Speaker: David Collard, Manager of Customer Success at LinkedIn
Please could you introduce yourself?
David Collard: Hi, I'm David, I work in customer success at LinkedIn. I joined Linkedin on a six-month maternity cover contract six and a half years ago. And good news is: no one seems to have noticed that I'm still around! So, shhh! I've had the great pleasure of working in three of our global offices and I started off in Singapore as a Customer Success Manager, I moved to Dublin to work with some of our biggest global accounts, and then I moved back to the UK – where I'm originally from, in the middle of a pandemic – in order to lead our customer success team for our sales solutions, Products Sales Navigator, and my team work on the largest global accounts that we have, working very closely with partners in the States and in Asia Pacific as well to drive organizational change and deliver value on these big projects, these big programs that are so critical to our success in this marketplace.
What will you be discussing at the upcoming Customer Success Festival in London?
David Collard: So, at the CS Festival I'm going to be part of a panel discussion on developing as a CS leader – how to move into CS leadership, essentially. I'm going to be sharing the stage with the fantastic Minna Vaisanen, (I'm sure I've mispronounced her name there horribly. I'm sorry, Mina!) We're gonna be talking about our own journeys, how we've developed as leaders, what skills we needed to develop in order to make that jump, but also how we've seen others do it. This is something I'm really passionate about. I love to see my team move on to their next place and know that I've been able to help facilitate that to a certain extent. Got a pretty good track record so far of moving people into leadership positions within LinkedIn. So, I'm really excited to share what I've seen work for me and for them with all of you at the Festival.
What nugget of wisdom are you hoping to leave attendees with after your talk?
David Collard: I think what I'd really like people to leave with is one belief that they can develop into the kind of leader that they want to be, but also that there isn't a specific right way of doing it. There are various techniques and things that you can probably do that are going to help you make that journey faster more efficiently, more effectively. But you've got to do it being you because if you're not yourself as a leader, an authentic true self, then you're going to get caught out pretty quickly. So that's what I really want people to leave with is doing this, doing it their way because that is the right way.
Which other sessions are you looking forward to watching at London's Customer Success Festival?
David Collard: So I'm always really keen to develop my own knowledge and specifically in the areas where I've not had much experience now, most of my time in CS has been working in a high- touch environment with clients, big global clients that need a lot of attention all the time. What I honestly don't know as much about is lower-touch, more scaled engagement and enablement of clients. So I'm really looking forward to some of the discussions about how you can make your efforts as a CS org go an awful lot further.
Why do you think it is important to shine a light on customer success?
David Collard: So I think it's incredibly important to shine a light on customer success because the reality is, I was gonna say we're the future, but that's not true – we're the reality, we're the present. We are the reason why customers and clients will succeed in the digital age, this fourth industrial revolution that we're living through. I think it's incredibly important to make sure that as many companies as possible have a clearly defined idea of what customer success is and isn't, and that they then enable those CS teams to drive scale, to drive success, to make their clients successful, to make their clients' clients successful. Without us, I hate to say it, the whole pack of cards comes tumbling down, and I really don't want any more companies than necessary to learn that the hard way.