Ask Me Anything w/ Kristi Faltorusso

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This is a podcast episode titled, Ask Me Anything w/ Kristi Faltorusso. The summary for this episode is: <p>In a weekly segment we've asked <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Kristi Faltorusso</a> to join us as we tackle Q&amp;A that comes Inbound. &nbsp;</p><p>Our goal: to give tactical, direct advice to customer success leaders.&nbsp;</p><p>--</p><p>If you want to join the discussion with thousands of other customer success leaders, join Gain Grow Retain: <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p><p>This podcast is brought to you by Jay Nathan and Jeff Breunsbach...</p><p>Jay Nathan: <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p><p>Jeff Breunsbach: <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p>
Customer Journey Mapping
01:21 MIN
Does it Make Sense to Have A Face of CS Part of the Presale Process?
02:36 MIN
What Traits Do You Look For When Hiring CSM?
00:41 MIN
How Important is Customer Experience to Customer Success Activities
01:42 MIN
The Importance of Self-Service
01:35 MIN

Speaker 1: Welcome to the Gain Grow Retain Podcast.

Jay Nathan: Hey everyone, so this is Jay Nathan. Good to see you. Good to see you, Kristi, it's been a while.

Kristi: I know.

Jay Nathan: Jeff, I see you a few times a day, which is cool. We haven't done a LinkedIn live in a long time, but we did something called an AMA in our community which means ask me anything. Jeff, you want to give some more details on what we did and what we're going to do here?

Jeff: Yeah. We threw a thread out there in the community. I'll actually drop a link into the LinkedIn live so if people want to follow along, they can.

Jay Nathan: Kristi, it's been a while.

Jeff: They can jump in. We're answering questions directly from the community, and so we've got about maybe 10 questions. Some of them might be a little bit longer. Some of them might be a little bit shorter. I'll try and keep you all on time. We'll try and get through as many as we can. We'll try and keep you all brief and short. I figure we can just run through and start ticking through these. I think the nice part is you all have not prepared answers, so this is going to be off the cuff. It's going to be first things that come to mind. I think we can talk and sharpen ideas as we go as well. We can talk through a few things. Without further ado, I'll kick the first question. I'm trying to get a short link up real quick. I'll kick the first question over, which is, " I struggle as I'm putting together the overarching journey for our enterprise customers and how to format it so that it quickly illustrates the big picture for leadership, while giving enough detail to be the jumping off point for the individual playbooks that align to the journey milestones. Any help with templates, pointers about you visualized an enterprise type customer journey?" This is from Jenny Washington who works for a company called Passageways. Kristi, any initial thoughts for you about how do you visualize the high- level journey, but also try and give enough salient detail?

Kristi: My favorite visual on a customer journey is an infinity loop just because I feel like the journey, if I'm thinking about it visually, it should never end. It's cyclical, even when your customers do come to what you would think is the end, there's a contract term end date, hopefully you're getting them back into renewal. If there's growth, you're going back there. The visual for me is an infinity symbol. I think the simplicity of the journeys that I've built is I've had stages, I've had three, four, five stages. I don't think the number of stages matter, as long as you're designing it from the outside in, so all the journeys that I have created have nothing to do with what it is I'm trying to accomplish. It's not about my objectives. I think that you're off to a good start if you actually take into consideration what it is your customers are coming to you to accomplish, and designing the stages and orchestrating it that way. From a high- level standpoint, make your stages clear. Give them clear objectives, and then I would say from there the prescriptive path forward is to go deeper and then match your milestones with each of the stages. I don't create every single task and activity that may happen in a stage, but there is definitely some core activities that I would expect my team to operationalize and orchestrate with our customers, which I make those very clear, and then playbooks to support all of that. That would be my advice going forward. I am happy to share our journey that I've just recently designed for client success, as well as all of my stages, and my stage gates, and all the metrics and measurements. I'm packaging that up right now to have it as downloadable content on our blog.

Jay Nathan: I like it, but I'm going to take issue with the infinity loop thing. I get it, because that's the way we all think of it, but I think it's hard to communicate to a customer where they are in a process. Because really when a new customer comes on board, initially they're thinking about the first year. They're thinking about onboarding. That was the only thing I would change about what you said is how you make it just a little bit more linear. It's actually physically impossible for a human being to understand infinity. Did you know that?

