The Digital Customer Success Podcast

Digital Customer Success from a CS Operations Perspective with Matthew Lind | Episode 014

September 05, 2023 Alex Turkovic, Matthew Lind Episode 14
The Digital Customer Success Podcast
Digital Customer Success from a CS Operations Perspective with Matthew Lind | Episode 014
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

It has become quite apparent in recent years that a solid Digital Customer Success program relies heavily on a solid CS Operations function. Join me, Alex Turkovic, in a riveting conversation with Matthew Lind, a Gainsight expert and operations leader, known for his unique approach to solving complex CS problems.

As we kick off, we examine the evolution CS over the last few years. You'll learn how operations can make or break digital programs and why data hygiene isn't something you should overlook. We'll also talk about the challenges of dealing with outdated contacts and why manual data clean-up is often necessary. Matthew shares his expert advice on how to prepare for the successful implementation of a customer success platform.

Enjoy! I know I sure did...

Matthew's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewlind/

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Shoutout to:

  • Lane Holt of Gainsight: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laneholt/
    "Don't boil the ocean but instead, make a pot of tea"
  • 1Password for their Digital CS Strategy

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The Digital Customer Success Podcast is hosted by Alex Turkovic

Speaker 1:

That's cool. I might be throwing some parties in the near future, so Gainsight.

Speaker 2:

I do right, we're going to need a new one. That's right. Yeah, we're going to figure out something.

Speaker 1:

And, once again, welcome to the Digital Customer Success Podcast. I'm Alex Tergovic, 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 ScaleCS 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 DigitalCustomerSuccesscom. But for now, let's get started with today's show. Greetings customer success. Friends and colleagues. Welcome to episode 14 of the Digital Customer Success Podcast. Thank you for returning. If this is your first time listening, welcome back.

Speaker 1:

Before we get into today's conversation, a couple of housekeeping items for you. First off, I really enjoy all the conversations I've been having as part of this podcast with various leaders and professionals around the industry, but the one thing that is missing is a conversation with you and your voice as part of this podcast. So, going forward, I've decided to add a call in line to the show. This is a phone number you can call and leave a voicemail for us to play on the air If you have commentary about an episode or a specific topic, or if you have a question that you want us to answer, would love for you to call in, leave a quick two to three minute voicemail. You can use your real name. You can also use a pseudonym if you don't want your name on the air, and we'll do our best to get to your calls on future episodes of the podcast. So if you'd like to leave us a message for the show, the number you can reach us at is 512-222-7381. Again, if you're writing that down, 512-222-7381, you can also go to digitalcustomersuccesscom and the number will be in the banner at the top of the page.

Speaker 1:

Now I know calling in and just leaving random commentary might not be everybody's cup of tea, so I wanted to go a little bit deeper here and provide a bit of focus topic for you to comment on. And specifically, what I would like to know is anyone out there operating digitally that is already actively using Generative AI as part of their digital flows, whether it's account summaries, or using Generative AI for things like automated QBRs or goals check-ins or anything like that. So I would love to hear from you, if you are operating in that space and you are innovating in that space. What exactly you're doing? Leave us a 2-3 minute message and let us know what you're up to. I sincerely look forward to anything that you submit on that line. Another way of listening to your voice and having your voice be part of the podcast is something else I would like to start doing, which is basically to read your reviews that you leave behind on either Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or even YouTube if you watch there, and so today I do want to read one of the reviews we got in beginning of August, actually from Wingfan5A. It's very kind, it said proof that digital and human go together. And Wingfan5 writes this great podcast with some fantastic innovators and leaders in the digital customer success space. Alex and his guests explore some outstanding digital CS thoughts. The content here will give you new ideas to think about, based on experiences of experts. You'll hear interviews which cover not only digital CS but human CS. Guests share their personal uniqueness and passion in each episode, which left me knowing and trusting and leaning in even more. Wingfan5a, whoever you are, definitely appreciate your contribution and your voice, and we'll read more of these in the future.

Speaker 1:

For today, though, I had a pretty amazing conversation with Matthew Lind, who is a fellow Austinite.

Speaker 1:

In fact, he's very much into building community around CS and has a regular Austin CS Ops meetup.

