Ways to Engage Non-Responders w/ CS Leadership Office Hours

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This is a podcast episode titled, Ways to Engage Non-Responders w/ CS Leadership Office Hours. The summary for this episode is: <p>This week our topic is around engaging non-responders, structuring business reviews, and metrics to consider as part of your engagement strategy.</p><p><br></p><p>A weekly segment:</p><p>CS Leadership Office Hours</p><p>Every Thursday. 11:30am ET.</p><p><a href="https://lu.ma/CSLOH" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://lu.ma/CSLOH</a></p><p>--</p><p>If you want to join the discussion with thousands of other customer success leaders, join Gain Grow Retain: <a href="http://gaingrowretain.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">http://gaingrowretain.com/</a></p><p>This podcast is brought to you by Jay Nathan and Jeff Breunsbach...</p><p>Jay Nathan: <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaynathan/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaynathan/</a></p><p>Jeff Breunsbach: <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreybreunsbach" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreybreunsbach</a></p>
Tactic to See Engagement With Non-Responders
00:42 MIN
Structuring Business Reviews
02:43 MIN
Delivering Competitive Insights
01:09 MIN
Customer Engagement Score Per Contact
01:55 MIN

Speaker 1: Welcome to the Gain, Grow, Retain Podcast.

Speaker 2: Hope everybody's doing well. If you met one new person today, then hopefully that's the big thing. I think Lauren, I got you in late, so you might not have gotten to meet one new person, but hopefully you can find somebody new in here as we go along today. I'll throw the link to the Slido into the chat window again, I don't know, hit the settings with Zoom these days, the history if it pops up or not, but we're going to go back and use Slido as our guide today. So, take another 30 seconds or so just run through Slido, see if there's anything that you want to upload, anything that you want to add, but literally it's going to go talk to bottom of what's in there. So, go start opening a lot of guests windows, adding a lot of fake up votes if you want something that's really going to pop to the top of the screen if you want to gain the system or not. And then when you get a second drop something in the chat window. Drop in one new person you met today and something about them, just a unique factor or something like that. That would be great, just to do that in the chat window while we all get these topics rolling. I'm starting to see a lot more uploads in ways that all right, cool. So, the way this is going to work, I'm going to bring up a question, we're going to talk through it and I'll give a quick little intro about it and then we're just going to start calling on people. So, if you look in your reactions button down at the bottom of the screen, there should be a raised hand feature. We'll try and do this in an orderly fashion. So, if you can do that and raise your hand that would be great. We can call on you, bring you off mute, bring you up here and get a nice discussion going. So, the first question that we have at the very top right now is what ways have you engaged non- responders? So, if I'm looking at this non- responders typically means maybe like NPS or CSAT surveys, but I would just venture to guess in general, if you're reaching out to customers and they're not responding to your CSMs, they're not responding to you. What are creative ways maybe that you've brought to the table to hopefully get around that? I'll give an example right now or I'll talk you through a situation right now, and then I'll hopefully get somebody to raise their hand, start talking through some ideas that have worked for them in the past. But one thing that we're doing, we're going to do a customer listening tour right now. So, we have a 100 customers we're trying to talk to in 50 days. We're going through it right now. We've got about 20 customers who are on our third outreach, so they haven't engaged the first two times we've outreached and so we're going to have to employ some other tactics here pretty soon for us to go engage with those customers. So, that's a 20 customer list right there that we're going to have to go work through. So, that's just something that we've been thinking a lot about recently is how do we go engage them? Because I think them not engaging is actually something telling, especially when we're reaching out with an executive from our team, who's willing to come to the table. So, definitely want to try and figure out ways to get around it. Andrew Marks, you've got your hand raised. What are some ways that you've tried to do this in the past? And we'll hopefully get some more people to raise their hand as well.

Andrew: Well, back when we actually got together and did events and went to conferences I had a senior executive that I was having a hard time getting to call me back. I knew that they were going to Dreamforce in San Francisco. I knew because I had done my account mapping and I had contacts at multiple levels of the organization. I knew where this individual was staying and I knew that this individual was a Starbucks junkie. So, I went in and sat in the Starbucks in the lobby of this hotel for like three hours until they showed up to get their morning coffee and just happened to bump into them in line. And I bought the individual coffee and we sat down and spoke for 20 minutes and reconnected and it definitely worked. So, some people have said, " Wow, that sounds kind of like stalking." And I guess it is crosstalk but sometimes you got to do what you got to do, to reconnect with your customer.

