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What is Customer Success? A Q&A with Caitie McCarthy

Caitie McCarthy, Hotshot's Director of Customer Success, explains what customer success is and how we think about it at Hotshot.

Hi Caitie. So, you're our Director of Customer Success. Can you explain what your role involves? I make sure our customers are getting the most out of their investment with Hotshot by helping support their training initiatives. I partner with our law firm customers on things like fall onboarding curriculums, business acumen training programs, and summer programs. At law schools, I partner with faculty members and career services departments to make sure students are using Hotshot to become more practice ready.

Where does the phrase customer success come from? I believe it originated with Silicon Valley SaaS companies who realized that everyone would win if customers had a successful rollout and ongoing adoption of their products. When we were defining my role at Hotshot we did wonder if it sounded a bit trendy, but in the end we thought "well the purpose of the role is make customers successful so let's call it what it is!"

Can you give an example or two of how you work with law firms? I work with our customers throughout their subscription to Hotshot, but there are a few important periods where we partner more closely. During the months leading up to the summer and fall, I work with PD teams to incorporate Hotshot into their programs. We plan things like certifications and flipped classrooms to make their programs more engaging and fun.

I also work with PD teams on initiatives like business acumen training. For example, one customer is running a year-long case study based on a hypothetical company created by Hotshot. I'm the project manager for Hotshot, and I liaise with the customer, consultants and the Hotshot content team.

What about law schools? I work with the office of career services at law schools to make sure the 1Ls and 2Ls are using Hotshot to prepare for interviews and summer programs at firms. I also work with faculty to help incorporate Hotshot content into their curriculum. Here's an example of how we're supporting transactional training at BU School of Law

Do you also get involved with technical projects - like LMS integration and single sign on? Yes. I'm proud to say I now know what SAML is! We're looking forward to helping more of our customers use Hotshot with their LMS systems.

This customer success program sounds like a valuable service, if I do say so myself. How come Hotshot doesn't charge for it? With a subscription business like ours, successful customers are good for business. The business jargon for this is "increasing customer lifetime value," but we like to think of it as a virtuous circle. Happy customers mean more revenue, which allows us to create better products, which makes even happier customers…

If a law firm is considering subscribing to Hotshot, what advice do you have related to making their implementation a "success"? Work with me! Just kidding, but seriously, I'm here to help make the rollout a success. We'll work together to find the best way to communicate about Hotshot to associates and how to incorporate our content into your existing programs.

What did you do before Hotshot? Immediately before Hotshot, I headed up a business development team at a SaaS company called Wealth-X, and before that I worked with Chris and Ian at Practical Law, Thomson Reuters.

And what about before you got into the corporate world? I don't suppose you did anything interesting before you started your professional career, did you..? Well it's funny you should ask, I was a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall for many years, so you may find that sort of interesting.