Perfect Pairings: CX Heroes and Fine Wine

Squelch Team | May 24, 2019

Two glasses of wine displayed with grapes and a wine barrel

In case you didn’t know, wine has a special place in our hearts.

The original concept of Squelch was rooted in the desire of co-founders (and wine enthusiasts) Jayaram Bhat and Giorgina Gottlieb to create a product aimed at helping other oenophiles find the perfect bottle. But after conducting additional research and gathering valuable feedback (which may or may not have happened over wine), Squelch transformed into a software solution that serves as the perfect customer experience (CX) sidekick.

In honor of National Wine Day, which takes place each year on May 25th, we thought a post comparing two of our favorite things — CX heroes and wine — would be fitting.

Glass of Chardonnay white wine
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Customer Support Agent – Chardonnay

The role of a customer support agent is as diverse as the flavor profile of Chardonnay. Support reps must juggle phone calls, emails, and SMS messages while hunting down the vital information customers need, which is often hidden in a variety of sources. These agents may experience some acidic interactions, like the less-ripe lemony Chardonnays, while others go as smooth as butter, like the oak-aged varieties.

Just as the Chardonnay grape is a key component of many different kinds of wine, like Sonoma Chardonnay or ‘Blanc de Blancs’ Champagne, support is an essential partner to many different departments across the organization, including marketing, sales, and product development. By integrating the customer insights gleaned by the support team, these other departments are able to deliver a more mature CX, just like the full-bodied white wine we know Chardonnay can be.

Glass of syrah wine
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Customer Support Manager – Syrah

Customer support managers approach customer issues with a boldness akin to the rich flavor of a good Syrah. Similar to how this red wine can range from notes of dark fruit to pepper, these managers must be able to shift between a variety of roles from team leader to technical troubleshooter.

The support manager position has evolved over the past two decades due to changes in technology and customer expectations. As a result, in order to be successful, managers must cater to their particular team of agents and the customers they serve. This is similar to the way New World Syrahs cater to a younger generation, while Old World Syrahs are generally preferred by more seasoned wine drinkers.

Glass of Prosecco sparkling wine
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Customer Success Manager – Prosecco

Just like the effervescent nature of this popular sparkling wine, customer success agents — typically called customer success managers (CSMs) — keep customer relationships fresh. With regular check-ins and helpful tips, CSMs strive to help customers attain the most value from a product or service.

While Prosecco bubbles last a relatively long time, they do mellow more quickly than Champagne. Similarly, although customer success is a field that’s rapidly increasing in popularity, CSM is still a relatively new position without a clearly-defined career path.

This leads to some success professionals switching to other types of roles sooner than expected. Those who stick it out, however, have a unique ability to meet each individual customer’s needs, similar to the way Prosecco is able to pair deliciously with a variety of cuisines.

Bottles of Burgundy wine
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Customer Success Director – Burgundy

Burgundy, France is one of the most romanticized areas of the world, but crafting the delicious namesake beverage of the region is serious work. Similarly, the role of customer success director is generally thought of as a “fun” job, but it can be quite difficult! After all, customer management is an art that takes time to perfect, much like this fine wine.

Among other skills, success directors must teach their CSMs how to upsell and cross-sell. When it comes to these initiatives, it’s all about the “sense of place,” or as Burgundy lovers say, “the terroir.” Before pitching them on upgrades or additional products, the success team must make sure the existing product or service is benefiting the customer, just as the local soil and climate create the perfect environment for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes to flourish in Burgundy.

The Burgundy region is very diverse, starting near Dijon and ending in Macon. Similarly, the role of success director can span a number of different departments, including support, sales, and marketing. Accordingly, these directors have the ability to ensure customer success is a priority across the entire organization and are also well-positioned for a variety of paths up the career ladder to a VP or C-suite role.

Cheers to You

There you have it: fine wine and good CX, a pair made for the ages. To all of the customer support and success heroes serving on the front lines, we hope you have the opportunity to enjoy your favorite wine today. You deserve it!