Skip to main content

Failing Fast and Failing Together in Customer Success

If you work in customer success or customer support you are ultimately a conscientious person.

You:

  • Pride yourself on taking care of others 
  • Are intentional with your words 
  • Are diligent with your actions
  • Are probably your own worst critic and maybe even a perfectionist

As such, you hardly ever make mistakes. Right?

Not quite…

This is what you might say in an interview to get a job. In the real world, you will be spinning lots of plates and sometimes those plates will fall. 

It might feel hard to keep up with the pace. This is a good thing, it means you are somewhere that is growing where you can also stretch your own skills. 

Trying to cover up your failures is not only damaging to your own mental health but also detrimental to the success of your company.

A few years ago I talked to Barry Cochrane, VP of Customer Success and Operations at ResponseTap, about this concept at a restaurant in West Kensington hosted for Gainsight VIPs. He told me he created a “Fail Board” where all his support engineers would have to write up their failures. It was visible to everyone in the office. Once they hit 10 fails he would take them all out to the pub to share their failures and what they learned. The idea always stuck with me. 

Failing fast and failing together ensures customers are less likely to experience the same issue twice.

Faced with a pandemic and a globally-distributed team, we decided to take inspiration from Barry to brand our first-ever FUC (F*ck Up + Conclusion) virtual event.

The rules of FUC are:

  • Get out of your head (We literally wore many hats on the zoom)
  • Relax (Have a tipple or a nibble of your choice)
  • Share a FU and Conclusion 
  • Vote on for the worst FU
  • Winner gets $$$

Captain Serban Goanta from our Chili Piper support team brought this vision to life in a fun and insightful session for the team. The entire global team came together virtually, grabbed their drink or nibble of choice, and shared their learnings from the year so far. Each FU was met with laughter and solid lessons. We also:

  • Identified 12 FUCs
  • Created technical training sessions for the team
  • Added valuable updates to our Knowledge Base

Now we have the FUC event scheduled as a monthly team social.

Create safe spaces for your people to be people. When eX works, Cx works. 

How do you and the CS Leaders drive “Fail Fast and Fail Together” cultures?

About the Author

Gemma Cipriani-Espineira is an experienced Software Executive, skilled in building and leading global post-sales teams with a focus on driving retention, product adoption, and customer advocacy. Gemma believes that customer success is a way of doing business and is the fastest path to sustainable growth for software companies. Gemma currently leads global Customer Success and Support teams at Chili Piper. Having lived in Spain and the UK, Gemma now calls Boston, USA her home.

Profile Photo of Gemma Cipriani-Espineira