The Digital Customer Success Podcast

Jan Young of JanYoungCX and The Success League | Episode 006

July 18, 2023 Alex Turkovic Episode 6
The Digital Customer Success Podcast
Jan Young of JanYoungCX and The Success League | Episode 006
Show Notes Transcript

You've likely seen Jan Young in various Customer Success communities such as the CS Office Hours and Rev Room. Most recently, she has launched JanYoungCX, providing courses, coaching & consulting in customer led growth. Her contributions to the CS community are numerous and always valuable, which is why I was so delighted to have her on the show!

In our conversation, we discuss (among other things) using tools to drive internal efficiencies, personalized content, generative AI and going beyond prompting, preparing for a tool's implementation, etc.

Enjoy! I sure did.

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The Digital Customer Success Podcast is hosted by Alex Turkovic

It. But basically they'll buy a tool and think that's going to solve their problems. And the tool will not solve your problems. It'll probably exacerbate your problems, if nothing else. And once again, welcome to the digital Customer Success Podcast. I'm alex Turkovich. So glad you could join us here today. And every week, as I seek out and interview leaders and practitioners who are innovating and building great scale CS programs, my goal is to self educate and bring you along for the ride so that you get the insights that you need to evolve your own Digital Customer Success program. If you want more info or you need to get in touch or sign up to get the latest updates from us, go to But for now, let's get started with today's show. Hello there and welcome from an absolutely scorching Austin, Texas. It is I think it's about 100 and 304 here right now. Middle of July, 2023. Heat happening all over the place and so I hope you're keeping cool if you're listening to this live in the month of July. Speaking of scorching, today's episode is pretty scorching. We've got with us Jen Young, who is such an amazing resource to the CS community because of all the things that she does to really help drive value throughout the community. She's been a CS consultant for a long time and invests in CS companies and just provides value at every corner. Most recently, you will have seen a lot of posts from Jan about the CS office hours, which, if you don't know, are weekly office hours that she hosts on various themes. In June, it was all about change management and it was so kind of popular that that's been extended into July. So if you're listening live, go check out CS Office Hours if you want to know more about change management. She's actually added a couple of co hosts to the office hours this month in the form of Chris Dishman and Christy Falterusso. So definitely go check that out. Aside from that, Jan is also on the cusp of launching Jan Young CX, where she's planning to offer, among other things, consultancy, but also courseware, a couple of courses coming up, a CS program roadmap. And also more leadership focused is CS leaders as revenue leaders, which I think is very timely because it's a hot topic in the CS community. Anyway, enough of my yappin. Please enjoy my conversation with Jen Young because I sure did well. Hello there, Jen Young. Welcome to the podcast. Thanks Alex. Nice to be here. I am crazy excited to have you on because you consistently just put out such awesome and insightful content. You have your hands in all corners of the CS world, and not only are you, I think, principal consultant at the Success League, but I think you have a very rich kind of sales and account management background. You're consistently like top influencer and whatnot. And I know, awards are awards, but you don't get awards without actually doing stuff. I'm excited to have you on and love what you're doing with the CS office hours and those kinds of things. So I'm convinced that you're going to provide lots of truth bombs and insights to the audience. So thanks for coming on. Yeah, well, I have no reason to fear saying what I think. I can't really get fired from being an independent consultant. I think ultimately we all want to have an impact, right, by sharing insights and getting people to think about things. And I really want to exchange ideas. That's why I'm on LinkedIn. That's why I try to sort of contribute in a way that can up level our profession and contribute to our businesses and our customers. That's what gives me purpose. So I just run around saying what I think. That's great. Yeah. And you're also a mentor to many. I mean, it's cool how just giving back to the CS community can result in kind of that influx, I suppose, or any community for that matter. Yeah, well, I'm very big on community. It's hard for me to not join them or start them. I think that community is really critical. It's a big part of what makes us human, that and I'm addicted to lifelong learning. And I think that when you're able to exchange ideas, that you really understand them more. That's part of why then I structure CS office hours the way I do, is because it's getting on the same page with the ideas going and breaking into groups so that you can exchange those ideas and think about what do I think about this? What questions do I have? What has someone else done? And then coming back to the whole group. And that's why then we've even evolved to put together even just a few slides that we always try to include some resources and things like that, right? So that it gives somebody, you know, gives them each person sort of something tangible and a way to dig into it afterwards more, but also a way to then and then we started up the Slack community in support of that as well, so that there's a way to exchange ideas even if it's not a Tuesday. And I'm so thrilled. There's a number of people who've started to volunteer for it now because they've gotten so much from it and they contribute so much to