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Coffee, Tea & Sugar: One year in - By Laura McKechnie

You may be wondering what the title of this blog post is about...let me explain. I

remember my friend was in my kitchen and started laughing as I made us a

cuppa. Naturally, I asked what she was laughing at. Her response? “You must love

your job, your jars spell CTS.” She was indeed talking about my Coffee, Tea and

Sugar jars. This wasn’t intentional, but it does make me smile every morning and

gave me some inspiration for structuring this blog.

I remember ahead of my first interview, looking at CTS’s website trying to

decipher what it is they do and what my role would look like. I could never have

predicted how multifaceted my role would be. Not only this, but the way in which

everyone collaborated was jaw-dropping - I had never experienced anything like

it! The people I work with are ambitious, talented and truly inspirational.

Three weeks went by and I felt like I’d been with CTS for three months. Now, just

passing the one year mark and with a recent promotion, I wanted to take some

time to reflect on my journey. So grab your favourite hot beverage and enjoy

reading my insight into a year with CTS.

The Coffee = My everyday

Normally, I start every day with a coffee before walking my dog which helps clear

my head, wake me up and get my body moving and ready for the day ahead - if

you don’t already do this, I would highly recommend getting up 30 mins earlier

and going a short walk before starting work (thank me later!).

When I joined CTS as a Customer Success Manager (CSM), it was clear to see that

there was a lack of documented processes in place resulting in some

inconsistencies amongst the team. Over the last year, I’ve worked hard to create a

variety of defined process docs outlining how things should be done to help

streamline and deliver better results. Of course, our processes are constantly

improving but this has given us a solid foundation to work with and I have

received a lot of positive feedback from new starts who say it has helped them get

up to speed much quicker, which is great to hear.

My role means that I am responsible for ensuring that my customers are seeing a

high return on their investment with Google Workspace and, more widely, CTS. At

CTS, our CSMs have no more than 9 customers allowing us to spend more quality

time with customers than the industry average.

Without going too in-depth about my daily tasks, I normally spend a large portion

of my time prepping for monthly operational reviews with each customer. These

monthly operational reviews look at Google Workspace adoption stats, Google updates, 

and many other useful insights. I have a Success Plan in place with each

customer so ultimately everything I do is propelling us towards those objectives.

I was recently promoted to a Senior CSM, meaning I always have a few internal

projects on the go and help with managing team tasks like Tip of the Week,

which is CTS’s marketing initiative to inform end-users about the new Google

Workspace updates. The added responsibility is welcomed as I enjoy challenging

myself and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

Like many organisations, CTS has a wide-range of company calls to keep all

employees up to date with recent wins, learnings and new initiatives. My favourite

internal meeting is our Workspace Community call where we share hints and tips

to improve productivity and collaboration! The beauty of my job, and working with

Google Workspace, is that I’m always learning. 😀

The Tea = The juicy bits

Ok, so now we’re getting to the good bit - I’m sure the inquisitive readers jumped

straight to this part! I wanted to discuss some challenges my role brings that

shouldn’t be underestimated.

Firstly, given the nature of my customer-facing support role, a range of challenges

and queries are raised daily. Part of my role is to prioritise and efficiently deal with

these as quickly and effectively as possible. Sounds simple, but, when you have a

variety of customers, aligning your time with the value that the customer brings

the business is much harder to do. Smaller companies typically have greater

interaction but you can’t forget about the larger ones that are integral for


Secondly, another key challenge in my role is keeping on top of new updates and

trends. The technology industry is fast-paced and with Google releasing hundreds

of Workspace updates every quarter, staying in the know requires a lot of invested

time. Furthermore, the proposed deadlines for updates are often delayed making

it that little bit harder to plan ahead with comms. Through knowing my

customers’ objectives, I try to maintain expectations and keep them regularly


Lastly, as we all know, Covid-19 has affected all organisations. CTS is no different.

The hybrid working model, as fantastic as it is, makes it much harder to switch off

in the evening. Starting a new job in lockdown where you are effectively learning

about new processes, team culture, and building a relationship with customers

meant that I worked long hours in order to keep up. I set myself a goal this year to

improve my work/life balance and so far it’s going pretty well.

The Sugar = The sweet parts

Working with CTS brings a host of sweet perks! I could write a blog on that alone;

but, I have noted some below that bring a lot of value for me.

Let’s start with the flexible working model that’s in place. Working from home

isn’t for everyone but I absolutely love it and having the flexibility to work hours

that suit me is ideal. Mixed with the quarterly face-to-face team socials, it really is

the perfect balance!

Secondly, as CTS is the largest dedicated Google Partner in Europe, no two days

are the same which makes my role interesting, varied and enjoyable.

Furthermore, being able to help customers succeed using Google’s leading

technology makes the role very rewarding.

Lastly, CTS pride themselves on personal development but prioritising this can be

hard, especially with the day to day challenges that can arise. The company

brought in a new initiative last year providing 10 annual study days where

employees can take time off to focus on personal development. I’ve made full use

of this perk to learn, develop and harness my skills and I’m currently working

towards my Professional Google Workspace Administrator certification.

Our incredible People Team really do go the extra mile to make us feel valued.

From organising a host of fun activities to delivering sweet treats in the post; it’s

these little things that make all the difference and continue motivating me to

work harder.

Thank you for reading my insights into my role as a Senior CSM and journey with


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