Monday Guest Samantha Semuhin-Y3-W15

Spread the love

Get to know Samantha Semuhin

By: Mohammed Alqaq   |  April 08, 2024   |  Year 3  –  Week 15/2024

Hello everyone, I’m Samantha (everyone calls me Sam), and I am based in Bordeaux – in the beautiful South-West of France. I’m an ocean gal who loves to travel and experience new cultures and have lived in Dublin, Ireland for 10 years.

I’ve been in customer-facing roles my whole career, and in 2022 I transitioned to Customer Success at Upflow – a Fintech company helping companies to get paid faster – after joining as a Customer Care Manager.

I’m a lucky mother of two, so when I’m not working, you can find me cooking, dancing and spending quality time with my family.


We asked Samantha 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?

After studying Applied Foreign Languages for 2 years, I decided to move to Dublin ‘for 9 months’. I started my journey in tech in 2011 as a Technical Support Specialist for Hewlett-Packard, before working as a Fraud Analyst for eBay and eventually joined Airbnb in its early days which was a game-changer in my career.

During our onboarding at Airbnb, we were told we were ‘the owner of our cases and had to put ourselves in the customer’s shoes to make the best decision for both the company and the customer’; that was my first ah-ha moment and I’m so grateful to this day to have worked with such amazing founders.

How did you join Customer Success?

After 10 years in Customer Support, managing teams spanning 6 different time zones, I joined Upflow in 2021 and pioneered the Customer Care team. As we were hiring our Director of Customer Success and CS team, I realized what I found fulfilling was building strong relationships with merchants and helping them achieve their goals and grow their business. 

I expressed my interest in moving to Customer Success to my then Director of CS, and I have not looked back since!

How would you describe the ideal CSM candidate?

The first two words that come to mind are curiosity and problem-solving. Of course, the ideal CSM candidate depends on the industry, business stage (start-up, scale-up etc), and many other factors. Generally speaking, a great CSM should be a great communicator, able to read the room, and have impeccable organizational skills.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out as a Customer Success Manager?

Always ask questions! Whether it’s to your customers to understand their pain points and goals, Account Executives during the handover, your Product Managers to understand how a feature can benefit your customers, your fellow CS colleagues to understand how you can improve, or your Leadership team to grow.


Always ask questions!

Can you take us on a journey describing what your workday looks like?

I know every CS professional will say the same, but every day is different. I start my day by answering emails for an hour, addressing any important topic whether internally or externally, and checking out Slack. I’ve set up weekly recurring tasks in my agenda early on in my Customer Success career, which has been really helpful in creating a small routine and has been so helpful to be up to date with my accounts and managing stress.

During my lunch break, I like to go for beach or forest walks (one of the many perks of working remotely) with my dog to clear my mind.

Most of my merchants’ meetings happen before 2 pm, and afternoons are usually for meetings with our US team or company-wide meetings, as well as preparation of business reviews and accounts strategies.

What makes you feel inspired or motivated?

I find the Customer Success Community on LinkedIn is unique and always available for virtual chats to meet new people, and brainstorm. I’m so grateful to have met great CS leaders like Cinthia Silva, Gema Tamames Monzón whom I’m lucky to call a mentor, and discovered countless others.

Upflow’s Customer Success team keeps me inspired and motivated, we have each other’s back and it makes such a difference.

What’s one thing that people are generally surprised to find out about you?

I have a deep knowledge about music: from lyrics and lyricists to sound engineers, recording studios, and little behind-the-scenes stories about songs or albums.

Who do you look up to the most? 

Professionally, I admire the likes of Julie Fox, Erika Villareal, Daphne Costa Lopes and Kristi Faltorusso (to name a few).

Personally speaking: my parents and my best-friends. My father was a music journalist for over 20 years and shared his deep love of music and languages with me, and taught me to clearly communicate my needs and not let anyone stop me from reaching my goals. My mother has all my admiration for teaching me to be resilient, be kind to others, and be patient in life (because good things come to those who wait).

I’m ever so lucky to be surrounded by Mel, who launched Galz Gone Wild to connect more women to nature and the outdoors, and has been blowing my mind from the moment I met her, proving nothing is impossible; as well as Victoria, marine biologist and founder of Oneocean, a non-profit organization involved in scientific research on the Atlantic coast by participating and financing various research projects and degree courses. She continues to amaze me and I am so grateful to witness her greatness!

What are your top 3 priorities now?

These are my top 3 priorities:

  • Mental and physical health is always a priority;

  • Gain a more strategic view of CS;

  • Building and expanding my personal brand through webinars, interviews, and coaching;

What advice would you give to Customer Success Managers to grow and develop their careers?

Networking is key! The CS Community gives constantly, from Catalyst Coaching Corner, to Women in CS coaching sessions and countless of amazing podcasts, newsletters and regular webinars.

What’s your favorite book, and why?

I’ll give you two : The Biology of Belief was very powerful and helps understand how our conscious and subconscious mind work, and how our environment and our own belief can dominate over our own genes.

In Cold Blood is by far the most well-written book I’ve read (and I’m not a true crime person).

» 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?

Not yet, but having the opportunity to meet you Mo is a highlight of the past 2 years so far!

What should I have asked you but didn’t? 

What are my go-to CS podcasts?

  • She’s So Suite by Kristi Faltorusso

  • Psychology of Customer Success by Rachel Provan

  • Women in Customer Success by Marija Pilley

  • The Digital Customer Success Podcast by Alex Turkovic

  • Churn FM by Andrew Michael

  • The Customer Success Channel by Planhat and Anika Zubair

Where can people go to find out more about you?

Add me on LinkedIn, I’m always happy to connect and talk about all things Customer Success! If you reach out as a result of reading this interview, do say so – it’ll make my day and it’s always nice to understand the ‘why’ behind a request!

Thank you, Samantha, 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?