How centralizing customer success leads to better improvements

Susan deCathelineau speaks at CommunityLIVE.

With more than 20 years of experience in healthcare, technology and operations, Susan deCathelineau brings expertise and leadership in areas including customer experience, strategic product development, solution design and implementation, and customer relationship management. She leads the next evolution of Hyland’s Customer Success department, focused on helping customers gain long-term competitive advantages by leveraging the breadth and depth of their technology investment.


With nearly 16,000 active customers, Hyland created a centralized Customer Success team to respond better to customer feedback throughout their customers’ journey.

We spoke with Susan deCathelineau, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Success Officer, to learn more.

How would you describe Hyland in five words or fewer?

From the perspective of my work and teams, I’d describe our ultimate goal as “helping drive our customers’ success.”

Tell us about the customer Success Department and why it was important to Hyland.

We launched our Customer Success program in August 2020. We were looking for a way to centralize feedback we receive from our customers to be able to advocate for them, and to formalize a more programmatic approach to how we build those relationships and help support customers through their journey. We have almost 275 people in our customer success organization, and every one of them is closely aligned to our customers. The intent is to support all customers, but most importantly, to hear and gather feedback so we can improve as an organization.

How does Hyland’s approach help create better experiences for customers?

Our intent is to provide a seamless experience for our customers throughout their journey with Hyland. They may have different opportunities to work with different experts on the Hyland team, but each interaction should contribute to a coordinated, cohesive journey, where they feel they’re being heard.

One of our core values is the respect that we have for our customers. Ultimately, we want them to be successful. Our customers are going to continually face changes in their environments and encounter different challenges to address, but we are there to support that journey.

One of our core values is the respect that we have for our customers. Ultimately, we want them to be successful.

$ Susan deCathelineau$

What response have you gotten from customers about this approach?

Customers really appreciate the coordination of their journey. The experience doesn’t feel like they’re working with Sales and then being handed off to Services and then Tech Support. It’s more of a cohesive path and a feeling that they’re being heard. One challenge we hear from customers is that we are not always able to make changes as fast as they would like. But we’re able to demonstrate that their feedback has been heard and that we are making incremental changes, whether through upgrades, implementation experience, or the way we work across different departments. We continue to improve based on customer feedback.

What’s an example of a great experience provided by the Customer Success group?

A large enterprise customer with multiple solutions in addition to our platform was migrating to the cloud and engaged Hyland for support. We assessed the challenges involved with the customer’s particular case and determined what was needed to successfully support the client in making its move. In the end, we were able to bring together the right experts on our Customer Success team to coordinate efforts across various departments and successfully move this customer from an on-premises environment to the cloud.

Ultimately, we prefer not to have any challenges at all and go right to a successful experience. But our customers appreciate that we learn from their feedback and experiences to make sure we go in the right direction, correct problems, and get more proactive in doing things right the first time.

How do you measure success?

There are many factors to consider, such as customer engagement, their willingness to advocate for Hyland and customer retention. We continue to monitor customer health and how well we as an organization continue to earn our customers’ trust every day. Every interaction is an opportunity to influence a customer’s experience.

Unfortunately, one bad experience can outweigh many good experiences — so each time we engage with a customer, it needs to be a good experience. The customer needs to see that our engagement helped make a difference within their organization and with what they’re trying to achieve. While this concept is important for a customer success team, it is also a Hyland philosophy. It shows that we’re our customers’ partner not only today but into the future as well.

What is your team’s X factor, and in what ways does it guide your approach to customer success?

Our X factor is listening to the customers and using that to determine where we prioritize our efforts.

We are here as an organization to support our customers. It’s easy to focus inward, but we commit to focusing outward, on what our efforts mean for the customer. If we aren’t hearing their feedback, how do we know that we’re creating the right experience for them? I think our X factor is really listening to our customers, gathering that feedback and acting on that feedback. We’ve already been able to demonstrate that the feedback provided has been heard and that we’re making incremental changes.

Learn more about what Hyland does.


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Keith Shaw

Writer for Foundry

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