Frontleaf 50 to FollowTop Influencers in Customer Success for 2014
We are pleased to introduce the Frontleaf 50 to Follow, our first annual list of the movers-and-shakers in the world of Customer Success. We are recognizing the innovators who are pioneering the best practices, building the enabling technologies, and educating the industry on all things Customer Success.
Why did we make this list? Well, Customer Success is a rapidly evolving mindset and operation, based on the view that the #1 way to build a successful business is to ensure that your customers are achieving value through the use of your product and their relationship with your company. We often get asked: “What should I be reading to learn more about Customer Success?” Instead of focusing on just the resources, we chose to call out the people who are doing the best thinking, discovering, and sharing in this exciting new field, and to bring together all of their valuable thought leadership.
We broke our list into three categories, and include the individuals alphabetically within them. Strategists are developing and evangelizing the concepts underlying Customer Success — from the financial benefits to the latest techniques to the customer-centric mentality. Practitioners are on the front lines every day, leading teams and sharing what they are discovering. Technologists are building the rich tapestry of products that make Customer Success practices more effective.
So without further ado, presenting the Frontleaf 50 to Follow...
current section go to: go to: Strategists Go to: Practitioners | Go to: Technologists Annette Franz Director, VOC Consulting - Americas Confirmit Annette is recognized as a thought leader on customer experience, and advocates building people-first organizations as the first step towards customer retention and business success. CX Journey • Frontleaf Featured Post Anthony Nygren Executive Vice President EMI Strategic Marketing Anthony is an expert in uncovering the underlying drivers of customer behaviors, then using that knowledge to develop programs to deliver customer retention and increase lifetime value. EMI Customer Success Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Bob Hayes Chief Customer Officer TCELab Bob researches and writes on customer experience, big data, and analytics, and how they all work together. Business Over Broadway • Frontleaf Featured Post Brian Gladstein CEO & Founder Explorics Brian offers strategies for creating customer advocates and managing customer advocacy programs to enhance market engagement. Explorics Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Curtis Bingham Founder & Executive Director Chief Customer Officer Council Curtis promotes the Chief Customer Officer role as a source of competitive advantage, enabling companies to more effectively drive Customer Success as a step towards higher profitability. CCO Council Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Dave Kellogg CEO Host Analytics Dave speaks from his vast startup experience and breaks down churn analysis and the corresponding metrics, sharing his deep understanding of how Customer Success can impact the bottom line. Kellblog • Frontleaf Featured Post David Skok General Partner Matrix Partners David is a pioneer of SaaS business models and metrics, from customer acquisition to retention and beyond. For Entrepreneurs • Frontleaf Featured Post Ed Powers Principal Service Excellence Partners Ed helps Customer Success practitioners investigate the root causes of customer churn. He uncovers the interconnected impacts of product development, customer acquisition, service delivery, and account management on customer health. Excel-lens • Frontleaf Featured Post Jason Lemkin Managing Director Storm Ventures Jason has lived the startup roller coaster from idea to $100M ARR. He advises companies to pursue what he calls "second order revenue", which comes from making customers wildly successful. SaaStr • Frontleaf Featured Post Jason Whitehead CEO Tri Tuns Jason's background in information technology and organizational development enables him to provide unique expertise in accelerating user adoption and the downstream business benefits of Customer Success. Insights Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Joel York Chief Blogger & Consultant Chaotic Flow Joel is a long-time cloud software exec who shares expertise on SaaS growth strategies and metrics across the customer lifecycle. Chaotic Flow • Frontleaf Featured Post Lincoln Murphy Growth Hacker, Customer Success Evangelist Sixteen Ventures, Gainsight Lincoln is a growth hacker and a Customer Success strategist rolled into one. He explores the connections between these two realms, and provides valuable reference guides for anyone trying to accomplish either. Sixteen Ventures • Frontleaf Featured Post Lynn Hunsaker Customer Experience Optimization Strategist ClearAction Lynn offers expertise in how companies can innovate their customer experience and differentiate it from competitors in order to increase loyalty and profits. ClearAction Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Mikael