The Digital CX Podcast

One of the Digital CS Originals: It’s Lane Holt of Gainsight! | Episode 023

October 26, 2023 Alex Turkovic, Lane Holt Episode 23
One of the Digital CS Originals: It’s Lane Holt of Gainsight! | Episode 023
The Digital CX Podcast
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The Digital CX Podcast
One of the Digital CS Originals: It’s Lane Holt of Gainsight! | Episode 023
Oct 26, 2023 Episode 23
Alex Turkovic, Lane Holt

Send us a Text Message.

As mentioned at the start of this episode, our CS friend Mickey Powell and his family are experiencing hardship with the loss of a mother and brother in very short succession. If you'd like to help:

Thank you!

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Today, I am pleased to offer you this great conversation with one of the original Digital CS practitioners, Lane Holt of Gainsight. When I first got into this whole "digital thing", lane was there for me and helped me shape the program I was working on. She has bravely blazed the trail of this crazy practice and continues to do so with her team, creating some amazing motions focused on personalization.

In this fun discussion, we cover off a number of topics including: 

  • Using your data to know who your customer is and how they are engaging
  • Using your digital motions to keep your contact data fresh
  • Team structure at Gainsight and how the digital, pooled and ops teams interplay
  • Three key skills to look for when hiring for a digital CS role: marketing metrics, customer success, data relationships 
  • Creating digital automations by first doing things manually
  • Digital Business Reviews
  • Where to start: at the customer journey’s milestone moments
  • Three different calendars of events: company, account & persona

As you can see, a lot of info packed into this one.

Enjoy! I know I sure did...

Lane's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laneholt/

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Digital CS Shoutouts:

Support the Show.

+++++++++++++++++

Like/Subscribe/Review:
If you are getting value from the show, please follow/subscribe so that you don't miss an episode and consider leaving us a review.

Website:
For more information about the show or to get in touch, visit DigitalCustomerSuccess.com.

Buy Alex a Cup of Coffee:
This show runs exclusively on caffeine - and lots of it. If you like what we're, consider supporting our habit by buying us a cup of coffee: https://bmc.link/dcsp

Thank you for all of your support!

The Digital Customer Success Podcast is hosted by Alex Turkovic

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

As mentioned at the start of this episode, our CS friend Mickey Powell and his family are experiencing hardship with the loss of a mother and brother in very short succession. If you'd like to help:

Thank you!

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Today, I am pleased to offer you this great conversation with one of the original Digital CS practitioners, Lane Holt of Gainsight. When I first got into this whole "digital thing", lane was there for me and helped me shape the program I was working on. She has bravely blazed the trail of this crazy practice and continues to do so with her team, creating some amazing motions focused on personalization.

In this fun discussion, we cover off a number of topics including: 

  • Using your data to know who your customer is and how they are engaging
  • Using your digital motions to keep your contact data fresh
  • Team structure at Gainsight and how the digital, pooled and ops teams interplay
  • Three key skills to look for when hiring for a digital CS role: marketing metrics, customer success, data relationships 
  • Creating digital automations by first doing things manually
  • Digital Business Reviews
  • Where to start: at the customer journey’s milestone moments
  • Three different calendars of events: company, account & persona

As you can see, a lot of info packed into this one.

Enjoy! I know I sure did...

Lane's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laneholt/

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Digital CS Shoutouts:

Support the Show.

+++++++++++++++++

Like/Subscribe/Review:
If you are getting value from the show, please follow/subscribe so that you don't miss an episode and consider leaving us a review.

Website:
For more information about the show or to get in touch, visit DigitalCustomerSuccess.com.

Buy Alex a Cup of Coffee:
This show runs exclusively on caffeine - and lots of it. If you like what we're, consider supporting our habit by buying us a cup of coffee: https://bmc.link/dcsp

Thank you for all of your support!

The Digital Customer Success Podcast is hosted by Alex Turkovic

Speaker 1:

Real quick. Before we start this episode, there's a member of the CS community who needs a little bit of an uplift, and apologies for those of you watching on YouTube, I just got back from a run. I'm uncoffed, but I wanted to get this into this episode Just to get it out there For those longtime listeners you have. Maybe you've listened to episode one of this podcast featuring none other than Mickey Powell Awesome episode. He's our resident generative AI expert. He posted on LinkedIn about two subsequent very important losses in his family and I wanted to basically let everyone know that I've linked to that post in the show notes. If you would engage with Mickey and you know, read through his post and just send him some love. He and his family need support. There's also a link to contribute if you so wish. I really, you know, want us to band together and Support someone that needs our help at the moment. So Go engage with that post. Now back to the show. Well, should we talk about? Should we talk about CS for a little bit?

Speaker 2:

You didn't want to make this like the Halloween Alex and Lane show instead of the digital CS podcast.

Speaker 1:

I mean, we can totally do that. You know like how would you digitally approach Halloween? 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 digital customer success calm. 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. Hello and welcome to episode 23 of the digital customer success podcast.

