Nikos Chatzipanagiotou is appointed Customer Success Manager
At XTM International, nothing matters more than the success of our customers. With that in mind we’re delighted to announce the creation of our Customer Success Team and the appointment of the ideal person to lead it.
Nikos Chatzipanagiotou manages a team of gifted professionals with a ‘can-do’ attitude. Each member of the team takes pride in delivering successful outcomes for their clients. They ensure that the user voice is heard and the value of XTM Cloud is maximised.
When we spoke with Nikos about his new role, his excitement was clear. Here he shares his thoughts on the principles of service and success, and the commitment he and his team have to keeping the customer satisfied. We also found out a little more about the man behind the job title.
Tell us a bit about your role as the Customer Success Manager. What are your core responsibilities?
My role involves developing and leading a high-performing Customer Success Team that will help our customers understand, internalize, and experience the value of our product throughout their journey with XTM Cloud. Our goal is to make our global translation management platform as valuable to our clients as possible, maximizing their return on investment.
As a Customer Success Manager, my task is to set the overall vision and strategic plan for the team, driving product adoption, ensuring a positive customer experience, and driving growth through customer renewals and new business opportunities with satisfied customers. More than anything, though, what drives me is the thought that we’re adding value to the customer’s business. We’re here to make people’s lives better and show them that technology is their friend. If we can share that message every day, I’ll believe we’re making a positive difference.
How would you define customer success in the area of language technology?
Customer Success is all about helping customers to achieve their intended outcome while using your product. It involves a mindset shift compared to the traditional account management model.
Customer Success means managing the success of the customer rather than just the financial success of the account. So, this is truly about focusing on the customer and how they can succeed. It is about listening and understanding what every single customer needs to achieve their goals. At the end of the day, if your customers succeed when using your product, they’ll keep using it, and you’ll keep growing together. Everybody wins.
What’s the secret to strong relationships with customers in the language technology realm?
A fundamental way to build strong relationships with customers is through communication. At XTM International we talk to our customers and, more importantly, we listen. When customers tell us we sound as if we really care about their issues, it’s because we do. We ask for feedback and we react positively to it. Most of the upgrades and new features in recent XTM Cloud releases were prompted by customer requests.
We offer consistent contact and engagement; that’s the least an XTM customer deserves. And if a customer’s TMS is running smoothly, that’s no reason to neglect them. We’re always available and always listening. There are more ways to connect with customers than ever before, but the fundamentals of communication don’t change; be honest, keep communicating and take ownership of problems. That’s the path to trust. That’s the path to customer success.
Show appreciation and reward your best customers via loyalty programs. Benefits might include special discounts, early access to new features, partnership activities, and pretty much anything that your customers would find rewarding. That alone is a good way to drive customer retention as your best customers will be receiving the appreciation and rewards they deserve, while your early adopters will be motivated to engage further with you and your product.
At XTM International we practice what we preach, the XTM Partnership Plus Program provides our LSP, Software and Language Technology Partners with opportunities for growth and increased profits to deliver truly global communication.
Some takeaways for Customer Success teams to step up their game in 2021. What should they keep in mind as they engage with customers?
Although customer behavior and engagement preferences have drastically changed in recent years, 2020 brought new challenges for Customer Success teams around the globe. There are surely new trends that are here to stay and further evolve in 2021.
Customer Success teams have already settled into the new normal, remote work and Zoom meetings with customers. People have started to consume more information online, which in fact, means a transformation in the way Customer Success teams engage with customers, from a strictly passive approach like quarterly business reviews (QBRs) to a customer self-service approach including a plethora of digital tools that can help increase customer engagement, advocacy and ultimately, retention.
The power of data in business decisions is not something new, but in 2021 as the customer engagement programs are becoming more sophisticated, the need to understand and centralize customer data from various sources is even more evident. By doing so, you’ll be able to make customer-driven decisions and increase your chances to deliver the expected value.
And of course, all this transformation in the Customer Success area needs to be supported by technology that goes beyond the functionality of a traditional CRM. In 2021 Customer Success teams will need to focus more on finding and utilizing the right tools. Arguably, investing in automation will free your team up to do higher-level work and become more customer-centric as well.
Last but not least, personalization will still be key to team success. It’s up to the Customer Success teams to find the right balance between a traditional outreach and new modes of communication with customers in a digital space.
What functionality in a TMS is a must-have for customers? Do you have any tips?
Based on my experience working with several translation management systems and CAT tools, I think that there are three key aspects of functionality an efficient end-to-end TMS has to offer to customers; and I’m very happy to see those be covered by XTM Cloud with the most complete and advanced set of system features on the market.
Project management in XTM Cloud is driven by intelligent automation. That amounts to minimizing human input as much as possible via project templates, advanced workflow management and a lights-out strategy.
XTM Cloud puts a lot of focus on connectivity which is in line with the increasing need for connected digital ecosystems. A plethora of productivity features and a powerful AI framework are put together under XTM Workbench to provide an agile localization toolkit and accelerate translation throughput while driving costs down and ensuring quality.
On top of the above key aspects of functionality, a translation management system must be infinitely scalable and flexible. Supplier lock-in, word limits, project limits, integration limits are more of a burden than a benefit for customers. XTM Cloud is vendor neutral and offers the richest set of features at a standard subscription cost.
Why XTM International?
After nearly 10 years in the industry, working on the LSP side and passing through different roles and functions (Project and Account Management, Language Technology, Operations) it was time to transition away from a company focused on translation services. My constant involvement with language technology and big scale process optimization projects on behalf of global enterprises, alongside my background in Computer Science, led me to the decision to continue my career in a role closely related to translation management technology.
From there, as the category leader in the TMS space, XTM was the top choice for me. XTM’s great dynamic in today’s translation technology landscape as well as the top-notch team behind an industry-leading product could only add to my excitement about this new opportunity.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Becoming a father for the first time a year and a half ago really changed my life. I do enjoy this new chapter of life so I try to spend as much time as possible with my family and my baby boy. Free time is limited but when I have some, I enjoy spending it with friends and people who think on the same wavelength and share the same passion for something be it art or sports or even language technology.
What motto do you live by?
“Go to bed with a dream, wake up with a purpose.” I’m not so much into quotes and inspirational sayings but I really love this one. Have a dream. Make a plan. Get up and make it happen. Even if you fail, make sure it’s not because you didn’t try hard enough.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Nikos. We’re confident that your customer-centric approach will keep our existing and future clients happy, prosperous and coming back for more.