Speaker 1:

So if you're in the Austin area, go check that out on his profile. But regardless, matthew comes to us from the perspective of operations primarily. He is a Gainsight expert. He's been in the tool for many, many years and he's held a lot of customer success operations roles related to Gainsight, but then also the systems and the functions around that. In fact, he's such an expert at Gainsight that if you are part of Gainsight's Pulse Plus subscription their learning subscription he's actually built a few courses in there. So, as you know, I've really tried to get a wide variety of different guests onto the show as possible, not just CS leaders, but also administrators and people operating digitally on a day to day basis, and Matthew fits into that very nicely, giving us an operations lens into things. So, without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Matthew Lind. I know I sure did With me today. Very excited Mr Matthew Lind, fellow Austinite, which is cool, even though we haven't met in the flesh, but hopefully we'll change that soon, although it's not cool right now, Alex, right now.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's super miserable middle of July, but you know so you're, you know, operations manager. You've been kind of in and out in ops roles. It seems like your entire career and, and you know you, you you're very active in the community, which which I love, and it's always great to have insight from people who are active and know a lot of people and have gotten a lot of perspectives and things like that. So I'm excited to have you on the podcast today and obviously we're going to start with the obligatory like what's your background, your CS journey, so to speak? But I want to, I want to start with your double major in business and psychology, which to me seems like a complete like. It's like what, what you know? It seems like a conflicting universes, or perhaps it's like the perfect marriage, I don't know. I'd love your take on that Could be either.

Speaker 2:

I'm impressed that you dug that out, Alex.

Speaker 1:

I'm like the Nardwar of of of digital.

Speaker 2:

There are no secrets to be had here at all. I love it. Yeah, to me it was. It was perfect world. I was a little more on the psychology side for a while and then I decided I'm really the only reasonable path to take. There. It's because I thought I'll be a counselor or something like that. That was going to be years and years of more school and study and I just thought, nah, I actually got some chops over here in the business side and sort of squeezed it in at the end and it's turned out really well because, yes, yeah, there's the facts and figures, there's the numbers, but gosh, we're all humans when we get here, and so it's that ability to, to relate human to human and not human to user or human to company or human to customer, comes in very handy.

Speaker 1:

Sometimes wish I had a psychology degree as a leader. You know, I think it comes in handy, probably, probably. But yeah, tell us a little bit about your journey and what led you to kind of today and what you do today.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I had a long time support background. So actually when I crashed I started as a credit analyst. I was underwriting commercial loans and that didn't work. But in the midst of that the bank I worked for actually gave us PCs which was new. They had 24 meg of RAM in them, which was smoking at the time. They were compact 575. So I'm dating myself, goodness.

Speaker 2:

Sure, I was okay at underwriting loans, but I really understood the tech. I under the, I understood databases and so with these PCs came I think Lotus Notes ironically is what we were using and I just immediately got it like you can't put a number in that field because it's a, it's a text field and you have to put the numbers here and space them and when you put it here it comes out there and I got all of that. So I actually shifted at that point over to internal support. So I was, I was the internal computer guy. Wow, and I got it and I was going at it and this is where I belong, and so that that then graduated into an external support role which, when I moved to Austin, I started doing external support and led support teams and loved that work so deep on the tools in deep troubleshooter root cause kind of guy.

Speaker 2:

So back in the day where you were measuring your modem speed by in Bod rate, right, oh yeah, and it squeaked and made all sorts of noise Right and you had the cord snaked across the floor, that little I don't remember what it was called RJ 45, yeah, so after Doing a lot of external support working, loved working with customers. I kind of got put into this escalation management where I got all the reds basically and we know have a lot of Programming around it. It was just like Matthew, they told us to kind of cancel us or anything you can do, and I would just get on the phone with customers and Often calm them down, often them work through bugs, often I'm Escalating internally to figure out where there was an issue or where we could we could fix something.

Speaker 2:

No it's pretty good at that too. I mean, you didn't save them yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I finally said to some folks I said sure would be great if I didn't have to save all of these. Is there something we can do ahead of? Matthew has to save it because it's bright crimson red, and that bloomed into something we called customer programs. Really cool, let's. Let's be in front of issues like this more often. And so I was Implementing. You know, could we do at scale that actually kept customers out of my patch and Well. But after about a year of doing that, I read a blog article I think it was by gain site at the time.

Speaker 2:

It's like here are the five things CS ops should do and that's finally when I had the name for what I had been doing.

Speaker 1:

How do you see us off? No way to my manager.

Speaker 2:

I said I have a name, it's not customer programs, it's customer success operations. And she said, yep, approved and done. Suddenly my CS ops career was born.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's amazing. So it is funny. Everybody that I speak with on this Podcast has all of their unique, different inroads into what is now customer success and at the time, was called customer programs are.

Speaker 2:

Who say I intended to be here. I, like I found customer success a compelling field, or ops a compelling field, and so I deliberately Went there. It seems like all of us, especially those who has been in it for a while, have all arrived through some unexpected, unplanned door, and so I cannot wait from people who start to come into this field deliberately.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I think until recently you couldn't go get a degree or a major in customer success. I think that's starting to change. I was listening to the last episode of unchurned and they were talking about the this kind of you know, I guess epidemic we have of like just Regurgitated content around customer success on LinkedIn and kind of voicing some frustrations as they do on that podcast a little bit. And, and what I thought was interesting, is somebody I forget who it was, it might have been Mickey made the comment on there About the fact that, hey, you know what? Yeah, there's a lot of regurgitated content out there, but we also have a lot of new people joining customer success and To them it's all fresh content and it's all very useful. So it's it's kind of like that, that balance, I suppose, of fresh ideas. But also here are the basics.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there's a reason we call them basics, right, and they're both repeating, so I will try to do both here as we go. Yeah to your point this this is brand new, I mean none of us came out of the womb knowing CS none of us so we have to learn it somewhere. And it's okay to be repetitive, and it's okay especially when we're talking about things that work.

