Monday Guest Roi Kiouri
I’m Roi (Ro-ee) & I’m a people-oriented customer success leader with over 15 years of experience in customer-facing roles.
I live in Athens, Greece but am actively looking to relocate to the UK.
I’ve been on my Customer Success path for the past 7 years and obsessed with automating tedious tasks, optimizing internal processes and delivering maximum value and ROI to my customers.
We asked Roi 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?
My entire career has been in customer-facing roles and seven years ago I started my journey transitioning from support positions to more customer success-oriented ones. I have mostly worked in startups in the Fintech and MarTech sectors and led teams that ranged from 3 to 40 people.
How did you join Customer Success?
I was essentially eased into it while I was working in one of the startups I mentioned. The fact that we got to cater for the needs of users before they had to reach out to us, the planning, the strategizing — all of it appealed to me a lot.
Since I’m a naturally organized person and an extreme overthinker, it felt like home. Anticipating needs and drafting well-thought-out customer journeys are a few of the things that made me pursue this further.
How would you describe the ideal CSM candidate?
An effective communicator with enhanced empathy skills is the most important quality. Then, I look for a strategic mindset as the ideal CSM should act as a trusted advisor and mentor so their clients can achieve their goals and objectives.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out as a Customer Success Manager?
CS is the core function of any successful business and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Our job is to instil this mentality in the rest of the company and hold them accountable for CS as well. CS is everyone’s job whether they work in Marketing, Accounting or Legal.
CS is everyone’s job whether they work in Marketing, Accounting or Legal.!
Can you take us on a journey describing what your workday looks like?
🙂 I wake up usually at around 8.30 am and make myself breakfast.
At around 9.30 am I open my laptop and start replying to my emails.
At 10 am we have a standup with the team for the tasks of the day ahead and the necessary gossip to kick off the day with a smile. I deep dive into my core tasks after midday when I’m fully operational and can get creative in coming up with strategic solutions. That’s when most of my client calls take place.
The rest of my working day is basically “housekeeping” tasks and hands-on project work.
After work, I usually have a workout session to blow off some steam or meet up with friends which also helps to take the edge off.
What makes you feel inspired or motivated?
Operating in an environment that treats me like the emotional being that I am (that we all are!).
This means feeling safe to express my opinion and my concerns. A place where the leadership team is brave and willing to appear vulnerable rather than all-knowing and rigid.
What’s one thing that people are generally surprised to find out about you?
🙂 I’m a very shy and introverted person suffering from high-functioning anxiety on top of that.
However, I have this extroverted persona that completely masks everything while I’m internally screaming when I have to talk to strangers and do public speaking or presentations.
So, when I tell people that’s not who I really am inside, they’re taken aback!
Who do you look up to the most?
I think one of my idols is Brené Brown. She’s a researcher on vulnerability and a leadership expert that has helped me a lot in running happy and high-performing teams.
I cannot recommend her books, TEDTalks and podcast enough if you really want to step into your true leadership era.
What are your top 3 priorities now?
– Moving to the UK
– Educating myself on CS strategies and trends as much as possible. We can never know too much!
– Putting my anxiety at ease. I’m at a stage in my life where everything is fluid and I’m trying to stay calm while feeling extremely uncomfortable.
What advice would you give to Customer Success Managers to grow and develop their careers?
Focus on doing the right things instead of doing things right. Challenge the status quo, challenge processes and patterns.
I find that most times, this is where you’ll find all the room you need to grow into your role and utilize your potential to the maximum.
What’s your favorite book, and why?
A tough question!
Being the nerd that I am, I’ll answer with the Harry Potter books — especially the Order of the Phoenix one.
The plot is just impeccable; everything we thought we knew about the characters and their role in the book turns out to be different. I loved the suspense!
» 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?
My impostor syndrome says “No” but I know I’ve had some of these over the course of my career. Like when I got promoted to lead my first CS Team ever. I had worked so hard for it and it felt really gratifying. It’s then that I knew I wanted to do this for the long haul. 😊
What should I have asked you but didn’t?
What is the most challenging part of working in CS? And my reply would be: To convince the rest of the departments within the company that CS is their job as well. We all work towards helping our customers succeed and we should never lose focus of that.
Where can people go to find out more about you?
The best place to find me is on LinkedIn. and read my blog posts about everything CS on customerfacing.io
Thank you, Roi, 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?