How Can Startups Leverage Early Customer Engagement for Long-Term Success?

Martina Olsen

Head of Customer Success



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We recently had the pleasure of diving deep into a podcast episode from Hyperengage, featuring a conversation with Martina Olsen, the Head of Customer Success at Layerise. The insights she shared are invaluable for anyone in the GTM space, and we’re excited to share some key takeaways with you.

Before we dive deep into the conversation, let’s take a moment to understand Layerise.


In a recent podcast episode from Hyperengage, Martina O., the Head of Customer Success at Layerise, shared her insights on customer success. With a background in anthropology, Martina emphasized the importance of understanding different perspectives and listening to customers. She also highlighted the value of customer feedback and the need to align customer success with product development. Her advice for engaging with customers includes expressing gratitude, preparing for the conversation, and listening more than speaking.

What is Layerise?

Layerise is a customer success platform that helps businesses deliver superior product experiences. They provide tools and resources that enable businesses to create interactive product guides, thereby improving customer onboarding and product adoption. Martina O., our podcast guest, heads the customer success team at Layerise, ensuring their customers get the most value fro their product.

The Intersection of Anthropology and Customer Success

Martina’s story is pretty cool. She started out studying anthropology, you know, the study of humans and societies. Then she found herself in the startup world. It’s not the usual path you’d expect, right? But when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Anthropology is all about understanding people, their behaviors, and their cultures. And isn’t that what customer success is all about too? Understanding people, their needs, their problems, and figuring out how to help them.

So, Martina took her anthropology knowledge and applied it to customer success. She found that it was a natural fit. She could use her skills to understand different perspectives and work collaboratively with others.

And that’s a big part of what we do in the GTM space, isn’t it?

We need to understand our customers, their needs, and their perspectives. And we need to work together, as a team, to meet those needs.

I think there’s a lot we can learn from Martina’s journey. It’s a reminder that we can bring skills from all sorts of fields into our work. And it’s a reminder that at the end of the day, our work is all about understanding and serving our customers. So, let’s keep that in mind as we go about our work. Let’s remember to approach our work with an open mind, ready to learn and understand. And let’s remember to always keep our customers at the heart of what we do.

The Art of Listening

Martina also talked a lot about listening. And I mean, really listening. Not just waiting for your turn to speak, but actually hearing what the other person is saying. She said that in customer success, it’s easy to get caught up in solving problems. But sometimes, we need to take a step back and just listen.

And you know what?

She’s right.

When we truly listen to our customers, we can understand their perspective, and their needs. And that understanding can help us serve them better.

It’s like when you’re talking to a friend, and they really get what you’re saying. It feels good, right? That’s how our customers should feel when they talk to us.

So, let’s take Martina’s advice. Let’s make a conscious effort to listen more. To understand our customers better. And to use that understanding to serve them better.

Her Startup Experience

Martina also shared some of her experiences from working at Pleo, a FinTech company. She was one of the early employees there and learned a lot from that experience. One of the things she talked about was the importance of humility and pushing boundaries.

She said that at Pleo, they took customer feedback seriously. They used it to guide their decisions and improve their product. And that’s something we should all be doing. Our customers’ feedback is like a roadmap. It can show us where we need to go and what we need to do to get there.

So, let’s remember to value our customers’ feedback. Let’s use it to guide our strategies and improve our services. And let’s always be willing to push boundaries and try new things.

Layerise’s Customer Success Approach

At Layerise, where Martina works now, they have a specific approach to customer success. They focus on understanding where they can add the most value to their customers. They track all customer interactions and feedback, and they use that information to improve their product. This is a great approach, and it’s something we can all learn from.

Engaging with Customers: Some Advice

Finally, Martina shared some advice for engaging with customers. She said that we should express gratitude to our customers, prepare for our conversations with them, and listen more than we speak. This is simple advice, but it’s powerful.

Engaging with customers isn’t just about selling. It’s about building relationships. And to build strong relationships, we need to show gratitude, be prepared, and listen. So, let’s remember to do these things in our interactions with customers. Let’s build strong, meaningful relationships with them. And let’s use those relationships to better serve our customers and meet their needs.

Key Takeaways

  1. Diverse Backgrounds in Customer Success: Martina’s journey from anthropology to customer success underscores the value of diverse perspectives in understanding and serving customers.
  2. The Importance of Listening: Active listening can lead to deeper, more meaningful conversations and relationships with customers, helping to uncover their fundamental needs.
  3. Leveraging Customer Feedback: Martina’s experience at Pleo taught her the importance of taking customer feedback seriously and using it to guide future success.
  4. Aligning Customer Success with Product Development: At Layerise, customer interactions and feedback are used to improve the product, demonstrating the value of aligning customer success with product development.
  5. Engaging with Customers: Martina advises expressing gratitude to customers, preparing for the conversation, and listening more than speaking to build stronger relationships.


In conclusion, Martina’s insights remind us of the importance of listening, understanding, and valuing customer feedback. As we navigate the GTM landscape, let’s remember to leverage these lessons to build stronger relationships with our customers and create strategies that truly meet their needs.

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