Blaisdell Publisher Customer Success Magazine Mikael leads the Customer Success Association and the popular Customer Success Forum on LinkedIn. He has been one of the longest and strongest advocates for SaaS Customer Success practices. Customer Success Magazine • Frontleaf Featured Post Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré Community & Customer Success Evangelist Product Hunt Nichole operates right at the intersection of new product development, growth hacking, and Customer Success. Nichole on Medium • Frontleaf Featured Post Olivier Delerm CEO A6 Group Olivier advises SaaS companies on how to measure, monitor, and reduce customer churn. His RevenueLane website pulls together essential Customer Success content and skips the fluff. RevenueLane • Frontleaf Featured Post Terence Chan Chief Experience Officer The Customer Experience Group Terence practices and promotes "human-centered customer experience", his lens for helping companies differentiate through excellence and innovation. Terence on LinkedIn • Frontleaf Featured Post Tobin Lehman President & Lead Strategist New North Tobin strategizes and shares his philosophies on retaining and growing customers, with a balanced look at the interplay between customer data, metrics, and loyalty. Retention Insights • Frontleaf Featured Post Tomasz Tunguz Partner Redpoint Ventures Tomasz takes a quantitative approach to understanding trends in SaaS and startups, and has explored the financial and organizational impact of Customer Success practices. Ex Post Facto • Frontleaf Featured Post CLICK to TWEET: Reading fantastic thought leadership from the "@Frontleaf 50 to Follow" to learn best practices for #CustomerSuccess. bit.ly/Frontleaf50 Practitioners Go to: Strategists | Go to: Technologists Catherine Blackmore Chief Customer Officer Bluenose Analytics Catherine has led Customer Success teams at a bunch of successful SaaS companies. She shares her knowledge about how to be both a strategic Customer Success leader as well as an effective team member. Bluenose Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Chad Horenfeldt Director, Customer Operations Influitive Chad regularly posts practical advice for CSMs, and openly shares his learnings from running customer operations with an advocacy focus. The Enlightened Customer • Frontleaf Featured Post Dan Steinman Chief Customer Officer Gainsight Dan is a veteran in the field of Customer Success, offering best practices on everything from customer engagement to organizational structure to customer health measurement. Gainsight Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post David Mitzenmacher Vice President of Customer Success Kareo David brings together a weekly roundup of the latest in the world of Customer Success management, including interesting articles on retention, engagement, and growth. Customer Loyalty Weekly • Frontleaf Featured Post Dennis Hennessey Customer Success Nasuni Dennis is experienced at building Customer Success teams and practices from the ground up, and generously shares his learnings and tips. Dennis on LinkedIn • Frontleaf Featured Post Dmitry Shkliarevsky Director, IT Business Management - Professional Services – Americas VMware Dmitry is a pro at growing value from a Customer Success mindset, and he focuses his writing on exploring metrics, analytics, and best practices. Work-in-Progress • Frontleaf Featured Post Flavio Martins VP of Operations DigiCert Flavio showcases stories of exceptional customer service, with a generous sprinkling of actionable advice. Win the Customer • Frontleaf Featured Post Kamil Rextin Growth & Marketing | Customer Success | Product Organimi Kamil embodies Customer Success at his startup, blending human touch with technology tools to track his customers... all while wearing at least eight other hats. Customer Success Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Kathleen Rouse Director, Customer Success Findly Kathleen shares real-life stories of Customer Success practices from the front lines — like shifting from an account-by-account focus to conceiving of a network of customers. Kathleen on Medium • Frontleaf Featured Post Liz Pedro Director - Customer Success Marketing Mitel Liz describes herself as "customer obsessed", and has received many accolades for both her Customer Success marketing initiatives and her customer advocacy programs. Liz on LinkedIn • Frontleaf Featured Post Marcus Bragg SVP WW Sales & Customer Success Zendesk Marcus is an expert in Customer Success execution and methodologies, and leads a well-oiled operation that's known in the market for its customer focus. Zendesk Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Michael Redbord Director, Global Customer Support & Success HubSpot Michael excels at demystifying customer support quandries from a Customer Success perspective, and at telling it like it is. Michael's Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Michelle Sun Growth & Analytics Buffer Michelle looks at customer churn from a both a product design and an analytics