The Digital Customer Success Podcast

Digital Customer Success, AI, Podcasting & Fun with Dillon Young of the Lifetime Value Podcast | Episode 022

October 24, 2023 Alex Turkovic, Dillon Young Episode 22
The Digital Customer Success Podcast
Digital Customer Success, AI, Podcasting & Fun with Dillon Young of the Lifetime Value Podcast | Episode 022
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

As a neutral podcast host, I am not supposed to pick favorites...so I won't.

But if I did - this conversation with Dillon Young  ( Lifetime Value Podcast) would rank among my favorites because it combines great insights, a lot of fun and some shared background/experiences into one lovely package. 

Yes, there is some fun banter in the episode (you're welcome for those of you who enjoy that). Besides that, Dillon and I discuss quite a few Digital CS related topics including:

  • Podcasting in CS
  • The evolution of digital CS towards making CSMs more effective
  • The infancy of GenAI and speaking the language of prompts
  • Dealing with data collation and a disjointed tech stack 
  • Optimizing your data so that CSMs have an easier time prepping for calls/meetings
  • Using downtime to maintain your data and systems so that you can be ready when the wave comes
  • Mental health and focusing on being careful what and how much you consume on a daily/hourly basis.

I hope you'll have as much fun listening to this episode as Dillon and I had recording it. If you'd like more, go check out his podcast, Lifetime Value - where I'll be a guest this fall as well.

Enjoy! I know I sure did...

Dillon's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dillonryoung/
Lifetime Value Podcast:
https://lifetime-value-the-customer-success-podcast.simplecast.com/

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

  • Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue by Nick Mehta, Dan Steinman, Lincoln Murphy and Maria Martinez (forward): https://amzn.to/40bmr95
  • The Chief Customer Officer Playbook: 8 Strategies that Will Accelerate Your Career and Win You a Seat at the Executive Table by Rod Cherkas, Gemma Cipriani-Espineira (Preface) and Nick Mehta (Foreward) : https://amzn.to/3QtNQA7
  • The Seven Pillars of Customer Success: A Proven Framework to Drive Impactful Client Outcomes for Your Company by Wayne McCulloch: https://amzn.to/3QCzZHP

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The Digital Customer Success Podcast is hosted by Alex Turkovic

Speaker 1:

So I've listened to a couple of your episodes. I think you don't know what you're in for with this one, buddy. I'm going to bring the collective intelligence of your audience down.

Speaker 2:

I don't know about that.

Speaker 1:

I don't know about that, let's, I think freaking get.

Speaker 2:

And once again, welcome to the digital customer success podcast with me. 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 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. Greetings, happy Tuesday and welcome to episode 22 of the Digital CS podcast. I have an awesome conversation to share with you today with none other than Dylan Young, host of the Lifetime Value podcast. If you haven't checked out his show, please go do it because he he and I have a very similar style, very conversational, but he also is just very good at asking really pointed and and good questions and just leading down good conversational paths. So I'll definitely go check out his show. I enjoyed I really enjoyed our conversation today because it's always fun talking to fellow podcasters, but we go into in depth around the evolution of Digital CS. We do to talk about generative AI a little bit and our shared kind of mistrust with some of it. We talk a lot about data cleanliness and what it means to having efficient CSMs on the back end of clean data, and get into all myriad of side topics, including how important it is to you know, take mental breaks and disconnect for a bit and also take control of what information comes in on a daily basis. I really enjoyed this conversation. It's one of my absolute favorites and I hope that you too will enjoy this conversation with Dylan Young, because I sure did. We'll see you later. Nice green cup. Are you? Are you trying to like? Like? Are you lost at sea? Do you need a beacon?

Speaker 1:

So here's the thing. I also have a bright orange phone case and it's why I agreed to be on your podcast, because you're speaking to me with your logo color.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's it is. It is a little bit annoying. I love it it is annoying.

Speaker 1:

That's the point.

Speaker 2:

That's the point. What's weird is I started, you know, I started with like a Southwest color scheme, like I was going for, like Southwest colors, like the oranges and greens. And then it just morphed into this. Hey look, here's me.

Speaker 1:

When you say Southwest, do you mean Santa Fe, New Mexico? Is that?

Speaker 2:

Totally yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think there's a time and a place for that, but if you're not weird enough, it doesn't work. So your shit is yes, just in your face. Yeah, and let's make an entire episode out of this. The business of podcasting.

Speaker 2:

The business of CS podcasting. Well, hi, dylan, should we start?

Speaker 1:

Didn't we already? I'm almost done. I got a meeting.

Speaker 2:

Okay, cool, we'll see you later.

Speaker 1:

I'm excited to be here, so just introduce me properly next time.

Speaker 2:

You know whatever I mean. Look, you know, for those that aren't in the know, dylan Young is another fabulous CS podcaster, host of the Lifetime Value podcast, which, if you haven't checked it out or you know, subscribed or liked or downloaded or whatever it is. You should do that now because it is very entertaining and informative. And you know, not only are you the host of that show, you're a pretty awesome CS leader as well. So I wanted to jump at the chance at having you on and maybe we'll talk about CS for a little bit, but maybe not. We could get there, we could get there.

Speaker 1:

Well, thank you for having me, alex. I'm happy to be here, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Do you want to give a brief origin story Like where did Dylan Young come from? Yeah, so you and.