Kristi: I didn't know that, but each of my stages is broken down linearly visually...

Jay Nathan: There you go.

Kristi: ...for them.

Jay Nathan: I'm sure your...

Kristi: crosstalk that we will be partners for life. This is a marriage, till death do us part, but each stage I do have a linear representation of where we're at so they can track that. I don't disagree with that as a visual crosstalk. I'm not letting you out of our relationship.

Jay Nathan: That's cool. Well, it's funny, I have an infinity tattoo. My wife and I got them on our eighth anniversary. It's like I get that.

Kristi: You get it.

Jay Nathan: The one thing that I really like about what you said and what I would recommend to anybody who's trying to do this is don't design it in a vacuum. Actually design it to go present it to a customer. Think about how you would present it in the sales cycle, and create your deck there. Your deck or your materials, whatever you're going to use to present that, create it as if you're going to show it to the customer, and what do they need? What are they going to want? What are they going to expect? If it's an enterprise customer, which is what it sounds like we're talking about here, then you got to think about how do you give them confidence about what the implementation is going to look like, and the handholding that you're going to provide through that process. The ongoing relationship and account management, what's that going to feel like to them? Then what are the touch points that they would expect? Not that you want to have as a customer- oriented organization. We all want to talk to our customers probably more than they want to talk to us, but what do they expect and map that out, you said it, outside in. Customer journey mapping is tough, because it can be a very abstract exercise, but at the end of the day if you can really map it down to the specifics of what needs to happen and build it like you're going to present it, and then go present it, and then adjust it, and figure out what resonated and what didn't. Treat your content like you're working on it every day, and it doesn't have to be perfect before you go show the first version of it to a prospect or a customer and kick off.

Kristi: I love that, Jay.

Jeff: I think the-

Kristi: Sorry, Jeff.

Jeff: Go ahead.

Kristi: I was just going to say, so it's interesting, we present our customer journey as part of our partnership kickoff which is our first formal engagement with our customer. We actually lean into a line on expectations. We say here is our recommended journey and how we pad this out for you, but what of this makes sense to you? How do you want to engage with us? Our recommended cadence is X, or our recommended plan for each of these stages or projects looks like this. How should we adjust this so that this way it works for both of us, so we're both achieving the outcomes? Our goal is to make you successful. How do we get there together? We've actually gotten really strong collaboration from our customers who lean in heavily when we present it that way. It's here's what we're recommending, but what do you actually want?

Jeff: I think the hard part too is when you start thinking about, one of the things you mentioned, Kristi, which is I think when people think about a journey exercise, the challenge is that you also get a lot of people involved. Because you want it to be a collaborative process internally with your teams, but I also think that runs into a challenge, because then every person is thinking about every little intimate detail and saying, " Oh my gosh. What about this? What about that?" I think there's the maturation that you go through as well. One of the things that I think you even have to do before you start thinking about maybe mapping the actual journey is what are the core interactions that, like you said, if your customer's trying to achieve something, what are the core interactions we know we have to deliver in order for them to achieve that? Then I think about four buckets right now. You talk about these as if you were the customer. How are we empowering customers? How are we leading them? How are we connecting them, and then how are we knowing them? Those are four big buckets where I think about we need to have some activities along each of those buckets where we can align and say, " We're leading them in a customer journey way. We're empowering them to do self- service in some way. We're connecting them through events. We're doing some sort of listening." I also think sometimes it's hard to look at a linear map, and every customer's different. You're trying to think about how complex it can be, so I also think about how can you just boil it back down inaudible key interactions. Focus on those first. Do we have the right ones? Then go back and map it into more of a linear journey afterwards. Because I think that's how you can also collaborate a little bit better is knowing those activities first. Cool. Well, Jenny, hopefully hit on some of your question and gave you a couple of things to think about. Next, we're going to go to a question that Kelly Shay put in. She was a client success consultant at Rosetta Stone. Kelly wrote, " How early should customer success become involved in an opportunity with a prospect? In my experience, sales isn't as well- versed on a customer success strategy as they are at selling the product and the value prop, but so many companies rely on sales to convey the importance and impact of customer success during the discovery process." There's a lot more that she adds in here, but she says, " Does it make sense to have a face of customer success part of that presales process, or is there a better way to bring sales into the fold of our universe so that they can adequately sell not only the product but customer success as a whole?" Jay, we'll start with you this time since Kristi got to kick off last time.