perspective, and offers tips for squashing it. Buffer Open • Frontleaf Featured Post Mike Grafham Office 365 Customer Success Lead Microsoft Mike has been a visionary Customer Success leader for years, and has recently created an excellent primer and model for other practitioners to emulate. Mike on Medium • Frontleaf Featured Post Monica Adractas Senior Director, Customer Retention Box Monica spearheads Box's customer retention efforts, and talks about practical steps companies can take to first understand and then reduce customer churn. Monica on LinkedIn • Frontleaf Featured Post Nello Franco SVP, Customer Success Talend Nello takes a structured approach to Customer Success, and his framework for defining customer segmentation and engagement models is top notch. Nello's Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Rachel English Co-Founder & VP, Customer Success Frontleaf Rachel is a long-time Customer Success leader, and developed the "Circle of Success" series that establishes the foundation for an effective Customer Success practice. Back of the Leaf • Frontleaf Featured Post Todd Eby Vice President, Professional Services Five9 Todd focuses on bridging the gap between success theory and its practical application, sharing insights into how a single organization can be structured and scaled to deliver Customer Success to both Enterprise and SMB customers simultaneously. Customer Success Journal • Frontleaf Featured Post Technologists Go to: Strategists | Go to: Practitioners Aaron Fulkerson Founder & CEO MindTouch Aaron has built a company and platform for powering Customer Success knowledge centers and analytics that drive value and self-service. MindTouch Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Derek Skaletsky Founder & CEO Knowtify Derek digs deep into user engagement, and helps his customers and readers understand how best to leverage user data to enhance communication and foster success. Knowtify Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Des Traynor Co-Founder & VP of Customer Success Intercom Des turned his background in user experience and interaction design into powerful assets for creating a tool that helps product and customer teams track and message users. Inside Intercom • Frontleaf Featured Post Gregory Ciotti Marketing Help Scout Greg practices content marketing with a Customer Success focus, and shares his wisdom on creating and enhancing customer loyalty. Help Scout Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Liam Gooding Co-Founder & CEO Trak.io Liam builds products and shares his expertise on how SaaS startups can drive growth with Customer Success. Trak.io Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Marc Benioff Chairman & CEO Salesforce Marc spearheaded the concept of "Customer Success" at Salesforce, and first put in place many of the practices Customer Success teams use today. Salesforce Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Matthew Shanahan VP, Product Strategy Scout by ServiceSource Matt helps educate the sector on the connections between adoption, usage, and recurring revenue. Scout Research • Frontleaf Featured Post Michael Geller CEO Preact Michael is a SaaS industry veteran, building technology which enables SaaS companies to predict customer retention based on usage patterns. Preact Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Omer Gotlieb Co-Founder & Chief Customer Officer Totango Omer advocates for defining and tracking the customer journey, so companies can act quickly and efficiently when their customers fall off course. Totango Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Pam McBride Director of Marketing Amity Pam curates and publishes the SaaS Tattler, a weekly compilation of the most relevant articles, insights, companies, and products in the world of Customer Success. The Engaged Customer • Frontleaf Featured Post Richard White Founder, CEO UserVoice Richard is a tireless advocate for an outstanding user experience. He builds products that open communication channels between companies and their customers. UserCentered • Frontleaf Featured Post Tien Tzuo Founder & CEO Zuora Tien coined the term "Subscription Economy" and established the 9 Keys to Subscription Success. Zuora Blog • Frontleaf Featured Post Tom Krackeler Co-Founder & CEO Frontleaf Tom explores the intersection of Customer Success and Product Management at SaaS companies, and offers practical guidance on how to apply data analytics for Customer Success. Back of the Leaf • Frontleaf Featured Post Go to: Strategists | Go to: Practitioners | Go to: Technologists
Congratulations to this knowledgeable and diverse group of Customer Success innovators and thought leaders. We hope our readers have the opportunity to check out some of the work cited here — very impressive and useful stuff.
Do you know a Customer Success guru you’d like to nominate for the next Frontleaf 50 to Follow? Send them our way!
Do you have colleagues you think would benefit from following the list? Please share it with them!
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