Speaker 1:

Well, I mean speaking of being repetitive, you know, we. One of the things that I do like to ask all of my guests is just their basic definition of digital Customer success because, believe it or not, everybody has a little bit of a different spin on it. It all revolves around the same kind of thing, you know, but I'm come, I'm compiling everybody's answers on the website if you want to go check that out. But I would love from you and kind of in your own words, what does digital CS mean to you?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, for me, digital CS is Use of digital channels. That could be email, it could be in app, it could be other Online resources that maybe just slightly farther away I mean, they're not quite quite so immediate In service to your customers. And so, to me, digital CS is the path to efficiency, and that's the one we talk about a lot. Speaking of repetitive content, yeah, helps us be more efficient. The area I think that gets underplayed is it also helps us be consistent, because now we are not, we are less likely to craft a unique journey every CSM trying to craft a unique customer journey for every customer. And we get into the digital space because a lot of it is automated, because we're talking about things like Messaging and landing pages. In in-app, we Give the customer a more consistent experience, which should be really good because then we can invest in that experience and perfect it, instead of Every customer's got their own journey and so we have to perfect a whole bunch of snowflake journeys.

Speaker 2:

Let's, let's, really good at one or we're a four segment team. Let's get good at a couple instead of let's get good at a whole bunch of journeys simultaneously.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's confusing. Super quick, yeah, I do like that. Focus on the core journey like what it, what is? Every user, or every Customer in general, need to know what are the table stakes, where are the resources, what are the things, and then you can branch off from there. Yeah, exactly, and and I think systems and obviously operations is a big part of that.

Speaker 1:

Right, because we in the digital CS world, in the CS world, were nothing without the data. We're nothing without the systems, whether it be you know the CRM you have, or you your fancy new CSP that you've implemented, or your chatbots, or your telemetry, like whatever that tech stack is, it's you know there's, there's an operations element behind that tech stack to keep things running, to keep data flowing and things like that. And so I think you know there there are some very obvious ways that an operations function can impact the success of a digital program. But I'm curious from, from your end, what, what are maybe some like not so obvious ways that you and your, your teams, have impacted? Maybe CSM's in general, but also if you know the digital programs?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you're right, and I am a systems guy, just by, by background, so I do. I do love the tooling. Where I think an Operations team gets to contribute in a more subtle way is actually Before the system and after the system. So before the system, how is this Piece of a digital journey contributing to an outcome? Why are we doing this, which again sounds like kind of a Regurgitated thing, but it's what. What is, what are we trying to accomplish? So what are we trying to reinforce? Where does this fit, if you will? How does this benefit our customer?

Speaker 2:

and so we get to look at the strategy and the process, which really is important to nail down before you get over to the tooling. So, before the tool where does it fit? How does it fit? Why are we doing this? And then, after the tool Is how successful were we here? Right, and I think you, you, I tend to look at this in in terms of two sets of metrics. I'll look at performance metrics and impact metrics. Performance metrics and impact metrics and performance tend to be that the slightly easier ones to come by. How many Messages did I send? How many got opened? How many got read? How many got bounced? Hopefully, right, you have those, and so that's sort of your we might call those leading, or at least earlier, easier to grasp. But then, hopefully, you're also extending out into impact metrics. Okay, did we actually get better adoption here? Have we acquired more Customer success, qualified leads? Have we found some additional advocates and documented their story? Whatever, the thing is that we're going after.

Speaker 1:

Reduction to get some what we did.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, how is it Mattering? Because because of it worked, I want to do it again. I don't want to do more and if it didn't work well, I don't downshift there. And so having those metrics, the impact metrics, to see this was a lot of work and it really didn't push the needle any. That that's valuable to, that's been.

Speaker 1:

I've been thinking about. This is going back to my L&D days, but thinking about the Kirk Patrick model quite a bit.

Speaker 2:

Are you okay with?

