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Rules of Engagement - Customer Success Managers and Customer Support Engineers

Authors: Serban Goanta & Seth Dovev

Last Update: 1/1/23


Rules of Engagement also known as ROEs are a set of operating principles mutually created and agreed on between two teams for how these teams will A) work together, B) prevent conflict and C) resolve conflict if and when it arises. A single team that is regularly collaborating across many teams may have many sets of ROEs, one with each of the teams where collaboration happens most. ROEs are typically documented in a place that is visible to all team members, and are updated regularly and as-needed as teams grow and evolve.


ROEs exist to scale meaningful collaboration and proactively address conflict. ROEs help to foster mutual understanding and compassion, in a similar way to Nonviolent Communications, by stating needs up front and creating alignment on how each team’s needs will be met through their collaboration with the other team.


Customer Success Management and Department of Customer Love all fall under the Customer Success organization here at Chili Piper. Both teams exist to retain happy active users. The CSM team focuses on proactive onboarding and adoption efforts, while our Department of Customer Love addresses reactive support related issues and bugs. We believe this combination provides our users with a wonderful experience using Chili Piper and are able to quickly see the value of our offering. The following Rules of Engagement exist as a guide for internal staff to ensure 100% alignment and accountability.

Department of Customer Love Responsibilities

  • Lead all technical tickets managed in Zendesk assigned to the Support Group

  • Own Support tickets until resolution for issue categories listed here

  • Together with Success, manage Support calls via the Support Router

  • Create long-lived auth tokens for x-session

  • Nuke / restore of tenant accounts

  • Run various endpoints like CRM migrations

  • Investigate and resolve disconnections of services (Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, HubSpot)

  • Replicate, create and prioritize bugs as per Bug prioritization and rollout schedule

  • Update the customer at regular intervals after they raised a bug - updates for: In Progress, Staging, Canary / GA, Backlog, Blocked

  • For special customers, as defined by Premium Customers Card, provide custom Support as per their Support Profile to the best of their ability

  • Review issues added to #bug-triage slack channel, as per availability

  • Set up Slack “task force” channels for recurring or critical issues

  • Join urgent calls / meetings upon CSM request, as per CSE availability, to help support customer questions or issues, including pre-sales.

  • Manage and update backoffice tools like Solver Extension and Chili Vision Support Tool

Department of Customer Love Agrees to

  • Have Director of Customer Love included in meetings or emails for customers requesting more information about Support or QA processes (support availability, first reply time, bug SLA, bug prioritization, QA processes, premium support) - request to Seth and / or Serban via Slack

  • Provide CSMs with visibility on escalated issues.

  • Loop in CSMs in Zendesk tickets or emails when Success help is needed

  • Join calls outside their Shift when asked by CSMs at least 2 days in advance, only if the issue cannot be resolved async via a ticket (live replication is needed)

  • Own root cause analysis, providing postmortems for all outages and for P3 incidents on request

  • Create Support Profiles together with CSMs and add qualifying customers to the Premium Support list.

  • When there are bug or release decisions (eg. will take longer than ideal), Department of Love will help provide reasoning and messaging for the customer success managers to relay to the customer. If needed Serban is available to meet or communicate messages on behalf of the team.

Customer Success Responsibilities

  • Lead onboarding, adoption growth phases of the Customer Journey

  • Lead all configuration and enablement related questions or issues surfaced by the customer

  • Own the initial investigation on routing issues, basic queries, and general configuration issues

  • Determine if issue is configuration related or unexpected behaviors

    • If unexpected or bug, CSM’s submit Zendesk ticket, and include all relevant information (where applicable) for CSE’s to review as per How to create tickets for Support

  • Use Zendesk to get any updates on ETAs, root cause analysis, postmortems requested by the customer (NOT SLACK)

  • Create escalations and assign to Support for any at risk issues, follow up on escalations when input is needed promptly

Customer Success Agrees to

  • Direct Bug/Support questions or status updates requests as an internal note in Zendesk

  • Use #bug-triage (Slack Channel) for internal bugs that Chili Piper employees experience (NOT customer flagged bugs)

  • Use Zendesk to surface any/all potential customer bugs or to confirm if it's a known issue or expected behavior

    • This helps us track potential bugs, number of customers affected, time to resolution etc.

  • Not to reach out to CSE’s via email or direct slack messages to address issues, all requests must be funneled through Zendesk tickets

  • Not demand CSEs to join customer calls ad-hoc. Acceptance to join a call is at the CSE's discretion and always outside a Shift they own

  • Not to update user collection actions, switching subdomains, whitelisting, user deletion etc. These are all Danger Zone items and should be submitted as a Zendesk Ticket

  • Request tenant deletion in #chili_customer_care

  • Request CRM/calendar migrations (running endpoints) by following this process CRM/Calendar/Sandbox Migration Process

  • Request for CSE to participate in an urgent call/meeting in #chili_customer_care (as per CSE availability)

  • Request and provide information for creation of Support Profile

  • Communicate in appropriate shared Slack Channels with Dept. of Customer Love

  • Request for Priority Change (eg. P3 to P2) via Bug Escalation. CSE will review and determine if this will be approved. If not, will provide details on the decision and next steps.

  • NOT reach out via slack to specific CSE’s for requests to change priorities at any point of time. If there is a P1 Churn risk, this should be escalated in the appropriate Escalation Type and cc your direct manager

  • When there are bug or release decisions (eg. will take longer than ideal), Department of Love will help provide reasoning and messaging for the customer success managers to relay to the customer. Seth will also be available alongside Serban to meet with customers where appropriate for resolution.

  • Not escalate non-bug issues or customer questions that are usually handled by a CSM to CSEs due to lack of time, out of office, or being overbooked. These must be escalated instead within the CSM team.

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