Daphne Costa Lopes

Director, Customer Success

Empowering thousands of CS leaders, she leads HubSpot's second-largest region and advises on scaling global CS teams. With over a decade of experience, she's contributed to serving 200,000+ customers and generating $2B+ in ARR for scale-ups and Fortune 500 companies.

Daphne Costa Lopes
Daphne Costa Lopes
Daphne Costa Lopes

Director, Customer Success

HubSpot

About Daphne Costa Lopes

Daphne Costa Lopes lead Customer Success for HubSpot‘s second-largest region alongside running This is Growth!, a content machine that helps thousands of CS Leaders build and scale CS teams.

Over the last decade, I’ve helped Scale-Ups and Fortune 500 businesses build and scale global Customer Success teams to service 200K+ customers and $2B+ ARR.

It all started with a realisation I had in 2011: If we focus on delivering value to our customers, we won’t just retain their business, we will capture more and more of their demand. Customer Success is the second engine of growth for SaaS businesses.

Backed by this belief, I spent 4 years helping build a Customer Success as a Service Business. We generated thousands of SuccessQLs for our customers and proved that Customer Success could be a revenue driver.

Key takeaways

1. How did you get into Customer Success?

I got into Customer Success “by accident”. From early experiences in failed system roll-outs, I delved into change management and technology adoption, later co-founding a consulting team specializing in digital transformation. Transitioning to Customer Success, I pioneered the Success Qualified Leads model, fostering growth for Scale-Ups and Fortune 500 companies, and now lead Customer Success for HubSpot’s second-largest region while running a content platform aiding CS leaders.


2. What do you enjoy the most in your role?

I am motivated to solve big head-scratching problems. I love the process, the challenge, and the eureka moment. To me, nothing is more satisfying than an elegant and simple solution to a big problem. Once upon a time, that’s what attracted me to study Chemistry as my undergraduate and it’s what put me on the path of Product Management. In Customer Success, we are always solving incredibly important business problems for our customers and our teams!

3. What skills do you believe someone excellent in CS should possess?

You have to be a great detective. Leading with curiosity, asking great questions, actively listening and observing to understand what customers are trying to do.

You have to be passionate about solving for the customer. If driving value for customers is not in your DNA, you’ll build an inside-out CS team, and you’ll fail in the long run.

You have to be a great communicator. It’s not enough to do work, you have to get buy-in, give clear messages, flex and adapt to the situation in front of you.

You have to be a systems thinker. Solving for one customer isn’t enough, you need to create solutions that scale and replicate success across the customer installbase.

4. How important do you think CS is for an organization?

Essential. No matter the type of business, Customer Success is a philosophy that is valuable for any organisation. It makes everyone ask the question -> what’s going to create the most value for our customers and reverse engineer from there.

5. What are your predictions for the direction of CS and CS platforms in 2024, given the increasing prevalence of AI?

IAI is already a big part of how modern CS teams operate. Taking data from hundreds of data points, making sense of it, and helping CSMs prioritize, have better connections with customers, forecast, etc. Generative AI enhances workflows, enabling scalable and personalized customer service, expected to become increasingly integrated into all processes. CSMs aided by AI assistants focus on customer success exclusively

6. What tips do you have for anyone looking to enter CS?

Make sure you understand the problems the customers are trying to solve and how to deliver value to them. Everything follows from there. If you are trying to break into CS but have no experience, focus on industries where you have expertise, and where you are uniquely positioned to speak the customer’s language.

7. How can individuals seeking a job in CS go about it? Anyrecommended forums/events?

I am a big LinkedIn fan, so my top tip is to stay on top of the jobs that are posted there, develop a network by genuinely engaging with posts of people who are pillars of the community, sharing your opinions etc. And if you are struggling to get through the interview phases, look for people who specialise in helping you get the CS roles you want (shout out to Carly Agar and Noah Little who are always sharing such valuable content!)

8. What are some of the key challenges in the field of CS youhave faced and what helped you overcome it?

Different company sizes and industries face different challenges, but one that I find is very common is aligning Product and Go to Market behind key customer use cases and how to measure success inside the product. Seems like very few companies have cracked that nut!

9. Who are your mentors or individuals you look up to in CS?

I don’t believe in traditional mentor relationships. This idea that one person can be your guide and teach you about anything you’re faced with is unrealistic. I find a lot more power in a tribe of mentors. People I admire for the depth of their expertise in specific areas, and they are my go-to’s for different things. And it would be too many people to list here!

10. Your favourite book?

Extreme Ownership and 4 Disciplines of Execution for anyone struggling with just getting it done.
Mindset by Carol Dwek for anyone that has self-limiting beliefs.
5 Dysfunctions of a Team for those in a leadership position.

Daphne favourite books
11. Your favourite pastime?

Being out in nature, hiking (I just hiked Mount Kilimanjaro!) or balancing myself in a board (surf, snowboard etc).

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