Speaker 1:

I have this in common. It's interesting Because you don't hear this story often. I went to school for music, for audio recording, and when I left school I just found a bevy of audio recording opportunities. That's sarcasm, folks. They're few and far between.

Speaker 2:

And back when I graduated, and by that you mean you got to make coffee for shitty artists For a while.

Speaker 1:

So here's the interesting thing I lucked into actually a really cool gig for the very short amount of time that I was in the music industry Working. I was originally, yes, the receptionist for a concert booking agency, but it was the concert booking agency that booked Billy Joel and Rod Stewart and Matilda and Def Leppard like pretty cool. And after a year I was so good at answering the phone they made me the assistant to the vice president. So this was the dude that booked all of Metallica's North American tours, all of Def Leppard's global tours. That's amazing. He also was the agent for both the both Brett Michaels and whatever was he was at Molley Crew. No, what was he in? Was it Molley Crew?

Speaker 2:

No poison. Poison no Brett Michaels is. Is Brett Michaels poison? I don't know. But, it didn't matter because of my contemporaries are rolling over.

Speaker 1:

What was popular then was that dating show that he was on the Brett Michaels dating show. Remember that.

Speaker 2:

Mm.

Speaker 1:

Hmm, I do remember that when he called it was like Def Con five, because like he was the hottest thing on the market at the time for old 50 something white dudes. Yeah, I did so bad at that job that they they, after a year they were like, hey, you can go back to being the receptionist, or we got to fire you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, which one, by the way, I was living in Manhattan making $25,000 a year.

Speaker 1:

So it was just untenable and I literally could make more money if I took my part time job I was doing on the weekends, working at a bakery, and if I just did that full time I could make more money. Yeah, that's how pathetic it was. So look long story short. Shortly after that, I found a sales job at a startup in New York City and then I did operations for them and then I ended up in customer success operations and, like I bounced around geographically, but I was always in those technology companies Customer-facing roles, sales training, support, customer success operate, like all of it. It was not until 2021. I was interviewing for a job and the chief customer officer was Ruben Robago, if you know the name Mm-hmm Sure. I somehow found out that he wrote the book that he wrote and I read it and Was like what the fuck? I've been doing customer success this whole time? But you've been calling me an account manager or a like customer enablement Right engineer. And so I was like, oh okay, so I've been doing customer success this whole time and that like really I Loved what I did, but I didn't realize it was all in the same category and that really crystallized it for me. And so since then I've been targeting very specifically customer success roles and Today, as we talk, I am the director and head of customer success for a mortgage FinTech company Called Maxwell, where I run the customer success management team.

Speaker 2:

Yep whoa, his legs were broken, so his legs are broken. When no one crossed it, that's, she went around murdering Christian Kimi. I'm Chinese and you host a podcast.

Speaker 1:

From time to time. So you and I have talked about this quite a bit.

Speaker 2:

We have actually, uh, it's been, it's been good to to commiserate, I suppose, on the life of a podcast host, but, um, I'm curious, so, let's, let's rewind the clock. Oh, because, so, like you, it's so funny. You know, I got a degree in audio engineering.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

We both kind of did stuff in the industry and we both kind of like we're like, okay, let's actually earn a living.

Speaker 1:

Mm, hmm.

Speaker 2:

Let's not hang out with sketchy.

Speaker 1:

people Generates all the time yeah.

Speaker 2:

And and put on the big boy pants. Um, but I found, you know, I am I wouldn't say I regret going to school and getting a Bachelor's of Arts in audio engineering, mm, hmm, sometimes I regret it a little bit, but but, uh, I think the, the, the artistic aspect of it and the also the technical aspect of the degree itself has paid off in spades. Um, I think you know into, into even today, do you? Do you find the same thing, like, do you draw upon that experience as a, I guess, an art student? So you went to a different school to me, I think yours.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, which school did you go to?

Speaker 2:

I went to Berkeley College of.

Speaker 1:

Music. Okay, well, god bless you, you're legitimate. Uh, I went to a for-profit vocational like accelerated program called Full Sail and nowadays, like those guys, get a really bad rap. Some of them have gone bankrupt and a lot of them are a part of this the, the, uh, the student, uh debt, uh, student loan, debt relief programs, because they were like credit credit and I kind of hope that Full Sail ends up there because I think they were. But, um, I'll tell you what it taught me.

Speaker 2:

It taught me the skyscraper that that Berkeley built in downtown Boston on the backs of tuition payments. Uh, I'm I don't think it's too far off, but go ahead.

Speaker 1:

What it taught me is exactly what I'm going to hand down to my son, which is hey, you want to make any sort of decision that's going to cost you X amount of dollars, like five figures, six figures in the long run, more. Once you consider interest and things like that, you better have a damn good idea of what the implications are. What sort of skills is that going to provide to you that you can use into the future? What's the you know we talk a lot in SAS about, like the total addressable market? Like what's the market for audio engineers? I wish I would have thought about that one Um. It also taught me the value of hard work, of putting your head down and really just going after it. The school I went to I got an associate's degree in 10 months and then a bachelor's in another 12. So under two years and I came out with with two degrees Um, and I thought I was getting like this huge jump on my peers. But they got real educations. Uh, you can put, you can do anything you put your mind to. Uh, everybody's learning style is different. It taught me all those things. Could I have gotten a degree in a in a field with more opportunities? Absolutely, but I find that it is not holding me back now.

