Hello, I’m Anna. I have been in customer-related roles for around 6 years, with 5 of them in the affiliate marketing field and 1 in the e-commerce field. Currently, I am working as a Senior Customer Success Manager at Tapfiliate in Kyiv, Ukraine, where I thrive on building strong relationships with enterprise clients.
Before this role, I led a team at Admitad, driving expansion initiatives across various European regions.
My experience also extends to project management through my involvement in the Amazon sellers project, which, although slightly different, has equipped me with valuable new skills.
Outside of work, I’m passionate about yoga. I also love traveling and am planning to finally explore Asia this year. Self-development and my loved ones are my top priorities.
We asked Anna to take us through a journey telling us about her career path, how she spends her workday, what advice she can share with someone starting as a customer success manager, and many other questions.
Enjoy reading this interview
Table of Contents
Tell us about your career path?
I’m a philologist by profession, fluent in 5 languages, including Bulgarian. During my student days, I taught the language. Knowing this rare language, a key criterion for candidates, led me to start working as a business development manager in an affiliate marketing network right after completing my bachelor’s degree. Eventually,
I transitioned to the customer success field and currently work for a SaaS platform named Tapfiliate, specializing in building affiliate programs.
How did you join Customer Success?
About two years ago, I entered the Customer Success arena as a Senior Customer Success professional at Tapfiliate. While my background leaned towards Sales and Business Development, truthfully, the role of a Customer Success manager resonates most naturally with me.
How would you describe the ideal CSM candidate?
Enjoys working with people
Loves digging deeper into the client’s issues and searching for answers (I sometimes feel like some sort of QA manager, as there’s a need to go and test something to understand the root cause)
Independent in searching for answers as much as possible (I noticed very often that the majority of issues can be solved on my own, searching through the internal documents, or even googling is enough to answer the question, and it saves the team’s time, and time is the most valuable thing)
Constantly learns new things about the field they work as a CSM
Understands or eager to learn the product they work or is about to work for
Has experience with popular systems used in CS (CRM/mailing/chat services)
This list might come across as a job description 🙈
What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out as a Customer Success Manager?
Don’t hesitate to ask probing questions to better understand customers’ needs. They might express themselves differently than internal company verbiage. Sometimes, it may seem a feature is missing based on client descriptions, but this might not be the case.
Don't hesitate to ask probing questions to better understand customers' needs.
Can you take us on a journey describing what your workday looks like?
I start the day with a brief standup call with my team to discuss our current tasks.
Check for scheduled client calls and understand their topics.
Assess my client’s well-being and address any new requests, given my hybrid role as a CS manager and Account manager for Enterprises.
Engage in discussions with the product team, developers, and occasionally designers about ongoing or new implementations, emphasizing customer needs.
Assist the first line by tackling more advanced issues, primarily concerning technical integrations.
What makes you feel inspired or motivated?
The most motivating aspect is witnessing the outcomes of my efforts. This includes the excitement when a new significant client signs an agreement with us. It extends to the completion of activities I assist the Product team with, such as gathering client feedback, leading to unexpected insights about the product. Additionally, the satisfaction of seeing long-awaited features implemented for clients, who then actively use them, is truly rewarding.
The customer success team serves as the voice of the customer, listened to by the product team, and I genuinely consider my work to be a mission aligned with that purpose.
What’s one thing that people are generally surprised to find out about you?
Speaking Bulgarian is often surprising to others, given that Bulgaria is a small country, and people are intrigued by the fact that I speak the language despite not having roots or relatives there.
Who do you look up to the most?
While there isn’t a specific person, I’m acquainted with numerous individuals who are genuine missionaries in their roles, particularly as Customer Success or Product managers. Their dedication is truly inspiring.
What are your top 3 priorities now?
Top priorities for me include maintaining my mental and physical health, the well-being of the people I love and care about, and continuous focus on both my career and personal growth.
What advice would you give to Customer Success Managers to grow and develop their careers?
Embrace initiative and prioritize continuous, dedicated learning.
What’s your favorite book, and why?
The book, titled “Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most” revolves around the art of assertive expression, tackling inconvenient or uncomfortable topics. It guides on effective communication, encouraging the ability to address any subject without fear. The focus extends beyond the professional realm, offering insights on expressing oneself in both work and private life.
» Check out the 10 Books a CSM should read to advance and improve their skills.
Have you had your “I’ve made it” moment yet?
I haven’t experienced a single monumental moment, but rather find motivation in smaller “I’ve made it” instances.
These may not be grand achievements, but they continually fuel my passion for what I do and drive me to delve deeper into my work.
Where can people go to find out more about you?
While I haven’t been very active on social media lately, my LinkedIn page would be the best platform to share.
Thank you, Anna, for sharing your knowledge and for the opportunity to know you more.
Do you have a Customer Success Leader, Expert, or Influencer you would like to know more about?