Leveraging In-Product Feedback to Drive Engagement w/ CSM Office Hours

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This is a podcast episode titled, Leveraging In-Product Feedback to Drive Engagement w/ CSM Office Hours. The summary for this episode is: <p>This week we are discussing Leveraging In-Product Feedback to Drive Engagement.</p><p><br></p><p>A weekly segment:</p><p>CSM Office Hours</p><p>Every Tuesday. 11:30am ET.</p><p><a href="https://lu.ma/CSMOH" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://lu.ma/CSMOH</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><br></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>
Sanctioned Plagiarism
02:32 MIN
Customer Marketing
01:00 MIN
Incentivizing the Admin Teams
01:29 MIN

Announcer: Welcome to the Gain Grow Retain podcast.

Jeremy: Yeah, welcome back, everybody, and hopefully everybody had a good discussion around leveraging surveys, NPS, CSATs, in- product feedback to better drive engagements. I'm sure that we've got a lot of interesting feedback from the discussion. So I really want to just go around the room and talk, I have some folks from the different groups, we've got a large group, so I'm not sure that we're going to get through every group on our call today, but I want to make sure that we hear from as many voices as possible around what they're doing with their customer strategy and how they're leveraging that to better do customer engagement. So for those, as we go forward, I'm going to bring back the raised hand feature, given the group size, so if you don't know where that is, at the bottom of your bar under the reactions' button, there's a little feature called raised hand. So if you have a thought or comment that you want to contribute to the group, click on that, I'll call you off mute and we'll go from there. But I know last week we talked about NPS, and that was a big focus of how we're using NPS and does it belong in the customer engagement journey? So that was a part of the reason we launched off, but does anybody have, from their group discussion, a unique way they're using a survey, survey data or even the survey itself to better drive customer engagement? I'll open that up to anybody who wants to jump off mute. If not, I may call on group five, since you all were the first ones in the room. Amy, I saw her hand first, do you want to come off mute?

Amy: Sure. Thanks, Jeremy. So our group actually talked about how we can leverage surveys and communication to ease the burden of our admins, and how we can actually, we came up with the term actually sanctioned plagiarism. So what we can do, Jeff's laughing, what we can do is actually help create materials, be the creative who helps the admin then encourage their users. We talked about a three- part attack, so using that sanctioned plagiarism to encourage. We provide the material, they then forward that and get to claim some credit as an admin for that creative material to encourage their users, and then the survey comes in at part two, which is incentivizing. So when you've encouraged your users and your users have filled out a survey, can you create an incentive with that survey? So like what I'm using it for at my company is actually to ask our buyers to ante up some simple prizes and if enough people are creating, filling in those surveys, then a certain number of them are offered that prize. It's a$ 5 coffee card or something like that, or maybe they're entered into a big prize drawing for something really special like a couple extra days off or a meal at a local place. Finally, using those surveys to reward, that being part three. That reward can come from whether it's like badges, again, that whole sanctioned plagiarism. We provide them the material that they use to reward the users, and in the process, they've been able to identify who are some of their super users, who are the ones that they can use to mentor on the product? That survey has helped us identify who those people are, as well as the usage data. Now, some of the limitations we came up with it, of course, surveys don't paint the whole picture. So they do require followup and discovery and they don't always identify what some of the internal barriers are to this process of engagement and adoption, unless you follow up on some of those lower scores. But the advantage of all of this being that your admins get to be the hero. We're just the people in the background helping them succeed at helping their users adopt. So that's the strategy and the ideals behind what we talked about in terms of using surveys.

Jeremy: That is a lot, there's a lot there, Amy. I've got a few interesting followup questions on that. I'm going to actually turn things over to Jeff first, and I'm going to probably come back to you, Amy, on a couple things.

