Delivering Better Service w/ CS Leadership Office Hours
Speaker 1: To the Gain Grow, Retain podcast,
Jeff: Gain, Grow, Retain. You have Jeff here. Before we dive into the show today, we have some exciting news that we've been holding onto as of this month Gain, Grow, Retain is officially part of the HubSpot Podcast Network. And this becomes a really important milestone for our community and brings more validation to customer success. Something I love about the HubSpot Podcast Network is all the inspiring shows dedicated to helping professionals learn, grow, and scale their businesses. If you love Gain, Grow, Retain and want to check out other shows like us. I'm a big fan of first mil, My First Million, I Digress, and The Salesmen, check out all these shows and more at hubspot. com/ podcastnetwork.
Speaker 3: You have it and are offering customers. For example, for myself, it's more so we try our best to cut off at a, at a certain ARR point, who is going to be in the scale bucket or digital bucket versus a dedicated customer success manager. Of course, we have to be a little bit flexible sometimes. There are moments where we have customers who maybe we have mutual investors where it's better to have a dedicated CSM than to put them in a low touch pool. We do have other circumstances where we might have land at a subsidiary, but there's potential to grow into the parent company or other subsidiaries. So we might want to attach a CSM there. And then of course we had Navine where all of his customers are usually very, very high touch because in a professional service engagement, it's ongoing, the ball is always being role to another goal post. So it really depends on the industry that you're in, the product that you're in, but at the end of the day, you have to be a little bit flexible. There will be exceptions, and we need to be able to provide value at all levels.
Speaker 4: Absolutely. And so I really love what I'm hearing and my understanding is obviously the studying point is the wrong segmentation of being able to segment your client properly. But the big question I wanted to ask you, how once you have a client who is used to be at a high touch level, how do you" downgrade" this client based on his or her segmentation based on the investment to a low touch?
Speaker 3: Yeah, that's a very good question. So, at least from my experiences, we didn't talk about that scenario in the group. From my experience, let's say we have a customer who has been with us for a very long time. They're they're at their max capacity. They don't see a lot of growth. They have a lot of product knowledge and subject matter experts, certificates galore of our platform. Then we have a really frank conversation and say, what does the right engagement look like for your team? Do you really need a dedicated customer success manager with that comes mutual sequence of events, like, you know, quarterly QBRs, more training and enablement. If you feel this isn't the time well spent with your team, how would you like your engagement to look like? And if it sounds more like tech touch or low touch, there's a transition period of about six or so months where the name might still be attached to me, but it goes into digital pool activity streams. And if everything still feels right, it's sort of a mutual decision because at least in my case, in my company, CSMs, aren't an additional charge. So for them, crosstalk it's not a cost savings or, or situation like that. It's literally just what type of engagement they're looking for.
Speaker 4: So it's you essentially charging those client to have a dedicated customer success in your line of business to add more value. This is actually another very good conversation. I see. Thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you, Andrew.
Andrew: So I have a client that recently went through this process and the best advice that I can give, and this is what they did is they spent a lot of time working on the copy, thinking about it from the what's in it for me perspective, from the customer and the feedback I got from, I got a couple of pieces feedback from people that didn't even know that I was connected to this client. Cause we were talking about it on one of the group coaching calls and they said, you know what? We got downgraded, but I've been a customer for a long time and the way that they positioned it and the way that they framed it and the way that they made it sound like it was going to benefit me, because it's not about you, as the vendor, it's about the customer, how's this, what's in it for me. They spent the time they put together, they test tested some of the messaging and it, and it came across really well. And, and so much so that the person said, if you know, somebody there please convey to them that I was pleased with the way they communicated it. And I went ahead and shared that feedback with her VP customer success, who I know and she was ecstatic that that's the reaction. They had hoped to get that kind of reaction. But yeah, they, they over indexed on spending time on the copy and the Withum, you know, from the withums perspective, made all the difference in the world.
Speaker 4: I really love that, Andrew. Thanks for those insight. And what I'm hearing here is obviously focusing on the client, but really what I'm hearing is the way you communicate to the client, which makes a huge difference. We had that conversation last week. It's at the end of the day, especially during this challenging time is really human to human, being authentic and being transparent with the client. This is a situation. This is how you can benefit from our understanding and have this conversation and find agreed next steps. Thanks, Andrew. Really appreciate it, Josh.