it. There's starting to get exchanging of ideas and collaborations and things like that that happen, people connecting one on one as well. So yeah, I can't not do that, I think. And that's the hope, too, when you build something like that, that it grows into something bigger than yourself, where people are taking their own little ownership of pockets of it and things like that. Right? Well, yeah, but I did not set out to do that. I set out where I was an interim VP of CS a little over a year ago, and I needed to hire for the whole department. I needed to hire for the VP, which would be replacing me. I needed to hire about five CSMS manager of Support, manager of Onboarding. I wanted to get a CS Ops person in there. I was building out sort of customer education and customer marketing skill sets within the team that was there anyway. So because I was hiring one time, I posted on it about it, and about 80 people all wanted to have half hour meetings with me, and that wasn't going to work. And so it was like, okay, I'm just going to do it like an office hour, and everybody can drop by. And then, yeah, we just kept meeting, and then we started doing about certain topics. And because you do office hours weekly, then it became a weekly thing. I would have never started a weekly thing otherwise. I have ideas for webinars that I want to do. They're going to be monthly. Absolutely. You would never set out to do a weekly thing, but it feeds me as much as it feeds others, and there's too many topics to talk about to not do it weekly, to really dig into and discuss and learn from. So I have a hunch that we've kind of already uncovered how you got into CS to begin with, because I feel like everyone who's in CS kind of has their own circuitous path to get there. But I do feel like a lot of times it revolves around this ability or this need to enable and to help people, whether it's in their careers, or help customers be successful and those kinds of things. So is that kind of what got you into CES? Like, what was your road in? You would think perhaps that empathy would be in my top five strengths, but it's actually my top ten. And what you see in my top five is all around sort of, sort of like I'm a big vision person. I like to really execute on things, and I'm all about strategy. And so that's what usually ends up being in my top five. And I think that while I had a circuitous route, like most people, I started off in project management before you needed a PMP, because I've always organized people things, budgets, timelines, that sort of thing. So project management was the easy way to get in back then and sort of like the CS of today in a way, I guess. But I did marketing. I've done sales, account management, a little bit of product management. The CSM after my name is for Certified Scrum Master. CSPO is certified product owner. I've done a lot of different things. I think ultimately why I keep coming back to, you know, CS and CX is because I'm I'm really interested in that intersection between the customer and the company, and and that's where the strategy is that's where the meat of it is. That's where everything comes from. How is the customer using your product? What sort of outcomes are they getting? Where are the friction points that they have? All of that leads you to anything that you need to do. Who is your ideal customer profile? How should you be selling to them? Why would they expand with your product? What are the challenges with Onboarding or adoption? Any of those things? Why do they renew? Will they become advocates? To me, I couldn't imagine being in a more exciting place than in this crux, this intersection between the customer and the company. Intersection is, like, the perfect word for it, because all those things come together. And the fact that you've had experiences with all those I mean, your credentials are longer than your name. Yeah, you know, I've just been winding around this road, so yeah, it's kind of it is. It's true. I have a short name and a long, long little trail of credentials, I guess. Yeah. So this is the Digital Customer Success podcast, and this is something that I've been doing with every guest. And the goal is to pull together a word map of everybody's kind of answer and definition. But I would love from you kind of your elevator pitch of Digital CS, because I promise you, everyone's has been slightly different, and so I'd love your take on that. Yeah, well, digital customer success is different than just scaling customer success. Right. If you're scaling a program, you're going from where you have ten units of work for ten customers, and then if you add 20 units of work and you have 20 customers, you have scaled, but you haven't made it more efficient. Right. And I think that what Digital CS allows you to do with tools is to work smarter and to not add one unit of work for every customer that you add. Right, right. But it allows for those efficiencies and those insights. As we are working in tech, there's so much data that you need to be able to analyze it because it's too much to be humanly comprehensible. Right. And so you need ways for tools to make work easier so that you know how to prioritize your time, so that you know what to do proactively, and then which things are on fire that reactively. You need to focus on you think about, like, AI and any of the other tools that we have out there and what capabilities they bring. It's not just for tech touch sort of thing. It's not just for product led growth. We are in tech companies. Of course we would be using tech, but we need to use it better. Right. It needs to be part of our foundation and our approach so that we can work smarter and prioritize better. So I think Digital CS allows everyone to work smarter, not harder. I love the fact that your answer was focused primarily on the efficiencies that you gain from digital CS primarily internally. Right. Because so many people are focused on digital CS in terms of, okay, what