15 Years of Helping People Tell Stories That Change the World

By Lukas Martinak in Kentico
·7 min read

At Kentico, our mission is clear: we help people tell stories that change the world. As we reach 15 years, I wanted to tell the story of my journey at Kentico and share how we have invested in and developed our customer success team to bring continued value-add to all our partners and clients.

Behind the Title

Who am I? First of all, I’m a husband expecting a baby girl who (I guess) will turn my world upside down. I love team sports because being a part of the winning team fills me with joy; I like contributing, helping others to advance, and team celebrations! I enjoy all kinds of challenges, learning new stuff, and gathering experiences all around the world.

At work, I’m the VP of Customer Success, and I’ve been at Kentico forever! I mean, I spent all of my 20’s at Kentico. It’s going to be 12 years in October!

A Company that Facilitates Personal Growth

My journey to finding Kentico is one I will never forget. During my studies at university, I was looking for a part-time job in software companies, and Kentico Software was one of them. Back in 2007, Kentico didn’t have as strong a presence in Brno (or even globally) as it does today. It was a small company of 15 people, but there already were some well-known brands using Kentico for their websites, which intrigued me.

I started as a tester (a.k.a. Quality Assurance Engineer), and after two years of testing and learning all the ins and outs of the product and the product development processes, I moved into a QA Coordinator role where I was responsible for all our quality assurance efforts. I'd spent five wonderful years on that position, leading the team of testers, organizing product releases, and keeping my hands dirty with performance testing.

After seven years at Kentico, with my technical background and experience, I accepted another challenge. We were opening a new office in the US, so we needed to hire and train new support engineers. In order to be able to cover 24/7 support, we needed help from the development team, and we started sending people to the US to help our customers as well as the support team. I was one of the people who wanted to share their knowledge, practice English, and get in touch with customers. After I returned, I shared my observations and ideas about how we can make things better for our customers and internally. I took the opportunity to become the Customer Success Director and later, VP of Customer Success.

Working at Kentico

The best thing about Kentico is the people. I believe that anything is possible when you have the right mindset and the right people around you. I’ve been lucky enough to encounter people I can learn from, and people who want to grow. I’m working with people who really care about what they do, how they do it, and why. For us, it’s not just a job from 9 to 5.

If I had to describe Kentico in one word, I guess it could be “Helpful.” We enjoy creating software that helps people. We help people tell stories that change the world. We help our customers succeed; we help customers get the most out of our products. We help each other in the company as we are One Kentico. There is HELP everywhere; it’s in our mission, vision, values; it’s at our core.

The Thriving Customer Success Team

Our goal in Customer Success is to help customers (both partners and clients) succeed. We help them get the most out of our products and services. We are trusted advisors who help them achieve their goals in a better way than what they are used to. With the help of the customer success team, everything is easier and much more effective.

We cover everything from Customer Education (Documentation, Training), Technical Support, Consulting Services, Customer Success Management, and Developer Relations. Whether it is their first project with us or a new challenge they have never faced before; we are here to help during the entire project life cycle and beyond.

We have people in the team who are familiar with both Kentico EMS and Kentico Cloud, and we have specialists who are focused just on one of the products (which have much deeper insights). Specialists often share their knowledge with generalists and are willing to help whenever it is needed. Even though it can seem challenging to stay up-to-date with both products, we have a team of great people who can deal with it and are on hand to help others when they need it.

When I started back in 2007, there was just a small team of support engineers in Brno. They were answering questions from customers and providing reactive technical support. Then we saw a demand for consulting services – deep-dive sessions on customization, integrations, best practices, and more. We wanted to help translate clients’ business requirements into real usage of our product, so we hired solution architects to help customers with their projects. As we grew our customer base, and the questions for support and consulting kept repeating, we started customer training and onboarding. At the same time, there was a need for better documentation, and we hired our first technical writers.

When I returned from the US in 2014, I felt it was time to bring all these separate groups of people under one umbrella. We named it Customer Success, and after establishing Customer Success Management and Developer Relations, we now have around 50 people on three different continents proactively helping our customers succeed.

Looking Back at 15 Years

Besides establishing the teams, bringing them all together, and becoming proactive instead of reactive, there were other significant moments, especially when we:

  • Started systematically collecting feedback from our customers on both the product and services they receive
  • Saw the first 1000 responses of the satisfaction survey
  • Achieved the NPS = 70 among our Partners
  • Led the first successful project from beginning to go-live
  • Prevented a customer from leaving us and expanded their usage
  • Recorded the first month of solving 1000 support cases
  • Started providing support via chat and having an average monthly CSAT rating = 95%
  • Beat our competitors in public reviews in the quality of support
  • Created more than 50 open-source projects increasing the value of our products
  • Made our first $1M in revenue from services
  • and many more.
     

It’s been a hell of a ride!

What’s Next?

There are a ton of use cases for our products, and the number keeps on growing. But a key thing to remember as we look towards the future is that content is everywhere. It’s not at the center of the universe, but it’s a critical piece of every website, application, chatbot, or campaign.

When you need an all-in-one solution for content management and digital marketing (and e-commerce if you’re selling stuff online) Kentico EMS is a natural choice. When you don’t want to invest in many different tools that are really cool, but you never have time to stay up-to-date with the new features, struggle with integrations, and don’t use them to their full potential anyway. When you want to start with digital marketing and use the content that you already have seamlessly, Kentico EMS is here for you.

If you’re thinking more about the consolidation of web properties and reusability of content, it’s got to be Kentico Cloud. When you have tens of websites, or you want to use the same content in your application, on the web, social media, and campaigns, it’s not easy to stay on top of it. When more people collaborate on the content you want to use in many places consistently, Kentico Cloud is the right choice.

Even though it’s hard to say what will happen in the next 15, I know we will keep on helping our customers get the most out of our products. How we do this will inevitably change. We will no doubt see more AI solutions to the problems digital agencies and clients face, and everything will be much faster as customers want to see results instantly. I can see the shift from being proactive to being more prescriptive and predictive, helping customers see what’s possible in the world of technology, and guiding them towards their goals. We want to leverage the progress of technology while staying human. It will be exciting to see what happens next. Bring it on!

If you’d like to find out more about how our Customer Success team can help you, check out our Services.

 

By Lukas Martinak in Kentico
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