Josh: Yeah. Hey, I wanted to go and just chime in for the group that I was in. We had Josh inaudible, Matt inaudible, why don't we just go, Rachel, Kevin, Amanda, John, and Tyler. And I think I messed up the pronunciation. So I'm sorry for the two in the beginning. All right. One of the things that we talked about is in this low and this high, low and tech touch is that you can be looking at your customers, not as one or the other, but this ephemeral vacillation between pets and cattle. And so that's one of these ways is that we can go and look at the numbers, look at the action of whatever markers you have to go and determine when a human engages and therefore, one of the things that I'd offered the group don't know that this was a universal agreement on this, but we might be able to say, we have the intention of low touch versus high touch. And, you know, just to go and, and say it like, if you are going and doing custom emails to each of your low touch people, then in essence, they're high touch and it's your processes and tooling that changes them. If you look at them as a state, not as a, you know, a single position,
Speaker 4: Thank you, Josh. I've never thought about that. So from one understanding is, and it goes back a little way you communicate to that is repackaging the way you interact with the client, by understanding what is in for the client and adapting your own internal tooling and processes to make, it sounds less low touch essentially. And keep this trend of this conversation flowing without giving the impression to the client that has been" downgraded" is that
Josh: That's exactly right.
Speaker 4: More summarized?
Josh: Yeah. Everything that that Andrew said before about going and spending time on the, on, you know, what is my intended flow? What is the copy that assessed, that supports that flow? And then being able to say, Hey, you know, I might deal with only a handful of high touch clients, but there's nothing stopping me from using a template email that comes from my email address. And when they reply, it comes to me. So that is a strategy to basically try to scale yourself, even in high touch environments. You know, inside of the company I now work for, I use that same idea and I'm just like, you know, everybody, here's a template. Hopefully it'll be 80% of what you need. Maybe some days it'll be a hundred, but still at least you don't need to write everything.
Speaker 4: Appreciate that. Thanks. Thank you, Josh. Glad,
Glad: I, I normally join organizations when the plan is to scale up the CS. So we, we often deal. I often deal with this question of how do you change from the very early age startup, where there was a lot of heavy touch with early customers to a more scalable organization. And what, what I've learned along the years is that trying to change the level of service for an individual customer that was used to talk to the founder or get a lot of inaudible.
Speaker 4: sorry,
Glad: you end up spending more time. You end up spending more time trying to figure out them, talk to their founder or the CEO, the head of product that you used to service them before. My advice is figure out those normally very, very few kind customers that get higher level of service than you want and say, that's okay. It doesn't matter. We'll grow with another a hundred or thousand or 5, 000 new customers. For the new customers, we'll establish the right level of service. For these ones, grandfather, them, you don't need to be official about it. Just give them a higher level of service. Keep them happy. You end up spending less time fighting it, then just doing it.
Speaker 4: Thanks, inaudible it actually remind me a conversation. I had a few weeks ago with the sales team like sales versus customer success that is essentially for a company, less expensive to keep their, to protect the base, to keep their existing portfolio of client happy and renewing rather than going after new logos. So what I'm hearing here thank you is to grandfather existing client, keep them happy. Even if the stream of revenue remain the same, but then moving forward, applying the new strategy in place as the vendor is growing. You have to, thank you, to essentially adapt to the new demand. Appreciate that. Thank you. Anyone else for this first questions? This could be a topic for a whole hour, but happy to move to the next, the second one. So how can we document feedback collected? What kind of tool are you using? So what I'm hearing here is any type of document, any type of feedback you receive from the client. What I'm hearing is how you are collecting that, those insight, but as well, applying those insight and feedback to deliver better service, to make your clients happier and secure space. Anyone crosstalk would like to start?,
Speaker 8: I'll try crosstalk we're unique, a little bit of a unique environment. We have pretty high to medium touch customers, and we do a one to one for feedback. We do not send out surveys for our jet or for our big feedback session with the customer. We do what we call is our feedback session, where it's a, one- on- one zoom meeting or, you know, teams meeting, video face to face. And we have a survey prepared. We do not send it out. We, don't ever hit submit to the customer. We make it a conversation with them. I've always found that surveys, you only get so much data. It's the context in the conversation that you get much more data. So, you know, we'll, we'll have survey questions. I'll let them know in advance. Yeah. There's some typical type of survey questions, rate your analyst for example, but I'll tell them what I really want to know is why what's the, what's the reasoning behind these things. And then I'll ask a lot of open ended questions as well as, you know, questions for NPS, so on and so forth, but we keep it to about 45 minutes. And I let them know at the beginning of the end, this is important. And we will get back to you with any, you know, action items. This is not something that goes into a black hole. It is something that we're going to act upon and circulate the information within the organization. So you kind of summarize that. Instead of sending out a survey, we go ahead and, and ask questions in a one- on- one format. And then we input that information into an external tool, like a survey monkey, and we hit submit. So it's all, you know, it's all there. And then we also enter the information into the customer's record in Salesforce.
