From COTA to Customer Success, Behind the Remote Transition
In this article, we go behind the scenes with Cassie, a COTA who transitioned from primarily skilled nursing experience into a customer success remote role at a therapy EMR company, WebPT. We hope this article gives you hope, gives you actionable advice, and helps pave the path for your remote transition!
1. What interested you in customer success roles, why did you choose this role? Can you describe your career journey a little to give background?
My journey to customer success began when I took my first sales position.
I went from COTA, to restorative program coordinator at SNF. Certaintly not the ideal job but it gave me supervisor experience where I then dabbled in being an activity director. Learned I wanted more income growth so i was able to leverage my unique experiences to getting a sales job in home health. Starting gaining sales experience and moved into a remote inside sales job. Throughout both these positions, I learned cold calling wasn’t for me, but I enjoyed being able to work with clients and help them reach their goals and become successful, much like we do as therapists. This led me to the discovery of customer success because it brings me the ability to utilize things I’ve learned in my sales positions but be able to be on the side of working with a client where I can be there for them and help them be successful and reach their goals.
"This took a while and it wasn’t always easy. But point being, keep going. Take the leaps. Take the stepping stone jobs. Don't wait for things to happen to you, make them happen for yourself.
2. Tips for applying?
LinkedIn was my main source for job applications. My biggest advice is to not get discouraged and continue to apply. Even if you don’t check every single box, you never know and it doesn't hurt to try and apply.
3. Tips for interviewing?
Do your research! I spent time reading about customer success and even started a course on it. By doing this I was able to show my understanding of the role in the interviews. Additionally, come ready with questions to ask the team yourself. My favorite one was to ask what they’re looking for in someone in the role or ask what the top traits are they’re looking for. It gives you a great understanding of what their expectations are.
4. Tips for job searching?
Be open minded. Utilize LinkedIn. Make connections and network. Throughout my process, I connected with others who transitioned from therapy to the job I wanted and that helped. Finding someone with experience who can give you advice support and encouragement is helpful!
5. Did you do anything to try to stand out more in your application?
Personally, I didn’t. I did try to aim my focus at companies that were relevant to my previous experience (ie: healthcare, therapy, etc) so that my unique background of having clinical and sales experience would stand out.
6. Anything else you want to add?
Be open minded! Apply to a variety of jobs. I had applied to my position in the past with no response, but decided to apply to another position at the company. The recruiter reached out for that one and I determined the salary for that position was too low so I expressed my interest in the customer success manager role I had applied to as well. By doing that I was able to land my first interview!
7. Can you describe the hiring process? (ie how many interviews, any key questions or tricky questions)
I had a 4 step interview process
Step 1: interview with hiring manager
Step 2: peer intevriew with other customer success managers
Step 3: a mock executive business review presentation. This was my most stressful one as I’ve never done this type of presentation before. I spent plenty of time researching and putting it together before the day of the presentation
Step 4: interview with the CFO
It was lengthy and nerve-racking but gave me plenty of opportunity to learn about the company. Be prepared with behavioral questions (ie: describe a time you’ve had to say no). I also made sure to showcase how my therapy experience relates to the position to help show carryover.
My biggest piece of advice is to just take the leap and take the job. Your next job offer doesn’t have to be your end goal but look at what it offers you. Is it going to give you experience to move forward? Provide valuable experience to your resume to help you level up? Dont get caught up in needing the next thing to be your “dream job”. If it turns out to be than that’s amazing!! But if you want change you have to go out and make it happen.
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