Speaker 1:

This is the second week in a row. We've done two episodes, for a couple reasons. First is I've got a bunch in the backlog and I want to get them out because they shouldn't be sitting on shelves. They should be in your ears, as they say. I don't know if they say that. The second reason is because last week I had the great pleasure of Not only attending the Gainsight Pulse Encore event in Austin, but also sharing the stage with my guest today, which is Lane Holt. We Spend about 45 minutes well, half an hour at the at the conference talking about digital customer success, and so I felt it only appropriate that we get her not only on the podcast but get her episode released this week, kind of Intangent to the Gainsight Pulse Encore event that happened last week. So this is a great conversation.

Speaker 1:

If you know about Lane, you know that she Was she's been at Gainsight for a long time, I think like six, seven years. She was a CSM for a long time and I think about three years ago was tapped to really start to figure out what this digital CS thing was for Gainsight, and and so it's it's obviously a huge role. They're doing some really impressive things, as you will have probably gathered from some previous episodes with one of her team members, aaron Hatton, who was on as well as the Nick and Kelly episode. So Gainsight is doing some really cool things in terms of capturing who their personas are in app and building Motions that are specifically tailored to those personas. So had a lot of fun with Lane. It's always great talking with her and she's been a huge help for me and my own journey in digital CS and and and my role In the practice. So I hope that you please enjoy this conversation with Lane Holt of Gainsight, because I sure did.

Speaker 2:

Alright, what's the CS thing we were talking about today?

Speaker 1:

I don't know, maybe something digital. I mean, I wanted to have you on the show, obviously because you are. You are a legend among digital, so you're actually probably the the one who's been doing digital CS Officially as digital CS probably the longest of anyone to know. Is that fair to say?

Speaker 2:

I I try to be humble about I don't know like there's some other people that I know out there who have been doing similar things, maybe not calling it digital CS. They've been doing a lot. Like I remember when we first started doing this here at Gainsight, I had known some names for a while because, like, I had even talked to them when I was at my last company trying to figure out how we do this programmatic CS thing and but there were like three or four people I called up when I took this role about, oh, two and a half, three years ago now. I said tell me what you're doing, tell me how you do it. Uh, which is which is how we're all doing it right, we have to learn from each other and, right, one of the greatest things about digital customer success is I've never ran into someone that said, no, I'm not going to tell you Right.

Speaker 1:

They want to share exactly.

Speaker 2:

There's no like this is my proprietary information. No, they're willing to share it because it's something that the community around it, because I feel like it's really pushing that edge of where we need to go. The community just wants to lock arms and help each other grow.

Speaker 1:

Yep, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I agree.

Speaker 1:

I mean, it's the whole reason why I started this whole show is because, you know, there's a lot of questions about it, but there's also no shortage of people who are more than willing to share and willing to talk about it and sharing best practices and stuff like that, which is cool. I mean, that's that's, you know, that's. That's been a wonderful thing to tap into, for sure, um, and so you know, given that you've been doing it a while, obviously you know, one of the things that I ask all of my guests is is basically what their elevator pitch of digital cs is right, and because it does vary. But I'm very curious to get your kind of elevator pitch of digital cs because you know, you, you, you, you live it in a very unique way, um, doing it at a csp.

Speaker 2:

The elevator pitch for digital customer success. Oh, I gotta. You sent me this and I was like I feel like, like my typical elevator pitch isn't the right one anymore because everyone's using it right, which is typically like, digital customer success is not not a segment, it's a strategy. But when you kind of peel that back of, like, what does that actually mean? Is it goes back to some of the game site values, right? One of the game site values that we have is success for all, and that's where I really stay Grounded in digital customer success, because in the idea of success for all, it is success for our customers, success for our co-workers, our employees, our company, our investors, and I always throw in success for our families, right?

Speaker 2:

Uh, and so when I think about digital customer success, it is kind of embodying all of those right? How are we creating success for our customers, our csms, our other co-workers, our business and our investors? And we're doing it in a way that is right for where they're at Right, so delivering the message at the right time for the right user through the right channel. And that becomes how digital customer success underpins so much. Right, because when you think of that strategy versus segmentation, then digital customer success Allows you to incorporate the fact that a csm might still have to reach out in different segments, but it doesn't. It doesn't negate the need for digital customer success to help tell someone you need to reach out, yeah, or enabling the user to be able to reach out as well. I know I gave you a five minute elevator pitch.

Speaker 1:

Sorry, this is great. I mean, that was a good ride.

Speaker 2:

We were going 50 floors instead of six.

Speaker 1:

I've had some longer ones. We've gone 100 floors before. I do like that and I do like that element of just kind of enablement. I like to say that we like to make CSMs look good, like we want to make you look good in what you do, and the family element is an interesting one to tie in as well.

Speaker 2:

And, as you see, digital customer success evolve, it's not just for the CSM anymore. We want to make the CSM look good. Some of the work that my team is doing is also helping the professional services team look good, helping the support team look good, the account management team look good, and so it's starting to really encompass that entire customer life cycle. And then it's also helping the customer look good, or the user look good to their boss. Right, oh, did you know you did XYZ this quarter? Awesome, right, being able to provide that value back to the customer for them to trumpet their internal stakeholders as well.