Speaker 4: This is great. And it goes back to an article I read a few weeks ago about NPS and how sometime having too much data just prevent us from making the right decision strategically. Like it's kind of being like, I have a three a half years old going to a candy store. But it was just too much. And I think we are the victim of that amount of data and really like what I'm hearing just about reaching out to the client, taking 15, 20 minutes to go through on this one on one to get his or her feedback, asking this open question, but really diving to the why, and being able then to present action items, following the conversation and how this feedback will impact the way you, our entire team with client are delivering those services.
Speaker 8: Yeah. And we also set their expectation early in our engagement with them that we have set aside a dedicated time to do this. So we've set the expectation that we want to, and then we reiterate that when we're getting ready to schedule that session with them.
Speaker 4: Appreciate it. Thank you.
Jeff: Great. We wanted to take a minute and if you haven't implemented a CRM system into your business now is the time. A CRM platform is at the heart of scaling your side hustle into your success story. CRM platforms, take any customer interaction and transform that interaction into valuable data and insights, allowing you to strengthen relationships with your customers and grow your business. With tools for marketing sales, customer service, content management, and operations, the HubSpot CRM platform is fully customizable for whatever your business needs. Use HubSpot to meet customer demand, align your teams and work smarter without slowing down with total control in over 650 integrations, HubSpot is totally customizable and purpose built for businesses big and small, whether you're just getting started or looking for all the bells and whistles. HubSpot is the number one CRM platform for scaling businesses. Learn more about how you can customize your CRM platform with hubspot @ hubspot. com. Now back to the show,
Speaker 4: Anyone else
Ben: I can go for
Speaker 4: Pretend to be, [ crosstalk 00:16:14] go ahead, Ben.
Ben: Yeah, I can go for group two. The two things that came, we spoke most about was some kind of tagging systems. Everyone's using different systems to click feedback, whether it's from a survey phone, call, emails, whatever it is, but some simple way. And I think it was Jeff back on our team is the one that talk about this the most. I think majority uses it some too, but the concept of just a simple tagging system where the CSM can quickly flag it in the moment saying this is whether it's product or complaint or an at risk or something that goes up the chain and then can be easily, you know, BI tool or team can then categorize it, dump it somewhere together that it can be reviewed by leadership or someone else. So that was the biggest thing, is like, how are you tagging it? So it's an easy way to flag the data and it all kind of comes together, whatever the sources, up the chain. And the other we talked about, I think is Jeff in this too, is some kind of call recording, like a, you know, obviously originally the sales teams used it most, the gong or tools like that, that would record. And, you know, if you kind of go back and, and pull maybe some feedback, that way stuff that maybe the CSMs didn't categorize or things that maybe didn't come back down as feedback, it's there find a way to pull that out through keywords. So those two things talk about tagging and, and potential phone phone recording systems that do some of the work for you, what we talked about.
Speaker 4: Perfect. And how do you then, how are you applying this insight? Like how you essentially purpose of this conversation and the surveys and these data is to make better decision to actually Essentially what I'm hearing is always to go back to protecting your base and growing your client investment with you. So how do you implement your insight into concrete planner to actually deliver a better service and so on?
Ben: So the way we do that is, you know, we have weekly leadership meetings where, I'll pull up the feedback we've heard. Things I think what I feel are, you know, maybe the top five or six things that are critical. And as a group, we'll talk about it from the CFO to the product, to the COO and we'll narrow down. Okay. Yeah. These things keep bubbling up. Let's move this into priority. I think this is Jeff. Maybe he can speak up too, but mentioned that it's all about opportunity loss compared to, you know, either opportunity loss or risk and said, okay, which of these feedback loop is going to have the biggest on either lost opportunity or lost revenue. And that's what, you know, kind of a point system there saying, yeah, this is what we're going to need to focus. And so each week they're reviewing the feedback with those certain tags that are going to, you know, products have to decide either implement this or don't implement this based on the, the risk.