emails are we going to send out and what inapp notifications are we going to do? And that's all part of the recipe. But I think a lot of folks who are just starting in digital CS miss that part of the equation. They just think, oh, we need to provide coverage for our customers, but also you need to provide coverage for your CS team so that they can focus less on sending the thing and doing the thing and more on actually having those human interactions and conversations with their customers, right? Well, sure. Any of those things that you're doing with your customers can be done without digital tools, in a sense. Right. Email is a digital tool, technically, but you can write up the email. Right. But a tool that understands how to personalize the segments of your customers and where they are in their journey and all of those things that, yes, you need to build up the program so that you've recognized what segment? They are, what personas they are, what is the journey so then it can match where they are in that journey, so that you can send the correct email that seems personalized, that is going to resonate with them, that gets them to respond to that call to action and say, yes, I want to talk to a human. There. You could also have someone type that up, but it wouldn't be as consistent. They don't have the time to pull all that information together. It's hard to comprehend all of that data. You need just tools to help you to do that. And when you have all of those efficiencies, yes. After that, you might write a nice little note, have fun in tahiti, or whatever it is. Right? Yeah. But frankly, some of these emails can even be generated based upon the AI that's analyzing the conversations that we're having. It can pull out some of these things and suggest some of those things. You could then choose, do I want to say have fun in Tahiti or not? Do I want to say, your dog was so cute in the background. My dog and your cat should meet up. I don't know if AI is going to suggest that AI is now playing minecraft. So I think at some point, AI might start suggesting those things, but still in the way that I want to build up that relationship with you. Would I say that? And AI, again, is probably getting better at knowing what I would and wouldn't say. So it's going to get better at prompting. I also say all the time that autocorrect is never correct. Right. But I think that all of these things will get better at what they suggest. But then at this point, at least, it's still human to human contact. So I'm still going to make a decision about what I want to send out. Am I sending this when it is a personal conversation? Yeah. It's interesting because you're quickly getting into what the intersection is between these new generative AI tools that we have coming up all over the place. And that human interaction. And I feel like one of the skill sets that people are going to need to quickly adopt is not necessarily just how to use the tools, but how to prompt the tools so that you're getting what you need out of them. And I think that's something that people just prompt once and then just kind of go with it versus actually working with it as if the machine was a human kind of deal. So, um, I'm curious to get your maybe a layer deeper into how prompting fits into the equation and what the human element there is versus the AI element. I think absolutely. I think at this stage, it is about the prompts and we need to pay attention to that and learn that so that we can use the tool effectively. I think also pretty soon it won't be even as prompt. We're a g household. I can't say it out loud or else the lights turn off. Got you. It just wakes up. Right. But that's what happens, right? It's listening and it's waiting for me to say g. It's waiting for me to say, turn on den and this sort of thing. Right. And so, in the same respect, when you're looking at natural language processing, you're going to see how even the way that it will work to integrate back ends. Like instead of APIs, you'll be able to instead of building all of that out through natural language processing, you'll be able to say, I want Zendesk and Salesforce to connect. Right. And you can in the beginning stages, you have to prompt for a lot more of these things and say, connect this to that, or whatever. But you won't have to do it in like an API. You won't have to do it in such coded language. If you're really doing back end coding and things like that, they're already doing that. Right. But what's going to happen is it's going to be much more like, I don't know what I need exactly? Can you just connect Zendesk and this? And I want this kind of functionality, and at some point it's going to be good enough that that will be enough of a prompt. And then it will know and suggest some other things right. And get even smarter at it. And I'm saying that really based upon the article that I read this morning about how it taught. It chat GBT Four was kind of powered a bot, and they trained that bot to play Minecraft. Minecraft is not a Choose A or B. It's do you want to go fishing? And then you go fishing, right? And you have to come up with that your own volition. Right. I want to build this building, I want to do whatever, I want to exchange goods with you. But it's your own volition. And they're training Chat GPT for bot to do this, which shows that AI is going to be able to go to that next level, which frankly also means in some ways it frees us up, but in other ways we're going to have to go to that next level. What are we doing to tune ourselves up to ensure that we have big pictures and can dive deep on topics and become experts ourselves? Right, right. What are what are we bringing to it? Because you can't just afford you no one can afford to just sit back and think, if I show up to work, that's enough because a bot can do that. Right, exactly. The model isn't necessarily going to turn everybody into button pushers as everybody kind of fears