Speaker 1:

Plus, you know, we in CS we're collecting so much data from so many different places, and that puts us in a very unique position where we can then disseminate that data to people in ways that make it effective. One surprising kind of thing that we did that provided a ton of value was, you know, our support team was having a hard time getting into like some of our license expiry data and stuff like that, and we're just like, oh, we've got it, we've got it all. We'll just pump out a report on a regular basis out of GainSight. And there you go. And ever since then, every month, I get like another email that says, hey, can you add me to this report? And I'm like someone's going to send it to y'all All right.

Speaker 2:

so I've gone back and listened to very many of your podcasts, prepping for this re-listening to some of them, and I know you say like there's so much data, but I want to make sure like we don't scare anyone off, right, if someone's sitting out there going I don't have data or I don't have access to the data that I want. Like one of my big things this year has been lack of access to data or inaccurate or like incomplete contact. Data should not hinder you from being able to do digital customer success, and one of the ways we've approached that is being able to use your digital customer success emotions to improve your data. Right, and I know you've had Aaron on to plug Aaron into the show notes and link to that podcast. Aaron's on my team and he's been doing a fabulous job along with other teams as well, Sir Ruthi Mala.

Speaker 2:

She's on my team, based in India. She's doing an awesome work there as well. And one of the things that we've really tried to start to do is say, hey, we don't have all the right data, but what can we do about that? Right, so we have certain data that we can start sending a welcome email. Great, hey, you signed up for your account. Here's welcome to Gainsight. Here's things you need to know. Or we can send a newsletter right, you just need an email address for that. And with the newsletters, people will unsubscribe. Yes, we don't want a huge unsubscribe rate, but if you start to see that people aren't opening it, you're not hitting the right target audience. So then you can start using that data to identify where you're at and then being kind of the stuff that we took this year with now, hey, tell us who you are. We do that in the application, but you also do that over a survey as well, and that's another step to cleaning up your data.

Speaker 2:

Kind of an interim step for us is for our pooled CS model. At least twice a year, we send an email like hey, here's the things you need to know. Every month, we send an email, says here's the things you need to know for this month. But then twice a year we append to it the contacts that we have, the core contacts, and we say, hey, are these right? And we have about a 64% account response rate. So if you have 100 accounts, 64 of them had at least one person respond and say update this. No, this is right, you're good to go right. So we're using our digital CS motions to improve our contact data.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, which is so great, yeah. So when I first kind of saw that modal pop up, I got really excited and I told Aaron this too. I just like I got super excited just because it was just a really great way of a figuring out who. So I was interested from a digital CS perspective because it's like, oh, that's a great way of figuring out who you know, who your users are and what kind of motions that you push that way. But also it was an interesting kind of way of it felt endearing in a way like oh, there's probably somebody on the other end that really wants to know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was nice because it also validated some of the beliefs that we had around who's in our platform and those types of users in our platform, and it helped us make better decisions. When someone says, hey, I want to send this survey to this type of person in the application, and we're able to go. They're not there, right, so let's find another way to get it. Or they say, hey, let's send it over email, and we're like your response rate is not very good, guess what they're actually in the application, let's send it there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, for sure, for sure. I want to take a step back here for a second.

Speaker 2:

I know we went full speed ahead, sorry.

Speaker 1:

We went straightforward, but there's some interesting things, kind of probably some tie-ins here. That well, first off, I did notice that you are you from the St Louis area or you just spent some time in the St Louis area.

Speaker 2:

I spent the first 21 years of my life in St Louis.

Speaker 1:

Okay, cool, I'm from Rala, just down the road.

Speaker 2:

Oh, rala, I don't know. Missouri S&T now.

Speaker 1:

That's the right reaction, yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's the only thing there, Missouri S&T Is it just a college town?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I still call it UMR though, because it's always UMR. Yeah, it's basically one of those towns that is about 60,000 people when classes are in and it's like 10,000 when there aren't.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I grew up in the St Charles area. I was out in O'Fallon, missouri, you know, zoom out West graduate if anyone from St Louis area is listening.

Speaker 1:

Nice, and then so you you guys always kicked our butts and banned competitions.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, do you remember the one? I don't know if you did. You know the one in? I spent one year in a band, my brother spent four. There was one in Washington, like you had to like march up, or like there was this giant hill and no one marched up it, but our band director made us. Every year we marched that hill. That's a big hill. Yeah, that's a huge hill. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

That's brutal. So you grew up in a St Louis area and then you I think your first kind of professional life was marketing. Right, you have a solid marketing background.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I graduated in May 2008, which is not a good time to graduate college, right?

Speaker 1:

No.