Jay Nathan: It's not fair that I had time to think on the last one, and then pull hers apart. I think part of the benefit of bringing someone on the customer account team in before the sale closes is that the customer actually gets to see and touch, and, well, not touch, but see and meet some of the people that they will be working with, and understand what their skill sets are. That's the real benefit and value of it. I think there's a couple of angles to this. One is customer success. One is implementation. On the enterprise side of things, what I've typically done is had a presales solutions consultant or an architect- level person who comes in presale to ask all the questions, to get down and dirty on the technical stuff, make sure we have a viable plan for solution deployment. It also depends on who is going to be at the table on the customer side presale. If you can get the CSM engage with the executive sponsor ahead of time, that's a really good way to kick off the relationship, because you're going to want that relationship to transition from the account exec, generally speaking from the account executive to the customer success manager, or even the account manager as soon as possible, even if the account manager or account executive stays involved with the account after the initial deal is closed. I don't think it's ever really too early to bring people in, but they have to have a role in the sales process. They have to understand the sales process in a way that they're going to align with it and help make it go faster, not slow it down because we said something or got too deep into the weeds and the details of what we can and can't do before that deal actually closed. It's a fine line. The other thing you can do around this is build an artifact of the sales process that somebody on the service or customer success side is responsible for building out in partnership with the sales team. I've worked in companies where we had a presales discovery questionnaire type of tool before. We have that where we are now at Higher Logic as well. The reality is the sales team can get so far on those things, but at some point the questions that we need answered presale to help speed up the implementation need onboarding phase, they're better asked by somebody who's got more exposure to the strategy and the technology side. I don't know if I answered the question or not for Kelly, but I think that's the way I think about presales engagement for both customer success and implementation.

Jeff: I think you hit on a couple of things, a couple of different angles to look at, which is, one, how do you help? How can you get involved but at the same time not slow things down? You have to understand your role, understand the position. I think you talked about some artifacts, potentially even having questionnaires and having the right moments. I think it comes back to, I think one of the things that you maybe didn't necessarily say but I think you insinuated was if you can understand the sales process and the milestones that they have in that sales pipeline, then there probably is an artful way that you can bring in somebody from the customer success team to play a role in trying to find the right person to do that. Kristi, what are some thoughts on your side when you think about that?

Kristi: I generally agree with Jay's sentiment and the points that he made there. I think one other thing to consider is what does the cycle look like, and how long or short is that? What are the size of the deals you're closing? What is the scale? Because it is really hard. If you don't have a designated resource who can lean into those conversations, if you've got a huge volume of prospects in the sales cycle, it might be difficult to manage. What I would say is to be thoughtful. You don't necessarily need to have a designated resource leaning in as a human into that process. I think that there are ways to really properly enable the sales team to have those conversations where and when it makes sense. In other organizations, I actually was a person leading all of the conversations for our enterprise- level customer, prospects rather. Any large engagements, as the executive I actually came on. I met their executives. During that conversation I talked about what my team looks like, the value that we bring, how we partner together. I walked them through our journey. I think we designed a very prescriptive conversation that we were going to have. We did ask the customers also if there's specific questions that you'll have, let's share those in advance so I can come prepared to address anything. It was a very collaborative discussion. As we moved further down, our SMB market, we didn't have the same scale. It probably wouldn't have the same value, so we just had a couple of slides that we designed for customer success that we enabled the sales team on, they all had access to, that they were able to go and pitch it effectively. That way we were also controlling the narrative. Because I think in the question also, there is some concern about overselling what we'll do, " Don't worry. Your customer success manager'll do that for you. Don't worry, your customer success..." How many times have I even as a customer success manager been like, " Wait. What? What am I doing?" You don't want to do that. I think if you can lean in, help create some things at scale that they can use, enable them properly. Maybe you need some shadowing or some role play to make sure that everyone's got the message tight, but then also try to figure out what are the size of the deals, and what is the conversation that you actually are intending to have. One thing, Jay, I think you hit on though is also the complexity of the product and the space that you're operating in, because it might not just be customer success. You might need those technical resources to be a part of that discovery and that process also. I think there's a lot of factors to consider. I think it makes sense. I love it when customer success is discussed, as long as it's discussed the right way, and I definitely am happy to lean in when it makes sense.