Jeff: Yeah. I'm a little shy, it's like going on after Elvis now, so let me see if I can put our thoughts together. We had an interesting, a couple different skillsets, or not necessarily skillsets, but the IC was very much different and the size of companies were very different. So we had somebody coming from a large company like Adomo to somebody whose dealing was more startup in the construction phase, and then how are you able to get the actual engagement? So we're tackling the how, A, what's the tool to use? Because if you're small and you're doing everything and you might not have budget, if you're just going to use a Google form or if you've got people that don't respond to those things, sending them texts to ask questions, versus using a larger more solidified NPS tool. We all also agree that NPS was not really the way to go, but we really talked about starting CSAT, and I believe in starting the CSAT during the implementation and just keep asking and asking, and asking about CSAT and how do you do that? There are email tools that could be sent out or at the bottom of our email that, " How did you feel about this meaning? How do you feel about our project now?" So you can keep seeing the CSAT increase or decrease. Then delineating between the CS experience versus the product experience, because you can be a huge fan of your customer success person or your implementer, but if the product's not meeting your standards, then that's different. Then also, what if that's the inverse of that? We discussed for a while if everybody's on Zoom, just creating a Zoom poll and then" How are you feeling now?" But essentially, if you are meeting with your customers on this frequent basis, using the tools that you're already communicating them with, whether it be email, there are some hubs, there are tools in each of the CRM types of things or customer success platforms which will allow you to engage with them. But essentially, it really came down to knowing your IC and how they're going to be able to get that data back to you. Because if they're people who aren't in front of their computers, then bombarding them with emails isn't going to necessarily do it. But what about picking up the phone or sending them a text and knowing the hours or the times of the day where they would be more applicable to do that? So we talk about the construction people and if they send them a note, they've noticed the trend of behavior, if they sent them texts at 7: 00 in the morning, they'll get that data back and then they would just compile that and then put it into whatever tool they happen to be able to use at that time. So that's how we approach that, a couple more things, but I don't want to take up too much time here.

Jeremy: Sure. Between Amy and Jeff, I think we've got probably, at least 20 minutes of discussion just between the two things that you all have brought up. So Amy, I want to come back to you for a minute on the incentive piece. I want to open up this more to the broader group, and what's everybody's take on using incentives for driving customer feedback? Is it something you do? Is it something you don't do? And the why behind it. I'll lead us off here and say we don't currently do that. Sorry, my kids are going to crash this party here in about 10 seconds.

Amy: No worries.

Jeremy: But we actually don't, we don't use any kind of incentive for standard product feedback or NPS survey type feedback in that regard. But I see the value where that could be, whether it's entering them into a larger group or whether it's spot, especially for those customers who aren't providing feedback, using it as a spot reward to say, " Hey, you haven't, it's been two years since you shared any significant feedback. Thank you, really, I appreciate it." So we don't, but I'd be curious to how others on the call are using incentives, or not and why they're choosing not to do that. I see some heads shaking, if nobody raises a hand, I might call on somebody. I'm going to give you all three seconds.

Jeff: I honestly feel that... Go ahead, Lisa, I've already talked, go ahead.

Lisa: Yeah. Both my, gosh, a company I worked at about five years ago when I was at customer success there, we did use incentives. It was interesting, we had surveys where people could win something, because we were actually surveying our customers' customers. So we were surveying their customers, because it was twofold, and that definitely helped, a big, big help in getting people to actually take surveys. I think especially when you're dealing with B- to- C, ours was like B- to- G- to- C. So I think when you look at consumers, people always like to win something. With our direct customers, they were governmental organizations, so we had to be very careful about any incentives, because they're very touchy about that. But what we would do instead is say we give a donation to a charity of their choice, that was something that would incentivize people, so that helped a lot. At my current company, we don't do it as much, because we noticed that some of our customers also get a little bit, sometimes can be a little dicey about getting gifts, but it really depends. If we really ask too much, if we did a four- hour training and we really want to get feedback, that's when we'll do an incentive to get that feedback, because that's so important when we're taking so much time to do a big initiative like a four or five- hour training.