Speaker 2:

I submitted tons of resumes and applications and I had one company call me back. This is a very small university in Phoenix called the University of Advancing Technology. Having never lived outside of Missouri, I packed up the car and we drove to Phoenix, so I started there and I was what we called a national liaison. So, basically, I went from college fair to college fair as a road warrior, trying to talk to these high school kids who are into technologies and things like that, about why you should go to school there. I made it six months in that role before I was like this is not what I'm looking for. And they were opening up a role in marketing to do social media marketing. So I was like, hey, you guys were reading my blog as I was applying and I know you know that I know how to do this, loved it to jump in.

Speaker 2:

So one thing, though, that I didn't realize in taking that role is I was also going to be doing email marketing. So a lot of emails through different platforms. High school students say, hey, are you interested? Here's some things that you need to know. This is what we're about. This is why you should come here. You can spend 12 months out of the year outside Maybe three of those you'll actually only be in a pool because it's so hot and that's only when you're new outside right. I spent three years there. It was a good three years. I learned a lot, but then I realized like the growth wasn't there for me, so I just moved through some connections. I moved all the way out to the DC area and did some social media marketing there before that organization did a round of layoffs and I was part of that, which was, you know, when you're going through it you never say that was the best thing that happened.

Speaker 1:

But once you get through it.

Speaker 2:

You're like that was the best thing that happened. Then I moved here to Austin and started contracting the full time for a company here. I spent five years with them, total between contracting and full time. I was doing social media marketing, email marketing, ad buys, trying to do the marketing analysis on it, and then I had our VP of CS. At the time she was like hey, maybe nightclub. Actually sorry. My boss came to me, was like I think our VP of CSS is gonna try and take you away from me.

Speaker 1:

Funny.

Speaker 2:

So I went to her and I said, hey, I heard this rumor that you want me on your team and she's like I do, like, oh, okay, and so I went over to her team and then it was a really good Three years there, but in that role learned a lot.

Speaker 2:

Right, I was, and that was the first foray into this digital customer success thing, and I was always opposed to calling it tech touch and everyone to contact us and like, oh, it just sounds abrasive, so we call the programs yeah, all the programs, and so I was responsible for when I exited they had 70,000 in their long tail, so I was responsible for our admin or game site platform, making sure emails went out. I ran our nps program and just doing all of those cool little things there. Right, being able to try and test things quick and pivot and it's nice. We've had a nice funnel of customers, right. It's sometimes it can be hard. When you're like I have a hundred customers to trial this on, you can't pivot as quickly. When you're like I have a thousand new customers this month I want to see if this resonates you can move a lot quicker.

Speaker 2:

Yeah and so that's fun.

Speaker 2:

Then I came over here to game site, started out as a CSM work through the CSM ladder into leadership and then, like I said, about two and a half three years ago, kelly and Oshfin came to me and they said, hey, there's this like digital thing that we think we need to try and how do we service more of our customers and a scale fashion.

Speaker 2:

And so it started out as a pooled segment and then very quickly we went wait a second, there's so much here that like benefits all of our other customers like why not do it? And that's where we really it took us about maybe like three months after I started the pooled role. It's a say like we're doing this across the board. And then we started it was me and one person like half of a person who was doing like our in-app engagements, and so now my team is see, counting myself, were nine people strong and we focus on All the things in app and email. We help the. The pooled CS team kind of has a feedback loop to my team now hey, we're doing this, we're seeing some success in it, how do we help make it more programmatic? And so we have that feedback loop into my team now.

Speaker 1:

That's cool, so that's how you go from making tweets to doing digital customer success.

Speaker 1:

It's amazing. Yeah, it's such a cool journey and and you're part of what I love about it is because People I mean it's no secret that people come into CS from all walks of life. Right, they come into it from I Don't know sales or you know marketing. In your case, there's some more technical roles that find their way into CS and there's a, there's a home for a lot of different people there. But I think, and especially when it comes to digital CS like that, I think I feel like that marketing background and that foothold that you had an email marketing Was probably the thing that teed you up for this. You know, you know kind of a perfect way, because you had that baseline understanding of, like, this is how to engage with a customer base and this is what not to do and this is you know how to correctly use tokens and stuff like that.

Speaker 2:

It's just a couple too, because they, when someone looks at an email and they're like man, we didn't have a really good click-through rate, okay, but what's your open rate? So if you miss that piece of it, right, and I click through rates not great and my open rates not great. Well, you click through rates not great because no one's looking at the links to click them.

Speaker 2:

So we also like that click to open so of your percentage of those who opened it, how many people clicked it, because that's really gonna tell you like then is your content hitting in the mark. And if you don't have a very high open rate, then you need to fix your subject line in your preview text. And those are like core market, like email marketing, pieces that sometimes get overlooked. And you know, being it in my role, I get asked all like what do you look for to bring someone to your team, or who should I like? What quality is should I look for?

Speaker 2:

And someone to run this program and I tend to say like there's three things that you need Someone who understands marketing metrics, like email marketing metrics, someone who understands what customer success is and and kind of you know why of that. And someone who understands how data relates to data.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Because then you're able to say, oh, I have this data set over here and have this data set over here. How can I get them to match together to really get what I need? Because you might have a list of customers on this page and you might have usage data over here. You have to figure out how to connect them Right and a lot of times our ops teams will do that, but not a lot. Not all organizations have an ops team that can do that, or even have an ops team in general, especially if it's a smaller startup or a fast growth or an early-stage company. And so by looking to have kind of those three things and they don't have to have a deep understanding of all of them Right, maybe they're deep in one thing, but understand the others, and then they can really start growing.