Speaker 2:

I can't say the same for everybody.

Speaker 1:

I definitely would be further along if I had a different degree, but, uh, I uh regrets are for losers. Alex, yeah, well, yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

And I mean today. You know the conversation has shifted since when we were in school, like 80 years ago, um, to where it's like do we, you know, do we even need need this stuff?

Speaker 1:

Like you know, there's well, the university of YouTube has come a long way. Yeah, exactly, exactly, exactly. You think I learned a podcast, hey.

Speaker 2:

YouTube. It's great, didn't have to read, or nothing, nope, nope. So, speaking of the podcast, what? What was kind of your impetus in in getting started? Um with that I read. You know I did stalk you on LinkedIn a little bit Good. And and you know one of your posts around launch time was uh, you know you're that it was essentially your love letter to C S, which I, I, I love that you know cause, and it's kind of why we do those things right and and we want to provide value, but we want to do it in a way that that actually provides value. So, anyway, I won't put words in your mouth, but yeah, it's funny because what, um?

Speaker 1:

this? This sentiment changed from when I started, which was probably act, October of 2022. I started really thinking about it, started recording in November, started publishing in January and then stopped in May and we're about to, we're about to start back up. Uh, it was what got me excited to get out of bed in the morning was not the podcast itself. It's a vehicle for the opportunity to uh talk to people. You might not have another reason to like. Great example, Jan Young. Jan was the very first guest we published an episode for. That lady is smart and has a lot to bring to the table when it comes to customer success. Um, another super easy example and I'm not blowing smoke is, like, the opportunity to meet you. Like, we have a lot in common, we have a similar sense of humor, um, and we both happen to be in customer success. Would I have been able to meet you otherwise? Like, to me, that's probably the most valuable part of it. I also mentioned this at the beginning the ability to contribute meaningfully to the community, and that has since, more recently, been uh reinforced for me. I don't know that I totally deserve it, but a lot of people are like oh, you're like. You're like up there in terms of the podcasters that I listened to, Um, so that validates it a bit for me. But for that, same reason is why I've stopped for a little bit here. Yeah, because I found it is. One of the one of my goals originally was to not be echo chambering, and I think we ended up there in the end. And so I have this inner challenge of how do we solve for that, how do we continue to expand our perspectives and get, uh, opinions and thoughts from people other than those that we look like, think like, sound like?

Speaker 2:

Is it? But it's not you, that's echo chambering. I think it's the guests that end up being, you know, echo chambering. And I have to say, like you know, not to I'm, I'm going to equally blow smoke up your ass, but in a very in a in a very meaningful way, hopefully. Um, which is to say that you know there are a lot of podcasts out there, but a lot of them are hard to listen to. You know, they're just and your interview style is very natural and it's it's like, you know, it's things that I aspire to, you know, in starting this one as well, which is to say I just want to bird's eye view into somebody's conversation, maybe laugh a little bit, take some things away and, and you know, feel like I you know not literally feel like I sat through a lecture or some kind of contrived thing, but just, you know, I got back from my run and I was talking to people the whole time and that's very much the feeling that I, that that I get out of listening to your show.

Speaker 1:

And here's the thing like I used to, I no longer commute to work with you, thank God, um. But when I did, I commuted. I think my average commute for like over a decade was over an hour each way. Yeah, wow. And so when podcasts really got popular, I started, um, I, I started listening to a lot of them, and it was bizarre how exciting it was, are, how excited I would be if, two weeks a month, six months later, I remembered something I had heard from a podcast and could apply it in some way, whether it was like a, an aphorism, or it was a, like a, a turn of phrase. If I could apply that that much later, that means that it sunk in. It mattered to me, and increasingly I found, uh, that was no longer happening. And so that is what I aspire to is how do we deliver information that people actually absorb and can use later on, um, and how do we do that as often as possible? For me, that's that's conversation, it's just learning. It can't be. You know, it's why I don't listen to audio books, really, because I don't. It puts me in a trance state. I don't feel like I'm engaging with it at all. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Are you? Are you more of a visual learner, like, do you need to look at stuff For sure, or are I?

Speaker 1:

have to do it. I'm more of a kinetic learner, probably. First and foremost. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Interesting. Well, um, look, I mean this. This is what we call the digital customer success podcast. So I'd be remiss if I didn't ask you at least some questions related to digital skills and your kind of take on it. And one thing I do ask everybody is kind of you know what's your 10s, 10 to 30 second elevator pitch of digital CS, which I'm compiling with all my guests. So what would you say Like if somebody asked you hey, what is digital CS? What, what, what would your answer be?

Speaker 1:

10s, 10 to 30 seconds. You're not going to get that, by the way it is, so I would take away. So I I'll be upfront and I hope you don't take this the wrong way. I take issue with the term digital CS and tech touch. I think is is also kind of I think it. It just so happens that here's the goal of customer success today is how do you make customers successful as efficiently as possible? Now, efficiency cuts both ways. It's. It's it's both in in your customers allocation of resources, as well as your company's allocation of resources. So now, when it comes to digital, that's just the vehicle through which it's it's most effective right now is because digital has a very low cost to do repeatable activities. So when I think about digital customer success, I really just think about what are the tools or processes that we can do repeatably and at very low cost that enable our customer success people to make our customers successful. And then I've talked about this a lot in the podcast. It then frees up your customer success professionals to do what they do best, which is from. My money is on their ability to think strategically, build relationships with those folks and then make money where those two intersect.