Speaker 2: I like that example a lot. Maybe another version of that, that I've heard recently is actually I heard somebody send a Venmo of one cent or 2 cents to their customer and said, " Hey, here's just my 2 cents real quick." And they got the person to respond that way, which I thought was a pretty unique way to do it in today's world where everyone's using Venmo or something like that. I thought that was pretty clever recently. And especially if you put your 2 cents in there, that's even better. Sarah, you've got your hand raised. What are some ways that you've tried to engage non- responders?

Sarah: So, and this is answering Cam's question in the chat. So, we just sent out a big direct mailer to our non adopters that had a 100 churn score with us, we're using ChurnZero and we created a onboard game. So, it's a game board that we sent out that's magnetic that has a magnetic piece that walks through our onboarding journey and the different tasks that we hope that they achieve. I'm not sure if I can share it with you guys. I don't know if I can add an image or if I could share it to show. But it was really cool. We had the magnetic piece, we sent it out and in that journey that we have in ChurnZero we're actually already seeing engagement and this was sent out last week, and we've seen engagement and a return on it already.

Speaker 2: Oh my gosh. That is so cool. If you have a screenshot or anything, if you want to send it to me I can throw it up here, or actually there you go. Perfect.

Sarah: There you go. So, our mascot is a kangaroo and her name is Roo. And so there was a little Roo kangaroo that is magnetic, that moves along the board for what we hope that they achieve for their onboarding. But we sent this to all of our non adopters as well. So, all of our new clients will get it, but then we sent it to all of our 100 churn scores, all the red churn scores as well.

Speaker 2: That's awesome. I love the idea too of getting this in the mail, trying to go the opposite route. For instance, one of the ways that we've been thinking about for these 20 people that are not engaging with us right now is just, we have a Sandozo account. So, we're trying to figure out can we send them a small little gift? Can we send them something that's physical? It gets outside of just the email cadence and something that might get lost. So, I love that example, Sarah, and I love that graphic that you showed too. Looks cool. crosstalk Oh, sorry. Did you have something else to add Sarah? Did I cut you off?

Sarah: No. Sorry.

Speaker 2: Okay. Michael, you've got your hand raised. What are some creative ways you've tried to engage to non- responders?

Michael: This was not one that I used, it was one that one of the account managers that I had that was working on. We had gotten information the account was really great, wanted to get back in touch with them and just could not get through the front door. So, she went down to Payless and she bought a pair of shoes and she shipped the shoes, one of the shoes to him and just left a note in there saying, " Hey, now that I got my foot in the door I'd really love to come in and meet with you." And she got the appointment, she got back in. So, it's all about being creative and finding something that's going to get them to open it. The only other thing we do do is we make sure that whenever we want to really get in touch with somebody, we make sure it is either priority mail, or it is FedEx, or it is something else that has got to them rather than just general going through, because that way they're going to open it. Either they or their assistant, someone is going to open it, look at it and put it on top of the stack. So, that's just something we do.

Speaker 2: I like it. That's another good example. I like that little tidbit you threw out there too, right? Of trying to figure out how to get to the top of the stack, because I would imagine I don't know what your mailboxes look like right now, but mine is 75% junk and so I typically just throw it out. So, I've probably lost a lot of things in there over time. David, you've got your hand raised.

David: Yes, I'll give you two. What I have done in the past is I found a book or an article that's specifically important to either something for the individual on a personal level or on a business level, and I've sent it to them with a handwritten note and I've always used a trackable mail. So, A, I know they got it. B, they had to sign for it. It's not necessarily the book or the article that gets the attention, it's the handwritten note and I almost always have gotten a response for that. The other thing I've heard somebody do which is kind of like the foot in the door sort of thing is I heard that somebody sent a prepaid phone with one phone number that was programmed in it and it was their phone number, and they sent it trackable mail. And when somebody got it, they knew that they got it because they got the receipt and then they called it and obviously the person answered.

Speaker 2: Man, that one seems a little like a stretch for me, but I like the idea. I like that at least people are thinking outside the box.

David: It's great for a senior executive. You can spend the money for a senior executive.