Jeremy: Yeah, I really like that idea of not just giving a$ 5 gift card, not that that's a bad idea, people like winning gift cards, we're all on Amazon, I'm a frequent Amazon customer myself, but I really like that idea. Especially I would say, as you think towards the end of the calendar year, around Thanksgiving, around Christmas, the holidays, if you're trying to get customers engaged, people are thinking about the season of getting gifts, giving gifts, that's a perfect time to bring, use something like what you just said to say, " Hey, we're going to donate to American Red Cross." They're the first one that comes to mind, but whatever that broad scale or local charity, you can even get it more granular based on where your customers are, but doing that really actually, that's a really cool idea. I'm actually, I made a note while we were talking, I'm going to borrow that one from you later in the year I think as we look at that. But that's really cool. I saw a couple heads nodding around that as well, so Kevin, what did you want to add to the discussion here.

Kevin: Okay, I'm trying to remember what I was going to say. Give me a second.

Jeremy: Dan, I saw you in chat, do you want to come off mute? Share what you dropped in chat?

Dan: Absolutely. It was just similar to the giving, it was something very similar where you could sponsor in some forest areas to be able to have a tree planted on their behalf. So just very similar idea, but another creative, more tangible way to get people to respond to things, whether that was usually reserved for the ones when we were asking more than just email response or something, we wanted to get more thorough feedback on something, that's when we saved it for. But that was really helpful.

Jeremy: That's awesome.

Kevin: Okay, I remember what I was going to say. So I did want to, while I'm not one of the supporters of actually incentivizing surveys, I did also want to mention that people that do actually participate in the survey with the intent on qualifying for a prize, they aren't actually going to skew their answers based on that incentive. From what I've seen with a lot of different surveys that I've been a part of or that I've administered, that the answers were still very honest, even when we were offering some kind of an incentive. So for those that are fearing that we're leading the customer to a more advantageous score, that's not necessarily the case. The studies have shown that any increase or bump in overall sentiment scores if very minimal. So definitely, if you are empowered to do so, definitely provide that incentive and don't have the fear of" Oh, we might be leading the customer to a higher score based on this."

Josh: I want to add... I'm sorry, I just saw someone else had a hand raised. I'll go later.

Jeremy: Josh, feel free, because if you're going to add onto Kevin, go ahead and then I'll turn it over to Rachel.

Josh: Okay, yep. So thank you. One of the things I wanted to bring up, things that we're talking about, is customer marketing, which is an area that I feel that customer success has not had before, and only now people are saying, " Well, wait a minute, we can have marketing material, even template PowerPoint presentations, that is intended for users and hopefully bringing on more users inside of this." To go and add onto what Kevin was saying, part of this, part of the NPS is, there's a side of it you don't even need to look at the score, it's the fact that you have touched them again. You have another time where your name is again relevant, not your name, but the product, the service that you're delivering is again relevant to them and they see that you're engaging with them. That should be considered as part of your customer marketing campaign efforts.

Jeremy: Yeah, yeah. I remember us touching on that briefly last week too, right? The score that's provided, whatever the survey is, NPS, CSAT, that is far less important than the data that comes out of it. Even more so, the action that your organization is taking, corrective action to make sure that doesn't happen again. So you're absolutely spot on there, Josh. Rachel, thank you for your patience, I want to turn it over to you.

Rachel: That's fine. This is I guess coming back to incentives, but also what Amy was saying earlier about getting the admins inside your accounts to really champion those surveys. One thing we were experimenting before I left Adomo was right before an NPS survey, we'd send them that quarterly and that was done by a client strategy team. So we would actually, because we'd work with accounts in Enterprise, so they had thousands of users, we'd actually reach out to the admin teams to give them a heads up, " Hey, for the next two weeks, there's going to be the survey popup at the bottom of the screen, we highly encourage your teams to fill this out." Then once we actually got that information back and it was collated and you could start to filter down to the account level, we'd hold a meeting with the account, the admin team, inaudible Center of Excellence is what we called them, " Hey, this is the NPS and the CSAT for your specific, all your users. This is how many users we had actually respond, these are the comments that they've given based on this, this is what we can see as some problems. Obviously, they point out things they didn't like in the product, that's been sent onto product team, but here's some things we've identified and how can we work with you to get that result?" So try and incentivize that admin team to really start to own the NPS data that's coming back, because they also are a part of that experience as well at the end of the day.

