Going Above and Beyond w/ CSM Office Hours
Speaker 1: Welcome to the Gain Grow Retain Podcast.
Speaker 2: 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 My First Million, iDigress, and The Salesman. Check out all these shows and more at hubspot. com/ podcastnetwork.
Speaker 3: Perfection. And I am joined here by our lovely co- host, Dan. If you could give a wave, Dan, is going to help with the chat facilitating discussion as we come back. But we are here today to talk about going above and beyond is our subject. So if someone could please give me a thumbs up that they do in fact see my screen here. Thank you so much for those of you who did that. So going above and beyond, it is defined as doing more than is required. And like I mentioned, I'm a transplant from hospitality so this is something that is really, really important to me, very passionate about it. For those of you who I've met with before, I've worked in hotels, restaurants, casinos, theme parks restaurants, country clubs, for most of my career in both Las Vegas and Disney World. And I honestly got into customer success out of convenience. I wanted to live in Raleigh, North Carolina, shout out to all my Raleigh people. And there's not a lot of hospitality in Raleigh. There's not a lot of people who are like," Wow, I really got to go to Raleigh." That's not a thing. So my husband, who is a customer success manager, I was like," What do you do for a living, dude?" He told me and I got into customer success and here we are a couple years later. So it was truly out of convenience and I've never looked back. And I tell you that, just to say that I think a lot of us have so much to offer from our past lives as we come here and that's really what I want to get into today. But before we do that, let's just talk about what... Let's define this a little bit more and give you a brief history lesson. Going above and beyond is not new, people. Okay. We've all heard about a baker's dozen. Does anyone actually know where that phrase comes from? If you watch Great British Baking Show, like I do, you know they start with 13 people, they eliminate two people. It's fine, but that's 13 people. Why do we call it that? Well, it is said that in medieval times there was a law that required loaves of bread to weigh a certain amount. And if you did not have your bread weigh that much, you were punished by law. So bakers started including a 13th loaf in every order to make sure that they just exceed the weight limit and would not get in trouble. Okay? So they were going above and beyond out of fear. All right. So it's started back then. That was out of fear. Okay. We're going to get to a place where we're doing it because it's fun. Okay. Pineapples. We probably all know that pineapples are a global symbol of hospitality. You've seen it in hotels. You've seen it in fancy tourist towns. You've seen it in restaurants. You've probably never questioned why you were seeing a pineapple everywhere. But if you're like me, you do. Pineapples became known as the global symbol of hospitality. Back when pineapples were brought over from the discovery of the Americas, they were brought over to Europe and they were highly perishable and they couldn't grow in Europe. So if you got your hands on a pineapple, you were considered someone of nobility. It became known as a symbol of wealth. So much so that King Charles II actually had this picture commissioned of him with someone on bended knee, handing him a pineapple. And it became known as a... The pineapple became known as something that you gave to your most honored guests, people that you always go above and beyond for. And that's why to this day, when you go to nice hotels, there's pineapples everywhere because it is globally recognized symbol of always going above and beyond. Let's take it to 2021. Look at this beautiful bread basket. Okay? When the pandemic restrictions lifted in May, my husband and I decided to go on our first trip and our first outing in a year and a half. And we did a quick road trip down to Savannah, Georgia. We went to dinner at The Pink House, if you've ever heard of that nice restaurant. And the waitress, she goes," I'll be right back with a bread basket." And she walked away. Now during the pandemic, my husband and I got really into our fitness and a nutrition so we were like," Oh, we are not going to ruin it over a bread basket." Because we literally cannot control ourselves with a basket of beautifully baked breads. So I actually called the waitress over and I said," Hey, do you mind actually not bringing it? We're trying to be good." That's all that I said. And her reply was," May I offer you a crudités platter instead?" And it was a mic drop moment. We spent the rest of the meal talking about this moment in time, this moment in service, because all she had to do was say," Yes, I won't bring you the bread basket." But what she did instead was she heard what I was asking and offered me an alternative to solution to my specific needs. Right? Isn't that what we do every single day as customer success managers? Right? We listen to our customers, we listen to our clients, we're finding them alternative solutions, and