Speaker 2:

Yep, yeah, I mean, you know digital CS, as as it's defined, has come a long way in the last two years. Even, like you know, people used to talk about it like it was a segment, and a lot of people still talk about it like it's a segment, and now it's really the channel through which you do some of those things and and and also you know one thing that you mentioned just now that is becoming much more and more, more part of the talk track is how digital CS not only makes you know your customers more effective and helps drive your customers goals and whatnot helps makes your CSM is more effective, because there's just that much less that they have to do on a day to day basis, at least hopefully. Hopefully doesn't make them do more, which I've seen happen.

Speaker 1:

More is relative to like. So I used to think being the busiest person was was being the best right, that made you the best employee, when in actuality, like that doesn't matter, like we don't live in the clock punching days anymore. I mean, if you can do the same, if you can derive the same outcomes as all of your peers and you can do it in two hours instead of 40 hours or you know, in hustle culture it was 60 or 80 hours. If you can do that, then good on you. Now what will eventually happen is there will be downward pressure and our senior leadership overlords will recognize that they can give us more. Our books of business can be larger because it turns out that we're managing them that much more efficiently. I think that's just a natural cycle that's going to occur forever. It's it happened in the industrial age, it's going to happen in this digital age or whatever comes after that. But I think you can only you can only analyze these sorts of issues within a certain timeframe, and I think you're right. We're kind of like transitioning right now from one time frame to another, which was when digital CS we only understood the demand for efficiency in the context of customers that were not valuable enough to command one on one time or attention, yeah right. But now I think we're recognizing that. Okay, well, we could use those same tools and we could do things that every customer needs, whether they're a $10 million customer or they're a $1,500 customer I'm talking ARR they still need to get talked to in ways like that don't require a one on one touch, that don't require any level of institutional knowledge of that relationship. Okay, well, let's use those tools. And to me, that's where you're seeing quote unquote digital CS. Go to Yep, that's where I'll leave it. I love it.

Speaker 2:

You know it's about meeting them where they are, meeting your customers where they are and in with with a vehicle that you know hopefully isn't so contrived that it just confuses them even more because I see that a lot right there's. There's a lot of folks who you know go to implement some digital motions and they do it in a way that just ends up causing, you know, confusion in the whole thing. But that's neither here nor there. I think what I one of the episodes on your podcast that I enjoyed listening to was your conversation with Mickey Powell. You know, the resident CS expert on generative AI these days, and one of the things I took away from that conversation is your it was, it was very I don't really the adjective to describe it, but you were, you were extremely hesitant when it came to generative AI and you were just there, was obvious to test in your voice when it came to talk about. Has that changed for you at all? Like, are you now a chat GPT user because of that conversation?

Speaker 1:

No, no, no, no, yeah, I'm also not, and I apologize to Mickey and to Josh. I don't know Josh. I've only met Mickey a handful of times. He and I talk about the, the where the Golden State Warriors are headed in this upcoming season. That's mostly what I talk about, and I predicted that Jordan pool trade, by the way, thank you Mickey, I don't. I was apologizing to Mickey and Josh because I've now tried to use update AI twice and have stopped using it within two or three phone calls each time, because I don't know if I just talk funny, like if the, the structure of my sentences is like hard to understand or what, but it never, ever delivers valuable insights on my conversations. Now, that is not a knock on update AI. That is a knock on where we stand today with AI's ability to analyze transcripts and pull out valuable information from. Here's what I mean. I have a conversation that's 30 minutes long. First five to 10 minutes is us shooting the shit Right, same as you and I did when we first jumped on here. Then we get into the meat of it. Maybe that's 10 or 15 minutes. Usually, I got to provide a little bit of context and then eventually I'll get to the action item. For whoever my counterpart is on that call, whether it's a customer or whether it's an internal party, it's typically the exact same structure, no matter what. Then the very end of the call, five minutes ish, I literally almost every single time I say, all right, I've got some homework to do, and it's X, y and Z. And what I understood from this conversation is you're going to go back and do a, b and C and I apply timelines to both of those. Now, look, alex, I think that's pretty fucking easy for a robot to figure out. Right, that last part, those things I said, and yet this is what I'm very. Invariably, I end up with action items about how much I hate Taylor Swift. I don't know if I've ever talked about this. I fucking hate Taylor Swift. I think she's a fraud. I think she's pulled the ball over everybody's eyes for this insane cash grab. And one time update AI was like I guess maybe I said it sarcastically or something, but update AI was like you need to buy tickets to the Taylor Swift concert coming to the New York City metropolitan area.