Jay Nathan: Let me add that if customer success isn't being discussed the right way by your sales team, you as a success leader need to go fix that, because they don't know what to say unless you actually build the talk track and the structure around it. It's really important for us to own that part of the go to market in partnership with our marketing teams and sales teams.

Jeff: That's what I was going to-

Kristi: I would say one other point, if you're going to go and enable them and you are creating assets and materials, humanize the team as best as possible. Include photos of what the team looks like. I think people do also want to realize that these are real people. Maybe they want to go look at some of their LinkedIn profiles, see how long they've been there, what experience they have. Whatever you can do to bring the team to life also, I think goes a long way.

Jeff: That's what I was going to mention is that I think the biggest area where we can improve at this is just helping a customer understand who's playing what role and why. I think over time you're getting introduced to, you have an AE, now I have a CSM. I have an implementation manager. I've got support. Now I have self- service resources. We're throwing so much at them, and so I think just trying to understand how do you architect that story in the sales cycle that gives them just enough detail at that moment. It's thinking about who's the audience, what's the timing, and how do you make sure you're giving them the information that's right for the time. I think about that. Love your point, too, Kristi, how can you humanize some of the stories? The customer success manager is typically going to do X, Y, and Z. Here's some examples of how we've done that in the past, but even just trying to pull in prime examples of how they've done things, I think, also makes it more tangible.

Kristi: Hey, Jeff, can we pin this topic to go do a deep dive? Because I think actually we could do a whole session just on this, like what's the content? How do you orchestrate it well? How do you enable it? Because I think it's important. I think more companies are also interested in having these conversations earlier about success.

Jeff: Actually, and one thing I'm going to force us to do, I like this. One thing I'm going to force us to do, too, is we're going to build an artifact in public. We're going to go build a Google doc together of slides. It won't be like a full, but it'll be like, " Hey, what's the slide? How would we articulate some things?" I think that would be really fun for us to start leaving artifacts of our own, and we can brand them. We can put all of our branding on there, and we can do whatever. I think that'll be a fun way for us. That's a really good topic. We can do that around success plans. We can do it around some other stuff. I'll make a note, and we can do that.

Kristi: Love it.

Jay Nathan: I love that idea. That's a great idea, man.

Jeff: We've got another one from Mister Brian Hartley, who's a regular. He said, " What needs to happen in our vertical to build on the narrative of customer- led growth? Kristi talks about this a lot, so curious to hear everyone's thoughts. Outside of the traditional CS experience, what traits do you look for when you hire that have helped shape your team? I think those are different questions.

Kristi: Yeah. There's a lot of questions in there we should unpack.

Jeff: Have you all heard about this customer- led growth narrative and have any thoughts on that, or should we pin that so we can do more research later?

Kristi: Let's pin that one, because I feel like that could be its own topic also, and that might actually derail us from answering crosstalk any other questions. We've 15 minutes.

Jay Nathan: Isn't it all ...

Kristi: Customer-

Jay Nathan: ... thecustomer way?

Jeff: Yeah, but some customers pay a-

Kristi: Well, except for the growth that's product- led growth.

Jeff: The other questions on here probably make more sense, too, then. Outside of the traditional CS experience, what traits do you look for when you hire that have helped shape the team that you have today? Kristi, what's the first one that comes to mind?

Kristi: Let's see, as you say, let's do a little back and forth. My favorite, commonsense. I know that that sounds so crazy, but what I've come to learn is that commonsense is not so common. I need people who can understand a situation and lean in on what to do next, that aren't waiting to be told what to do. You don't need 20 years of customer success experience to know that when a customer's escalating something to you we need to move quickly. It's the common- sense thing which is hard to identify. If you ask good thoughtful questions in the interview process, you could probably snuff it out. I'm going to say was in my top three always but has now come to be you need to have commonsense.