you never know when those moments might come. This was a moment of truth that I didn't know was going to happen. But this waitress saw it and took action upon it. I literally offered her a job. I was like," Come work for me anytime. You're meant to do forever. Here's my phone number." And she's like," Who is this crazy person?" But it was just so amazing that she was able to go above and beyond in a moment I didn't even know I needed it. So what I invite you guys to talk about today in your breakout rooms, what does it truly mean to go above and beyond in customer success and in life? Right? I just told you a story about a bread basket, doesn't have anything to do with customer success, but it has everything to do with it. Right? How can you genuinely exceed expectations for your clients, both internal and external? Right? This is not just something you do for your customers. How can you do this with your team? And I want you guys to think about and share examples that you have seen or participated in. Right? I just told you a story about something that happened to me a couple months ago, maybe you've experienced, witnessed, participated in, or just heard of an amazing company or an amazing story in service. The reason I think it's really important to share these stories is it might spark an idea for someone else who is in a different industry and be able to create magic for their customer in a way that they can even think they could. Right? And going above and beyond, it's really hard. It takes a lot of skill. It's very easy to just say," Yes, I won't bring you the bread basket." It takes extra effort to go," May I offer you a crudités platter instead?" Right? So when you get in your breakout rooms, let's skip the awkwardness of who's going to talk first. The person with the shortest hair is going to go first. Introduce yourself, what you like to do for fun, and the very hot topic in my house right now is that," Is a hot dog a sandwich?" I'm sure you guys have all seen that commercial of," Is a hot dog a sandwich?" Right now, I'm pretty sure it's taco bell. And I need to know what you guys think so I can win this argument. So please get in your breakout rooms and you can either nominate or just collectively decide who is going to speak when you get back. And I'd love for you to guys to share some maybe a story of a great example of service or something that you guys all thought about together of how when you get back to your engagements and your clients later this afternoon, what is something that you can do to go above and beyond? So if you guys want to screenshot this or write it down quickly, Dan is also going to help and pop into the rooms and drop it in the chat. But does anyone have any questions before we get started? Who is so lit for this? They can't even focus. That's what I'm talking about. All right, my friends, we are going to break out into five rooms. So please again, there are the questions in the chat if you want to copy paste and then when you get back, we would love for everyone to share and drop me an emoji if you hear me and know what's going on right now, or a little reaction. And I'm going to break you out in a breakout rooms and we'll see you guys in about 30 minutes or so. Okay? Enjoy.
Speaker 4: Thanks inaudible.
Speaker 3: Hey friends. Okay. Is a hot dog a sandwich? Drop it in the chat. Why or why not? This is really important in my life.
Speaker 5: Can I just say that's a very American question.
Speaker 3: crosstalk A hundred percent. A hundred percent.
Josh: We've already got enough culture wars in this country, we don't need it anymore.
Speaker 7: I don't know, I think-
Speaker 3: There's already a yes and a no. And Jeff, inaudible that is so true. I apologize, Sophia. That was not meant... And please, I'd love to have your opinion as regardless.
Speaker 7: I was going to say, yeah, you have to weigh in now.
Speaker 3: Yeah. Now we really-
Speaker 8: Oh, that's a good question. Why all the hate for Hawaiian pizzas? They're amazing.
Speaker 5: It was literally, oh my God. You guys crosstalk.
Speaker 7: Whoa, whoa. Let's not get too controversial.
Speaker 5: You guys took the words out of my mouth exactly. I always say to my group, it's the same question as where the pineapple belongs in a pizza. I think it is a sandwich since it has bread and stuff in between. So there we go. I maybe I'm being too simplistic and I'll be happy to be educated on the finer details of the sandwich worlds-
Speaker 3: There's no finer details of this war, 0% at all.
Speaker 8: Sandwich sommelier in here.
Speaker 3: All right. My friends. Well, welcome back. We'll go ahead and share in just a minute. So I know a lot of people have dropped off as some people have calls. But before we do that, everyone could give a thumbs up to the screen. Dan's going to take an awesome picture. Ready, aim, fire. Beautiful. All right, my friends. So who would like to go first? If you were in room one, if you know that that was your room. I don't know if it says if you're in room one, but feel free to unmute and go for it someone. Bueller?
Speaker 9: I can start. I don't think we were group one, but-
Speaker 3: You are now.