Speaker 2: But I like your idea too, David. I'm also just trying to figure out, again, I think in some cases, right? We're reaching out and it might not be as valuable as we think. So, how do you add bits of value in there for the person or for the company, right? Articles, books, reports or things that might be important to their industry. Sometimes I've seen people get access to certain G2 or Gartner reports and send those across as a, " Hey, I know you don't have access to this or haven't seen it yet, but here's something of value." So, I liked that a lot. John, you've got your hand raised. You're on mute, Janae.

Janae: If I had a nickel. So, this is a little more of the Trojan horse approach and especially for some of our smaller SMB clients who actually just have more face time, right? With some of the executives. So, it's going backwards. Whenever we did a release so any of the... Here's the spring release of the features, which people just sort of glance out sometimes and they skip over, even if our work is really good. We sent out around the holidays for the winter offerings a handwritten note, which we would have done for some of the gifts anyway, but with also a custom scratch off which you can get for really cheap. And then within there, there were we did some jokes that was like one on one with your CSM. And I think it worked because it was COVID versus earlier when it's like, what is this thing? So just, it was a really innovative way to provide a little bit of fun, but actually still get to where you needed to and get a little bit more time for it. We were able to get some FaceTime with people that had ghosted us for a little bit.

Speaker 2: Nice. I like that example, especially I feel like everyone's got a little bit of a gambling edge, right? So, if you extend a scratch off, I mean, you have to do it. You can't leave it.

Janae: You have to do it.

Speaker 2: You can't leave it sitting there.

Janae: I bet you the final drop- off after scratch off is higher than what I had access to, but we're pretty good.

Speaker 2: I like it. Awesome. All right, Josh, you got your hand raised. What are some ways you've done this?

Josh: I'll share my screen. So, I've had just for, not necessarily only for ghosted types of users, but for anybody I'm looking to build a relationship with, right? I go to this L. A Talks and they have autographed books from their speakers. I used to go to the live events before COVID, so you can see here Al Franken, Doris Goodwin, and Kirk Kerkor. I was the reason that they're sold out of the Melinda Gates book. So, for$ 30 you get an autographed Melinda Gates book. You have all these celebrities, Matthew McConaughey, $ 30 is actually supposedly a good book. They're all autographed and people love it because you can find a topic that matters to them and it's autographed and people assume it's actually more expensive than it actually was to purchase. So, that's my little tip.

Speaker 2: I like it. And you make them feel a little special, right? Hey, I got an autographed book from Melinda Gates. I can't imagine what Josh had to go through to get that and you know what? He wasted on me. So, I like the thought process there too, of trying to make somebody feel, special, important, more important than they are maybe. I don't know the right way to say that, but just came to mind. Awesome. All right. Well, we just ran through a bunch of things. So, getting your foot in the door, maybe sending a shoe, thinking about how to send something in a mailer. I loved Sarah's example about sending something that shows the onboarding journey and trying to get them back on track. Obviously I think David had a couple others around sending articles or other books, but how are you kind of breaking through the noise? It sounds like trying to turn to zig while everyone else is zagging. Definitely comes to top of mine. So, just hit on a ton of those. Next question is kind of similar, but maybe just more specific around executives. This is actually a question I asked, but what's been valuable for an executive? It seems like executive business review is the number one thing you hear and then it's also the number one thing you hear that people hate because it's never as valuable as you think it is. And so, I'm just curious if there are other types of meetings? What ways are you structuring business reviews to make them make people actually want to attend, make them maybe fun or maybe engaging in a certain way? So, I don't know if there's anything that comes to mind for people about engaging executives specifically. But I just wanted to throw that one out there because I know for me at least, executive business review is probably the number one answer that people would write back with and I don't necessarily know that they're the most valuable. So, Alex, you've got your hand raised.