Speaker 1:

that I'm not. Yeah, it's. It's essentially a way of measuring how Learner retention, right, so okay, and there's there's, there's four levels, ranging from level one is like your smile sheet, like how effective was the training, you know yay-nay, happy, sad days to level four, and you know there's obviously two levels in between. But level four is like what are the long-term impacts of this thing on your Overall performance or your, you know, your job performance, or your ROI or whatever it is. And I think that there's there's a correlation there that we can make with digital flows as well, you know, because you can measure the quick things, like you said, like open rates and click through rates and all that kind of fun stuff. But then you notice you're looking at risk and then you can just do like invest and Did you enjoy the limits or did you find them somewhat Not? Every suggesting is looking at thetense. You know, in the long-term impact, like you know, did we have a marked impact on the perceived value that the customer achieved from?

Speaker 1:

you know, your product or your services. So it's very, very poignant, I don't know. Just an aside.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean ultimately our. Our objective is not to chuck more email into our customers inboxes or to put more pop-ups into our application. That that's not the goal, and there isn't a user of our Applications and of our products out there who wakes up in the morning and says I sure can't wait or I sure can't, I sure I'm excited to get email from my CSM today.

Speaker 1:

Yep.

Speaker 2:

No, they're looking. I can't wait to see what pop-ups I get when I log in today. Yeah, ultimately, our customers don't want to use our products. They want the results that our products bring, and so a digital approach should be no different.

Speaker 1:

Totally agree. You, you spoke a little bit about the, the pre scenario, and I'd like to kind of not to use the corporate buzzword, but I'm gonna use it anyway. I'd like to double-click on that a little bit. Don't you hate that term? It's like the word. Yeah yeah, get a hall pass.

Speaker 1:

You know, there, there's a big difference in Defining what your digital strategy should be on paper, in PowerPoint, whatever it is, and actually implementing the thing and and and getting things live right, there's, there's a massive Delta, because a lot of times I mean and I've been guilty of this too, but a lot of times you build out these great things and in In PowerPoint to try to convince the powers that be that, hey, we need to invest in this area and this is what we're gonna do, an XYZ. And then it's like, okay, let's do it, and and, and. So I'm curious from an operations standpoint, like how do you, how do you help leaders prepare for these kinds of motions Systems, data like whatever? That is like how, what, what's, what's your, what's your secret sauce? And in helping to ensure that the things that are designed on paper are actually implementable.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, whoever cracks this perfectly, I want to meet them Because I think we're all. We're all succeeding to varying degrees, but never. I Really do talk a lot about data and you know, understanding, is our data up to the task? Because if I get asked to put a digital Program, or maybe, maybe let's, let's roll it back from a program, a digital touch point of some sort, play Like great. Do we have the email addresses, I mean? And sometimes the answer is no, do you know, yeah, or do I?

Speaker 2:

do I have the personas? I probably shouldn't send the feature release bullet point list to the CFO who inked the contract because he or she does not care.

Speaker 2:

So I'll do a lot of those sorts of preparatory Questions. The other thing will do a lot of Alex's that this is slightly off the board, but we're really challenge Folks of, as this benefit are customers, and here's the distinction. I think in digital CS, especially now and this at this moment, 2023, where, where the economic clouds are gray, everyone wants to go into digital and the reason is because we can be more efficient, and I referenced that earlier or we can cover more customers more easily, or we can put a pooled Miling, what, whatever the thing is, you know, usually challenge that some. I'm like that's great, but how does this benefit our customers? Because I tell you very that that we're more efficient is a very Inside out focused approach and so really try and say we're building. It's like when is our customer need to hear from us? Forget what we think we need to tell our customer what is our customer need and when do they need it? How should we deliver it so that they find value in it? Not us talking about ourselves, but, yeah, value.

Speaker 1:

Let's not do it just because it's cool.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, or because we don't know what else to say. I don't know a digital program. We got to do something right. Well, we can do better than that.

Speaker 1:

So the right person at the right time for the right reason. Yeah, yeah exactly.

Speaker 2:

I mean, like this is probably a ridiculous example, but in the grocery store yesterday I needed exactly two items and I was Very happy to use the self-checkout and not have to stand in the long line. Next week I will go to the store and I will buy a grocery cart full of stuff and then I want the full service experience. I want the checker and the person to help me bag them up, and so that benefits me. And, yeah, the grocery store probably benefits because they can do this in a less expensive model. But but it benefits me as the customer because I can slide in and out quickly when I want to. I Can also, you know, have a different experience when I need that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, depending on your levels of social anxiety that day. Yeah, I get your point because you know you, you almost want it, not almost. You do want to put the control in the customer's hand in terms of how they want to receive the information. You know, and, and, and, to what degree and at what time, and those kinds of things. Yes, yeah, you know, email. Email campaigns are great, but they just fall flat To the wrong audience, and so you know providing different, different ways yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, email is so tricky and granted, we all do it and we're all gonna keep doing it, but sure, I always figure that when it comes to email, if we have to deliver it We've got to hope it gets opened, then we have to hope it gets read, then we have to hope it gets comprehended and finally it might get actioned. So the delivery is kind of on us in ops or let's call it. You know, in the CS house, like do we?