opposite. You have to be way beyond a button pusher. Button pusher is kind of closer to what we are now. Right, right. We can dial it in. You read about people who are doing more than one job. Right. That can work when you're working remotely and you can sort of keep some people at bay and do this stuff over here and just kind of get along. It's going to require us all to step up or to think about how we interact with humans and what we're doing uniquely that is human. Yeah, sort of and or both. All of that is going to come in stages too. Like, I was having a chat with Mickey Powell about kind of a similar topic, obviously. Yeah, guy and he was talking about how sentiment analysis isn't necessarily where it needs to be yet with these language models you can't necessarily just throw language at it and it tell you whether this is a happy customer or not, just based on some sarcasm cues or just weird quirks of the English language or whatever. So I think obviously I think it's going to evolve. Well, that said, there are companies that are looking at that and doing customer intelligence and really able to sort of pick up in the same way that you want to do a word cloud right around digital CS like when you start to build up those word clouds and you do that across all of the zoom calls, all of the personas, all of the emails, all of the slack messages, right? Then you see what bubbles up and then you can slice and dice it by persona in and you could even do it persona across organizations. Is there an issue? Are we not working with the CTOs effectively or something? Right? Like you can also do it by organization and is it generally good? But you've got this one bad apple over here in terms of the relationship and somebody who's a deterrent kind of thing. Right. I think that while it's not perfect, for some reason, whenever I'm on my phone doing stuff, the keyboard always wants to put in dinner instead of some right. Don't know why, but it really likes to write in dinner a lot lately. It started doing breast jam instead of Best Jan. So what are you going to do? I'm trying to read more closely. So in the same respect, if that sarcasm may not be picked up on, right. Sarcasm is hard, sarcasm is human. Jokes and humor are cultural. Right? Yeah. And so anyway, all that to say, that's where it is right now, but you can still learn a lot from it, that you can't sit down and listen to all of the gong calls and you can't go through and read all of those emails. And also where does it fit in terms of the customer journey and what they're doing? How does it fit with if they're actually using your product and if you're seeing if they're actually getting the outcomes that they were looking for? Right? So it is still with context that you need all of these things, but it's still a way better clue as to what's going on than you have time for in a day. Way better keep up with all of that stuff. Otherwise I can't tell you how many times people say this on meetings. Like, we're going to record it, so if you missed the meeting, you can watch it later. Who watches meetings later? I mean, once in a while I will, but I'd much rather read a five sentence summary with a couple of bullet points and spend two minutes on it. And I think just in general, I think humanity would improve. It's funny, I've invested in update AI through CS Angels and I just announced that yesterday. But actually what I use, because I don't do CS for a day to day job anymore, right. I'm doing coaching and that also involves selling and delivery and consulting and stuff like that. So I actually use Fathom AI on a daily basis. But that is so very useful because it's those summaries. So for any type of tool, what you're using makes the difference and allows you there's other tools that I'll be using that maybe you'll be interested in, that I can share with you later, that work specifically, like for podcasts and for webinars, right. That I'm going to be using for CS office hours to sort of get those summaries together. But that's the thing, is that even if we have chat GBT around or any sort of like natural language processing and AI and generative AI and all of those things, it still needs to be specific to the different types of tasks you have at hand and which persona you are and what your outcome is, right? So all of these tools still need to be customized for what your purpose is. And in that respect, there's still a number of different jobs that will be generated through all of this as well. A lot of different companies I think that we're going to see get generated through this. I think the knee jerk with any new technology is like, oh, it's going to take our jobs away, but actually it's probably going to generate I was listening to an episode of my First Millions podcast and it had Steph Smith on it, I believe. And a big part of what she was talking about is just the future of work and saying how much automation is going to become. Like we're going to see Chief Automation Officers and we're going to see these kinds of roles evolving out of this technology. So it morphs, right? That's so interesting. Chief automation officer I just joined this community called Rev Room and it's different. Go to market leaders that come together once a week and just talk about whatever topic we've come up with in our slack. And it was about sort of that alignment issue and we were talking about basically how we need a Chief Alignment officer. So that's a CA of a different flavor. Right? But chief Automation Officer too. Sure, kind of the same thing. Honestly. It's like the alignment of systems, the alignment of orgs, the alignment of people. I don't know. Yeah, alignment, certainly. I don't know if automation between organizations and people works quite as well, but alignment, I think maybe we'll just add in automation as part of the role of alignment. Right. Jack of all trades who can do that? Jack of all trades. I'd like to kind of switch gears a little bit because