Speaker 2:

And you know, two and a half years ago that was a unicorn. We started building out the team. It was really hard to find that person, but we found like there's beginning to get more because people are going wait, I have to understand this, and so people are leaning into it to really start to measure what are my, what is the success of my digital emotions, and they're starting to see like I need those marketing pieces. And it's not just sending this email to market this, this thing. I also need to make sure it's driving a step. Success for that customer.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly, and and and to your to that point exactly, making sure that you're sending, you know, the the right types of comms to the right. So the right not just the right company, but the right contact as well, because the same kind of outcome based messaging that you want to get out might look differently depending on whether you're sending it up to you know your C level contact or your executive level contact versus your admins and all of that.

Speaker 2:

And it also depends on the person, right? So that one of the things that, as you were saying, that made me think, like a user's outcome is very different than what a decision maker's outcome is for your product. Let's take game site and end users logging in to CSM. They want to understand their book of business, they want to manage their risk, they want to log meeting notes, right? The exec wants to make sure that they are being able to see the reduction. In turn, they're wanting to make sure that they're growing their net dollar retention.

Speaker 2:

And so if I were to ask an exec, you know what is your goal with game site? It's going to be those things. But if I ask an, if I ask you as an admin, what's your goal with game site, you're gonna be like I need to make sure the rules run correctly to provide an accurate representation of our customers to our users and a user. If we ask that question, they're like I need to manage. My goal is to be able to proactively manage my book of business, right? So three different types of goals for each user there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's huge and it's. I think it's something that we kind of overlook. We, you know, there's like a one done, send and forget kind of mentality. Sometimes that goes along with with email marketing. But just, you know, notifications and general. I do want to circle back to one element that you said with regards to your interplay between, you know, the pool team and your team, and I'm curious as to you know, when you think about the digital motions that you have in place, kind of how much of it is focused on purely customer facing stuff and how much of it is like notifications for the internal teams. Do you know what I'm getting at?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I get it. The nice thing is that we also have an ops team, so it's just ops team and then we have my scale team and we have a couple other teams that sit in ops and scale. We're kind of sister teams, right, and I'll give it. I'll give an example of something that will help us with that. So in June this year we launched and user and PS. Right, we had and some you had MPS because you're an admin for a while, right, and it wasn't anything new to you, but we weren't getting our end users perspective. So in June we launched in user and PS, and so my team designed the in app survey, design the email follow ups for that and design that process. And we implemented it. And after a couple months the CS team went wait, we need a score for these and they're like Lane, build a health score for them. Like that's outside of my team. So then we went hey, ops team, this team needs that, I need you to, can you go build it? And so they built out the requirements and then it was built.

Speaker 2:

So a lot of my thing, my team's things, are geared towards the end users and the users of our platform, but there are ones where you know we are working with the pool teams.

Speaker 2:

They how do we do a digital business, cbr or digital business review, and so that's very different, because it is partly building that motion for the pool team and building that experience for the end user. That is one where you can't build one without the other, and so when we have to build both of them together, that typically sits in my team. But when I think about, you know, one of the one of my team sub teams, or our pods on my team, focuses on onboarding. A lot of those motions right now is just how do we make it easier for the professional services team, Right, and so it's taking their motion, so it's not even doing notifications for them, it's taking their motion. Then you're how we do it digitally. We're also building in a piece of that say hey, here's where you might be off track, right. So I would say probably like 75% of my teams work right now is focused on the customer, the end user. Maybe about 25% is focused on like the notifications and tasks to the other teams.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, interesting. Yeah, we've gotten into into an interesting scenario where I don't think you and I have talked about this actually, where we're starting to pull our professional services teams into Gain site and actually running projects as success plans out of Gain site.

Speaker 2:

And that has been.

Speaker 1:

that has been a really interesting challenge because I mean there's a square peg round hole scenario a little bit, but Gain site's been up to the challenge, which is good, but but it's been amazing pulling the post sale teams into into Gain site a little bit more holistically, where we're running onboarding projects within the tool, running ongoing, you know, customer PS engagements within the tool as well, and that's really helping to build out the picture, not just for I think. I think one area where it's really going to have an impact for us is not just the accounts that have an assigned CSM, but those other accounts where there isn't a CSM assigned that we are monitoring quote unquote digitally, but there is some presence there from a PS perspective. I think that's that's, that's huge.

Speaker 2:

A lot of our teams work this year has been around like getting like helping a customer before there's risk right, and so helping guide that journey or that end user perspective. As we start to look into next year, it's going to be a little bit more around hey, where's the risk and how do we use the digital tools to help help, like, mitigate that risk? Not go around it, but being able to say and so one of the nice things about how we help design the pooled CS team is that each CSM also gets a project to work on. So like, yes, they have a whole group of customers that they're all working on, but then each CSM like we have one who was focused on how do we do a digital business review? And we have one that was around. How do you identify customers who are struggling with the same thing? And then another person was working on, or were they working on it's escaping me right now, but what that allowed us to do is it allowed them to be able to spend some other time, dedicate some of their time on that project. To say, okay, here's how we would solve for this, but then, after a one was doing office hours, that was the other one.