Speaker 2:

What the fuck was part of the conversation at something or something.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah and like only got two out of three of the action items that I actually listed at the end of the call, or something like that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and to your point that I don't think that is a. So here's my take on this right To your. To your point it's not an update AI thing. It's not any of these other platforms that are doing things with generative AI. It is a. I think it's a byproduct of this V1 world where we live in, where these products are trying to adopt generative AI technologies in a way that helps us, you know, do tasks. Another example would be I you know I subscribe to this podcasting tool that is supposed to, from your transcripts, pump out you know, LinkedIn blurbs, posts, you know a corresponding article, what was it? title suggestions and all those kinds of things. And I mean, I would say, out of all the you know massive amounts of content that it spits out, I'd say 5% is maybe usable with some tweaking. But I think the reason for that is because what you're not getting with those tools is like the follow up that that is required in prompting generative AI to achieve the results that you want. Right, I mean, these tools are, you know, providing basically a predefined prompt with your inputs into it, but there's no like second level of okay, now make it look like this or now make it like this, to be a little bit more usable. I think that's probably part of the problem, but it's, yeah, it's I find that with most tools that are doing that.

Speaker 1:

Here's my argument that 95% that you have deemed unusable. You got to sift through that to even find the 5%. Yeah, I'd rather just write the summary myself, right? If you did a time study to then think about, like, okay, well, how long would it take me to just come up with the 5% myself, versus how long does it take me to sift through all the garbage that this bot made for me and pick out the nuggets that I still then have to polish For me? I do totally believe and Mickey brought me around to this of, like the speaking, the language of generative AI prompts is probably where there's value right now. And, in the same way, if you understood how to code 20 years ago, you're in a fucking sweet spot right now, or you probably were like 10 years ago, right, because it's sure that's going to change really soon. With things like AI, it's becoming commoditized. I do believe in that, but I also think that we live in a customer success professionals. The world I live in with customer success is you are a strategic relationship building individual. We do not pump out widgets with that in mind. It is so bespoke and based on your personality and the way you think and your time management and all that stuff that, like I still just don't think that AI has a place in it.

Speaker 2:

Yet, or at all.

Speaker 1:

Well look, I mean, it's always yet right Like the machines will eventually take over. It's a matter of where that is on the horizon, and I don't think it's in now Two years right, I think it's in 10, 15.

Speaker 2:

So Gen AI isn't where your heart is right now. That makes sense. There's that green cup. Again, it's like a beacon. Where are you focused digitally? Like, what are you implementing? What are you looking at, from a kind of a quote unquote, digital motion that you've implemented for your customers, for internal folks? Like, what were you focused?

Speaker 1:

at. For me, it's all about data collation. So where we have any self-respecting software company has a disjointed tech stack right, particularly the younger you are, so I'm not sure how much mature you are as an organization, but I'd argue that even the more mature ones still have this problem.

Speaker 2:

So you've got data in five different systems and it doesn't talk to each other.

Speaker 1:

How do I make it easier for my CSMs to have informed conversations with their customers that do not require an insane amount of prep work, Period, Point blank, Not digging through Salesforce, looking at call notes that salespeople had, looking at opportunities or even let's talk about, like the field history of opportunities within Salesforce. So you can understand how. It started at one price point, it ended at another. Used to be one point of contact, it ended at another and having to infer all of that information. Is there an easier way for them to gather all that information in 90 seconds as opposed to 15 minutes to half an hour? Deck?

Speaker 2:

prep. Yeah, after you teach them exactly where to look and what to uncover and which tab to go to, and all of that.

Speaker 1:

And not only that, but it demands that everybody is doing it in the same way, consistently, and I'd like for a lot of that to become like just hands off you don't need to yeah.

Speaker 2:

So what does it look like? A layer down, like what do we actually?

Speaker 1:

I think it's a CSP.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, sure.

Speaker 1:

I think it's a CSP. I think that's the superpower of a CSP is its ability to collate all that information, standardize it and make it uniform where it can. The really good ones by way of what I just described, right? I think they all serve a different purpose for different people. The really good ones by what I just described would also help you create decks, right? So they have the ability to put dynamic and responsive information into decks for you. If you even use a deck, or they have the note taking function that puts the dynamic information in it, so you know exactly what they've invoiced in the past 90 days. They're not digging through your emails with your filter tags on them and writing down in your notebook that, oh, Google paid us 10 grand this month, 12 grand the month before and 18 the month before that. Oh fuck, they're almost at 50% at their invoices in the past. Why did they go down that much Like? I shouldn't have to look through my emails to figure that out. There should be a system that just says, hey, are you paying attention to this?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I like where you're going with regards to actually then taking that data, so where the CSB doesn't just become a collation machine but, like then actually spits out assets and things that are not only value to you as a CSM but valuable to the business too, like I think any good CSB, if designed well, should be able to create value within the organization by giving you that overview of the organization. I saw Tatango, I think, recently launched an interesting thing that I need to look into more, but it's basically a video QBR type situation where it does that kind of collation in a short little video snippet that you could send out to your low touch customers, which I think is interesting. I have trust issues with stuff like that, though.

Speaker 1:

I do too. Yeah, my first comment would be. Can you edit the information and then regenerate that video?

Speaker 2:

And do you trust your data enough to just feed it and send it? The answer to that is going to be no, because nobody really trusts their customer data.

Speaker 1:

Well, but I think you got to get to that point because otherwise you can't scale anything. I mean, it's not even a matter of scaling right. How do you even have a confident conversation with your customer If the number you're looking at on your screen you don't believe is real?

Speaker 2:

we've got to get to a point where that's not it If you have the ability to create the deck but then you don't have the data to know who to send the deck to slightly problematic.

