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Jessica Milan
Performance

YOTTAA Employee Spotlight: Meet Jessica Milan, Senior Director of Customer Success

Meet Jessica Milan, Senior Director of Customer Success

It takes a team of incredible people to deliver exceptional technology and service at YOTTAA. This month we profile Jessica Milan from our Customer Success team!

What is your role at YOTTAA?

As Senior Director of Customer Success, I am responsible for fully onboarding new YOTTAA customers, which entails ensuring that they have the full breadth of tools available to them as well as any advanced optimizations that they may not have done in the pilot. Then, on an ongoing basis, my team and I make recommendations for their website and make sure it is running as optimally and as fast as possible. 

How do you help YOTTAA customers?

My team and I help our customers in many ways. We provide technical support when customers have questions, but we also work hard to be proactive and reach out to our customers regularly. We look at how their sites are doing each week and alert them of any opportunities we see. My team tries to work very closely with our customers, so if they have a new feature coming out, we work with them to optimize changes around that feature. We also let them know about new features that we are rolling out and how they can apply those to their business. 

Additionally, my team handles security reviews. Some of our customers have our web application firewall while others have some of our more advanced security offerings. Periodically, we review and make sure that their sites are as secure as possible. We try to be an extension of our clients’ teams and help as much as possible wherever possible.

What is your favorite part about working with YOTTAA customers?

I love how dynamic the eCommerce environment is. Every customer is at a different stage, and every customer has chosen a different technology stack (because there are so many options out there). I feel like it’s an exciting, diverse environment technology-wise. I learn a lot — I feel like I can both help our customers through consulting but also learn a lot from our customers as well. Gaining so many different perspectives is interesting — some of the newer companies and folks that aren’t necessarily from eCommerce think about sites differently. So innovation flows both ways, both from people who are pretty fresh to eCommerce as well as folks who are more seasoned. 

What has been your favorite project at YOTTAA? 

One of my favorite projects was working with UNTUCKit, one of our customers on Shopify, when they were trying to reduce their page load times. We ended up finding one 3rd party that was implemented incorrectly, and it was really dragging down their website speed. When we sequenced it properly using YOTTAA’s product, RAPID CTRL, and we were able to take an entire half-second off of their page load time — that’s really big. Even a half-second is considered to be a strategic advantage for a website, so that was really a win, and they were very excited about it. We solve problems like this every week, sometimes multiple times a week and it’s nice to be able to provide that value to our customers. 

My other favorite project at YOTTAA has been launching the YOTTAA Certified Performance Experts Group. There are pockets of website performance experts in the industry, but at YOTTAA, we have a lot of interesting conversations with customers every day. This group is the first opportunity to bring them all together so that rather than having 1-on-1 conversations, we can have broader discussions. We are just getting it off the ground, but I am really excited about what it is becoming and what it could become. 

What did you do before YOTTAA that has helped you most in your current role?

I’ve done customer success for a long time now, since around 2006. I think that working with many different kinds of customers, mostly in eCommerce or Digital Marketing, has helped me understand that Customer Success is never just about technology. It’s also about understanding a customer’s business, who you’re working with, and being able to find the best way to help each customer. Each person you interact with is different, and every company is different. A product can have many benefits, but knowing which benefits are the most important to that customer and why is critical. This skill will enable you to find either small projects or other opportunities that align best with their goals. For example, some of our customers don’t need a security offering. For others, it’s crucial to their business. Understanding the business needs of our customers, and being able to match or fit our products to those needs is very important. You need to recognize the value beyond just the technology, which is a skill I’ve gained over the years that I can definitely apply here at YOTTAA. 

What do you like most about working at YOTTAA?

I love working with the team, and not just the customer success team, but the entire team at YOTTAA. The people here are really fantastic. I feel like I laugh a lot throughout the workday, and I love that we have music. It’s just an enjoyable and supportive work environment, which makes it fun to come to work every day. 

How is your work at YOTTAA different from your previous jobs?

At previous jobs, onboardings and day-to-day interactions with customers were more defined because we were limited in the problems we could solve. YOTTAA is capable of doing so much for our customers, and eCommerce sites have become so technologically complex that you never know what type of challenges you’ll tackle in a day. The problems customers experience are broad, and they could be having issues with security, Javascript, or 3rd parties, of which there are thousands. Rather than discrete buckets of challenges that we can then form off-the-shelf solutions around, YOTTAA provides custom solutions at a micro-level. 

In the past, I have worked for technology companies, so you might deal with things on the periphery, but you’re mostly working with that one technology solution. It’s the opposite at YOTTAA. We’re an infrastructure element that helps websites and all of the technology those websites use, so we are interacting with many different technologies every day. If an average site has 40-60 3rd parties, each of those interacts with the website differently and each of them is implemented differently for that customer’s needs. YOTTAA has to work well with all of them — and that’s just 3rd parties, not assets or CSS or multiple devices or analytics. This complexity makes finding folks for customer success challenging because you have to have a comprehensive yet deep technology skill set that a lot of people don’t have.

What advice do you have for others wanting to enter this profession?

If you’re interested in seeing how technology works at many different companies, customer success is absolutely the right place to be, because unlike working at one company with one technology stack, you see many in a short time. 

Advice-wise, I would say you need to be open to constantly learning, and that can apply to many different roles, but I feel like it’s especially true in customer success. I also think (and I read this in a consulting book, but it’s really stuck with me) that in customer success you have to pay equal attention to the technical problems as well as the business problems. The business includes the people, and so you may have someone who is very technical, but if they’re not thinking “how did that interaction go?” and “am I really addressing root cause?” they will not be as successful. Sometimes when customers ask for something, they’re hinting at a broader, deeper issue that they have, and being able to peel back the onion and understand what that issue is so you can more holistically address their challenges is a really valuable skill. It’s important for anyone in customer success to have, and it comes through time and experience, an exposure to different situations. 

When I started my career, customer success did not exist in its current form, and I think it’s going to keep evolving. For people working in customer success, it’s important to tie into other folks in the industry so that you stay ahead of where the role might go and how the broader software industry’s needs are going to change. It’s so easy, especially in customer success, to get lost in the day to day of working with customers and solving their problems. But it is important to see how customer success is evolving across the industry because it is forking in a number of ways. We do all of them at YOTTAA — which is another reason I like working here — but today it’s become technical support, a little bit of sales, working with partners, and quite a bit of marketing and content generation. This is all brand new to most people who were previously in professional services or support, which is what customer success has evolved from. Customer success is going to continue to evolve, and it’s important to be ahead of the curve and anticipate what the needs are so you can ensure your skills are continually relevant.

What do you like to do when you’re not at the office?

I like to play video games, especially battle royales. I also love spending time with my son, who is 7, and I have been trying to do a lot more meditation and yoga. 

Jessica’s gaming in action!

Want to learn more about the Yottaa team’s dedication to excellence? Check out how we were recognized for contributing improvements to the open-source WAF, ModSecurity 3.