Jeff: I'll jump in, I'll give you one, and then we'll let Jay close us out on this question. I think one that comes to mind for me is I heard this term recently, and so I might be thinking about it differently now, but this idea about bias for action. I want to find people who their first thought is how can I go take action on something, and I think that's similar to what you were mentioning, Kristi, on commonsense, just said a little different. I want to look for people who if a customer comes out and says, " Hey, need something done," their first thought is, " What's the best way to go get that done? How am I going to go do it?" The example I can give is we have a person on our knowledge base team and documentation, and he heard through the grapevine that one of our customers had feedback. He had heard it from somebody else on our team.

Kristi: I heard this story.

Jeff: He didn't wait for anything. He literally just found the customer's email address, reached out to her, scheduled a time. I want people that do that, that just go out and just have a bias for action. They're not waiting, just to your point, they're not waiting for somebody around to say, " Hey, I need you to go do X, or you should inaudible." They're constantly looking at, " What can I do next? How can I do something?" Bias for action is what I've heard recently, and I like that term. That's something I think about.

Kristi: I love that term. Can I lean in with one thought though?

Jeff: Yep.

Kristi: I think it takes the right environment for that person to thrive and exist almost even. Because if they don't feel like they've got a safe place to go and do that, if they're not under the right leader who's empowering people to take action, I feel like doesn't matter how much bias for action you have as a person, the organization, the leadership, the culture could be prohibitive.

Jeff: Definitely. I think you have to have a fail fast type culture, where you're testing ideas. You're thinking about, " Hey, failure isn't a bad thing. It's a learning experience." If we think something's going to benefit a customer, and we go do something, then we need to get in that behavior and that motion. Because at the end of the day if we do enough of those things, over time it's going to improve the experience and customers are going to notice that. Jay, what's yours?

Jay Nathan: Completely agree. One of my favorite books is by Patrick Lencioni. It's called The Ideal Team Player. If you've never read it, I highly recommend it. In there he talks about three traits which I've adopted as my three. I'm going to give you three, and they are humble, hungry, and smart. Humble is self- explanatory, low ego, willing to learn, growth mindset. Hungry is exactly what you said, bias for action, naturally curious, like really wants to go figure something out. Naturally curious about the customer's environment, so that you can really understand what's going on with them. Then smart is not like, yes, commonsense is part of that, but it's also commonsense in terms of how you deal with people. Customer success and really all the customer- facing roles in our organization sit at the intersection to so many different things, our product, our marketing strategy, our sales team. If you can't deal with people very well, you're going to have a hard time in this industry. Humble, hungry, and smart, those are my three. Then when you're going through the interview process, to your point, Kristi, you got to set some of this stuff up so that people can be successful. When we hire people, depending on what the needs of our role is, you can teach people how to do the things you need them to do if you have time and the luxury of doing that. In some other cases, you might need them to have already done those things. When it comes down to actually interviewing for this stuff, I do like to ask very specific questions about what you have done in your career that is like what I need you to do here. When is the last time you had to go move past a day- to- day point of contact with a customer and get to an executive sponsor? Tell me about your experience doing that. If you haven't done that, you won't be able to tell me a story, and that's okay. There might be a different role for you, but maybe not this role. Stuff like that I think is really important in terms of how we actually go and interview for the skill set we need behind the-

Kristi: Jeff, maybe we can come back and actually pull together some materials on that, because I have all of my behavioral style interview questions, to your point, Jay, where it's always, " Tell me a time when, give me an example of," where you can actually hear their narrative. It brings their experience to life, as opposed to just saying, " Yes, I've done that." Where it's like reading off your resume.

Jay Nathan: Tell me what you think about X, Y, and Z, or what's your philosophy?

Kristi: I love it.

Jay Nathan: I'm sorry. I don't actually care about your philosophy. I want to know what you've done.

Jeff: I like those, the humble, hungry and I just blanked on the last one.

