayNow just spent a bunch of money (thanks, squad!) for me to go to San Francisco to attend a top conference focusing on Customer Success.  I’m actually still here jumping in and out of sessions – but I wanted to take a break to jot down these thoughts so that my customers can understand what my role is, how I’m going to grow it, and how that will ultimately lead to a better experience for them.

There are tons of “experts” here at this conference.  But at the end of the day – the customer journey and seeking to both enhance the customer experience and relationship with any company is an imperfect science. I’ve been hearing that ‘this’ is the way to do things, and ‘that’ should be something anyone in my job should be thinking about.  I think that’s quite insulting to me and my customers.  Can you be solved by following a play book? I’d like to think not – because I know I can’t be.  We all make most decisions through emotion, logic, and gut feel.  I want to make my customers problems my problem.  I want to think 3 levels into the future so that any potential problem has already been dealt with.  I’m going to do that when you’re one of my accounts or when I’m going through my own hiring process.  As I’m just now building out my team, I want people who can engage on a more emotional level and develop relationships not because it’s their job, but because they truly care about the success of who they’re talking to. The rest will take care of itself.

So, what is Customer Success? At DrayNow it is the underlying belief that at the core of everything we do, you, our customer is at the center of those decisions.

  • It’s empathy

  • It’s care

  • It’s knowing how to read a conversation and probe to get the necessary information

  • It’s helping you grow, because we know your growth with DrayNow will lead to more overall success with your business (hey, we’re good at what we do!)

I ask everyone reading this to give me a direct call and talk about what we’re trying to do here at DrayNow.  Building a Customer Success team is a big deal in the lifecycle of any tech company.  It means we’re making the investment to our customers in a very tangible way that will impact your day to day.  We are not account managers.  We’re not going to be asking for more money from you or to upgrade to additional features.  But, what we will do is find a better path to your success, whether that is staying right where you are or expanding into other arenas of our business.

If you’re interested in learning more about Customer Success out of curiosity or because you think your company could benefit from a department like mine, hit me up – I can guide you to some cool resources that will help get going.

Paul Gottlich

Director of Customer Success

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