Speaker 2:

have the right email addresses and the right personas and the right targeting. So the deliverability is kind of on us. Have we pulled out People who are no longer out there at our target, companies who have moved on, or never, but sure. But the open, the Read understand in action how a lot of control over those granted, we can put out good content in hopes to get there. Well, we don't have full control over that, and so I think we've got to. We are wise to Move away from the model of why sent an email and so I, I communicated something to my customer like no, you didn't, you sent an email. Yeah, we don't know if you communicated something to your customer, we don't know if it mattered yet that cup that's. That's quite honestly in the customer's court and we want to improve our odds. But you know, to say I sent an email does not mean you communicated with the customer.

Speaker 1:

You checked the box, but did you really?

Speaker 2:

I mean, how many times have have have we heard something like that, like, well, I missed a meeting. Someone's like I sent you an email. I mean, well, yeah, it was in between 72 other emails that I got that hour, so Anyway, oh, did continue my email rant. I think it's him, wow, I it's just, we've got to put it in its right place in this context if my customer is anything like me.

Speaker 1:

Definitely don't. They definitely don't have a zero inbox at the moment.

Speaker 2:

And I want to, but well.

Speaker 1:

I'm not there yet. I'd love to kind of dig in a little bit on the on data hygiene elements of it, because it is, I think, is so important and Practically everyone who has come on this podcast who's who's on the operations or administration side is they've all highlighted the same thing around data and the fact that hey, you got to have clean data before you do anything. And anyone who hasn't spent time manually doing stuff and spreadsheets is probably not ready.

Speaker 2:

But, um.

Speaker 1:

You know One thing, you know I'm struggling with at the moment as well in in my role is the fact that you know we do have how did? Some out-of-date contacts. We don't have everybody kind of labeled in terms of, okay, this is my executive and this is, you know, my Operator and this is my training contact or whoever it is. And now that all requires human. You know, human Interaction until until AI gets to the point where it can do all that for you based on contextual language, which we're not there yet. We might be at some point, but you know what. So what's what is your? Is my long-winded question of of. You know, what are your best practices with regards to maintaining data and that data hygiene in the long term?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, this one is so hard I'll challenge a little that it's always manual. Oh, there's pieces of it we can automate, because it like, if I have product telemetry, for example, I'm here I go. Systems again, right? Sure, hopefully I can pick out which people hold admin type credentials and which people don't, and hopefully I can pick out which people have not logged in in the last 60 days at all and you have not seen them now. They might be a good target for some sort of refresh or reminder. Consequently, they may actually be the most likely to have departed.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I think or they're the executive buyer who only logs in right at renewal time, or something right, right.

Speaker 2:

So so I think there are signals in the data we we can work on, and so we should avail ourselves of those where they're possible. Now, granted that there is, as you pointed out, a huge human element to this, I cannot automate my way out of this by any stretch of the imagination one of the things that have done this.

Speaker 2:

This May work or may not, to varying degrees. I'm gonna buy in from leadership. Who wants my CS leaders, my counterparts over there. I said Could you just give me three hours on a Friday morning and we're gonna buy everybody breakfast or your remote, like we're sent, we're sending everybody door-to-ash money or whatever it is. Yeah, we're gonna work on contacts. So then it Granted everybody had to spend time on it. But now it became kind of a group effort and also became something where I as an ops leader and the CS leaders were all in it saying this is so important that we're asking you to spend time on it. We're dedicated. It's not something you're supposed to fit into the cracks or do at 10 o'clock at night. This is so important. Let's do it right now and in Two or three hours can actually cover a lot of ground if it's focused.

Speaker 2:

Yeah right and and then, yeah, you get some camaraderie and you get some Group buy-in on why this is important and and then you're much more likely to come out with with a set of contacts at a specific time that works, as opposed to Just complaining all the time was like, oh my contacts are bad, and then one CSM comes up and does it and one CSM's never gonna Do it because you just know they're never gonna do it. So so that one has worked really well.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I like that and I like the camaraderie you know building of it, because it also you know it's it's. It's cool to have ops embedded in the teams, like that as well as a route, you know, because it shows that you're listening and your resource and you're available.

Speaker 2:

Even from a practical perspective. Sometimes we'd find out like the system wasn't tuned right, we missed three roles in the drop-down or or something wasn't Updating properly and like, oh, I can fix that right now and fix it live on the fly and you sort of also build this. You know, speaking of the psychology side of things, you build this connector, this connection, like I'm here to help you. I know this contact hygiene is kind of crappy, but I'm here to help you in any way I can. And once we get this done, I'm gonna go back to my ops desk and I'm really gonna hopefully Lay some efficiency and some consistency into the future of our customer journeys.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm. Yeah, that's great, I dig it, that's cool, I might. I might be throwing some parties in the in the near future, so yeah, guys, this party is gonna be great. Can you?