you have a ton of experience in just consulting orgs and people and you've seen a lot. And I know that there are a lot of folks who are listening who are, I would say active digital CS practitioners, let's just call it that, and leaders who have healthy digital CS practices. But there are others who are just getting started, maybe have a couple of motions in play but don't really know how to scale their own digital CS functions. And what I'd love to kind of get from you is a download of what are like some of the typical blunders that you see when orgs start their own digital functions from the get go that maybe we can help some listeners avoid. Yeah, well, the biggest mistake I see regularly, and I think you'll probably agree because we talked about how I've done some other webinars and written some blog posts on this, but basically they'll buy a tool and think that's going to solve their problems and the tool will not solve your problems. It'll probably exacerbate your problems, if nothing else, because you won't set it up correctly because you haven't set anything up. You have to solve your problems. You have to know how. You need to organize your CS program. You need to know then you need to sort of assess what tools do I need because of that? What is my pain point? What problem I trying to solve? How am I going to organize this? What tool is going to help me organize that? And so if you don't know how you're segmenting your customer base, which is based upon what sort of customer journeys you have within your customer base, right? People want to do segmentation, usually just like pretty much all wrong, but they want to do it just by Arr. Well, sometimes Arr has to do with that. They're on these different paths, these different ways in which they're using your product, what their behavior is, what the outcomes are, what their goals are. Sometimes Arr can be definitive in that. Not usually, though. Arr usually tells you as a company how much time you can afford of humans to spend with that organization that's using your product that's purchased something, right? Because if you have a really low price point, you can't afford to throw just a bunch of humans at it. You definitely have to add some tools in. But anyway, all that to say, that tells you how you're going to deliver it and how much human involvement you're going to have in it in order to stay in business to be profitable. But otherwise, what you need to look at for your segments is how are they using the product? What is their path, how are they onboarding, how are they adopting, how do they determine if they're expanding or churning or renewing, that sort of thing, right? That tells you then if you have a unique journey to a group of folks, a bucket of folks, that segment, and then based upon that, you work through, like, what does that journey look like? What am I trying to deliver? How am I going to deliver that? Once you know those things, and then how you're going to staff your team and things like that, then you know, what tools do I need to help me organize all of this? And you need to go through those prior steps, because then when you get, say, like a CS platform in place, right, then you put in all of that information, you put in your segments, you put in your customer journey, you put in your playbooks. And if you don't know that stuff, you've got nothing to populate in that CS platform because it is different in each organization depending upon the product and the customer base, right, and how you organize it. In fact, actually, for CS office hours, one of the things we're going to do after we go through a month of talking about change management is talking about what CS looks like in different industries. What does it look like when it's in cyber tech and HR tech, in Ed tech? Because when you're dealing with different types of products and different types of customer bases, there are some types of products and customer bases where you do. A proof of concept before they ever sign on the dotted line. You are essentially onboarding them before they sign on the dotted line. That is a different customer journey. Right. And so it's just anyway, all that to say, if you don't know those things ahead of time, if you don't try to document them and figure that out, you buy a tool that doesn't do anything for you. It can't read your mind. Even if it has AI in it, it can't read your mind. Yeah. And then if you don't back it up with the kind of human elements behind the scenes, operations, administration, and those kinds of things too, it just kind of falls flat a little bit. Yeah. And when you think about it, because right now I'm actually working on some of my own stuff that kind of putting together some courses and some things like that. And so I need to set up all of these things, all of these tools right now. Right. And so I'm going through this right now for myself, working through what tools am I going to use and why and all of that. But then you need someone who can focus on putting those tools together, right? Yeah. So if you think about a CS team, if you don't have CS ops but you have a bunch of CS tools, how's that going to work? You need someone and in order to put all of those tools together, you need to have someone who's thinking strategically. This idea that someone can just be like, I know how to create fields in this database. Like, which fields? Why? How are you setting it up? How is it interacting? You need someone to think strategically. So anybody who's sort of admin or CS ops needs to be a strategic thinker and understand the foundations of CS right. In order to do it. And I've gotten some panis calls at times from folks who are like, I know how this tool works. I have my administrator's certificate, but now they need me to set it up and I don't know what to do. You need to know the foundations. You can't just know the tool. Yeah. If you've got your customer journey on lock, you have all the definitions that go