The Digital Customer Success Podcast

Driving Hybrid Customer Success Through Orchestrated Onboarding with Donna Weber | Episode 024

October 31, 2023 Alex Turkovic, Donna Weber Episode 24
The Digital Customer Success Podcast
Driving Hybrid Customer Success Through Orchestrated Onboarding with Donna Weber | Episode 024
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, I was privileged to be able to sit down with Donna Weber, who literally wrote the book on Onboarding (called Onboarding Matters). The book itself is a fantastic resource for leaders and ICs alike and is aimed at driving a consistent language within an org to ensure that everyone is working together towards positive onboarding outcomes.

Our conversation doesn't just revolve around onboarding however and delves into all sorts of interesting topics related to digital cs:

  • How digital motions should assist your high touch CSMs be more efficient and be the specialists
  • Start your digital motions where your repetition exists
  • Deploying technology before you’re ready for it
  • The Orchestrated Onboarding Framework in featured in the book
  • Focus on handoff from sales to onboarding and transferring of information
  • Hybrid CS and some examples for integrating digital motions in your human motions
  • Putting yourself into the shoes of your customer
  • Providing context to your customers at all times so that they know where they are in the journey at all times

Favorite quote from this episode: "Systemize the predictable so that you can humanize the exceptional!"

This conversation was both fun and informative and I hope you enjoy it. I know I sure did...

Donna's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/donnaweb/
Website: https://www.donnaweber.com/

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Books: 

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The Digital Customer Success Podcast is hosted by Alex Turkovic

Speaker 1:

We're treating our customers like jellyfish. They're just floating around and you know no direction.

Speaker 2:

And we only pay attention to them when they sting us. 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 and welcome back to the Digital Customer Success podcast. So great to have you back. It is episode 24 and today we feature a conversation with Donna Weber who no joke wrote the book on onboarding called Onboarding Matters. It's a great read. It is a book that is meant to help you and your teams collaborate around this notion of onboarding. It sets the stage nicely and gives you awesome strategies for onboarding. In the conversation today, we go way beyond that, talk a lot about some really cool examples of digital motions and we get into hybrid CS, which is that magical combination of humans and digital motions. Naturally, we talk a lot about the handoff between sales and onboarding teams, but also we just talk about the customer journey in general and how important it is for you to put yourself in your customer's shoes as you're rolling out these things. So fantastic conversation filled with all kinds of practical advice, and I really hope you enjoy my conversation with Donna Weber, because I certainly did. Okay, you ready to go?

Speaker 1:

Ready to go?

Speaker 2:

Donna Weber, welcome to the podcast. It's so nice to have you.

Speaker 1:

Alex, thank you so much for including me. It's a pleasure to be here.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. When I got into starting to record these episodes right at the outset, I wanted to make sure that I hit a pretty broad brushstroke, if you will, of people that I wanted to talk to. I didn't just want to talk to only CS leaders. I want to talk to operators and admins and marketing people and services folks and all that kind of stuff, and I think you sit kind of in a unique position in terms of your expertise and the things that you talk about as being the author of Onboarding Matters had to get the plug in. But also, I mean, that's what you've been doing, for I think the last seven or eight years is really just consulting and educating around the importance of onboarding for healthy, long-term customer relationships, and so I was excited to have you on and I feel like you and I have something in common in terms of our early work, which is to say, I saw that you spent a lot of time in instructional design and curriculum development, which is kind of where I cut my teeth as well. And for me anyway, it was a good transition into customer-facing roles because I had that kind of education, contextual, emotionally intelligent backbone to rely on when it came to customer conversations. Is that a similar experience for you in terms of your background?

Speaker 1:

Well, yeah, alex, I mean the thing is, you know, customer success is, you know, this is say, it's around 10 years and counting. It's been around about 10 years and counting and while you know there is that kind of newer approach to, hey, we really need to look after our new and existing customers. There's been many customer-facing roles for much longer professional services, customer support, customer education and enablement and you know so a lot of us have been flying the flag for the customer, including myself, for a long time. And you know, with customer success, seeing how it needs to be part of it, kind of a bigger picture, you know, is not just about onboarding, it's about getting your customers to be successful.

Speaker 2:

Right, absolutely. And you know, so often we, I think a lot of customers or a lot of companies, I should say set themselves up for failure right at the outset of that. By the end of the day, bye not doing those proper handoffs and things like that and really understanding what the outcomes need to be for a specific customer to achieve success, which is interesting.

Speaker 1:

It is interesting, it continues to be ongoing challenges and frustrations. Since I started working in this space, companies have really matured and companies have more mature customer onboarding teams, and yet there's still a lot of these gaps and challenges that I hear about every day.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because it's not necessarily an easy thing either. It can be challenging working through those things. This is the Digital CS podcast and, of course, I like to ask all my guests the same fundamental question, which is to say what is your own personal definition of Digital CS? If you had to give a quick elevator pitch?