Alex: Yes, hello. So, I'll copy out this contribution by saying that we are thinking about doing this, but have not yet done it. So, ask me again in what I wish was one month, but likely it's six months and I'll tell you how it worked out. A couple of things, I think utility EBRs depends I think primarily on how many the executive is asked to attend. In our industry I work for a company called Cog Night, it's on my head. I did not plan that today, but I appreciate it look like a bit of a teacher's pet. In our industry we are the first CSM that our customers have encountered for the most part. So, it's novel, it's new and we're essentially doing digital transformation for big energy companies, right? Who can kind of have never really been in a sad subscription relationship. So, EBRs work for us because it's new, right? If you're a marketing tech company where they have 17,000 vendors that want a mediocre slide decks worth of their time, I appreciate it's probably not a good option, but nonetheless, I think what we're really trying to do is distill in the EBR, the focus both on letting them talk more than us. So, we asked them to prepare an update that is like, can we give them more time on the agenda? And we asked their team to kind of practice and prepare to update us on their business. And that's been effective because they have some skin in the game, right? And they kind of have to do what we do very intentionally, like check in with them a week before to make sure they've done their prep or we'll push the EBR. It's almost kind of shifting the power dynamic to say this is better for you than it is for us and that's been pretty successful. So, making sure that we're laser focused on that, but one of the things that we are just thinking about doing, there's a couple of companies out there that are trying to kind of automate the EBR so it will be like a three- minute video. The company I'm thinking of is a company called cast. app. We're not a customer yet, we're thinking about the utility of that where essentially it's like the preview, right? So, the three minute preview before the 90 minute movie, all the basic stuff, right? Usage, what package you're on, adoption, tips and tricks. And we send that to the executive and because it's an interesting kind of newer approach application technology, they are quite predisposed to attending the EBR because they've kind of been teased, so to speak, with three minutes of insight. And then it also has the opportunity to take away all the boring transactional stuff from the actual summit as well. So, we kind of outsource the boring usage data type stuff that is important, but not relevant for that executive's time. So, those are kind of two ways we try to kind of use technology to make the EBR more important and predispose the executive to attend. So, I know that wasn't directly the question, but I guess my point is EBRs are tired, but kind of by focusing on the 20% around the EBR, we find we're getting a lot of utility.

Speaker 2: No, I like those examples. I mean, I think one thing that we've seen recently or I've seen recently that has worked well also is like you said, getting skin in the game. I think sometimes we develop the slides behind the scenes, right? We're kind of dictating a lot of that. We already have a pre- described deck from our company and we all need to be using the same slides and whatnot, but actually getting your direct contact involved in developing those, right? Getting the skin in the game and developing them as a partnership actually tends to help a lot. And then I liked your second point as well. I continue to try and coach a lot of our CSMs to no matter, whatever we're going to present in the meeting, we need to be sending it ahead of time so that they can actually read the material. Again, I know that people won't really read the material earlier, but if you sent it in a one pager, it's a lot more likely that they're going to read it ahead of time. And if you do that, then you get a lot of the tired stuff out of the way, right? You get a lot of the metrics, you get a lot of those things out of the way, because really what you're trying to focus on in the 60 to 90 minutes or however long your EBR is, you want discussion, you want questions, you want engagement, you don't want reading off of a slide. So, that's just stuff that I've noticed as well, Alex. Justin, you've got your hand raised. What are some of your thoughts here?

Justin: So, I might take it a little bit different angle on this because it's not just about the EBR, right? It's just about continuously engaging in creating that loyal executive group and that base and what we've started to do, especially in the last year because of the virtual environments we've lived in is how do we bring more executives together and see us as being more of that thought leader and innovator within our space, but doing it in a way that's more immersive for them that they're getting something out of it. And it's not just about us talking about our organization. So, we've done a lot of things where we've invested in kind of doing kind of these keynote speakers that'll come in and do a 30 minute kind of presentation around development of an executive. How do you do a Zoom meeting? How do you prepare for public speaking? And bringing them along on this journey of seeing us as that thought leader gets them to become more engaged when we ask them to do things like the EBR or they want to do an onsite visit, we're getting a lot of those requests now. They already kind of see us in that light because we're not always talking about ourselves. Our investment is also to make them successful in their careers and that's kind of a take that we've kind of done to try to get more engagement from that executive level customer that we have.

Speaker 2: I like that a lot. I mean, I think I've heard a couple other companies as well take a similar small group approach. So, actually bringing together five to 10 executives to talk more about the challenges and things that they're going through and how they're on similar playing fields or similar levels, right? And it starts to get them to engage more about peer sharing rather than again, kind of us talking about ourselves. So, I've seen that work as well. I liked that example that Justin of even thinking about that individual and saying, " Hey, you're really important to us. How can we help you grow in your career in bringing some of the things to the table?" So, another good one. David, you've got your hand raised.

David: Yes. I'll give you a couple and I'm going to go in a different direction also. The first one is, I think that one of the best gifts you can give an executive is not including them in meetings that they shouldn't be in, right? Telling them, letting them know that you thought about it, you respect their time and you'll send them an executive summary afterwards so exclude them from the meeting. If they want to come, they'll tell you they want to come, but then send a very high level executive summary to them so that they're in the loop, they stay engaged, but they don't have to give up their time and participate. That would be number one. The second one is having conversations with them that discusses their company strategy and their critical obstacles that they're facing getting in their way, making it all about them but at a very high level. If they're an executive, they're involved in strategic planning and strategy in their company, and you want to talk about them, the more you understand about their strategy and the more they open up, then the more you can help them. And then the third one I'd just say is delivering competitive insights to them about their competitors at an executive level, something that might impact their direction of their strategic plan.

Speaker 2: Going back through a couple of those, for that first one, I've even seen recently executive summary, can you even put that into a little bit about quick video format? Right? Can I just record, hey, here are the insights. Again, kind of putting a name to a face. They get to recognize you. And even jokingly, but not jokingly, I actually have recorded some of those. And what I've done is purposely stumbled in and purposely made it feel like it's not just a perfect take where I've done it a 100 times and manicured it. I think that adding a little bit of authenticity actually adds value in those types of things, but I like that a lot. And then the competitive insights thing I've seen quite a bit as well. And again, you don't have to get into the weeds of, oh my gosh, did you see your competitors running this article? Or they're running this ad and this type of thing, right? But what are the big swaths that you're seeing in the industry? What are things that might be changing? And then going back to your example as well, I think if you can get to understand what that executive is caring about when they do executive planning, that's also a really good way that you could bring together multiple executives who are overcoming the same obstacle, right? You can bring together five executives and say, " Hey, you all have been talking about this same obstacle you're trying to get over. You're all in different industries, so it's not competitive. And so let's talk through that as a bigger group and maybe that's where you get some of the the benefits." I like some of those aa well, David.

David: I've done that in customer advisory board meetings where we have a bunch of customers that have the same obstacle and we talk about that.

Speaker 2: Awesome. Janae, you've got your hand raised.

Janae: Thank you. Might be a bit of my sales background, but just want to go back old school and say wine and dine is always a great way to get to the executives and spend some time with them without necessarily making it focused on the business, but it makes them more interested in what you have to say when you have to say it. So, along Justin's lane, as well as some of the things that David said, but in anything that you can bring value to their business, such as we've done team building activities with the onsite teams and invited the executives to come again, if they have time or a lot of times we'll schedule something as a team outing after the EBR. So again, if they choose not to come, they can get the down and dirty while we either go to dinner or go to a ball game, or like I said, sometimes we do scavenger hunts or other things that build within their team, but it also integrates us as part of the team. It's been super successful and everybody loves to be wined and dined.

Speaker 2: I like it going old school. And if you can't wine and dine them, send them a Uber eats gift card or send them something in the mail too, always works. I've even seen... Oh, I just blanked on what the famous New York cake company is. Oh man, but if you want to send somebody a cake, that's always a great way. Some sweets. Andrew Marks, hand raised.

Andrew: I have a counterpoint to David Ellen's comment with all due respect, David, I disagree.

David: I was expecting something, Andrew. So, that's okay.

Andrew: You know me, I'm pretty transparent. I a 100 percent agree with you making it about them, this isn't about you. This is about them, right? You should be talking about maybe how your solution is playing into their strategy, but you definitely make it about them. If you're making it about them and if you're able to do things like provide competitive benchmarks and insights, then you should be able to get that executive into that meeting as long as it's not obnoxiously long. Your business review should not be some 90 minute diatribe about how great you are and how they fit into that puzzle, right? It should be 30 to 45 minutes. If you have 30 to 45 minutes of an executive's time and you're not going down rat holes and you're talking about them and their strategy, and how your platform fits into their strategy, then you should be able to get them into the room. And if for some reason you can't, then following David's approach is definitely the right way to do it. But out of the gate, I would do everything I could, including making sure that your format and your delivery of that business review is really going to resonate with that executive, right? Take their perspective and figure out, hey, what is it that this person is going to be really interested in? And get them in the room. That's my 2 cents.

Speaker 2: No, I think you made a really good point in there too, towards the end Andrew, around the facilitation delivery of it. I don't think we spend enough time coaching our teams on how to facilitate a session. How are you actually trying to drive engagement rather than just reading off slides? I can't tell you how many times I've been in a meeting and looking at a 10 slide deck and literally somebody who's just reading word for word, and you're sitting there saying, " Hey, I'm not an idiot. I could have read this myself." So, I think what you just mentioned to me is a really big insight as well, Andrew, about how are you getting your teams and how are you getting them focused on driving engagement, asking the right questions and kind of bringing or lifting some of the stuff off the screen in a way that you're not just reading it. So, I like that point. And I think respectfully, David agrees as well. All right, we'll move on to our next question and keep hitting through these. If you were still on the Slido, you want to keep uploading stuff, I think I just saw it change a minute ago, but feel free to do it. So, the next one what metrics do you consider leading as part of your customer engagement strategy? So, similar to what we're doing for renewals and retention, what are the right ways that you're thinking about? How do you know if somebody is actually increasing engagement or decreasing engagement? What are things that you might be looking at for some of those types of activities? I'll give maybe one example or two things that I'm thinking about right now, and then would love to hear if others have some, but obviously one, we have a customer community or a community company, so we need to make sure that we have a customer community that's thriving and growing. And so, there's two metrics that I'm starting to look at pretty heavily, which is kind of what's our activation rate in our customer community? So, if we have a 1, 000 customers, how many of those thousand customers have at least one person who's logging into the community? So, are they actually getting into the community? And that to me is kind of a leading metric for us to understand if they're going to be engaged in that type of activity. And then even ahead of that, one thing that we're trying to look at as well is we actually have two key moments along the implementation or onboarding process where we're asking customers to go sign up for an account and to go start to look at the first training that they would take. And so those are two metrics that we're looking at as well, which is, are they actually going to sign up for an account? And then if they're signing up for an account, are they actually looking at the right training, the first level of training during that process? So, those are three things that we're looking at that are just part of that engagement process. Those are a little bit specific to the journey, but now we're starting to build out things that might look at email opens that we're having. We have Pendo, we've got a couple of other things that we're trying to look at. So, we're trying to look at the levels of engagement across several different things, but those are some metrics that we're caring about right now, especially around our customer community. So, I don't see any other hands raised, so I might just start calling on people to see if they've developed some who I might know. So, I don't know, Alex Farmer, I know you're big into systems and technology and I don't know if you've built out your Salesforce machine yet but is there anything that you're looking at for some of the leading metrics about engagement and whether it's with the CSM or whether it's with digital content that you guys are producing?

Alex: So, I'll caveat that, I'll be brief because it's a call- out and I have to get my thoughts together. Big into communities. I will caveat that by saying we are a really high touch company, so we're not the digital led kind of type approach. So, I think there's an important caveat. One of the things we are working on is this idea of kind of a customer engagement score per contact and then you look at the customer engagement score per persona, and you can weight the executive sponsor engagement versus the business users engagement. And that really got us thinking it's ironic. The product we sell is called it's a data contextualization platform and our data internally is terribly uncontextualized. So, we are very much living the example of the painter's house is never painted. So, we've done a lot of work to kind of build out our, we use Salesforce, again, homegrown for now to take our data and have really gone granularly into all of the touch points that our customers have with us to build that engagement score. So, we're talking HubSpot email opens, webinar registrations, community activation also, EBR attendance which we track in Salesforce. So, just starting kind of at a rudimentary level to just identify all of the touch points from the kind of the expansive web of what we offer our customers and try and aggregate that into a score to bring into the customer health methodology. I would say community, we are pretty big in community as well that you took the metric out of my mouth. That's definitely the biggest one that we track. The percentage of customers with at least one monthly active user it is kind of our big one, but then also we also look at drop- off because we have such a small base of customers. We have to really nurture those that are in the community. So, we'll kind of look at the first month, laser- focused on it and get engagement and adoption of that community platform as well. So, just a few thoughts.

Speaker 2: Awesome. I like your call out to just about making sure that you're putting it into context, making sure that you understand kind of where that's existing and when it's existing, I'll flash a quick thing on the screen here. These are the categories that we're trying to measure engagement across. So for us, can everybody see that? So for us, this is where we have programs, where we have things that fall underneath each of these areas. And so then we're trying to measure where our customers engaging with us and where they're not, it's just becoming an easy way for us to similar to what Alex mentioned, trying to contextualize the types of engagement that we're trying to drive, the types of activities that we're building, where do programs exist? Where do we have gaps? But this is really trying to align our teams internally in that style of thinking. So, to me that was just a way that we're starting to do that here pretty recently. David, you got your hand raised.

David: I'll just throw two out that everybody is probably already using, but I'll just throw them out in case somebody isn't. One would be looking at support tickets submitted, right? If you're a SaaS company and clients are using your application, there's always something wrong or something that can be improved with an application. Clients always either raise their hand and say, help me fix this, help me do something differently. Or hey, here's a feature that would be beneficial for us in the future. So, looking at the engagement on support tickets, whether they're feature recommendations or issues that are coming up would be important. And then the other one is if you have a knowledge base, looking at knowledge base activity, who's going out and reading your articles, right? Who's looking at your blog? Who's really interested to see what your thought leadership is that you're putting out in the community? Those are trackable and having that as part of an engagement score is valuable.

Speaker 2: That's a great one. So, part of my role here at Higher Logic is around the kind of self- service that we're doing with customers. So, not only the community, but knowledge base, like you mentioned David, and then education and academy that we have. So, that's definitely another one is that knowledge base we're trying to figure out. We're also trying to look at where are searches happening? What types of other data can we get to help us build out better content in the future? What searches are happening where we don't have results or other things like that? So, I just wanted to call that out too, which is really good. All right. The next question that we've got here is how often is too often for client reach- outs? I don't know if anybody, if you have a strong opinion about this question, it seems fairly straightforward. I don't know if I have exactly an opinion. I mean, I think the answer depends. I think that's what everybody might say, but I don't know if anybody particularly has a strong way. Annie, you've got your hand raised.

Annie: Hi, good morning or afternoon, depending where you are. I guess a strong opinion, yes. I think outreaches, my team struggles with this because they feel like they're bothering their clients and so it's a constant conversation of, well, why do you think that? Or what is the intention of your outreach? I think is most important in that conversation. Kind of like trying to find the why in a client when they're upset, right? What's your intention for reaching out? If your intention for reaching out is to get a PO to help them with something that's an issue, to reply from a meeting or a training, to follow up on something that took you a little bit more time to figure out. Those are all with intention and sometimes they can all blur together and you feel like you're reaching out to the client a little bit more often, right? But the intentionality is really what they need to lead with, right? And if it's meaningful to the client or the customer, then your outreach is spot on. If you're texting them three times a day and emailing them three times a day, what's your intention? Is then the time to be a phone call or a meeting or something more tangible. And we keep reflecting on that but I do find my team tends to hold off a little bit sometimes and need a little bit more direction on figuring out the intention is powerful and it is meaningful.

Speaker 2: I think something to go along and kind of carry that through Annie as well is getting our teams in coaching our teams on how to craft and write better emails that are engaging and that people want to open. I mean, I think, again, I'm not saying I'm perfect with this, but I would generally say I just took a writing course for eight weeks. I'm trying to always better myself because in today's world, right? Everything is going to be a digital communication. So, what's the way to stand out is how to make that differentiated. How do you make it engaging? How do you have a thoughtful subject line instead of just checking in or reaching back out? How do you actually put something in there that somebody is going to want to open and engage with? So, I think that's another thing to carry through as well of what you mentioned, Annie, which is certainly intentionality, but then how do you make that show through in the actual communication? Add a great subject line. Think about the way you're structuring the email. Is it too much content? Too much written? Do we need a video? I think there's a lot of questions you can answer there.

Annie: One thing we did with the team, because negotiations and renewals was part of that too. How do you message that digitally? Right? So, we did a book club with never split the difference. And one of the pieces was just flat out ask, are you breaking up with me? And half of the team was like, I don't want to ask that. I don't want to say that. I don't want that to be my subject line. And the other half of the team was like, heck, I do. I want their attention. Some form of engagement in the outreach. And the ones that did found a greater return. So, I think to your point, the writing also and the education behind some of that and what works and what doesn't, has been really helpful for them in their coaching.

Speaker 2: I love that. I love that black swan email.

Annie: Oh, it's so good. It's so good.

Speaker 2: It's awesome. I always get inaudible.

Annie: Always, because they're never afraid. They're like any engagement? I'm like, yes, even if it's like you're crazy, that pricing's nuts. They just engaged with you. Now you have the upper hand and that's been a huge turning point with communication digitally, right?

Speaker 2: crosstalk With us saying to a leader, " Oh, so learning and development for your team, isn't a priority for you. Huh?" Just throwing that out there. I get-

Annie: I like that one.

Speaker 2: I get a response every time. We have our customer community and it's called the HUG, Higher Logic User Group. And so I always try and riff on using the word hug. So, recently we've been thinking about subject lines that say your monthly hug and then in print seats, putting update or something, but I mean, just to your point, how do you get cheeky with it? How do you just introduce something that's just not a normal checking in or following up or something that's just going to be read right through? So, I like it. Awesome. Let's see, I think we've got about eight minutes left. We'll try and hit one more. Let me try and find one that might be pretty easy for us to just run through really quick. What types of activities do you include in customer engagement? Would love to just get a stream. Actually this might even be good if you throw it into the chat window. What are ways that you engage customers now? Just think of every way, just start a big stream of threads, and then I'll work with Russell who I think is on this call I saw earlier, but Russell helps us with our blog content for Gain Grow Retain. So, maybe we can take all the activities that people list and we can go through and kind of de- dupe that and list out what people are doing. So, if you're engaging customers via webinar, if you're having one- on- one meetings, if you're having customer community events, whatever it is, just start jotting those out in the chat window right now and we'll take a list of all those and try and send them out to everybody. Even though unique ones like sending text messages, sending in- person or sending LinkedIn messages, sending mail, actual physical mail to somebody's mailbox, whatever you have. Just start throwing them out and I just volunteered you for that Russell but I figured it kind of falls in line maybe with a lot of the blog content we might be writing. So, you tell me if that was.

Russell: That's fine. Just don't end the meeting before I can copy it.

Speaker 2: Oh, I'll get the threads so I can send it to you. I get it. I get a download of it, so I'll make sure to send it to you. That'd be great if I didn't though, right? You'd be sitting over there wanting to kill me. All right. While everybody's doing that, there's a couple other questions maybe that don't have to do with customer engagement, but I think we might be able to throw them out there. The one last one is anybody use SalesLoft and Gainsight together to track engagement? There was a question in here maybe like a quick thumbs up or thumbs down. See if anybody has a thumbs up. I don't see anybody doing a thumbs up. So, I'm going to venture to guess whoever asked that question you might be in the minority right now. So, we'll have to put that question up onto gaingrowretain. com, where you might be able to get some more folks involved. All right, cool. People are still listing a lot of stuff. So, I'm seeing Eloqua phone calls, mass emails, quarterly webinars, office hours, connecting on LinkedIn, text messages, video messages. Oh, the writing course I took was called power writing. It's from a guy named Shaan, S- H-A- A- N space P- U- R- I, Shaan Puri. It's called power writing. He did a lot of writing stuff across kind of multiple mediums, so it was like how to write the best LinkedIn message, or how to craft the best Twitter thread. How do you craft a cold email? It's going to get open. So, there's a turn of different scenarios that he put in there which were pretty good. All right. Hubspot, Intercom, ask nicely, chat bots or Intercom was one we haven't talked about recently, but that'd be good. Surveys. Yep. All right. So, we will take that and we'll try and blow it out into an article that we can list out on gaingrowretain. com and make sure everybody gets some of those. Maybe even I'll throw a LinkedIn thread out there after this, that everybody can engage with, then we can get some more ideas. All right. We only have five minutes left and I'll end this a couple minutes early and give everybody back time to stand up, stretch your legs, go walk outside before your next meeting. Whatever you want to do. Go do a quick lap around the house. Go fold your laundry, whatever it might be between meetings you like to do. But I really enjoyed this today. This was great and thought it was some good discussion. Like I said we're going to come up with our theme for August. So if you have any ideas, shoot me a message or an email. I think I'm meeting with a few people tomorrow to talk about that. So, you can still slide in something that was relevant to you, but enjoyed the discussion. We'll have this out on the podcast and some other areas, if anybody's interested as always come to gaingrowretain. com, join us, throw some discussions up there and we'll see you all again soon. Hope you have a great weekend and we'll connect again next week.

Andrew: Thank you.

Speaker 2: Bye.

Sarah: Thanks everybody.

Janae: Bye.

Speaker 2: Hey guys. Thanks so much for taking the time to listen to the Gain, Grow, Retain Podcast. If you liked what you heard, please take a moment and share the podcast with your friends and colleagues and subscribe. We really appreciate it. Talk to you soon.


This week our topic is around engaging non-responders, structuring business reviews, and metrics to consider as part of your engagement strategy.

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