Jeremy: So Rachel, a real quick question of clarification, I think it's probably, I don't know if it's a standard practice, but every organization I've worked for has had at least one person dedicated to that survey process piece, frequency, that sort of thing. Do you find that quarterly survey to be the right frequency, too much, too little? I'd be curious as to, I don't do it quite as frequently as that, and I'm thinking mainly around bombarding customers with emails and surveys on a constant basis.

Rachel: Yeah. So there were a few caveats, I think quarterly is what we arrived at because Carolyn, who ran that program, just took it over because no one was really owning it, so she's like, " I'm going to own this and this is how we're going to run it." So they did a lot of experimenting, because they really started to own it about two or three years ago, and so she tried with once a year, twice a year, and then arrived at quarterly. No more frequent than quarterly, because we just have such, it was such a big product and customers moved, I wouldn't say very fast through it. So we felt that quarterly was the sweet spot. I think it depends, we also as an account team could opt clients out of the NPS, if we knew that they might be only six months and still in an implementation of a large rollout, so their NPS wouldn't be very accurate to what we're needing, or we know that's a very at- risk account and an NPS would not be a good thing to try and put them through right now. But I think it also depends on your product, your customers, how that fits in, I guess what does leadership expect in terms of the scoring and how important or impactful is it to the wider organization as well. There's no right or wrong way to do it, I think.

Jeremy: Yeah. No, I think you're on. Patricia, I saw your head shaking, Krista, I saw your head shaking too, so I was going to call on you too around that point. But Patricia, you had your hand up first, so I'll turn it over to you.

Patricia: Thank you. Yeah, I 100% agree with what Rachel was just saying and we have quite a similar approach. So I think I'm going to spin it a bit, and if you think of how CS is this partnership relationship, it's like if you don't know something is wrong, if someone doesn't tell you, you can see the signs, but most of the time you're not going to go on assumption. So this is your way of letting us know what is not going right or where do you think we could improve. The way we try and do it is we try and separate a little bit. So we have any NPS or any feedback request coming from our head of customer experience, instead of coming from customer success, and then the commitment that all the points, positive, negative, will be addressed. We are quite strict on that, so for something that, whenever the client provides any feedback, the head of customer success goes back and says, " Thank you, thanks for the positive feedback or thank you for bringing this to my attention. These are the steps we will take, or these are the steps we are looking to take." I understand that, as Rachel was saying, it really depends on the product, it really depends on the number of clients. We are very fortunate that we can do that, because we have quite a small pool of clients, we're talking about 50 to 100, but once you look at the vault even, the ones that have our full CS offering, we are talking about, we're not passing the 100 mark. So it's doable and that model works for us, because then it's help- us- help- you experience. If you don't tell me what's not working or where you think the friction is happening, there is nothing I can do because I don't know any different. So it has worked, there are some tweaks we need to do of course, but I think that is our approach.

Jeremy: Just a clarifying question for you then, you said something that I'm thinking about, as you get into bigger companies, not all feedback can actually be addressed. You're going to hit a point where a customer's going to ask you to do something that's just, the answer is no, you can't do it. How do you guys, how are you all addressing that type of feedback in your customer engagement and who owns that, we'll call that" bad news" feedback, to your customer if they do submit that type of a response in the survey?

Patricia: So I think when you look at your NPS, you're going to have your green, so your eight, nine, 10s, then you're going to have your reds, and then this is where it lands within that one to 10 scale, so that will dictate I think how quickly. So if we get a one, it's like there's a red flag going up in the system and saying, " Okay, something is seriously wrong here, how could we get it so wrong?" But it's understanding where they sit and understanding what points are being raised, so internally they would be flagged with the head of CS, who would then talk to the CSM or talk to whichever part of the process is broken and we would try and address it. But externally, the answer would always come from the head of CS, sorry.