Speaker 9: Great. We are for sure number one, everybody. Okay. Sophia, Nick, and Chris were my posse for this lovely conversation. And what we talked about in regard to going above and beyond is as a CS, it is often that is our job. If we were to go and define, put our little tagline in regard to what we do, it would be about going above and beyond. And we talked about the importance of setting boundaries, not only for our mental health and personal work, but also in regards to the organization itself and the responsibility of oftentimes executive leadership to make sure that each department is kind of staying in its lane. And what we talked about from going above and beyond is a lot of it, we view in our role as CSs actually is not related to our external facing client relationships, but actually how we're operating internally and how we're working cross departmentally and how we are trying to enroll other departments in escalation cases for clients, how we are trying to coordinate with the sales team and the product team in order to make sure that there's clarity and alignment across our departments. And a lot of our conversation ended up landing in this internal space where yeah, of course, we're trying our best to be proactive with clients. But that proactivity really, it shines through when there is alignment across departmentally and we're working with the marketing to team to make sure that we're taking customers on the right customer journey. And we're making sure that we're getting that ideal client. So in 1, 2, 3 years, our lives are a little bit easier because we're not having to extinguish a lot of fires because we've been able to be a voice of the customer to the marketing and sales teams.
Speaker 3: Yeah. That's incredible. Can we get snaps for setting it through if you agree?
Speaker 9: The whole team... Yeah.
Speaker 3: Stephanie's group, if you agree with that, it's a really great point. When we talk about going above and beyond, we do that by default, like you said, in our job. But then we are the liaison to go back to a hospitality example, this is all I know. You're the concierge between you and the team and the client, right? So when you are that concierge, how do you earn your keys? If you speak that language hospitality too, it's like how are you doing that internally so that you are looked at in the same fashion as that trusted advisor? So I think it's a really, really good point. Did anyone have any fun ways that they've experienced of great service or you guys didn't have any?
Speaker 9: To be honest, we dove into this conversation and I actually brought up the fact that Jeff, is he still in here? There he is. I had the pleasure of being on Jeff's podcast. Gosh, it was probably like a month ago. My background is in education and also in hospitality. I've worked in retail and I've been a server. And I was telling Jeff that so I reach into that back pocket of those three jobs every single day, every single day.
Speaker 3: Yeah. It's really interesting that we are all transplants. I love to talk to all of you. Dan and I had a great conversation about it. So yeah. Thank you so much, Stephanie. Does anyone from your group have anything you wanted to share before we move to what we are now calling group two?
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Speaker 3: All right, my friends. And someone from another group, feel free to unmute.
Speaker 10: I'm just going to go because it's another Stephanie. So hi, me again with the accent. I think the first week you thought it was cute and nuts, like you're just hearing it over and over again. So it's me again.
Speaker 3: I still like it.
Speaker 10: So my group was, who were we? Josh, Sarah inaudible and Ashley. Just firstly, I'd really love this station. I was saying in another life I was a flight attendant with Emirates. And so our service training was off the charts and that has just helped me so much with you working across different customers, cultures, et cetera, and I think we all probably have a similar background. We had a really similar conversation, I think using the word concierge and alignment with other teams. Something that we touched on really was about empathizing with the customer. So empathy and emotional intelligence obviously is a trait that you need to have in this role, otherwise you won't survive very long and really understanding what their broader goals are and aligning to those broader goals. So, moving from support into customer success is really about making that person into a champion, making them shine. As Josh mentioned, understanding what keeps them up at night. And I liked the question in our group from Ashley, where she said," Well, it's easy on these bigger strategic accounts to give a lot of attention, right? And to build this relationship with this customer. But how do you do that when you have a lot of accounts or you have these lower touch, smaller accounts?" And so what we were talking about was using information to build confidence, even if you don't have all day to sit on Zoom with this customer, the journey and something that I learned when I was flying is even though you have done this journey a thousand times, this is the one chance for this customer, right? This is their one experience with you. And so if you can use that information to create a journey of confidence for them, then that's going to stand you in good stead. And with everything that you're saying, you kind of need to be that expert in what you're doing, not in what they're doing, but an expert in what you are doing and how to contextualize that for your customer. And so I think that type of empathy is really great. And then Josh, I'm going to call on you to explain it because I won't say it as succinctly, but Josh has this theory of fence selling or throwing someone over the fence. Could you just-
Josh: Well, what I was talking about and Stephanie Kemp said it earlier was about having that synergy between other teams. And what builds trust is essentially consistency, consistency of what we're asking for, what we listen to and then repeating that back to people. So when sales has a conversation, understands the customer's needs, provides a solution for them and understands the outcomes that are supposed to come from that solution, that can be handed over to the CS team and a CS team can repeat that message and say, they sold you this, this is what you're shooting for. This is what you want from that, is that right? And they get a sense that, oh, from this consistency, there's a sense of trust in the plan that's being laid out and we're willing to listen more. Now these are more for high touch accounts and customers. But what I call fence tossing is when sales cuts it dry just goes," Here's your support person." Throws the customer over a fence where they land on their ass basically. And you have to try to pick them up and dust them off and try to show them repeat... Build that over again because what's the most annoying thing in the world when you're dealing with a company? Right? You tell one person your problem, they hand you to somebody else and you have to repeat what it is that your problem is. If you have to do that, you're like," I don't trust this company to get this done." We've all experienced that. So that's what I meant about fence tossing. When you get tossed over the fence, someone has no clue what happens on the other side.