Speaker 2:

see the guy who is, who is the character from SNL, stefan. Oh yeah, uh-huh. The best the best club in town, right now. Contact yeah contact. I Like it. I like it.

Speaker 1:

The do you? You mentioned earlier the that thing of like you send the wrong email to the wrong contact and I think that's kind of like the classic digital CS blunder. Are there other things that you've experienced or or witnessed, just in terms of blunders and in digital CS, that others might learn from?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think that persona one is, is, is a big one. What am I? Hinted or didn't even hint at it, set it out loud earlier, which is not having an outcome in mind for a digital touch point. So it's like you know, many of us have been there. We get this sort of breathless Request that arise this emails got to go out, and it's it's 130, and it's got to go out by 230, or else and like, wow, you know, I needed more time to prepare than that. Another blunder I think is not being multi-threaded in our Touch points, and we talk about this a lot in CS, like we need more than one Contact point. You need stakeholder alignment would be the to pull out the CS phrase theology, right, okay, well, can. Can we apply that same idea to our digital touch points?

Speaker 2:

and and I get multi-threaded, can I get Email, and then can I do an app and I realize that these are all sometimes very large technical hurdles that can't be overcome easily, but let's find a way or can I leverage Some sort of knowledge base that I've got online so Getting away from that? From that moment of I sent an email and I assumed that that would be enough, it's like, well, wait, send an email and we reinforce with something in app. Or we even ask like Do you know how to use this feature? We sent you an email on it last week. You know how to use it now, yes or no? Great, here's some online resources. So, so that sort of stuff, I think, did you get that memo.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, exactly, and not the last one. And Speaking of blunders, yeah, we send the wrong email to the wrong persona. I think the the the big blunder that can happen in that very scenario, alex, is Then we just continue digital all together because we sent one email to the wrong person. And I'm not suggesting we ditch quality and I'm not suggesting that that's a minor Infraction, although it might be. It might be minor, but but then we chucked the whole digital program because we would one mistake like yes, we blew it.

Speaker 1:

What do we learn we?

Speaker 2:

got it right for the other. You know 700 people in that, in that email Vach. So that's awesome. Like the other day I was watching something on YouTube and the little pre-ad or whatever the ad before it was in Spanish. Now I don't speak Spanish, I didn't understand it and I have no idea why. What algorithm I tripped that suggested I should get Us an ad in Spanish. I didn't understand it. I'm like, yes, so what? You know big deal I. So let's not get so wrapped around the axle of of one miss that we, we chuck all the other good stuff.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I wonder if something was going on with YouTube, though, because Literally, I think it was last week or a week before YouTube thought I was in Canada and so it was serving me French Canadian ads. Hey, and at first.

Speaker 1:

I was like why am I getting all these French Advertisements? And it it was. It was really really bizarre. And then, you know, there were a few that came up that were English, but we're obviously Canadian. I won't say why, but it was, it was bizarre, and then it fixed itself. But I am curious if YouTube had a little bit of a oopsie there, because it Might have impacted a whole bunch of people and that's a classic example of a. It's amazing, you know, and and I think all the all this goes back to the, the data and the systems, right and and and. There I think a lot of folks who are listening are well into their digital programs and they've got their gain site humming and they've got journey orchestra going and whatever it may be, catalyst whatever, whatever platform. We try to be platform agnostic here, but yeah what.

Speaker 1:

But on the flip side, you know there's a, there's a lot of kind of juvenile CS programs that you know aren't quite ready for a CSP or or just kind of getting into the world where they're gonna, you know, use something other than sales force or might start investing some cash in there. So I'd love your opinion on on, maybe, what that inflection point is like at what point are you ready for a pro for For a system like that and and how can you prepare yourself for implementing something like that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, the pat answer is a little tough to measure is when the Effort of all your CSMs to get this manual message out no longer exceeds the value of getting the message out right. So okay, there's the sort of Pat. Yeah, the answer I do think I sometimes talk about On processed mandates and this, this could be digital, could be, could be elsewhere, but it's sort of when the CS team starts getting these mandates from other parts of the organization, like the product teams, like we're about to release, and so we need you to send our release notes out if you're having the company use your conference and and of course, that's a famous one like oh, you're all supposed to invite your customers great, what am I supposed to tell them?

