Maranda Dziekonski

Senior Vice President of CS

A seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in Customer Success and customer Support. She is a ground-up builder with a passion for setting up the right teams, systems, processes to the next level.

Maranda Dziekonski
Maranda Dziekonski
Maranda Dziekonski

Senior Vice President of CS

Datasembly

About Maranda Dziekonski

Maranda Dziekonski is the Senior Vice President of Customer Success at Datasembly. Maranda has over 20 years of experience both working in and building world-class operations. She has extensive experience building and scaling teams in early and mid-stage startups and has been part of 4 companies with successful exits (one unicorn). Fun fact: Maranda is now working on her 9th startup! While she has owned everything from Sales and Marketing, HR, Biz Ops, and various other functions, her passion remains with Customer Success.

Key takeaways

1. How did you get into Customer Success?

I’ve got into customer success almost by chance. So, my journey started 25 years ago in customer support after transitioning from factory work. Working in a call center, I discovered my passion for assisting customers. Over 9 years at a large company, I managed a portfolio of accounts, laying the groundwork for what is now known as customer success.

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

Well, it’s kind of changed and evolved over the years. focusing on ensuring customer ROI and fostering human relationships. It’s the intersection of business and customer strategy, coupled with understanding human psychology, that keeps me engaged and interested in the field.


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

Customer Success varies based on company and type, whether B2C or B2B, especially at enterprise levels. Key skill: rapid rapport-building, often overlooked but vital. The ability to understand customer motivations and gain trust quickly is invaluable for ownership and trust.

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

Customer Success is often seen as a department, but it’s everyone’s responsibility in the company. While some companies thrive without a formal CS function, it remains essential and evolving, especially towards revenue focus economic shifts.

5. Whatare your predictions for the direction of CS and CS platforms in 2024?

AI is getting better and better by the day. but currently, it lacks critical thinking capabilities. I see AI as augmenting rather than replacing human work, making tech companies more efficient. It won’t eliminate jobs entirely but will reduce the need for extensive human labor.

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

Shifting to a Customer Success role, a competitive job market requires strategic differentiation. Seek mentorship, shadow CS managers, and develop relevant skill sets. Within your current organization, inquire about potential paths and opportunities. For job seekers, consider leveraging existing expertise to pivot into Customer Success roles.

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

In my tech journey spanning nine startups, I’ve navigated various customer success models and challenges. Joining a company aligned with customer success values ensures adequate support. However, lack of top-level buy-in poses resource acquisition hurdles, a challenge I’ve faced in past roles but thankfully not currently.

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

Jay Nathan. Jay is a friend and if I have something that I’m noodling on and I need a thought partner, I’d reach out to him.

Kristi Faltorusso, she’s another individual that I consistently will reach out to if I need to kind of noodle through something with them.

Maranda-mentors
9. Your favourite book?

Patrick Lencioni’s books on overcoming workplace friction inspire me.
For Customer Success beginners, “Farm Don’t Hunt” by Guy Nirpaz, with Fernando Pizarro. It offers clear definitions and practical insights, making it an invaluable resource for newcomers in the field.

Maranda favourite books
10. Your favourite pastime.

I love hiking and being in nature. Documenting my travels on a public Instagram brings me joy. Sharing my hiking and travel adventures fuels my excitement for exploring the great outdoors.

Maranda pastime
11. Anything else you’d like to add?

Yeah, I would just advise people not to buy into the hype that customer success is dead. It’s far from it. Don’t be afraid to delve into the numbers and understand their implications. Whether it’s owning the gross renewal or the net retention, understanding how you impact those metrics and what levers you have is crucial.

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