Speaker 1:

Wait, you don't even know who your point of contact is. Yeah right, I think we're talking about two different things, Alex.

Speaker 2:

Data right Drop downs, rich text fields, whatever it is.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean I guess, if I had to summarize it, it's providing the information for my CSMs to do what I pay the big bucks for which is to make decisions or to have conversations. I don't pay. I mean, first of all, you could pay somebody offshore to gather your data and build you a spreadsheet. That's not what you pay a six-figure CSM to do. If you are, you're never going to get the highest and best value from them, because they could be managing more customers if all they had to do was have high-value strategic conversations and relationship building exercises, not pull data sets together, not to write pivot tables.

Speaker 2:

I think that's a perfect and wonderful example of digital CS and operations in general. I think digital CS and operations really go hand in hand because, at the end of the day, without the customer data and without some integrity around the data and the upkeep of the data, are you actively working through data validation and data management and really just rigor around data upkeep? What does that look like in your world.

Speaker 1:

We're really early in this stage. If we're being honest, I haven't been in my role for a terribly long time. I don't know if you've heard what's going on in the mortgage industry, but there's not a whole lot of cash flying around right now. The only thing we can do to answer your question is get. Higher interest rates are great, right, If anybody actually buys into them. Yes, they're great for banks. That first part is the problem.

Speaker 2:

Exactly.

Speaker 1:

Because there's an insane amount of people with interest rates below 3%. So there's no motivation whatsoever. The only thing we can do right now is strengthen our policy and procedure or our consistency muscle and making sure that we are collecting the data in the most responsible way possible, maintaining our data in the most responsible way possible. We are not yet at the point where we can invest a ton in somebody, a firm or a piece of technology collating that information for us. What we'll do in the meantime is probably create some modicum of automation within Salesforce or Salesforce's sister marketing software pieces, things like that. But I think actually now is the perfect time in our industry FinTech for me to make sure that we're mining our P's and Q's as it relates to having clean data, because everything's cyclical.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

And sure when it comes around. You don't want to build a system, pump a bunch of data into it and then say, okay, I want you to send emails to everybody who matches this dataset and all your data is fucking wrong and you've lost 90 days, 120 days, half a year. You're behind the eight ball at that point and not taking advantage of a boom, of a boom time.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's the word I mean it's. You know you got to capitalize on those slow periods. It's very tempting, right, even though I mean there's a lot of pressure involved with kind of being slower and whatnot, you know, I mean there's revenue expectations and all that kind of stuff as well but also can be tempting to not capitalize on those times to help you future proof. So it's a good knowledge drop there. I want to tie things back to the podcast a little bit, because I know that one of the reasons why I started this, these conversations because I was I was having these conversations, you know, with peers and with people and it felt like a shame not to record them and, you know, put them out there. Little did I know what all was involved with that. But but really the impetus was hey look, I want to have these conversations because I want to learn from my peers, see what people are doing that's working, see what people are doing that's not working. And and also on the on the functional, not just the leader level but the functional anyway. You get my point. Reason I started it was hey look, I'm learning. You might as well learn too, and I'm curious. Over the sixish months or so of lifetime value, you've had a lot of conversations with a lot of different people. Has your purview and your your kind of high level view of CS morphed in that time with those conversations that you've had? Cause I know it has for me a little bit?

Speaker 1:

It's interesting because I happen to go down this path, or start this journey, at a really interesting time within customer success. So, like the, we've had some pretty significant changes in the economy since, let's say, a year ago from when we're recording, which is early August.

Speaker 2:

Sure.

Speaker 1:

I started the podcast in October, so two months, three months later, and from when that started in 2022. And so it's it. I might not try to pin this all on the podcast, right, because started having a lot of conversations but at the same time, everybody in CS was like, well, customer success should really have a larger part in revenue, which I never disagreed with. But here's what I'll say. Here's what I think has changed for me. I have become way more militant about the idea that every single customer success organization is different, and I want I think you probably heard it in my explanation of digital CS, right, it's probably slightly different than what most folks say. I pulled it apart, teased it apart a little bit. It's probably just the way I think. But I think it's also disingenuous for thought leaders to deliver their opinions in a vacuum. Yeah, I think they, I think to an extent, they have to right, Because it's the only way you can get a thought out there. A lot of how I talk is I hedge a shit ton on everything I say, and that's because I don't want to be the person who says, hey, you should do X, y and Z every single time. There's no reason. That's the law, that is the CS law, and they're like, well, I'm actually B to C and not B to B. And I'm like, oh fuck, I didn't even think about that, never mind, that changes everything, don't do that, don't do that. And so customer success is so cool and I've talked about this a couple of times on the podcast because it gives you an opportunity to see so much of how a business operates your own as well as other like your customers but it is so different in so many ways that you've got to take the large overarching ideas about customer success, what it's supposed to be, what it's supposed to do, and you have to bump that up against what your company is trying to accomplish and for what customer base. And I have. I started this, I started my podcast thinking I just want to talk to people, man, I just want to. And what I found, more and more often, both on the podcast and then getting into the community of thought leadership and I'm not a thought leader, but just like seeing a lot more of it I became more militant and almost like protective of the audience, of stop spouting bullshit. Make sure your audience understands that what you're about to say only applies to your previous experiences and your perspective today, and I think that's the thing I've learned and the thing I will say, almost like it's almost like you should put a disclaimer at the top of your show.