Speaker 2:

and what are the links? And and if a CS team goes out and does 17 versions of that, I guarantee that three of them will be just plain old wrong and three more will have broken links. And so when you start Entering that universe of these unprocessed mandates for your CS team, that I think you're absolutely on the cusp of customer success platform and and in ops function to shoulder all of that. And then let's return the CSM's and the customer facing folks so what they do best, which is being with customers. Because if, if my CS team is just copy-paste, copy-paste, copy-paste oops, missed that Contact then then I say it's time, it's time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely, and and and so on. That on that vein, like when it, when it does get to be time, you know you've, you've gone through kind of due diligence with some providers and you're, you've picked a system and whatnot. We have talked about clean data. Ideally, you would feed this system a clean set of data and and I'm guessing there's, you know, there's you know there's probably some strategic things that you need to decide on, but you know, as, as someone who, who lives in these systems day to day, what, what kind of advice would you have to somebody implementing one of these?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, there's the famous piece of advice, but which is to start slow, yeah, or Crawl, walk, run, or I think my favorite was don't boil the ocean, but instead make a pot of tea, okay, which can boil, okay. So, lane Holt, over there in the digital space at Gainesight, she, she gave me that one, so I'm re-sharing it so so that one is is obvious, and then learn from what you've done Early on. So so start with something that might be kind of easy.

Speaker 1:

It might be the user conference.

Speaker 2:

It might be. Well, we're coming up on 4th of July as we record this right, alex, your 4th of July holiday hours, or your, your Winter season, christmas, new Year's if you're gonna be open or closed or whatever, start there. See how he says yeah, that's a really easy one. So I'm like alright, let's go after that and then also enroll Partners where you can and the partners are probably elsewhere in your organization.

Speaker 1:

So I'm yeah.

Speaker 2:

Never shy to ask a marketing expert like, yeah, how do I do this, how do we, how do we craft emails that get read and be ready for the fact that the email a marketer sends to a prospect or lead might actually be Completely different and need to be even formatted differently than the one we sent out to a customer. Because marketing absolutely might choose to do something beautiful, full of graphics, and it really needs to have a visual impact and maybe for CS that will cloud the message. So, yeah, I'm gonna do something a little more stripped down. Have you even heard people say a little less polished? Because, hey, the objective here is not to send a fancy email, the objective is to get a message across.

Speaker 1:

So I mean, especially if you're- gonna put, as you know, the CSM signature Automated at the end of the email. You want to kind of make it seem like it came from the CSM.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I like all the best CSM. Suddenly, you know it's all into the corporate colors. And it was how to brand a three-column newsletter like Texas, fine, yeah, yeah. Well, look as we kind of start to.

Speaker 1:

To wrap things up a little bit, I'd love to get your take on what's in your content diet. What do you, what do you read and listen to to keep yourself fresh and informed?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'll probably go a little more towards the CS ops, a little more general than cool in the digital. I just read the checklist manifesto and I was yes tool. I will get his name wrong, anyway, for those are not familiar. He's a. He's a medical doctor and he goes through how implementing checklist really changed the game as far as Good outcomes in the medical profession. And I love the one day, the one day Okay.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, we'd probably not say it properly.

Speaker 2:

But what I loved about the book is I don't think the words customer success are in it, but you see it all the way through this book and and why your checklist does not need to have 52 steps in it. I mean, that would be In CS. We would call it a playbook, right, and it's like now just put the keys up. So I really enjoyed that one. I also really enjoy the success league. Yeah, they were great podcast. They put out some fantastic content and I love that. They pull from a lot of different types of people and you get to hear also from a lot of different people. You get to hear also from a lot of folks with a lot of various backgrounds.

Speaker 1:

Right, and then.

Speaker 2:

In their podcast. I listen to. All those are on hiatus and I don't know if they're coming back or not. Is Rebops corner?

Speaker 1:

Oh sure.

Speaker 2:

Okay, from I forget. I forget the folks names, but they're Union Square Consulting and, and their old episodes, at least, are out there and it they're phenomenal. They really got the come out rev ops instead of CS ops, but but still a lot of Great stuff. That's right there, that's applicable to us in CS and and really they do a lot of thinking on through lines for how to get your organization to work together. So I really like I really like their podcast as well. I hope they come back.

Speaker 1:

That's cool.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I've seen it.

Speaker 1:

I'd never listened to it, so I'm I'm definitely gonna Binge that over the long holiday weekend a little bit.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it looks like their last episode was April, so yeah, I don't know if they're gonna come back or not, but there's. There's some good stuff. That's that's in there already. And like they interview some VC folks, they interview a lot of ops people Sometimes gets a little salesy, but it's okay, it's the concept. They're all still rock solid.

Speaker 1:

That's cool, okay and then. So that's content. Love it, appreciate this share and obviously we'll put the links in the show notes to what you've shared, but it's your time to kind of give some people some kudos. Who's doing some cool stuff in in the realm of digital CS?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, a lot of folks are doing some good work. I'm gonna call out Lane again. Yeah, she's also an us tonight, so you'll a home field advantage. He's going here. But not only is she doing a lot of great work we're leading some of the digital work for games like customers but she's putting out some great content too. So you know, have to be a games like customer to enjoy what she's doing. The other organizations is this a little off the board? I Really like what one password does of all things. So I'm a one password user.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, management, well, and they do a great job of of mixing email content in app notifications. They seem to be really good at sort of targeting what I need in the right moment. So I Don't know what their digital program looks like. I have, no, no insight into how they operate, granted they're more but you've noticed it as a consumer. Yeah, like there are ones where I'm like I really like what they did here I would like to do when it comes to my product or company.

Speaker 1:

Those are some of the best ones we, we like, get these unexpected engagements and All of a sudden you're like, wow, how a how'd they do that? And be, how cool is that.

Speaker 2:

Right, like I wish I had thought of that. I want to do that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mentioned it before on another episode. But Hydro, the, you know the, the rowing equivalent of Peloton. They do a really cool thing where you know you reach these milestones and they'll send you some swag and it's like you know, it's kind of like, yeah, I'm a sucker for swag but you know, makes it, makes it memorable. It's not a huge lift, it makes it memorable. It's stickiness, it's it's it's brand awareness, but it's also like partnership and you know that kind of stuff.

Speaker 2:

Yeah it's also there's a little gamification in there for your for sure. It's like, yeah, some restaurant which one's like, once you got enough points, they, they would literally send me something, and it was something kind of raking, it was like a shopping bag or something. Still, I was like I got the gold level and I got the shopping bag. I mean, I was like, hey, I'll come to your store and spend money on that. So, yeah, that gamification Did you be careful how you do it? But it works, absolutely works.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So there's another hot tip go go into your digital strategy with a little swag budget.

Speaker 2:

I wish more CS folks had more swag budget. I know Mission. We need to go on figure out how to get that done Exactly.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I noticed when, so what I know. You see you do quite a few Austin meetups and I haven't actually been to one yet, are you? Are you doing one in the next, in the near future?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I started I called it first Fridays and it's for CS ops. Yeah, all flavors. You caught me a little because I because I'm out of town here shortly, I'm not doing a first Friday in July, but basically we just meet. Yeah, I had a bakery in Austin see live in person and I called it first Fridays because then I would always know when it was. It would be on the first Friday of the month. We do it in an afternoon because Friday afternoons are sometimes, you know, maybe a little more flexible than other times and it's sometimes we're there as therapy, yeah, or some of us have big Problems or things we've got to unload and, of course, when you're with an ops community, you just you have immediate Ears that understand.

Speaker 2:

We also have Just gotten out the laptops and and worked, worked on turn zero one time with some folks we did some game site work where it's like let's literally get live, let's, let's open our laptops and work on things. Let's try this and let's build a rule, and that didn't work, but we got closer and so now let's shift 10 degrees over here. So it's meant to be sort of this workshoppy, not not like an educational presentation, but like now let's work, work and session.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I love that. I think more people need to do that and take initiative and, you know, I think a lot of people just kind of wait for something to pop up and in in their community and I think it's you know, we can take an example from you and actually driving some of those things and let's get together, let's go.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I took a page from. A sales force is really good about this. The sales force community gets together a lot in this way.

Speaker 1:

And I'm like, yes, ops, we can do that too. That's cool. Well, I want to thank you for your time and your insights and and the few laughs that we had really appreciated. And when can people find you engage with you? I mean LinkedIn, obviously, right.

Speaker 2:

LinkedIn is. Is is the place to go. Just look for me out there. Look for the bow tie, look for the bow tie. You tend to show up in bow time.

Speaker 1:

What is your bow tie collection look like? Is this, is this a thing, or is there? Are there a select few like what's your strategy? What's your bow tie?

Speaker 2:

strategy. I think I'm passing through about a dozen now or so, bow ties. They're just fun, right? Yes, they just yeah. Always seem to attract a comment or something like that, and Now that I know how to tie it. It's great. I have all, but one of them are ones I tie. There is one I do not tie, but the rest yeah.

Speaker 1:

Did you? Did you get into the wooden bow tie trend?

Speaker 2:

No, I have not done the wood bow tie trend. I took, like whittle, my own bow tie or something I think, for a hot minute.

Speaker 1:

Those were popular on, like Etsy or something like that. Somebody with a laser cutter yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think that's the place, that is the best place to find me. Send me a message if you, if anybody does connect, just let me know Kind of how, how or where you heard about me. That just helps me know that you're a real-life person who listen to this, versus trying to sell me something which you might be both.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but yeah you're not helping companies do XYZ.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Cool. Thanks for the time, appreciate it. We'll talk soon, huh.

Speaker 2:

All right, thanks, alex.

Speaker 1:

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 this review on your podcast platform of choice. You can view the digital customer success definition word map and get more information about the show at digital customer success comm. My name is Alex Turgovich. Thanks again for joining and we'll see you next time.

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