Speaker 3: I love it. So we're talking about hot dogs, pineapples, pizzas, fence tossing, they're never going to let me host again. Let's give snaps for Stephanie and Josh. Thank you for tag teaming. That was awesome. Thank you for sharing. Really great. And I really like Ashley's point. I think you mentioned it was her who said," How do you do this for smaller touch accounts?" That's the dilemma. That's the ultimate dilemma is how can you make magic for everyone and not just those who are paying you the most money? And sometimes it can be done in really creative ways. So we had other groups, anyone else care to share?
Eric: Hey, inaudible, do you mind if we go next, our group?
Speaker 3: Do not mind at all, I invite it. Please go ahead.
Eric: So group four, it was with Brandon, Holly, Robin, and Nathan. Our approach was very different and that's really defining what it means to go above and beyond. We felt that there were a few definitions of what going above and beyond meant. And I'll go a little bit more in depth in that later on, but we all agree that going above and beyond means exceeding expectations, being authentic, being present as well as being listening. But what does it mean to exceed expectations, right? Doesn't necessarily need to be materialistic, right? So going above and beyond, in my point of view, I've always thought going above and beyond was to give. Give an object to someone, but it could be through a conversation, right? Where you're listening, very similar to your example, Galaware, this waiter listened to you. And you mentioned that you didn't want the bread so they brought you a different plate. Now we also came to the conclusion that going above and beyond isn't a tangible metric, but instead it's something that you want to do as a person. It's something that you want to do with an intention of doing the other person something better. That way he or she could feel as if they bring her. Right? And yeah, that's essentially what we spoke about in our conversation. Robin, Holly, Brandon, did I miss anything?
Speaker 12: I think you got it. But I think one of the things that we talked about a lot was about being authentically present as with each customer. And we talked about the Maya Angelou quote about people won't remember what you said or did, but how you made them feel. And so kind of that authentically present, being yourself each time you talk to somebody and for us, that's how you go above and beyond.
Speaker 3: Yes. And Eric, you make a really good point is this is a decision that you make every day when you wake up, right? It is a decision to say," Yes, I won't bring you bread." It was a decision to say," May I offer you a crudités platter instead?" And it's fine. Either way is fine. It's not always appropriate to say," May I offer you this instead?" But when you go into these situations and what my goal is for you guys to all leave this call with is just to make a decision every day when you approach work is like," In which situations can I potentially go above and beyond and create magic for that customer?" A really random example that, Eric, you just kind of sparked my mind because it's not always financial. Right? When I talk to executive teams about this, they freak out. They're like," I'm not trying to throw money at customers." It could be, like you just said, a conversation. It could be asking them about their daughter's swim meet that you learned about the week before. I had a customer one time who I made a joke on a conversation with them on a call. I go," When you hit a million dollars in revenue, I'll get a tattoo of your logo." A joke. But what I said to myself was it would be really funny if I actually did this. So I set a reminder in Asana. Sorry, Dan, I used Asana, not monday. com. And I set a reminder inn Asana to keep checking this guy's revenue. And when he started to inch up to a million dollars, I was like," Well, oh my God." And so I went on a website, had a temporary tattoo of his logo made, I put it on. I took a picture. He posted on Facebook, on LinkedIn. It was like this whole thing,$ 2 guys, we're talking$2. And he will probably be talking about that for the rest of his life. I still think it's funny. It was really fun. Right? And it's$2 and it just took no effort other than just making the logo. So you can think outside the box of things like that, and you never know what might happen. crosstalk
Josh: Celebrate wins.