Speaker 2:

The opinions of this guest or only opinions based on I do. Because one of the this is going to be the obscure reference of the day. One of my absolute favorite comedians is a guy called Stephen Wright. He's the king of one liners. I don't know if you know him or not.

Speaker 1:

No.

Speaker 2:

Really dry delivery. You know it's like short little one liners. One of my absolute favorite jokes of his which is so stupid he okay An example of one of his jokes was he used to work at. He says I used to work at a fire company that makes fire hydrants and then he goes you couldn't park anywhere near the place, but right, it's that kind of stuff. But what you were just talking about reminded me another one of his jokes, which is I once bought some used paint Punch line is it came in the shape of a house. So the reason I thought about that is because you take this shape of something that you've built around customer success that worked great in one place, and it's in the shape of a house. And it's unrealistic for you to take that same shape of the house and plunk it down on a completely different set of scenarios and expect that it'll work. Now it's still paint. It still has color to it. That doesn't change. That's your framework, but how you actually implement it and what walls you paint with that is totally different.

Speaker 1:

And the one thing I would add to that is the stakes are so high, especially right now, that if we're out there teaching aspiring CSMs or CS leaders with these immutable laws, we're setting them up for failure, when I think our responsibility as people who are out here broadcasting opinions either of our own or of other people, is to be very, very clear that you cannot turn off your critical thinking muscle. This is a weird analogy, but sure you have to take everything that is said within the context of that person's experience.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think that's super critical and you're right, it is a massive responsibility as it pertains to digital. It's unfair for me to go yeah, digital, I can't come on here and say, hey, digital CS is just sending emails to the right person, because then somebody's going to think, yeah, I'm just going to send emails and that'll be digital CS, and that's not what it is at all.

Speaker 1:

But Alex, the other, I think, if I'm going to be a contrarian, I think if somebody doesn't have a digital CS motion today and that's the first thing they stood up, that's a huge success.

Speaker 2:

Massive success, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Because you're going from zero to 100. And if they get one sale off of that, one retention, one upsell, they're going to think Alex is the, he's a wizard man, he helped me. So, like, I think it's just maintaining that perspective and you got to put all the pieces together and I just think it's super important to stress that to folks.

Speaker 2:

Yeah Well, with that we're going to start wrapping things up a little bit, but I want to know, before we leave each other's virtual presence today what is Dylan Young's content diet consist of? What are you paying attention to? What are you ready for listening to?

Speaker 1:

I'm ready for this.

Speaker 2:

Let's go, hit me up.

Speaker 1:

I don't listen to anything, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I love it, so be your own self.

Speaker 1:

No no not even I mean I do and I love it no. I'm kidding I. So for anybody else who has listened to my podcast and I don't know if you've talked about this I've listened to a couple of episodes and it hasn't come up. I'm big, big big on mental health and that's largely because I have a lot of work to do on my own and I'm, you know, not in a bad place or anything like that, but it's something I absolutely have to pay attention to, and I find that a lot of noise not audible noise, but information noise for me makes it very difficult for me to live my life, and so I have to be very, very purposeful about what I listen to, what I read, what I consume, what I listen to, what I listen to, what I listen to, what I listen to, what I spend time every single day reading, but it's typically the New York Times morning newsletter and then the New York Times sport outlet, which is the athletic. I read their daily newsletter. I do have. Let's see. I have see if I can pull them all out here. I have the customer success book, the classics. I have chief customer officer playbook, I have the seven pillars of customer success, and when I'm on my game, I'm reading 20, 30 pages of that each morning, taking notes, putting stuff in my to-do list of stuff I wanna do professionally with what I've learned. But I don't seek out a ton of podcasts because the other thing I've learned is my wife and I have this fight all the time. We were going on vacation and it was like three weeks away and it was with a bunch of our friends, and the way we do it is we have to do. Everybody does a night for dinner and our night was pizza. And three weeks before we went on vacation she started sending me links to pizza places. Now we don't fight about this anymore because what I've learned is she's gonna do that and what I'm gonna do is fucking ignore it. And then, 20 minutes before my task is due, I'll do my research, I'll find a pizza place, I'll order that pizza and it'll be good enough. And what I mean by that is to say I don't consume a ton of information for no damn reason. It's another part of the noise theory is I typically am only consuming information when I need to, when I'm trying to accomplish a task. It's another thing I know about myself is I go nuts trying to learn something Like nothing else can get in the way. I can't watch TV, I can't sometimes have a conversation because I just have to solve this problem. So I have to actively often avoid information that makes me think there's a problem I have to solve.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I can sympathize with that so much, and I love the focus on mental health and just awareness around what your own needs are. I think it's so important because we get just stuff flung our way constantly and we get just a lot of information constantly, 24 hours a day. And one of my pet peeves is like being subjected to like noise without you being able to give that noise permission to enter. You know what I mean. Like whether it's physical noise, like your neighbor blasting stuff real loud in the backyard. I'm sorry, I don't really wanna hear that at the moment, and so it makes me mad when I don't have control over that. So I love that you're controlling your content diet that way, because you're right, you know.