Kristi: Smart.

Jay Nathan: Smart.

Jeff: Smart.

Jay Nathan: Ironic.

Jeff: Which I'm not, clearly. Ironic, wasn't it? Forgot that one. We will-

Kristi: God, I missed you guys.

Jeff: We'll pull together something for that too. Because I'm getting some inspiration about how we can create some of these leave behinds for people, and we can start branding some of the stuff. I think, I don't know, we've got a couple of minutes left. One that comes up is from another regular of ours, Patricia Awon. Patricia Awin, Iwon? She's a regular in our CSM type stuff, and she said, " Customer success and customer experience, how do they coexist in your organizations, and where does CX sit in the org structure when compared to CS? How do you get the buy- in from the whole company on how important customer experience is to your customer success activities?" Jay, you want to kick this one off?

Kristi: I think we need to break that down though. That had a lot of like-

Jay Nathan: Yeah. I'm trying to process it.

Kristi: That had one big question with a lot of little bits and pieces.

Jeff: I think the first question that Patricia's asking is, if I'm reading between the lines, it's like what's the mandate of customer experience and how do you differentiate that from customer success?

Jay Nathan: Customer experience is, I will say, typically a marketing function or a broad function underneath the umbrella of customer success focused on end- to- end measurement of what it's like to be a customer of your organization. Customer success management is almost the high- touch version of what customer success looks like in your organization. They're two very different things with two very different missions and outcomes. In our organization, they sit as peers. Jeff runs CX for our team. He's responsible for thinking through the voice of the customer, all the broad one- to- many customer communications, the programs that engage all of our customers, whether it be our community, our customer retention marketing programs. Jeff oversees all of that. Our customer success teams, they're focused day- to- day on a book of business, on a set of accounts. What they can do is leverage everything that's being generated by the CX organization, bring that to bear to make sure that our customers have the resources and tools that they need to be successful with what they're doing. I think they're two very separate things but they're very complementary. CX is also this whole broader idea of measurement of the experience from end- to- end. A lot of times your NPS programs, your CSAT, the way you measure all the different touch points, and map the journey, and understanding where customers are falling through the cracks on your side is part of that whole CX structure, or discipline within a company. Clarify it for me now, Kristi?

Kristi: I don't disagree with the experience part. It is that end- to- end experience for the customer. I think of just customer success is the orchestration of value outcomes. Their job is to make sure that whatever the customer came on board to achieve, we're helping make that a reality. That orchestration can look different for every organization. The experience is that end- to- end. I see that even as starting, to your point, it could be in marketing. I've seen the experience function roll up under a CMO, be part of their mandate. I've seen it in customer success. I've seen it as a standalone function. It really does require the collaboration of the entire organization to get behind that. It's like if you've got customer success really focused on the customer and the deliverable of value, then that is what that function should be there to do. Experience is really that end- to- end journey, which I do believe starts way before your customers are customers, way before they're even prospects, like how your brand is even represented in the space, the experience they have with research and anything, through all of that. My favorite touch point is always around billing, invoicing, because that's always the poorest experience. You send the invoice before you've even met with the customer, so all those things. I do think that it's a much bigger broader role with very prescriptive activities and tasks that live within it, but definitely requires a lot more collaboration crosstalk.

Jay Nathan: I think in earlier stage companies what I'm seeing at least, and I don't know if this is true across the board, but CX, the people who care about CX live in the customer success organization. You've got marketing and sales which are much more focused on bookings initially, especially in the early stages, sub-$ 20- million companies. Again, like I said, I don't know if that's true for everyone. Somebody has got to own that and early on I think it does usually sit in customer success. As companies get more mature and they become thousand people, 2,000, 3, 000 people, go public, then I think you see a lot of customer engagement marketing teams living in marketing, where those programs are built and run like high- fidelity marketing programs. We are moving toward that model, while keeping the" ownership" or the ownership for the responsibility inside of the customer organization in Higher Logic.