Speaker 4: Perfect. Thank you. So we need to identify the insight that is, that we will have the larger impact in your revenue stream. And then take action on that. Thank you, Ben. Andrew, I'm sorry. I thought you were about to share something or Jeff, crosstalk I think you had your, okay. Jeff, you had your raise your hand.
Jeff: I was just going to say things I, and what I advise other other people to do is whether you have a homegrown CS system or using Google sheets, or you have, you know, Gainsite or Totango whomever in the moment, if your, your CSMs can tag what I don't call them feature requests, I call them feature ideas or product ideas, but that'll allows in the moment to tag what the, if you can get it down to its base granularity, what it is that they're looking for, or what is at risk, what's holding up. What's the show stopper, boiling it down to its most finite fixable or mission ad item for both product engineering and engineering support taking those and then collating them up. And so if it's, you know, whatever that happens to be finding where it comes across your team, finding a common label for these items, going across your team, finding out how many customers, but it's not really about the customer count. It's about the customer, a NRR at risk, that if it's a current issue or opportunity on the, on the sales side, throw that over the fence to your sales people and your product marketing people, and then boiling that up. So if we see that four or five times, six, seven times, how much is what's the dollar amount? And then what we did is, what we usually do is pump that into a Google sheet or Excel, keep a running tab of that, meet with the stakeholders across the company. So product engineering, marketing, sales monthly, and say here's what we're looking at. And these are the top five. These are the ones we always see month after month or whatever have you, those can get rolled into missions potentially depending upon, you know, what their weight is. You can get executive push behind it if the number is large enough from an NRR perspective. And it gives co- ownership that wouldn't we all want to either save or grow revenue. So that is operationally how to get it done across the board. And it really empowers you crosstalk see how that sounds, I mean, if they're constantly crosstalk coming up with, Hey, this is what we've got lets offer, you know, let's take it all the way up the chain and what I also, I said, in some cold call platforms, you can record these bits. And so I lead with data, pad with storytelling, use those bits, those sound bites, 30, 45 seconds, share those with the other teams so they can not only see the numbers, but also hear the voices.
Speaker 4: Appreciate that. Thanks, Jeff. And this is something that I, believe that we doing quite well. We, we created this SAP ops community, and I'm hearing that like between scheduling this one on one with a client during you're scheduling this group conversation. So requesting the clients to submit their own feature request pain point. I believe we created this SAP ops community and we leveraging a platform called aha. And this is an opportunity for us, for the user to actually submit some of their pain point. This is due to the area where we are struggling with specific product, with specific feature. This is our expectation of your product. And as well, by the way, it would be amazing to have this additional module or product. And we combine that on a roadmap and we have the same procedure on side the week and, our client, when they of this community can like or dislike. And the more like we have on specific feature, the more likely we are to focus and invest in the development of this new product and being again, very transparent with the client, everything is shared and open, and we inviting our client to review that. So what I'm hearing here is really about on document feedback had to collect them one on one, creating a community. So thanks. They're submitting this kind of feature request, collecting this data, sharing this data internally, making decision. Amanda you need to take off? Oh, sorry. And perfect. We have, we just have under 10 minutes together and I would love to cover the third question being, but first of all, if there is anyone who would like to share their opinion on the second question, or should we move to the third one, Mayur please go ahead.
Mayur: Hey, but I was actually, I was going to say the third one, but yeah, actually from my group for second one, they already covered. So both Jeff and, you know, like both of them have covered everything. So I don't think I have anything to add on the second one.
Speaker 4: So let's move to the third one. Go ahead, Mayur.