Speaker 1:

That's just about the most what you let in and what you know. That's just about the most type A thing you could ever say is you can't control your senses.

Speaker 2:

I wish I could just turn my ears off. Man, it's so true. I do really need a really loud USB speaker at the public pool. I'm sorry you don't.

Speaker 1:

You don't, but that's you man, that's just like your opinion.

Speaker 2:

That's just like your opinion, man. Who do you want to perhaps give a shout out to Some kudos to that's doing cool stuff in Digital CS? I know you're not paying attention to anyone, but you've probably come across you've had some good conversations. You've come across some folks that are doing cool things digitally.

Speaker 1:

I'll tell you so. You're absolutely right. So since I put the podcast on hiatus, I've kind of been on a complete LinkedIn hiatus. Like I get on there because I don't want to log back in in September and have 6,000 new notifications, but I'm not totally following a ton of what anybody's doing, so these are kind of like old mainstays. So this is my opportunity to apologize to Mickey Powell, in that I think that dude is insanely intelligent and he you know. If I describe myself as somebody who gets obsessed with something, that's what I believe Mickey to be. The same way Like he is, he's all in on the AI stuff, which I think is ultimately very scalable.

Speaker 2:

Mickey is a poster child for what we were talking about earlier too, which is to say, you know, he doesn't have a college degree, he's self-educated, he goes deep on topics, learns a ton about those topics and in that, becomes an expert and so intelligent. Yeah, absolutely Sorry, I interrupted you.

Speaker 1:

No, and what's so bizarre about Mickey is he somehow he didn't want to go to college, which, whatever, like I'm not judging that. What I'm judging is he somehow made a promise to. He was mature enough to make that decision. And in the same breath, mental breath was like all right, 18 year old Mickey, if you're not gonna go to college, then you need to wanna learn every day. And when he said that on my podcast and I've heard him say it on other ones I was like, okay, dude, like way to make us all look like the absolute, like Neanderthals, that you'd had the presence of mind at that time to say like I'm gonna take every learning opportunity I get and I'm gonna make the most of it. Anyway, love that, dude, I can't wait to see the Warriors stink this year. The other one would be a gentleman I've had exactly one conversation with and it was about maybe being on my podcast. It has not come to fruition yet Mr Dan Ennis, yeah, who, I think, is another absolutely brilliant mind, any content he puts out or anything he's a part of. I know for a fact that he is very picky about the stuff that he associates himself with. That's why he told me to fuck up? No, he didn't, but he made that very clear of like, I only get involved in stuff that I believe in, in stuff where, like, my opinion is gonna be stated the way I want it to be, and I found him to be a very intelligent person with a ton of integrity, and he's got a lot of things to say about digital CS.

Speaker 2:

I agree with you completely. At the time we're recording it hasn't been released yet, but by the time this will be released, his episode will be live as well, I'll listen to that one for sure. So go listen to that if you're listening now, but I think he'd be great on your show as well. That's gonna be good. Well, as we were. This has been cool. It's been just nice, casual, great conversation. I've enjoyed every minute of it. Where can people find you? Probably not LinkedIn. Right now you're on a hiatus.

Speaker 1:

I mean you can go follow me, it's just not. It's gonna be kind of boring. I hope I'm not your own Lifetime Value Podcast.

Speaker 2:

the link will be in the description.

Speaker 1:

Yep, go to the LTV podcast. You can also shoot me an email at dillins About D-I-L-L-O-N at lifetimevaluepodcastcom. And yeah, we are just getting started on the second season. It's gonna be slightly different, but we're gonna do a second season, probably starting late September. So if you go and follow the page, you listen to some of the old ones, just don't get your hopes up that the new ones are gonna sound like the old ones. And then watch out for some new episodes starting in the fall.

Speaker 2:

And it's gonna be great. Well, like I said before, I really enjoy listening to your show. I can't wait for it to come back and maybe be part of it, I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Alex, can I give you some kudos?

Speaker 2:

You have such a velvety voice.

Speaker 1:

Is that weird?

Speaker 2:

Does this help?

Speaker 1:

No, actually I liked it just the way it was Don't change a thing.

Speaker 2:

You have a really good radio voice and in fact it reminds me of one of my absolute favorite YouTubers. It's me not, it's me not.

Speaker 1:

no, he's the only one I know he calls himself, mr Regular.

Speaker 2:

His channel is Regular Car Reviews. I don't know if you've seen it.

Speaker 1:

It's hilarious Cause they're just like playing cars.

Speaker 2:

It's yeah, totally, it's hilarious. It is vulgar, so you know, watch out for that. But your voice sounds just like that, guys, and it's a good voice. It's a nice radio I love the voice for radio.

Speaker 1:

I always get this confused, right, cause people are like the voice for radio thing and I always think it's an insult, cause I'm used to the phrase you have a face for radio and that's not what you meant, right.

Speaker 2:

It's not what I meant, nope.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, I'm handsome everybody. Yes, make sure to watch the YouTube.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and on that note, they handsome. Dylan Young, thanks for joining and we'll have to have you back.

Speaker 1:

Hey, this was a pleasure, man, I love what you're doing. Keep it up, and if you do fall apart mentally from the pressures of the podcast, you know where to find me, because I've been there.

Speaker 2:

I'll take some lessons from your playbook and take a couple of months off. 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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