Speaker 3: You what?
Josh: Celebrate wins.
Speaker 3: Yeah.
Eric: Well, I want to add, Galan, and I believe this was mentioned earlier, but yeah. People remember experiences. Whenever I go to a hotel or resort or a restaurant, I want to remember the experience that I have eating the food, speaking on my partner, et cetera. That's what drives me to go back to the place and have more experiences. Once I have a bad experience, then I tend to stay away. At the end of the day, I see life in relationships. You have a relationship with, for example, the folks that we were in a group in. We also have relationships with things that we do, whether it's going to Vons or going to your local supermarket and that coincides with how you want to experience it or how the experiences is made for you.
Speaker 3: Exactly. That's such a good point. And yeah, Jeff, Cameo was really good one. I will love using Cameo for clients.
Speaker 8: Lots of survivors on Cameo by the way. Bryce just had a couple points from ours before we roll off here. So yeah.
Speaker 3: Yeah. Please go ahead.
Bryce: Oh yeah. Yeah. So thanks, Jeff. I think today, we talked about how to segment, what it would look like to go above and beyond. And I think I wanted to shout out to our team first. So Aaron, he's actually not in a traditional CS role. He's going above and beyond because he's a SDR trying to learn about our role. And then Jeff today, he went above and beyond by letting all of us shine today. He said he would usually dominate the conversation, but today, he helped facilitate us and have all of our ideas and having me speak up today, which is not something normal. So thank you for that. Claude has Zoom issues, he was being tenacious, really trying to come back to the conversation. So I think really today we had a killer group and then to talk about actually what our conversation was. It's really like going above and beyond isn't just an external internal thing. It's all of those things. Externally, it's getting on the right foot. Anyone that's new... Sending that fruit basket or whatever, it's great but it's really what it represents. It's starting that relationship on the right foot so you can accelerate going forward. And then internally, we're making our team very cohesive, building that trust so that we can go and help that customer very easily and we can cover each other's backs. And then other ways that we can look at going above and beyond, it's not just your metrics, your KPIs, it's figuring out what is going to be the best for the team. I don't quite remember what Jeff had... It's on the tip of my tongue, but Jeff had mentioned... Oh, having the difficult conversation. That is something going above and beyond because that's very uncomfortable. People don't want to have that conversation and taking the lead, taking the charge on that, that it might seem like it's part of your job, but it's something that you're stepping out, you're helping the team with, you're taking initiative on that. So yeah, that's really what we talked about today.
Speaker 3: Awesome. Thanks, Bryce.
Bryce: Thanks everyone.
Speaker 3: And thanks for shouting out your team snaps for Bryce and thanks for Jeff on that shout out. Did we have any other teams that are on this call? I know we have a minute left. Go for it, Scott.
Scott: Yeah, we had talked about a few different things. One is that we do generally have smart goals so we're looking to the attainable. If we also maybe have about a stretch goal that can give us a way to... by meeting that exceed expectations.
Speaker 3: Yeah. That's a great point.
Scott: And we kind of simplified it as looking for ways you can go beyond your scope. Whether you help build a tool that does more functionality or help provide more functionality than would be there in some way by engaging like a third party vendor, was the example Kevin gave, bringing in maybe extra people at a meeting, such as a product manager that allows your customer some direct feedback. Those kinds of things.
Speaker 3: That's great is that you can plant on those going above and beyond moments with your customers. Absolutely. Thanks for sharing, Scott. Team, I know that we are at time. I want to be respectful of it because we all got places to be. Go out there and offer the crudités platter and we will see you sooner than later. Thank you so much for contributing guys. crosstalk
Speaker 15: 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 the topic for discussion is around going above and beyond for your customers.
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