If you’re like me, chances are that you thought of customer success in the stereotypical nine-to-five, overcrowded call center desk job, talking with angry customers. We’ve all heard similar horror stories such as these, but throughout my first week at Discover Praxis, a rigorous career discovery program that I’m participating in, these myths came crashing down for the better.
Recently, I learned the real, more human side of customer success: One that comes with a proactive mindset of helping people–and solving problems before they even arise. This approach to customer service also had me recall my own experience as a peer-mentor and coach which equipped me to be successful in the customer service field.
This past summer, I began mentoring a highly motivated high school sophomore named Tenin. After our chance encounter at the library, Tenin and I immediately connected over our shared Ivorian background. I began providing Tenin with both personal and professional development guidance and resources, along with strategies on how to maximize her personal narratives across multiple channels. For example, I taught Tenin how to use subtitled video supplements as a standout factor in various applications, and developed a template for her to efficiently ask for recommendation letters.
Upon implementing those strategies, she got accepted to her first-ever internship: the 2SWIM New Community Builders Program. Thereafter, I helped Tenin draft a set of skills that she was hoping to develop and created a project-based apprenticeship to fit those needs. We started with a basic introduction to project and time management tools (ie: Google Calendar, spreadsheets, Asana, Airtable, Notion) and advanced to more complex tools like Squarespace, explaining web development terms like “navbar” “headers,” and “CTAs” (call to actions). My favorite moments were answering Tenin’s insightful questions, satisfying her curiosity, and most of all, getting in-depth feedback, which I would later share with my own mentors to further improve my coaching practice.
After a month into our mentee-mentor relationship, Tenin wrote this blog stating,
“I’ve always had the passion, but I’ve never known exactly what I wanted to channel it into, but now that I have top-notch glasses made by Silk Road Journey, I can now see my bright future with 20/20 vision.”
After reading this, I felt happy, energized and realized that I could really make a difference by helping people unlock their stories and succeed authentically in life.
In light of that experience, I became a Certified Youmap Coach, where I enable students and recent graduates to develop self-awareness through their strengths, values, motivating skills, and interests and then shape their stories into career opportunities. I believe that being aware of the value of our story is the number one predictor of career success, so I strive to anticipate, facilitate and help remove the obstacles getting in the way of people’s self-discovery.
This, to me, is customer success, and my background as a student advocate and storytelling strategist is exactly why I’ll be crushing it in this role.