into it on lock, then it's a little bit easier rather than building the tool or building those elements around the tool after you've purchased it. Yeah. And a lot of tools do not have the flexibility to go back and make some of those fundamental changes later. You have to rebuild everything all over. I think some of the later, the more recent tools, it's not as bad. But if you think about it sort of like a domino, right. And once you take something out from earlier, like, it's hard. You do kind of have to change some things for later. Right. You can't change some of the fundamental definitions without it impacting other things. I would say too, though it's also important because I am certified Scrum Master. Like, you want to iterate, right? You want to set yourself up knowing that you cannot they say chew another thing, just another phrase that we've all heard so many times. But there was a reason why they say Rome wasn't built in a day. And that's because not only was it truly not built in a day, but also because you have to start where you are and you can't do too much. That's another reason why CS office hours, all of June is about change management. Because you can't have too much change at a time. Right. There's only so much you can be overwhelmed with and it doesn't get adopted, it doesn't get done right. There's only so many hours in a day. So as a CS leader or if you're in CS Ops, it's really critical to know what can be done at what rate, what is the highest priority to get done, what do we need to do to get those things done right? Because if you over promise, then the business is counting on that revenue, counting on those customers, your customers are counting on you. It's important then when you're trying to build these things out to think about how do we build it out in a way that's doable so that we can get the tool up and even sort of build it out in a way that we can roll it out. And also iterate so that it's not going to be perfect. Your first chance, your first try. Of course. Yeah. V one, get it out there, test it, see how it works and then move on. Well and keep building. Well, yeah, exactly. Because keep iterating upon it. I also end up have advised a lot of startups where the product and engineering teams want to build a bunch of MVPs and move on and they leave too much friction in their wake. You got to fix things that are broken. An MVP is minimal viable product. Right. It's minimum. It's not maximum. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. One kind of weird tangential analogy is I used to be in music and do a lot of audio engineering and stuff like that anymore. It's very easy when you record audio or whatever to go in and just fix it later or whatever. But those are always the worst scenarios because you end up with something that doesn't feel organic and then you end up with something that down the road just causes headaches for whoever's dealing with it at that point. Right. And so I think the key there too is yeah, build something quickly, get something stood up, start doing some testing. But then also don't leave a foundation of just shit on the ground. Yeah. Be careful because if you're breaking things, that ends up being very hard to walk through. Yeah, exactly. So we've been talking about tools a little bit. I would like to get just a download of some of the cooler tools that you like to we're tool agnostic on this podcast. We like to shout out cool tech and whatnot. So what are some things that you're seeing out there in CS or maybe that you're using yourself that are really cool? I think you mentioned fathom AI already that you use. But what are some other things? Yeah, I think it's important, whatever type of AI tool that can summarize and come up with sort of next steps and action points, things like that, for any sort of recording meeting that you're doing. I think that's really critical these days. The tools are much better these days. You want to be sure to choose something that's going to work well for your purpose. So identify what you need and then find that tool out there. A lot of those are already beginning to be out there these days, right? Yeah. So certainly I'd say that's important for anybody, whether in CS or doing consulting or whatever. Then what else? I think when it comes to CS platforms, I'm sort of agnostic. I think that you want to be sure that it's something that's solving for what your pain point is increasingly though, AI, any tool you're using, if it's not incorporating AI in some way, you got to question how long it's going to be around. Because there is so much data, whether it's machine learning or AI specific in terms of that's been incorporated into the tool, or probably both, it's critical for it to be more efficient and effective. And even though we're early on in some ways, AI has been around for a long time, frankly. But we're in these early days of where it's starting this hockey stick. If you bring on a tool that isn't doing that, it's going to slow you down. And so that's something I would say. Now there are also a lot of customer intelligence tools out there. There's staircase involve Immersa hook revos. Yeah. So there's those out there trying to think there's probably others too, where they're specifically just doing the customer intelligence part and then you can oh, what am I thinking of? It was customer shoot intellige. Sorry. Intellige is also doing things where you can actually even read facial expressions. Oh, wow. So that you can have sort of like instead of as a coach, as a manager giving that feedback, you can have people training themselves essentially on their own meetings that they've done, where they get feedback. If somebody was saying that Gong is working on something similar, I don't know. I would think so. I would think that Gong is going to try and do all those things. Gong is so oriented towards sales that anytime I've tried to use it for CS teams, it's like, well you do this, but then it's