Jeff: To me, I actually think it's starting to change in the industry, because we're realizing how important self- service is now to our customer experience. I think that's where you're starting to see the advent. I think the number one thing that I think about on a daily basis is how do we eliminate friction and how do we create a more seamless experience for our customers? That's really across support and the knowledge base. That's across our community, and that's across our training, education, and our academy. I think you're starting to see how that is becoming a bigger question on people's mind, because our customers are now expecting more of a B2C experience. I log into an app on my phone. How easy is it for me to get started and to do things? Well, now I've bought an enterprise solution. I'm still expecting a B2C type experience. If I have to navigate to three different sites to find an answer, then you've already lost me. My attention span is gone. I'm not going to know where to go next time. I'm going to complain to my CSM. My NPS score is low. That's typically going to start to happen more and more, the more that we start thinking about these experiences. I do think in the future you're going to start to see experience leaders starting to essentially pull these self- service tools underneath them, and having specialized teams that are going and specifically... Right now, we've got a team that's working on our knowledge base, and we're actually making improvements, like updating our home page. We're thinking about where's the search bar live, because we're realizing that search results aren't as accurate for customers, unless we tuck it behind a category selection first. Those are the types of things that you want to be thinking about and doing, because that's where you're going to start to move the needle, especially for your long- tail customers where you're not going to put a ton of human resources. Give me your lightning round. What are you doing for July 4th? Then we'll wrap it up, and we'll try and get to these next time. Kristi, what's your July 4th plans up in New York?

Kristi: We host a 4th of July party every year, so that is what we will continue to do, and our neighborhood is very big on fireworks. Fortunately for us, we've got a big pool in the backyard. We, night time, lay on all the floats in our pool, and we just watch the fireworks from our backyard, which is epic.

Jay Nathan: That is awesome.

Jeff: Sounds pretty nice. Jay, what about you?

Jay Nathan: Well, similar being down here in South Carolina. It's our right, which is exercised every July 4th to shoot off as many fireworks crosstalk.

Kristi: To blow things up.

Jay Nathan: Yeah. To blow things up. I love the idea of putting the floats in the pool though. That's really crosstalk.

Kristi: We started doing that a couple of years ago, because we were standing around outside like this, and then we realized that there's a way better way to optimize this experience.

Jay Nathan: Oh my gosh. I love it. I love it. We're just hanging out as a family this weekend. One thing we are not going to do is go to the beach. We're 15 minutes from the beach, but...

Kristi: It's too crowded.

Jay Nathan:'s crazy, crazy, crazy.

Kristi: Horrible.

Jay Nathan: Not happening. I vetoed that one. I told my family, " I won't be going to the beach. Y'all can brave that if you want to."

Kristi: Well, Jay, you could just come up to the pool and hang out with us.

Jay Nathan: Well, I'm looking forward to that at some point. Let's do it.

Kristi: Whole summer.

Jeff: Yeah.

Jay Nathan: inaudible.

Jeff: I would say we could get out of the South Carolina heat and come to New York, but I think it felt like 108 there yesterday, so I don't know if that was true.

Kristi: We've got some brutal days ahead, but from the pool it's delightful. You don't even feel the heat.

Jeff: That's the selling point.

Jay Nathan: inaudible.

Jeff: We're just doing some family stuff, nothing exciting on our end either. I'm hoping maybe to get a couple of sparklers, maybe throw... What do you call those, that you used to throw and hit the ground?

Kristi: The snaps? Those are snaps.

Jeff: Yeah. Is it snaps?

Jay Nathan: inaudible.

Jeff: Yeah. Maybe get some of those, throw those around. Well, we are going to close out another episode of CS Blueprint. We'll get to some of these other questions next time. I think there's more, and then we'll follow up. We'll start making some of these artifacts, but I think we've already got two interview questions, and then thinking about a positioning deck for CS to the sales teams. We can make some opensource Google docs and get people involved in that. I think that would be a fun exercise...

Jay Nathan: I love it.

Jeff: ... for us togo do.

Kristi: Awesome.

Jay Nathan: Yeah. It's great. Cool.

Jeff: See you.

Kristi: All right guys.

Jay Nathan: Bye.

Kristi: Happy holidays.

Jay Nathan: Bye all. See you. 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.


In a weekly segment we've asked Kristi Faltorusso to join us as we tackle Q&A that comes Inbound.

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