Speaker 2:

After we got that project to a place that was sustainable and repeatable, then we built out the automation around it, right, and so that was one of the ways that we took and put a person on it, worked on it, create a process, create a procedure, made it repeatable, and then we moved it on, and then sometimes, if we were two quarters in and it still wasn't into a process, we rotated the projects.

Speaker 2:

So, if you like, this is one of the things I've always been big on. Imagine you're the CSM that's responsible for risk and that's all you ever dealt with. I would. I know me, I would get burnout if I'm always starting to people who are mad or upset about something. So that was one of the reasons why we also like to rotate them, because you got a different flavor of it. But then it also helped each of those team members grow as well. So they understood how to mitigate risk. They also understood how to grow digital EBRs, they understood how to run office hours, and so it was a nice little loop within them to be able to say, okay, I had kind of my tour of duty at this and this is what I took from it, and we take learnings from that and we build on them.

Speaker 1:

That's so cool. I love that. From a career having perspective to in a career building. You know skills building perspective because you know the more exposure that an individual can get to different aspects of the business and different aspects of the team, the better you build yourself a whole. You know a well rounded team, so that's cool. You mentioned digital EBR, ebr, qbr, ebr business review.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the B? R?

Speaker 1:

DBR the DBR. What, what does I've? I've never been exposed to one of those, because we have an amazing CSM at Gainesight. Shout out to Nikki. But what is that experience look like for Gainesight customers? It's.

Speaker 2:

It's, you know, it's still. It's all ever-evolving, right. So what we say here, if someone comes back on since this in a year, but it's gonna be different totally.

Speaker 2:

How we've designed it right now is you get a survey before the business review. You take the survey and then we build a deck around it. Right, we're working on automating more of that through success. Success snapshots are right. Getting pretty close, we're like almost there and then we send you that deck, but then we do it like a group business review, right, so you have your deck. That's custom to you, but you all all of us have been on business reviews.

Speaker 2:

There's an aspect that's custom to us. And then there's like the let's talk about moving forward, and it's a little bit more generic, but it's like how do teams work together, how does the company work with you? And so we bring a group of them together as like a shared business review where we talk more about those forward-facing things, and it also allows the customers To kind of tag off of each other and piggyback and grow and that conversation becomes more robust Instead of just you talking to a game site, csm.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's cool. Is it the same cohort of customers every time, or does that kind of rotate like do they get to know each other?

Speaker 2:

I don't think we've made it through a whole year, so we can't say the same.

Speaker 2:

But we're growing that and so we I have made the recommendation that we try and group similar customers together. And you know, we just came off CXO summit last week and I realized, like we do want something you make sure like we're not putting them with their competitors Right. One of the nice things about CXO is we ask about competitors because we don't want you in a small group where you don't feel comfortable Talking or sharing because your competitors there, as that's something that we also have to make sure that we we put into this as well.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's tough. That's tough. We've struggled with that a little bit because we do have very strong, you know, partner relationships and we have a lot of partners who you know not only sell but service, you know, our software On our behalf and so, you know, in the past We've we've tried to get partners to help us with certain things, but it's always hard to get a couple, you know, a couple of partners in the room together Can get a little bit awkward.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I can imagine.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you mentioned CXO summit. That just happened Last week at the time of recording and it kind of ties into another question that I had for you with with regards to, I Guess, some of the common questions that you you answer, you know, because I want to give you a little bit of a platform to maybe answer those questions, maybe in a one to many fashion. Hey, look at that, you know. So there's maybe a little bit less repetition, but what? What are those things that people come to you with on a repeated basis, that that you find yourself repeating things? I'm sure you're more than happy to do it, but what are you saying over and over again?

Speaker 2:

Well, Common questions are how do I start right?

Speaker 2:

yeah how do I start? And it's. It's kind of a game of inches when you start right, because I Worked with someone once. I'll tell another little story here. I worked with someone once. I said you start with a customer life cycle, what is your customer life cycle? And let's start breaking pieces off. And Like a week and a half later they came back to me like all right, here's the three year life cycle and here are all of the email Touchpoints that we're gonna have over those three years.

Speaker 2:

And I went time out. You just made a big assumption that your customer is gonna last three years. What's the average lifetime of your customer? They're like oh, it's not three years, it's shorter, great. Now like, also, what's gonna change in three years? Because if you just build out this Journey and put it in the journey, or share and execute on it, your customers are in there and you have to stop it right.

Speaker 2:

And so when you think about starting at the customer Dream this is my one piece of advice to everyone whether like, where do I start? Take your customer journey and identify four or five like milestone moments and then peel it back into what do we want the customer to experience or get out of this and what do we want to get out of it? Right. And then you start to see how do you deliver on that? And that's what we did.