like square peg, round hole kind of thing. Right. So I would hope that Gong understands that there's people that are customer facing that are not salespeople, but right now that's where their bread and butter is. So I'm not sure if they understand that yet. I haven't seen that really evidence of that yet. Maybe one day, but presales and post sales are different motions. You really have to understand the psychology of it, the physics of it, just like what the steps are. So often sales teams, they get every little moment broken down and we just have buckets of moments and still no one cares. Right, exactly. Sorry, Gong, but it's kind of true. Don't mean to talk smack to you about you, but stop ignoring people, I guess, or professions. Stop ignoring professions of people. When you have a renewal cycle that starts 91, 2180 days prior to the actual renewal, that's a whole lot of time in which a lot of stuff kind of has to happen. And it's to your point, I think it's like this bucket of time. It's not this step by step increment. Well, yeah, and there's a lot of steps to it and there's a lot of things you want to do. It's a very strategic thing, just as presale is, but it's a different sort of thing. All of the things you need to have set up and working in order to be able to expand and upsell or renew, those things are different. The change management involved in adoption, all of the things that are involved for a successful onboarding, like all of those things have steps within themselves, certainly, but also you need to have those puzzle pieces in place in order to do the revenue. And that's different than the presales motion. Presales is the promise, post sales is the delivery. Those are just different motions anyway. But you were asking something else, and I apologize about tools. Tools? Yeah, I mean, there's a lot of different types of tools out there. I would say that those are the main buckets. What I do like about the customer intelligence tools is that they're a little more agnostic in terms of wherever you are, you can plug and play. Like you can plug it into salesforce, you can plug it into any of the CS platforms. However, I do think that there's a lot of things, at least a lot of ways in which salesforce and the CS platforms are going to start incorporating AI as well. So any of these things where intelligence tools are going to have to step up in terms of what they can. Do, what's their special sauce that's super critical from a data privacy perspective as well, because I think there's a lot of companies out there that are just putting memos out right now. It's like don't feed chat GPT, our proprietary information, and I totally get that. If you have an existing CS tool and they're building generative AI, I think that's a much slicker path to onboarding because you don't have to go through additional security screenings and all that kind of stuff, versus pulling in a brand new tool. Although I'll say that for anybody doing generative AI these days, they're connected up to Chat GBT, they're using that API. I haven't heard of anybody who wasn't or who isn't. If you think about it, even if there are some privacy and contracts in place and things like that, chat GPT is still getting trained on not just all of the internet data. I mean, Chat GPT-3 is all the internet data up until 2021. Right? That's the free one. But if you take a look at what Chat GPT, the private version that's getting all the APIs set up with all these different companies, that's a lot of data, that's a lot of knowledge base. So it's interesting. Interesting is an excellent word for it. For now, I'm just going to say interesting. Interesting. Be careful what I say about Chat GBT. Right, exactly. Get me always listening. Yeah. One quick other kind of tangent before we kind of wrap things up, but I think that no matter who you talk to, there's tons of different versions of, quote unquote, a customer scorecard or a health score out there. I mean, every company has a completely different scorecard because they have completely different circumstances, different data. What I'd like to dig into a little bit is your views on what an optimal kind of scorecard would look like in terms of the types of metrics that are included and how they're weighted, whether it's internal sentiment, customer sentiment, engagement, like, all those different categories of things. What's your hot take on that? Well, first, I think what's important is to understand kind of what the customer journey is and identify who are your successful customers, talk with them, figure out if they really are successful customers, or did they call themselves that. Do they consider what they're doing as actually helping their business outcomes? That sort of thing. Once you've identified who those folks are, reverse engineer it and see what those moments are that Chad Hornfeld was talking about, somebody else's idea, that kind of hauls those bright bright spots, I think. Bright points. Bright spots, yeah. Anyway, if you're looking for those bright spots, or if you're just looking for those moments, right, what is key? There's always sort of like the stories I've heard and told about the webinar company sort of thing. If you get somebody to do a webinar within the first 90 days, then they're good, they'll continue using your product. If not, they're at risk. So then you try to get them to do a webinar in the first 60 days, the first 30 days and whatever, get them set up for other things. If that is a key thing, a key moment, a key activity that successful customers do identify, that make that one part of your health score. Another thing that Yuman from Churn Zero talks about a lot, too, is where are they in their life cycle? What they are doing during onboarding and what their health score is during onboarding versus what it is in the rest of the first year, what it is in year two. There's different activities that you would highlight. So I think I like that advice