Customer experience

From Teacher to Tech Whisperer: Q&A with AskNicely Customer Success Manager, Breanne Singley

AskNicely Team

In our latest Q&A session, we sit down with AskNicely Customer Success Manager, Breanne Singley, who made an inspiring transition from being an elementary school teacher to excelling in the world of customer success. Breanne is a true embodiment of what it looks like to “Live in the Purple” – she’s Nice, plays to win and loves her feedback. Since starting her position in February 2023, she’s received some incredible feedback from AskNicely customers. To celebrate her success (and uncover the secrets to it), we chat to Breanne about her unexpected career journey, her personal CX insights and her commitment to delivering awesome customers, every time. 

Q: To kick off, could you tell us a little bit about yourself, your role and AskNicely and your journey to becoming a customer success manager, after being on a completely different path as an elementary school teacher? 

A: Of, course. So I live in Utah with my husband and daughter, with baby number two on the way! Before working at AskNicely I was a teacher at an elementary school. I absolutely loved it, however my work-life balance was admittedly very unbalanced. I would go to work early, barely see my daughter in the morning and then I’d try to rush home from work so I could spend as much time with her as I could before she went to sleep. Then I’d get right back to work with grading, emailing parents, planning lessons… I  just knew eventually something was going to break, and I needed a change. 

So many of my loved ones work in tech; my husband, brother, cousin, friends… and I started becoming more curious about it as a career transition. I was so nervous about it because there are so many aspects of teaching that I absolutely love, and I kept thinking,  maybe it will get easier one day? But I didn’t want to miss out on these special moments with my family and was running the risk of burn-out, so I finally made the jump. 

My cousin was actually working at AskNicely at the time I was thinking about a career change. He always raved about the awesome culture, so when I saw they were hiring a Customer Success Manager, I took the leap. I interviewed with Reagan, the Director of Customer Success. I think he initially approached the interview like doing a favor for my cousin, but in the end I had such a great interview and I was selected for the role. 

I think what Reagan saw in me was the parallels between teaching and customer success. When I was a teacher I was working with 30 different individuals, who were all at 30 different stages. I had success plans for each of my students, helping each of them to make progress every day to reach certain milestones. I think of customer success in the same way. I work with customers, all of which are at different stages in their AskNicely journey to help them make the most out of the platform, provide guidance and support them with the resources they need to succeed. I guess at the heart of both teaching and customer success is people – and I think that’s why I’ve loved both roles so much. 

Q: You’ve received some pretty awesome feedback from AskNicely customers, how do you personally approach customer experience and how do you ensure the AskNicely experience is so seamless every time?

A: I think with all of my customers, relationships come first. I love being able to establish a connection with the folks I work with using an empathetic, human-first approach. Another thing that’s really important to me is listening. It’s easy to get caught up in all the talking, problem-solving and demonstrating, but I try to approach the experience by providing space for my customers to do the talking. I want them to provide feedback, and really dig into what's happening in their journey. The more authentically I can uncover their pain points and challenges, the more meaningful I can make their experience and provide them with the solutions that will help them reach their goals and milestones. 

Q: When you see positive feedback from your customers, how does it make you feel? 

A: First of all it really affirms my decision that I’m meant to be here, and I was meant to pivot my career to customer success. As I’ve said I was so nervous about it but seeing the feedback from my customers, managers and peers makes me feel so connected to my purpose, and makes me want to be in customer success forever! On the flip side of things, I’m working directly with managers who have large frontline teams, who are also receiving shoutouts and positive feedback on the daily. So it’s really motivating for me – when I deliver a great experience to my customers and help them make the most of the platform, I in turn help facilitate frontline recognition and feedback. It’s an incredible cycle of positivity and recognition, and it feels so good to be a part of. 

Q: The motivation you mentioned is a great segue into the next question, which is what motivates you to show up every day for your customers? 

A: I think for me it comes down to what AskNicely can do for frontline workers and their business. I’m so grateful I fell into customer success, but so grateful I fell into this company specifically because it’s such a meaningful place to be and we’re truly making day-to-day work better for frontline workers. 

For example, I work with a few credit unions who have recently started using AskNicely. Their branch managers log in every day to check in on feedback from their members, and the managers use the feedback in AskNicely to recognize and celebrate their tellers and other employees at their branch in team huddles, meetings and company-wide emails. I’ve received a few shout outs from customers lately, and it feels so good to be recognized for the work that I am doing - and their frontline workers get to feel the same way from shout outs from members at their credit union. The positive vibe is contagious!

Q: Based on your experience both working as a customer success manager, but also through working with so many people powered-businesses as your customers, what do you think the most important part of delivering awesome customer experiences is? 

A: I would say how my experience can change someone’s perception of the product. If I give a really great demo, or training session, that has the ability to completely shape the way someone perceives AskNicely. Essentially, I’m on the frontline for AskNicely, and I believe there’s huge power and potential in the frontline for making an experience awesome. 

Q: And how has your view of customer experience changed? 

A: I've definitely developed a new-found appreciation for those on the frontline delivering customer experiences. I have learnt so much about the intricacies of the entire customer journey, from onboarding to every touchpoint thereafter. I’m so grateful to have learned so much, and I continue to learn every day!

Q: Is there anything unexpected that you’ve learnt along the way in your role? 

A: I think one thing I didn’t expect to have to learn is how to unplug. I was so used to checking emails at night and bringing my work home that in the beginning I carried these kinds of habits on. The culture at AskNicely has allowed me to learn how to unplug. I now come to work so much more energized, as I feel like I’m no longer pouring from an empty cup. 

Q: What’s next for you on your CX journey?

A: I think it’s been around 8 months since I started at AskNicely so I’m still currently learning and absorbing so much with where I’m at right now, but I would love for one day to work towards being a senior customer success manager and working with some larger accounts. With those larger accounts I think you really get to peek behind the curtain of people-powered businesses and really become a part of their organization. Working towards that feels really exciting! 

A huge thanks to Breanne for joining us for this Q&A, and for everything she’s contributed to the AskNicely team, customers and culture. We think you're awesome! 

Up Next: Introducing AskNicely Report Cards 

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AskNicely Team

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About the author

AskNicely Team

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