Speaker 2:

We took our customer life cycle and we said, okay, what are the first few moments that we want to be able to do? And it's like things like for us. It was like cadence call Right, did we do we need to have a cadence call with the customers in our pooled segment? Yes, no, maybe so right. But when we looked at, we said what are we doing in these cadence calls? And every time it was you're the upcoming events, here's what you need to know about the product. All right, do you have any technical question? I'm like, okay, I can take two, three of two out of the three of them and put that in an email, right, and then it's.

Speaker 1:

Then it goes back to those customers even want a cadence call right.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and when we started talking to them, it's like look like these were, these were, and in most organizations, these are gonna be your startup, your faster of organizations. People are wearing multiple hats and the way that we discussed it was Alex, you're wearing four hats, right? You don't know that every second Tuesday of the month at noon that you can meet with, right? So instead of doing that like I'm happy to meet with you, just tell me like reach out to hate, love to schedule 30 minutes. We'll get 30 minutes on the calendar, but in lieu of that, I'm gonna send you what you need to know over email upcoming events, product changes and then we typically it will say like, have a called action, like, hey, do you want to do this? Don't forget to use your best practice sessions, right. And so that's how we first started doing that, right? So that was our first motion into here's a lifecycle moment. Then we're gonna deliver differently, right? Yep, yeah. And then that's also where we got into some of the best practice sessions, right, we said, okay, here are all the things that our customers asked for best practices around and we said, okay, let's do it in one mini fashion. What is this? Round table, webinar, technical deep dive look like and that's where we built out. So we started identifying those first and then one of the where. That's kind of where you start like you started like the account level. What are things would be account level we want to do? And then we also talked a lot about three calendars. I feel like I'm like you're giving me my chance to do my post presentation that I didn't get to do this year.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but there's three, kind of three calendars. There's your year calendar, your January to December for gain site. You know, in a March and April you're gonna get pulse information. Go register for post, because those happen at that point in the calendar year. It doesn't matter if it's day one of a customer or your file of a customer. In April, march, April, you're gonna get that information. So that's one calendar.

Speaker 2:

Same calendar to look at is the account lifecycle calendar. There's the day you sign is like day the account signs up. That's day one and there are certain things you're gonna get. You're gonna welcome email there. You need to get onboarding information there. You're not gonna get that again in year two unless you buy a new product and then that's where we go from there. And then there's user lifecycle. Your day one in my platform as an end user might be your accounts 250th day, but you still need to know what to do on your first day in the platform. And so, when you look at those three life cycles, we did a lot in our first year and a half two years of digital success. I'm not a count life cycle Right.

Speaker 2:

What do you need to know? Newsletters, things like that. This is the year that we've really started focusing on that end user lifecycle. What do you need to understand as an end user as you're navigating it? Some cool things that are coming out. I'm not gonna give any dates or anything, but we are getting ready to launch a possible knowledge center. Bottom yes for end users, for new end users.

Speaker 2:

Imagine, like, it's my first day in what I need to know and you're getting touches of that with the, that Persona survey what's your role? What department are you in? What are you trying to accomplish? You're getting touches of that. But now imagine you'll take that from your first day and Then build out the next steps. Hey, you're a CSM. Great, here's what you need to know. Oh, wait, you're not a CSM, you're a sales. You're an AE or an AM. This is what you need to know, right? How do I do my renewal for past? How do I manage my renewal CTA? Right? So there's different paths that we're starting to put you on, but we could not have gotten here if we didn't start with that account life cycle.

Speaker 2:

Right that's where we balance those out. So first thing, I'd say the question I always answer start with your life cycle, know what you want your life cycle to look like and build back from there.

Speaker 1:

And there's always an excuse not to do something like there's always going to be an excuse not to do something like.

Speaker 1:

I don't have the right, you know contact information and I don't have this and I don't have that and it's just like well, what you know what, what can you do? I mean, you know we operate in a in a largely on-prem Kind of an environment where most of our customers are on-prem and so we don't get to see a lot of this stuff that we would an assassin environment. That's changing because we're evolving into that, but you know, so it's been a lot of like Okay, we can't see this, but how can we still identify who these certain people are and how to target those certain people?

Speaker 1:

And that's that's been a fun challenge of like using the community and logins and all that kind of fun stuff, which is interesting. But I love that in terms of the the three different life cycles and especially the end user life cycle, there's there's so much attention being put on like on boarding, like Customer onboarding, that the end user onboarding goes by the wayside and the reason we started looking at that this year was because Adoption at the account level is measured by end user adoption Right, so adopt.

Speaker 2:

and what we look at for adoption at the account level is what percentage of your users are healthy, active users, right? Well, now I know what I need to go do. I need to make sure my users are healthy, active users. So now, how do I get them to stay in the platform, right? How do I get them to return? What makes them sticky? What two to three things do I need them to do in their first login to make sure they come back tomorrow? Yeah that's now where we're at and what we're looking at.