as well, to think about where your customers are, your cohorts of customers are in the lifecycle and what you would include, and then yeah, then I think it's otherwise just the obvious stuff like you're not going to have logins as part of it. If login is something that they're all doing automatically. Right, but if it's key to know what percentage of people are going to a certain page or doing a certain activity, then include that in. If it's not key, then why are you including that? It's just noise that you've added to make it less. The worst thing that can happen is you have a customer that you think is green and then they churn. That means your health score isn't accurate. It's not predictive, because the whole point of a customer health score is for it to be predictive. And that should allow you then to be more predictive in your projections of revenue, right. How many people are expanding? What sort of renewals does this look like? Right? That's why you have a health scores to prioritize your activities and to be able to project your revenue. That's it. If it doesn't let you do that, if it doesn't aid you in prioritizing the correct activities, if your green customers are churning, if your projections of revenue are just not accurate at all, then you need to iterate. Yeah, right. Here's your sign. Yeah, it's great advice. Finally, I just wanted to give you an opportunity to kind of call out, you know, you put so you put out such great content on LinkedIn and whatnot, but I'd love to also know a what content do you in? You know, what is your in content intake look like and who do you listen to, and then also who's doing great things in the realm of digital CS, in your opinion? Well, there's a lot of programs out there that are doing really great digital CS and some that you hear about and some that you don't. I like that. Ever after now has started to do awards specific to that, and saw too, that at Gamesight this year, they were starting to do some awards around that. So I think that that's helpful. Also, the Customer Success Excellence Awards, there's a category for that as well. So it's great to see so many different people getting recognized. And when they do that, they really kind of get into the detail, the nitty gritty of like, this is what I did, this is how I did it. And I think that's important. So we can all learn from each other on it, but in terms of who am I looking for, and that sort of thing, it's probably a lot of the same sort of folks that you're reading, too. I think that what I look for when I'm going through posts is are they putting forth an idea? Is there a way for me to exchange ideas on this post, or is there something I might contribute in terms of this idea, or do I there's a lot of posts I'll say because I really like the information that they're sharing. Right. And I want to go back to that later. But for me, it's about the exchange of ideas. There are times when I know that selfies get a lot more views and whatever, but because of just human nature. But I don't usually even put a like on those unless it's for an actual achievement of something, then I'll engage with it. But if it's just like, CS is like going out to dinner because I don't know. Yeah. Does that add to my day? Not really. Not really? You're just jealous that you didn't get to have wine with whoever was at the table. No, I mean, it's great. It's nice to hear the story, and we are all about stories. We are humans that react and respond to stories. But for me, when I'm on LinkedIn, I want to exchange ideas. That's really mostly what I go for. Sometimes I'm a sucker for the story. It's true. Yeah. Well, lastly, where are you exchanging those ideas? Where can people find you, engage with you, work with you, all of that good stuff? Yeah. Well, you'll definitely find me on LinkedIn. I really like that place. I'm in a lot of different communities or start communities as well, just because I tend to do that. So certainly over in the CS office hours community and every Tuesday at CS office hours find me. I'm actually building up some other courses under Jan Young CX, and from that we'll be able to kind of work on some other projects with some other people as well. I'm still over at the Success League as well, so my website. But yeah, I've got a lot of projects I think about and work on, and I love working collaboratively. So you've kind of seen me all over the place. Really? Yeah. I'll try and get a little more centralized on that. That's okay. I think the world can use more of you all over the place. I just appreciate the value that you bring to the CS community and your sentiment towards sharing and being helpful and being a resource for others is admirable and something that I think we can all kind of look up to. So I appreciate you spending that, Alex. Thank you. I don't even know what to say to that, but thank you. That's really kind of you to say it's all from the heart and because I just love exchanging ideas and community and people and contributing. So I can't not do it. I don't think it could stop even if you didn't say that, but it's certainly nice of you to say that. Yeah, absolutely. Well, thanks for spending this time with me, and hopefully we'll have you back soon. I love that you're starting this whole podcast around Digital CS. I love that you're digging into this topic and really appreciate your focus on this and all the work that you're doing on it. And I think it's really going to be a great contribution to the community and the profession. So thank you. That's the goal. All right, fantastic. Thanks, Jane. Thanks. Thank you for joining me on this episode of the Digital Customer Success podcast. If you like what we're doing, or don't for that matter, consider leaving us a review on your podcast platform of choice. You can view the Digital Customer Success definition wordmap and get more information about the My name is Alex Turkovich. Thanks again for joining, and we'll see you next time.