I’m Julie Fox! I live in Indiana with my husband and our two kids.
I am a Senior Manager of Customer Success for FloQast, the leading provider of accounting workflow automation software built by accountants for accountants.
I was recognized as a Top 25 Creative Customer Success Leader for 2023 and have a goal over the next years to join for speaking engagements and podcasts & mentor more individuals.
I am a passionate leader dedicated to helping teams scale and individuals grow.
We asked Julie 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
Tell us about your career path?
Less than 5 years ago I completely changed my career path by making the leap into tech. I was previously in Commercial Real Estate and had a background that was a bit all over the place. I dabbled in sales, account management, and even marketing.
One consistency is that most of my experiences led to a leadership role – in creating processes and strategic planning & execution as well as people management. In my last role as a VP of Services, I was let go while on maternity leave.
It was one of those experiences where I knew I could either be a “victim” and let that define me…. or I could use this time as a chance to make a leap into something I was always intrigued by…. Tech.
I chose the latter and made a complete career change.
How did you join Customer Success?
As I was networking and learning about the tech community a handful of people kept guiding me towards Customer Success. As I learned more about CS, I knew this was the right place for me as it would allow me to utilize my varied experiences and skill set and it was a path that I was genuinely excited about!
The problem was…. I had no “tech” experience and everyone kept telling me that I needed tech experience to get a job in tech. Go figure.
At first, I was applying to company after company with little success. So I changed my approach.
Through networking and researching, I narrowed my list to a handful of companies that I really wanted to work for and put my heart & soul into landing a position at one of those companies.
I was relentless. I wouldn’t take no for an answer. I wore my heart on my sleeve and poured everything into a small number of opportunities. I was writing handwritten thank you notes, sending emails to CEOs, hiring managers, peers, I asked for feedback. If I received a rejection, I was candid about how badly I wanted to work there and suggested creative solutions to get my foot in the door.
After many months, I was finally given a shot to join a company as a CSM. I was confident that allowing me to start as an IC would give me a chance to learn and grow and once given the opportunity I would grow into a leadership role.
Within 2.5 years I grew from a CSM, to a Team Lead, to a manager, eventually leading multiple teams. I then transitioned to my current company where I joined as a Sr. Manager.
How would you describe the ideal CSM candidate?
A CSM isn’t one size fits all. In fact, some of the best CSMs I’ve worked with come from a variety of backgrounds. I look for grit, ownership/accountability, and creativity. A high emotional intelligence and a good energy go a long way in customer success.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out as a Customer Success Manager?
Take the time to really understand your customers’ business and their goals. If you can focus on helping them and adding value for their team, you can become their partner and trusted advisor and they will continue to grow with you.
Curiosity is such an important gift. Being curious with your team and your development will help you learn, think creatively, and grow. And being curious with your customers will not only help you learn more about them but it will also help you build a deeper and more meaningful relationship with them.
Curiosity is such an important gift. Being curious with your team and your development will help you learn, think creatively, and grow. !
Can you take us on a journey describing what your workday looks like?
🙂 Every day is a little different.
My mornings are always a bit chaotic. Getting the kids up, ready for school, lunches packed, and out the door. Sometimes it feels like I’ve accomplished a whole day’s work just by getting them to school on time.
I begin almost every day with a workout and when I head to my home office I fill my arms with coffee, giant waters, and snacks because I know how busy I get once I start.
Many days I am back to back in Zoom meetings all day with team meetings, individual 1:1s, and coaching sessions, & strategic and collaborative meetings and sessions with my Success leadership.
I try to balance this out with heads-down projects or focus work because that is something that really energizes and fulfills me.
Lately, I have been dedicating time blocks each week to joining or listening to customer calls from each of my direct reports and providing them with feedback. Staying tuned into our customers helps me see areas of opportunity that I may not have seen otherwise. 🙂
What makes you feel inspired or motivated?
I get so much fulfillment from helping my team. Seeing their growth and development and watching them thrive really motivates me. I love collaborating with my team, strategizing, and dreaming out loud together. I have an incredible team of leaders that really energize me.
Truly, my kids are my biggest inspiration and motivation. Everything I do, I do for them and I want to always be a positive influence for them.
What’s one thing that people are generally surprised to find out about you?
I have ADD.
At work, I have learned how to use this as a strength by tapping into my creative thinking and collaboration skills. I lean on calendar blocking and my tech tools for survival and have become incredibly productive and effective with my time & project management.
During the workday, I am hyper-focused, organized, and disciplined.
As soon as work is over, I am messy and chaotic and lean on my husband who is super organized.
It’s all about balance right?
Who do you look up to the most?
Admittedly, I wouldn’t say there is one single person. I am surrounded by incredible leaders, mentors, and coaches as well as family and friends that each shape who I am.
As far as people I admire from afar, Nick Mehta is at the top of my list. I really appreciate and relate to his leadership style (and love for Taylor Swift & Ted Lasso). He is vulnerable, quirky, and has an insatiable desire to have a big impact in a deeply human way.
What are your top 3 priorities now?
– Improving scalability to benefit our customers
– Bringing more customers together to learn from each other
– Better accessibility to resources – what they need, when they need it
– More strategic conversations during their interactions with our team
– Improving scalability to benefit our team and business
– Helping my team focus more on customer goals, desired outcomes, and value
What advice would you give to Customer Success Managers to grow and develop their careers?
Ask for help. Find mentors and coaches. Seek out and lean into feedback.
The best CSMs are constantly learning and growing. Even the best people and the best teams can get better, thinking creatively and taking on initiative to solve problems for your team and customers will help you grow.
What’s your favorite book, and why?
I don’t have a single favorite. My favorite authors are Brené Brown and Patrick Lencioni. Lately, all of my reading is children’s books with my 3 and 6 year olds which has been a lot of fun!
» 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?
No, and truly, I don’t think I ever will. I will always be motivated to keep learning and growing.
I don’t think there will ever be a moment where I feel 100% satisfied or “done”. I want to have a big impact and my desire for self-improvement and growth is insatiable.🙂
What should I have asked you but didn’t?
Nothing that I could think of
Where can people go to find out more about you?
I would love to connect and engage with people on LinkedIn.
I am open to podcast and speaking opportunities – please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Thank you, Julie, 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?