Speaker 1:

I Love it. I love it. Well, I do feel like we could go on forever.

Speaker 2:

Maybe we do a part two.

Speaker 1:

I think we should do a part two. Yeah, we'll do a part two, but I do want to ask you a couple other kind of closeout questions, which is something that I ask everybody. The first one is like what's your, what's your content diet? What do you pay attention to on a regular basis?

Speaker 2:

I I've since I heard this question the first time. Like man, I need of my content diet, but I am. I am pleasantly Surprised, and all of them, that I am not the only one who says like I don't read a lot of business books, like forever, like five, like I'm into historical fiction, so for every like five historical fiction books read, like I might read a business book or something.

Speaker 2:

My husband at one point told me like I mean, like in my heart of hearts I'm like European or English, like there's something about like historical fiction, especially like the World War two era. Like really gets me like oh yeah the Rose Code. I read that book I was like oh man, I love this one, that's cool.

Speaker 2:

But I'm also started listening to. One of the things that my dad instilled in me growing up was like the value of money, right, and so I. One of the things that one of the podcasts I started listening to recently called girls that invest. It's one lady. They're like two New Zealand women in their late 20s. One now lives in Canada, but it's nice like they just kind of break things down, right, and so I listen to a podcast. I finished it up this morning Around when Instacart and claveo IPO'd and it was like breaking down, like does this mean it's the end of the IPO drought? You know why would you invest in something? One thing is that they said stuck to me was like if the sea, if the CEO came to you and said, like you can run this company, like, or you can buy the whole thing, like would I do it? And then like if you wouldn't do it, then you probably shouldn't even invest in any of it.

Speaker 1:

Amen, yeah, there you go.

Speaker 2:

This is interesting, but don't take any of my advice. I'm not. I'm not here to give financial advice. I.

Speaker 1:

Do feel like there's a big portion of the population that Didn't get like a really strong financial education other than like learning how to balance a checkbook, like in In high school or something like that you know, and we live now in a time where there's no shortage of financial education, and it can. It can be really hard to pick the good stuff from the bad stuff, so I Appreciate a drop like that. That's cool.

Speaker 2:

I still wish that in high school they taught me how to do my taxes. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Don't, don't go there. Tax season it will be. Yeah, it will be indeed. Well, that's cool. So, having your finger on the pulse of no pun intended, or maybe pun intended of digital CS, who would you call out, is doing Cool stuff. Like, who are the people that you're like? Oh yeah, they've built some great stuff and I'm really proud of them.

Speaker 2:

Um, to the people that I like to always give a shout out to you because I learned a lot from them early on Melissa Allen at octa she did a spotlight for us back in August and just some of the things that they're doing right around you know variant emails and getting in front of different risks and things like that. It was really cool. Auterex is doing some cool stuff. Jordan Barker over there and then gong, I owe like their combination of digital success and community Is really cool. Several people over there sona Misha Really loved what they're doing and they it's also nice like give shout outs to other other women in tech. They're doing it to Melissa and sona Manisha really doing something at work and also carry it at Qualtrics.

Speaker 2:

I saw her last week and always cool to see what they're doing and see how she's pushing that that edge there.

Speaker 1:

Cool, yeah, well, selfishly, this is a. You know, these are always source list for me. It's my source list. It totally is, but it's, you know, it's good, it's good, I love it. Okay. Finally, you're obviously on LinkedIn, but you know how can people engage with you? Is it linked in? Is it other places? Gain site related places.

Speaker 2:

LinkedIn is is a good bet always is also the game site, community, community, that gainsite calm, you can find me in there, you know. So find that one of the things that we are really big on this year and we're pushing on the team is build in public. So anything that my team does that's more innovative, they post how they've done it on our community, so some really cool like Technical things in there that you can find and learn, and they're always also happy to connect as well. You could probably find me on other social medias, but I do have them kind of walk down a little bit Because you spent any night. I can't believe we made it this far in the podcast. I haven't mentioned my kids, but you always know I find some way to connect them in and so, but they're seven and four and so I try not I try to keep them out of the limelight, at least their photos.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's good. That's good parent stuff right there. Well, I've appreciated this hour. I always love talking to you, you know, and you were so instrumental in helping me get up to speed back in the day as well. So just a huge shout out to you and everything you do for the community and and we're gonna have you back for sure.

Speaker 2:

Well, thanks for having me. I know this is a long time coming. We tried earlier and you know parents and summer and they just didn't happen and then happens this summer sucked there's like. No, I mean it's, it was. It was rough. And then, to wrap it up, the week my kids started school, I got COVID, so it was. But we are in the false swing of it. You know events happening, pulse, pulse on quarter Austin next week and then let's ride into the holidays.

Speaker 1:

That's right. Just smooth sailing. That's right. Finish the quarter out. Well, thanks again.

Speaker 2:

I'll catch up with you later, alex.

Speaker 1:

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.

Digital Customer Success
Marketing to Digital Customer Success Transition
Understanding Marketing Metrics and Building Team
Starting and Managing Customer Life Cycles
Financial Education and Book Recommendations