Mayur: On the third one. Yeah. I actually really remember my time a few years ago when I joined in as the first, you know, like as new to the leadership I've realized creating ritual has helped us a lot, you know, creating those, one- on- ones going through that, having those team meetings, team lunches, team drinks, and all. So I think that helped a lot in creating a very good rapport, and working with the team as coherently as possible. Obviously it's a behavioral change, takes a while. So that kind of, you know, but having those rituals, especially the one on ones has helped me the most. From our group Cindy brought up a good point that, you know, how do you also manage in the initial stages, the people above you, along with people below you. So basically what is their priorities and how do you align that? So I think from our side, what we did was finding out what are the quick wins, focusing on them for the very very first quarter, but focusing on strategies for the longer terms. So that's how we kind of, you know, or at least I worked in with our team. So I think to answer one is, you know, creating rituals, rituals help a lot in the longer terms, especially one on ones and team meetings and all, and even some of the eccentric ones, which are, you know, you don't need to always have a official version of it. We, I actually prefer a little bit unofficial cause people get a lot more, you know, they, they get together a lot better when you, when you're over lunch or sharing a drink or something like that. So those helped a lot with the teams. And then on the strategy side of things, I think focusing on quick wins first and then longer term strategies as a, you know, longer.
Speaker 4: I appreciate that. Thank you. So what I'm hearing is as a new CS leader, joining a team, it's the first thing that I think that the team beneath this leader fear is cha the change. Like what's going to change, what are we going to have to learn? What's what's going to happen is my, is my job safe? And, and so what I'm hearing here is first managing up, making sure that as a leader, you are aligned with the vision of the CEO and the C level of your employer, and then kind of translating that into motion for the people who are reporting to you and almost, and again, humanizing the process and making sure that we all comfortable. What I'm hearing as well is making sure that you have enough information from your team to understand current processes, how they're doing things and adapting from there. But yes, it's an internal change management job as well.
Mayur: I know what you said but then. crosstalk I think one, one thing really interesting pops up and I think most of the people here would agree that managing a client and managing a team have a lot of similarities in terms of making sure, you know, you're translating, what is your company's objective with the team, having a very good, you know, this thing. So I think both of them would be very similar in a, like, inaudible
Speaker 4: I very much agree. I, would love to have, and I'm sorry, I'm going to ask us to actually share some insights on when you join a new vendor and you are about to lead this new team, what are the first 30, 60, 90 days? How are you connecting with the team? What are your processes? Oh Ellie? Sorry, Eli.
Eli: Yeah. So I'm crosstalk I'm going to unpause and I do need to jump in a couple minutes. I'm in the throws of, of that right now, I joined about six weeks ago to a team already existing where our head of commercialization needed to step up and they needed somebody to kind of run the ship. So the first step, first and foremost I have found is take a deep look into how people are spending their time and find low hanging fruit, where you can either automate a task or figure out what's currently just working by habit, but does not make any sense. And with fresh eyes, you'd be surprised what you can pick off that tree really quickly, which is an excellent way to make allies and make friends and, you know, making people's lives and work easier. Having them see you as not somebody who's going to not say automate to the point you're with the team, you're just the guy who calls the calls. Like, you know, you're, you're on the sidelines, but they're out there give credit to your team, like really, you know, work to support them. I try to frame every end of my conversation with how can I support you rather than like, here's what I need you to do. Meaning like I already know that they already have jobs and stuff, but I leave off with like, you give me a task that I need to accomplish for you so that we can, we can hit talk next week. And like, you're going to be better at what you do, because I want you to be better and you want to be better and, and let's make that happen. So those have been a couple of things that I've, I've started to do. Also just kind of organizing people's responsibilities, especially in a startup environment where there's a lot of crossover and mixed wires like untangling people from each other and you know, kind of giving them their lanes and so forth. I find makes everybody's sanity go up and you know, better at what they do. So that's where I am currently in the process of procuring and implementing a CS platform, which is exciting also. And so that will also help kind of solidify people into like go mode.
Speaker 4: Perfect. Well, thank you. Very, thank you Eli for that. I'm hearing a lot of really good things, sorry though I have to cut off, we are 1 minute away. I just wanted to, again, thanks everyone, to take the time. I know it's always busy, so really appreciate you taking the time. I'm going to submit again, this link to vote for your top 100 customer success. Andrew. Thank you.
Andrew: Yes, please. Don't forget to vote for the top 100, please.
Speaker 4: Yes. And you have a ton of list here available online. So please vote. Thanks again. And we catch up next week. Have a wonderful weekend. Thanks everyone.
Group: Bye bye.
Andrew: Bye bye.
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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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