Jeremy: Got it. So you do have, it triggers time to response in owners, this trigger based on... You use the scoring system for severity?

Patricia: Yeah.

Jeremy: That makes sense. So no, I appreciate that. Jeff, we spent a lot of time on incentives, I was really hoping to come back to... We have five minutes, I don't know that we have time to get into a good discussion on this, so Jeff, I'm going to table our discussion as to, you brought up some really good points about using Zoom calls and doing surveys in a more unique way, that I want to do a deeper dive in with you on it at some point in future Office Hours, because I think there's a lot there that I know I'm not personally taking advantage of. We call them program reviews, but doing a QBR with the customer in the meeting asking, having almost like that NPS type question in there like, " What were your experiences on the QBR? What's your experience of the program? Would you recommend us?" Asking them live instead of waiting to send an email out afterwards, that you're probably not going to get a response to. So there's a lot that I want to dig on that, so I want to acknowledge that I appreciate the feedback. But I guess as we close out here, any parting comments on using incentives, not using incentives in the process, the followup process with that? Chris, I know that I saw you shaking your head a couple times, not to put you on the spot, but if you had anything you wanted to add, you're more than welcome to.

Chris: Yeah, no worries. So I'm still a little bit fresh in my role, I've only been a CSM for about three months, but we have an advocacy program, so there is somewhat of an incentive where they're able to earn points to collect, to actually be able to get larger things. So the surveys that they're actually answering are one of a smaller, they get smaller points, but a lot of it is really centered around getting our customers engaged. So doing reviews, having user groups, we'll put on user groups with some of our green customers and also some of our subject matter experts so that customers are able to step in and have more questions answered, so attending those gives them the opportunity to gain points, which ends up translating into possibly trips or attending some of our customer led events as well. So I guess there still is a way that they can be incentivized, but it's not strictly just tied to the surveys.

Jeremy: Anybody on the call that's dealt anything with LND or HR at some point would know the word gamification, I'm sure other people know that too, but that's a big word that's used. LND, in my previous life, I would gamify the customer experience, make it as easy and as engaging as possible. It's a really, Chris, I actually really appreciate you sharing that, because that's... Somebody like me who is working off really legacy technology, that gamification piece isn't there built in app, so looking for external ways to do that. So you may only be three months into your role, Chris, but you carry yourself like a seasoned professional.

Chris: Thank you.

Jeremy: I appreciate the feedback and certainly even the gamification piece and other incentives, I like that as well. So I appreciate your feedback as well. Team, I want to keep, we're two minutes here, we're at top of hour, so my last shameless plug is I'm not looking to be the Tom Brady of Office Hours for the rest of my career, so my shameless plug is if you want to come help me cohost at some point, I would welcome that. You're going to get a survey afterwards, so if you have any interest at all in learning more about that, just drop your name in there, I'll reach out to you and set up time, we can talk about it. Next week and as we continue forward, we're going to continue on this theme of customer engagement strategies and working with Jeff in leadership Office Hours, so we actually have a new cohost that's going to be joining for Leadership Office Hours on Thursday, so if you're available at 11: 30 Eastern, show her your support. We'll be tagging around some LinkedIn and social media stuff here later this week, but with that said, I really appreciate meeting, welcome all the new folks, really appreciate seeing everybody again that is familiar with Office Hours. Thanks for all the discussion and be on the lookout for my recap, LinkedIn recap here in the next day or so. But you all have a great rest of your Tuesday, stay cool.

Announcer: 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 we are discussing Leveraging In-Product Feedback to Drive Engagement.

A weekly segment:

CSM Office Hours

Every Tuesday. 11:30am ET.



If you want to join the discussion with thousands of other customer success leaders, join Gain Grow Retain: http://gaingrowretain.com/

This podcast is brought to you by Jay Nathan and Jeff Breunsbach...

Jay Nathan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaynathan/

Jeff Breunsbach: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreybreunsbach