The Digital Customer Success Podcast

How Employee Satisfaction Drives Customer Success with Alyssa Nolte of LIFT | Episode 020

October 17, 2023 Alex Turkovic, Alyssa Nolte Episode 20
The Digital Customer Success Podcast
How Employee Satisfaction Drives Customer Success with Alyssa Nolte of LIFT | Episode 020
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how the happiness of your employees could directly impact the success of your customers? Join us as we sit down with Alyssa Nolte of LIFT, a leading provider in the Customer Success (CS) community, to explore this fascinating interplay. Together, we journey through CS fundamentals in the digital realm, investigating key elements like the customer life cycle, personalizing digital content, and transforming customer success teams from cost centers into profit centers.

We place a spotlight on the customer life cycle and the importance of investing in customer relationships from start to finish. Alyssa helps us unpack key CS concepts, demonstrating how prioritization and personalization can drive genuine customer outreach and impactful interactions. We also dive into the world of churn prediction, brand recognition, and nurturing a holistic rapport with your customers.

There is a lot of great actionable insight to unpack in this episode so enjoy! I know I sure did...

Alyssa's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alyssanolte/

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The Digital Customer Success Podcast is hosted by Alex Turkovic

Speaker 1:

Our hypothesis many years ago was that happy employees means happy customers, and happy customers means a great market perception. A great market perception means a better bottom line for everyone, and that really has to start with happy employees. If the people who are engaging with your customers don't believe in the product, don't believe in what they're doing, they are miserable. No matter what happy face they put on Zoom calls or how many exclamation points they use in their emails, that's going to come through.

Speaker 2:

And, once again, welcome to the Digital Customer Success podcast with me, alex Turgovich. 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 scaled CS programs. My goal is to share what I've learned and to bring you along with me for the ride so that you get the insights that you need to build and evolve your own digital CS program. If you'd like more info, want to get in touch or sign up for the latest updates, go to DigitalCustomerSuccesscom, and if you have a question or commentary to be used in an upcoming episode, call us and leave a message at 512-222-7381. For now, let's get started. Well, we've made it to episode 20 of the Digital Customer Success podcast. For those of you who listen to regularly, welcome back. For those of you who are new, glad you're here. Today. We have a fantastic episode with Alyson Nolte of Lyft. You may be familiar with Lyft from all the various products and services that they provide to the CS community. In this conversation, we get into the weeds on some CS fundamentals. In relation to digital, we do talk a lot about the customer life cycle, turning CSM's from cost centers to profit centers, personalization of digital content, and one of the things that we dig into that I found most fascinating is the inclusion of employee satisfaction, or employee happiness, if you will, into a customer sentiment score, the theory being that if you have happy employees, your customers are likely to be more engaged and happier as well. We dig into all of this and more in this conversation with Alyson Nolte that I hope you'll enjoy, because I sure did. Alyson Nolte, very welcome to the podcast. Super happy to have you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, thank you so much for inviting me. I'm looking forward to the conversation.

Speaker 2:

Yeah for sure you are a so interesting. I always do a little bit of LinkedIn stalking prior to starting these things because you have to and you talk about in your profile and also your history. You talk about your kind of I guess you might consider it trial by fire in growing your professional career and a research startup from as you do in startups. You start as an account manager and then you end up as chief, whatever it was that you were there, but that's a pretty cool set of experiences. One of my biggest mentors always said that operating in a startup for more than a year or two is basically getting an MBA, which I totally agree with. But anyway, I will stop taking the words out of your mouth. I would love to know a little bit more about your history and your CS origin story, if you will.

Speaker 1:

I often joke with people that if I ever write a book someday or do a keynote speech someday, it's going to be taking an unpaid job straight out of college. So I came across this company, and company is probably using it as a strong word. It was skip college professors who were doing something that I thought was really cool they had eye tracking technology that allows you to see what people are looking at when they're looking on a computer screen, and I thought that was the coolest thing I've ever seen. And I have this distinct memory, and I'm sure my former co-founder has a similar but quite different story. I remember knocking on his office door and just grilling him about this company. He was in the process of starting and I ended with something to the effect of do you have anyone to do your sales and marketing? And he said, well, no, because we're just like an academic output. And I said, okay, great, my name is Alyssa and I work here now and I basically just shoved my way into their company. And then it turned out to be a really great thing. I learned all kinds of skills. I learned lead acquisition. I had cold call. I had to learn how to position products and services in a way that people wanted to buy them. I learned how to scope projects and creatively problem solve. And then I figured out how to take the other side of that coin and retain clients and keep people coming back for more. So really definitely trial by fire of having to learn things that I never learned before or never envisioned myself doing.

Speaker 2:

For sure. What was your kind of education environment when you were in the mix? Were you just figuring it out as you went on your own, just kind of brute force style? Did you have kind of people around you that you surrounded yourself with that you learned from? What was that experience like?

Speaker 1:

A little bit of both. I consider myself a very creative problem solver, as I think a lot of people in our profession are. You have to be quick on your feet and open to the idea of doing things a little bit differently than you were taught, or is the conventional way. I got really heavily involved with finding mentors. I went to every meetup I could of seasoned business professionals and seasoned entrepreneurs. I talked to them, I asked them questions. I had abundant curiosity and I did it without having something in it. For me, the idea is not I'm going to try to sell you and whatever I'm trying to sell, but rather really authentic relationships and trying to figure out what's the best course of action for my company and my product and the thing we're trying to push.

Speaker 2:

I mean, that's the thing, it's all about authentic relationships and communication. I think these days it's super easy to disappear. And LinkedIn Even if you network a ton on LinkedIn, there's nothing like those in-person, even if they're virtual meetups. It's really cool. There's a local Austin CS Ops meetup that I attended my first one recently. Shout out to Matthew Lind it was just nice being in the same room with other people who were having issues and talking about their issues and solving, problem solving together. There's nothing quite like that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they do something. In my neck of the woods, which is in Iowa, it's called failure fireside chats. You bring in successful business owners who basically just give you the dark underbelly of every mistake they've ever made and what they learned of it. Instead of talking about your great successes and doing the keynote. That's inspirational, it's literally just a conversation about every mistake they ever made and how you can avoid it yourself.

Speaker 2:

I love that so much. That's like multi counselors, amazing insight and we're done, we'll see you. No, that was fast. Yeah, I love that so much because you're right, like a lot of that is like Self-promotion and like and there's a time and place for that, for sure but like bringing your failures, because that's that's how we all learn. I learned more from hearing about your failures than Hearing about the cool thing you you did that you maybe didn't do.

Speaker 1:

And not only that, but just that moment of you know, I'm feeling, I'm feeling, I'm feeling is this ever going to work? And then to See someone whose company just got acquired by a major brand name say I failed, I failed. I failed until I found one lucky chance, one lucky opportunity, and then I took off. So it was just really like heartening to hear that failure is a part of the process, not the end of the process.

Speaker 2:

For sure. Yeah, yeah, that's cool. So and then talked to me a little bit about your transition into into Lyft, which is where you are now. I think your chief of staff basically at Lyft currently, right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, essentially, I get to be the creative problem solver, the jack of all trades, the entrepreneur, residents, however you want to, you know, categorize it. So my company, the one that I had started with that college professor in his you know, college office during office hours 10 years ago, we got acquired by Lyft in 2020 January 1, 2020, pre-pandemic and Lyft was a customer success company. Prior to that, my whole Company was focused on customer acquisition and smoothing the decision process. How do we get customers to go from I want to learn about your product too, I'm ready to buy your product. And then my journey kind of stopped at the onboarding. When it came time to actually Use the product and experience that product. Lyft did the other side of it. So they are were focused on you know, now that you've purchased the product, let's make the most of it, let's make sure that you really enjoy your experience, that you get the maximum return on investment and that renewal is a guarantee Rather than a question. So we came together and, rather than say, okay, we're only going to focus on acquisition or we're only going to focus on Customer retention, we're focused on the entire life cycle and breaking down that invisible barrier Between what the salespeople promise and what the product actually has to deliver. So our goal is total life cycle focus Because in reality the customer journey doesn't start with just deciding to buy, doesn't end with just deciding to onboard. It's that entire life cycle, from from beginning to end and around forever.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't know what you're talking about. No business ever has had the issue of things being said pre-sale and not being true Postsale. That doesn't exist.

Speaker 1:

That's not a problem, my mind how much companies will invest into customer acquisition and getting the customer to say yes and then completely Disregard just to blow it yeah just to blow it when you know when they're at home base. So it's really exciting to see a lot of companies starting to pivot towards that new reality of full customer life cycle and investing in the customer During onboarding and beyond. However, it's not enough yet in my view. In my opinion, to really see companies focusing on the customer as the heartbeat of their organization above anyone else.

Speaker 2:

I think a lot of a lot of customers just realized, or a lot of companies just realized. It's not. It's not easy, right? No talking about, isn't? It sounds easy like when you just say it, but it's not easy.

Speaker 1:

That's why a lot of people don't do it it is incredibly difficult and a lot of in my experience, a lot of our customer success teams get positioned as a cost center. They cost the company money. They don't earn the company money because they're not fully owning that relationship, that customer retention, that customer renewal relationship, and not Telling that story of I'm not a cost center, I'm a profit center. I'm the reason that the company continues to function, not a drag on your bottom line.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it, precisely, precisely, you know, I think that mindset shift is More and more it's taking hold and especially, you know it, the kind of cruddy environment we find ourselves in here in August of 23, which is to say that the economy isn't great, there's layoffs happening all over the place. We have to be much more efficient with our teams. We have to protect our customer, you know, from churning and those kinds of things, and so CS has become quickly, become much more relevant Even than it was a few years ago. I'd say so kind of speaking of CS and and the economy and doing I hate the term more with less but being more efficient, and things like that. This is the digital CS podcast, where we focus on those kinds of things, and I would love your, your kind of elevator pitch definition of digital customer success, which is something that you know, I basically ask all of my guests yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

For me, it's about prioritization and personalization. There is a time and a place to have these conversations and there's a way to do it that makes it feel like a truly authentic Conversation. For me, it's about collecting the information, and only the information, that you need so you're not wearing out your customers, making sure that the reachouts are authentic. I came across a LinkedIn post a couple of days ago that said I only ever heard from my account manager a month out from renewal and therefore we will be moving on from this company. So it's about making sure that your touches in your relationships are built Incrementally bite-sized, regular cadences, regular communication that feels authentic, that reflects their personal goals, and you can do that at scale through various technology platforms, prioritization and personalization.

Speaker 2:

Priorization, personalization I love it, personalization, that's that's. That's a big one, right? Because you got to know who your customer is and who your contacts are before you can really start to personalize.

Speaker 1:

That's like it's not hard. You don't have to know everything about them, but simple things like Spelling their name right when you send out an email and try to connect with them, remembering their goals and the reasons that they purchased that software or Product or tool in the first place, and asking simple questions like hey, I know you insert token from our CRM software. Whatever your goal was, how?

Speaker 2:

is that going for you?

Speaker 1:

and asking those open-headed questions to get feedback and responsiveness and show that you really care.

Speaker 2:

I love nothing more than seeing four emails that are sent out where it's like hello, and then somebody's first name in all caps. It's like right.

Speaker 1:

The you know your star or madam, would probably be better than selling my name Probably, dear valued customer, dear valued customer. Exactly, exactly. It's not that hard and with technology these days, there's not really an excuse to have that kind of communication anymore.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly, exactly. Well, tell me a little bit about Lyft and you know kind of the genesis of it. Obviously, you were part of an acquisition into Lyft, but you know what place does Lyft hold within that whole digital customer lifecycle?

Speaker 1:

So I mentioned prioritization. That's really our main focus. Our work is primarily around customer intimacy, research and understanding what your customers think about you. How can you use this information to be more specific and to be more focused on the customers who need your attention, either if they need your attention for renewal, or if they're an expansion opportunity there's an opportunity to grow your footprint in their, in their tech stack or in their environment or if they're doing great and you can leave them alone for a little while because there is such a thing as too much attention. So, helping our clients use research and data to do more than just give you a pretty dashboard which actually informed decision making, and help you point your limited resources towards the customers that need the most attention in this exact moment. We were founded by two former Cisco sellers who left to do the consultancy side of things, and they really helped pioneer customer success at Cisco, and that legacy of customer success is continuing to grow as other similar companies continue to build those programs as well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's cool. The notion of prioritization is an important one, and prioritizing on obviously on customers, where there is an indicator of trouble, is something that we all aspire to do, some with more success than others and I'd love to get an opinion or an insight from you in terms of what does best in class look like, specific to, let's say, churn prediction or just an indicator of issues. What does that really look like to you when you're speaking with customers or really trying to do it on your own? What kind of indicators do you typically look for?

Speaker 1:

We tend to think about. So we often say people aren't trying to lie to you, they're not trying to be deceitful, they just often can't articulate what they're experiencing. So a question like NPS would you be likely to renew this or would you be likely to refer this to a friend? That's not a bad question. It's good data. But at the end of the day, the biggest predictor of someone churning is not a zero on their NPS. It is a no response to the NPS. If they are ignoring your NPS, that is the highest likelihood of churn. So we're not focused necessarily on their specific product and the way that they are engaging with the product. They're usage analytics, they're telemetry. However, you want to track that we are treating the brand and the company that they're working with as a friend. I would say to things to you like I trust this brand to deliver on their promises. It has nothing to do with their software or your experience with it. I can depend on this brand. This brand brings value to my organization. When it comes time to renew, I'm going to give them the first shot at my business Questions like that. And then we have something that we call the Tide Test. If I were to say laundry detergent, the first brand that's going to pop into your brain is Tide. Well, that's because everybody knows that Tide is laundry detergent and laundry detergent is Tide. So we want to focus on building that positive recognition with your brand and what you do, so that when someone says video conferencing, the word Zoom comes out. When someone says laundry detergent, you hear Tide, so that you get that top of mind recognition. So we're focused on a more holistic personal relationship with the brand beyond the experience that they have with your software tools, services, whatever you're selling.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I love what you said about NPS in the first part of the answer, because to me the value in NPS has always been kind of one of the things that has always been kind of, one thing which is not the score itself, but it's the context around the score and the actual mouth words that are being submitted along with the score. But I'll amend that to say actually I like the notion of people that just don't respond to NPS because they don't have people that give you a zero. Hey, guess what? There's a dialogue happening, there's something you can jump in on, but the people that aren't responding it's like, well, kind of in the dark.

Speaker 1:

Right when your customer starts to ghost you. That's when you know all is lost.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, precisely precisely One of the things when we talked prior to recording this episode that I found and it is basically part of your approach, but that I found especially intriguing was the inclusion of not just like customer sentiment and customer health into kind of a predictor, but then also your employee experience and how that plays into keeping your customers healthy. And it makes complete sense when you think about that. But I'd love some insight from you in terms of your approach towards including employee sentiment into customer sentiment.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so you've heard me talk about two key areas. We measure customer experience and sentiment. We measure market perception, experience and sentiment Right people who aren't your customers yet. The third piece that we measure in kind of our triad of customer experience tracking is employee experience, and our hypothesis many years ago was that happy employees means happy customers and happy customers means a great market perception. A great market perception means a better bottom line for everyone, and that really has to start with happy employees. If the people who are engaging with your customers don't believe in the product, don't believe in what they're doing, they are miserable, no matter what happy face they put on Zoom calls or how many exclamation points they use in their emails, that's going to come through. That non-authentic, dishonest feeling is going to come through at some point. And so if you can make sure that your employees feel proud and supportive, if they would recommend working here to anyone that they talk to, then that is going to show through in their experience with their customers and your customers are therefore going to feel more connected to your brand, to your organization.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, how interesting. Um, it's so true that you know I've been on QBRs and customer calls, both as a customer and as a you know, as an employee or a leader or whatever where it is evident that whoever's doing the talking is just like kind of phoning it in. They made the deck, they spent a lot of time on the deck, knowing full well that somebody wasn't really going to look at the deck. You know, they're just kind of like rinse and repeat, maybe getting ready for, you know, being yelled at or something like that. Like, it's just like Right, there's nothing worse than being on those calls and you just know that the person leading the calls just isn't Digging, it isn't happy. But then, on the flip side, I've been on those calls where it's just like there's passion, there's enthusiasm, there's, like, you know, a real sense of like hey, we're gonna take care of you, we're taking you under our wing, this is what we're gonna be able to do for you, etc. Etc.

Speaker 1:

And the difference is night and day it is and Part of it, you know. For a lot of people it's not their fault. They are if they're phoning it in. We talked earlier about having to do more with less. I had a conversation recently with a company has 1700 accounts and 9 CSM's to service all of them and I just can't imagine the amount of work that it takes for those nine to do Anything that feels personal or custom or enthusiastic when you have that many accounts on your lease subscriptions that you have to keep up with. And we're new to customer success. It's your first ever CS job and you're thrown into that experience. You know there's there's only so much a person can take and Faking it all day, every day, takes a lot of energy and if that's your job, is to do that all day, that's got to be exhausting. You can't expect people to do that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly, and and also the belief in the product. You know, yeah, I've, I've, I've worked for some companies where I just did not believe in the product, and you know it. That just compounds the issue. Not only are you like overworked and stuff like that, but the stuff you're saying is just lip service and Taking off a script.

Speaker 1:

So right, you know, when you call into a place and it's like this call is being recorded for training purposes, right, like people have, that, I'm being recorded for training purposes, so I better watch what I say, kind of attitude and that's not the person you want. You want the person who would say the same thing out about your product, whether you were in the room or not. You want to be your own champion, because you can't create champions if you don't even champion what you're trying to, what you're putting up.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, precisely. I'd like to shift just for a second into more you know, customer journey oriented discussion, because I know that's, you know that's something that you're, that you're into and passionate about as well, and I guess my first thought when I hear the word customer journey is that it, it, it tends to be something that a lot of Companies talk about. Do some workshops around, maybe maybe some great workshops, workshops, you know, pull cross functional teams in, agree on the customer journey, build a cool PowerPoint, maybe some process improvement projects are identified, but invariably that's when it just kind of falls off. It sits on a shelf, it kind of collects dust and then at some point a couple years later they go back and go okay, well, we should do that again, right? So I guess I guess talk to me a little bit about your experience with, you know, designing customer journeys that are effective and also then just Implementing them so that they're actually utilized in in in the way that they're intended.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we are primarily a research company, so we spend a lot of our time Talking to customers, trying to tease out. You know, what do they want their journey to look like? How can we smooth the journey to align with the company's goals? But we have a couple of rules when we work with customers and we work with organizations. The biggest rule is that there's no ego in this process. We agree on the vision that we're trying to achieve, which is the best possible experience for customers, aligned to our strategic goals. Ego has no place in that. Just because you're the highest paid person in the room Doesn't mean that you are right, doesn't mean that you get to call the final shots. The goal here is to do what's best and has the greatest impact for the organization. The other thing we focus on is not goals. There's no goals here. We're talking about impact. What are the decisions that we can make in our customer journey that are going to have the greatest impact? Not achieve an artificial vanity goal or achieve something that is something that looks good on paper. We get to talk about in our next Executive one-on-one, but what is actually going to move the needle for the customer, for the organization, to ensure that we are all on the same page, that we are doing the right things for the Customer as the centric piece. So there's been clients before that we just didn't mesh with because they wanted us to come in and confirm their suspicions Rather than help them develop the most impactful experience for their customers, for their brand.

Speaker 2:

It's amazing how many times a customer journey isn't actually the customer journey. It's your internal journey, with your processes and procedures around what you think needs to happen, and it doesn't take into account, like, your customer gets this email here and this email here, and this survey here and this stuff here, and this is what you sound like as a. You know, most customer journeys that I've seen, or a lot of them that I've been, you know, involved in a Startout it's this thing like okay, this is our process. Okay, great, that's the customer journey.

Speaker 1:

Right, right, and the customer doesn't have the context that you have. Of course, you understand why we're going to do this survey right now because we want information to make x, y, z decision. The customer doesn't have that context and nor do they care that you need this information to make a certain decision or you need them to Follow a certain path in order to achieve Something. The customer cares that they have made a decision, they're ready to buy, and I should be able to do that right now, and I should be able to do it this way because that's what makes sense intuitively to me. So the goal is to design the process of the experience Around the most number of customers on how they expect it to function, and then slot in your own ways of working Around that, not the other way around.

Speaker 2:

Totally. One of the companies I worked for. We did a customer journey exercise and one of the things that came out of it that I actually thought was an incredible idea and for some reason we never actually implemented it, but I still want to implement it at some point Was this thing we called Pizza Tracker. Okay, because you know customers, like you said, they lack the context around where they are in the process, what's happening, you know what's next and what's preview like, what do they need to provide, etc. Etc. So we were like well, when I order a pizza from X Chain, I get an email. It takes me to a site and guess what? There's like a little tracker your pizzas in the oven your pizzas. you know being delivered or what you know, your pizza has arrived. It's like the pizza tracker.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

And it's like a simple, simple thing that illustrates where a customer is in the process and that even just a couple of words in an image can convey so much and give the customer so much confidence in not only knowing, kind of, where they are in the journey but also knowing that that you, the vendor, kind of know about me, the customer, you know, and it's little things like that. So so I totally agree with what you're saying about the pizza tracker, I think that's the pizza tracker.

Speaker 1:

Everyone needs to do something like that because we forget that we understand everything that's happening. We know what's going on. This is old hat for us. We don't realize that this might be their first time doing anything like this, that it might all be new to them. Think about when you I just dropped my kid off for third grade this year. He gets to go upstairs in the elementary school. You know big deal going upstairs.

Speaker 2:

And it.

Speaker 1:

he gets a locker and I'm like all of these things that are so commonplace to me of you know, going to third grade and going to your classroom and having to have a Chromebook for the first time in school and having a locker those are totally normal to me. For him, these are exciting but also scary, because he doesn't know what comes next. He doesn't know what third? grade entails. And so for me to be able to say just take a step back and say I understand that there might be some trepidation here. Let's talk through what's about to happen. We do that for our kids, for our kindergarteners, for our elementary students. We need to do that for our customers too.

Speaker 2:

You need to be open and honest If they say hey.

Speaker 1:

I've got it, I'm confident. Then you can move on. But open that door, because nobody wants to feel stupid and ask the question of like I have no idea what you're talking about. Can you please enlighten me? No one wants to raise their hand and admit that, so you have to open that door for them and make it easy for them to either run through it or move on and say I've got it covered. I don't need the explanation.

Speaker 2:

And some naysayers may may may say, hey, this is super juvenile, Like you know, like an implementation project should have a project plan and blah, blah, blah. And sure, really complex ones should do all of them need that. No, should all of them at least start at the foundation and the baseline and say, hey, this is where we're starting, this is where you are Absolutely. If it's juvenile, if it comes across as like too basic, whatever, who cares? Like you can get to the stuff, Move your back.

Speaker 1:

You know, it also protects you. I mean, if you don't set the expectations and detail what good looks like at the beginning, you might find yourself at the end of your implementation and onboarding with a really disappointed customer because they have created this thing in their mind that isn't reality, or they were sold that and it's not reality. And you know your job as a CS professional is to set those expectations and then blow them out of the water, not to find out at the end that you missed the mark that you didn't even know existed.

Speaker 2:

Exactly yeah, yeah, yeah, totally. What when? When customers come to you and you know they they want to implement digital motions, whether it be, you know, automated handoffs or you know whatever that may be, what, what is? What are some of the biggest kind of hurdles that you see customers facing when they're trying to implement this stuff? Are there, are there some consistencies across the board?

Speaker 1:

I think we all fall into our own, our own traps of just assuming that we can buy a solution, turn it on and then that's the end of the all, done Right. So you know even us knowing better it is hard to remember that you can't just buy a solution and the world's problems are solved. It's about buying a solution, buying the right solution, and then understanding how to maximize its utilization so that you aren't left with shelf wear, something that you've bought and they never actually use. And that goes for customer success professionals too. When we're talking to someone who works in CS and they want to better understand their customers and identify who's a flight risk and who's an opportunity for expansion, it's not as simple as just turning it on and letting the robots do their work. That's the biggest trap that we all fall into.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, for sure, Totally agree. As we kind of round out our discussion, I want to understand a little bit more, because you are in the business, as are a lot of others of you know, advising customer success or by. You know what you do and sharing best practices and things like that. So what are the things that you do to kind of keep yourself informed? What's your content diet, so to speak and what do you pay attention to?

Speaker 1:

I focus on being very cross functional, so I listen to a lot of customer success podcasts and a lot of customer success content. I consume a lot of that customer retention, customer acquisition but I'm also focused on how can I think outside of my day to day activities and focus on strategic initiatives. How do I connect this to the business? How do I connect this to psychology? How do I find ways to to bring in Brené Brown and Simon Sinek and Adam Grant to work in more workplace relationships and vulnerability? So I have a blankest subscription, you know not sponsored love blankest. They're great, and I focus on books about continuous improvement and building relationships and anything that helps me be more authentic in my experiences with people, that I can relate to them and their interests and truly understand the full holistic picture of what they need. Beyond a simple implementation process Simple is probably too too short. Beyond an implementation process, you know what is that cross functional story that sings the whole business, not just one small piece.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's great. You're the first person on the pod that's mentioned Blinkist, which is cool.

Speaker 1:

Oh I love. It's like how I kind of preview the content, get enough to Peak my interest and then I'll read the actual books, like I just did the atomic habits, blinkist. This is really cool. I'm gonna go through this one. I just did one called continuous improvement and it's all about how you like, evolve an organization from the inside. I think I'm actually gonna read that one like full instead of just doing the blank. So it is. It is a secret weapon, for sure.

Speaker 2:

Secret weapon. I love it. That's uh, that's cool. Who In your mind sticks out in the industry as doing cool things in digital CSR? Are there any? Any people you'd want to, you know, shout out or give kudos to?

Speaker 1:

So I don't know that she would consider herself customer success, but when I read her content I can't help but draw parallels. I'm Tiffany Bova. She is really focused on employee experience right now and she's talking about how Investing in your employees is good for the bottom line, and she touches on so many of the things that I think CS Orcs needs to know and to think about. So I don't think she would think of herself as in CS, but when I read her content it just feels like she's a CS thought leader without even knowing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'll have to reach out to her. This, by the way, is you know, my secret sauce is I asked these questions on the podcast so that I know who I need to reach out to to get them on the podcast. So thank, you.

Speaker 1:

We call that the snowball method. Um, so how can you make us a snowball roll down a hill as you ask people who you should call?

Speaker 2:

That's right, yeah, yeah. And then you don't be afraid to ask, right, because you never know the worst thing.

Speaker 1:

You. Do is know, and then you move on right you move on?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Um, so you know I've loved this conversation. You have so much insight to bring. I feel like we could probably go on and on. But, um, you know, where can people kind of find you and engage with you? And you know also, are there any things that you want to call out that you're, you're involved in, that you think you're are super cool?

Speaker 1:

I would encourage anyone to just connect with me on linkedin. I want to have authentic conversations. I want to. You know I'm not here to sell you anything. I'm not going to pitch you on our stuff. Our stuff is cool. I'm not here to pitch you on that, um. So I want to have authentic conversations. I want to talk to cool people. I want to be inspired by people doing amazing things in the industry. I am always open to a zoom call. You know, for me, it's that authentic connection that can change the course of my life. The authentic connection with my uh, my former professor, now business partner, completely changed the course of my life for the better, and so I'm just always looking for what is that authentic thing I can help someone achieve and put good into the universe and get good back.

Speaker 2:

It's amazing. I love it. Well, thank you, this has been an awesome conversation. It's super fun. I've enjoyed it. Um so much great insight, so um, we'll have to have you back for sure.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I followed with me and a little bit after you talked to tiffany and uh, that's right. Hopefully get her to talk about. You know the customer experience in my life, so it's.

Speaker 2:

Exactly, yeah, cool. Well, thanks, alissa, appreciate it. Have a good day.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much. Good talking to you.

Speaker 2:

Thank you for joining me for this episode of the digital customer success podcast. If you like what we're doing, consider leaving us a review on your podcast platform of choice. It really helps us to grow and to provide value to a broader audience. You can view the digital customer success definition word map and get more details about the show at digitalcustomersuccesscom. My name is alex turkovich. Thanks again for joining and we'll see you next time.

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