Speaker 1:

Sure, well, I would say it's all about delivering the right content or the right touch for the right persona at the right time, so to ensure that you're driving the right behavior that's going to deliver value for both you and your customers. So you know, digital Customer Success is not just dumping a bunch of information and content on customers. I like to say it's about transformation, not information. So what are you doing to help customers transform? And then I also will dive more into this, but I'm really talking more about hybrid customer success these days, because Digital Success is a great let's just call it destination but it's a journey to get there and to do it well and to do it right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I love the hybrid term as well just because I think so much of your digital motions should help your enterprise CSMs or your high-touch CSMs, whatever you want to call them deliver on the value in a much easier way than if they didn't have the automations and kind of the efficiencies behind them.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely. I can't even tell you, alex, how many times I talk with companies who are treating every customer with special care I call it the special snowflake treatment and they're just doing these same things over and over and over, and what I'm finding is I'm helping them calculate their cost of customer onboarding, and they're often spending more than what the customers are paying them to onboard. And so what happens is, right now, most companies, most CFOs, are really examining and managing costs, and so we, as customer success professionals, have a responsibility to our companies to really look at how we're spending our time, which equals money, and so there's huge opportunities to digitize even components where there's basic repeatable stuff going on over and over and over, and deliver a more of a one-to-many approach that can really scale. And so, therefore, customer-facing professionals can be these specialists, can be these strategic advisors, and not doing the same wrote things over and over. It's going to really help elevate their profession, our whole industry, and keep them. You know I don't know about you, but I like to be challenged and engaged and solve real problems. I get really, really bored when I'm doing the same things over and over and over, and it's just shocking the amount of teams that think that that's you know. They're just stuck in that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you hit on a magic concept there, which is repetition. A lot of people ask me you know when I'm meeting with them or talking with them about digital, you know where do I start? And the answer is often in what you do most often like what are those things that you're sending all the time? What are those templates that you're distributing on a regular basis? What is your highest volume of support tickets that come in? You know, like, looking at those things that you're just spending tons of human cycles on? That's where you can start.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and the thing is, I know you. You know you as a new listener might feel well, I'm too busy doing all these manual things, I don't have time to look for solutions or to track what I'm doing, but that's exactly what you need to do. So, if I can give a personal example, you know I like to start with. When I create new processes, I like to start with the manual because it really helps me know kind of what really is required, how long things take. The great thing about manual approaches is that it they're easy to get like immediate feedback and it's also they're also easy to tweak little things. So they're easy to change, easy to deploy, easy to understand what's working and not. But then you need to like start to document the process. So, for example, I teach my orchestrated onboarding masterclass and I did it all manually, all myself, and at first that was good because it was like helped me to really go oh, this is what's needed. I could adjust it every time I deliver the course. And then after a while I'm like this is ridiculous, you know. So I wrote down all the steps that I'm doing and then that helped me define the requirements for a learning management system and then I went off looking for learning management system, but I had my system documented, so I was able to go hey, these are all the things that I must do. And so now I have an LMS deployed and there's still manual components, but a lot of it is automated and it's so much fun. Every time I create a new cohort, all I do is duplicate the last one and it's like, oh, my goodness, it's awesome, it's ready to go. But you know, it's not about throwing technology at problems. It's about really really knowing what you need to do, knowing those pain points about what's repeatable and then defining your requirements as a result of that. Those pain points are really valuable. It helps you to know your requirements.

Speaker 2:

Totally reminds me of the book the One Thing by I think it's Keller, of Keller Williams, which is basically like you know, what is the, what is the one thing that you can do, like today, this week, next week, next month? That makes everything else you do downstream easier, and I think automation is a big part of that. But to your point, you know, building automations blindly is not the way to go, because if you do it manually first, you're going to figure out what doesn't work about it.

Speaker 1:

I can't tell you how many people deployed you know technology, customer facing solutions, because basically they're being there, being there, kind of a being led by the vendor about oh you need this, you need that, and they don't even know what they need and so ended they end up. Ripping it out is turning all over and that is very, very expensive.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, totally yeah, absolutely absolutely so in I read through, read through your book, which I loved for a couple different reasons. First off, I'm not a reader. Reading puts me to sleep, it's just a known thing. Like I read a couple pages, I'm out. So audio books is my game, and excellent narration on your, on your book, by the way. But and I think this is how you intended it based on I think it's the forward or might be your website, but but you kind of intended it to be a team resource that essentially a team could read, get on the same page about. You know what the framework was to successful onboarding and and and. What I liked about it is it does I wouldn't. I wouldn't call it, it's not, it's not like dumb down, but it's like plain English. It's black or white, like you know exactly what you're talking about and you're very good about defining things as you go and whatnot. But I was curious if you could just give us a little bit of insight into you know what led you to write it and and and just also the basic framework that you lay out and it is so great and if you could kind of give us a, a baseline of that.

Speaker 1:

Well, thank you. Yeah, when I decided to focus on customer onboarding at that time, when I saw that you know customer success at that time let's just call that customer success Probably one dot oh, maybe kind of you know the cast between one dot oh and two dot oh, but a lot of customer success teams are focused on the renewal and it was like, why isn't anyone talking about onboarding? I just couldn't understand it. So obvious, like that's the most important part of the journey and that's where you need to be spending your time. And I realized, oh, no one's talking about it, because I need to talk about it. So so that's why I one focused my expertise there and then also wrote about it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, exactly good. Would you mind giving us just kind of a cliff notes version of the framework that you lay out?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, first of all I talk about why onboarding is the most important part of the journey, and that includes the neuroscience of onboarding, the neuroscience of how our brains work and why you need to engage customers with the why right up front. And then I include the six stages of my orchestrated onboarding framework. To really not go go much beyond the deployment of your product and the launch Me too. To go much, but you know it has to be much bigger than just launching your product, deploying your service or solution. It needs to be about building a great relationship. So we start with the first stage is called embark and that's really about the big picture, building that strategic relationship, and then we go into the handoff. Now, you know we'll handoff become less relevant as we move more and more into digital. Customer success and onboarding maybe, but still the customers teams, you know let's say you're, you're, you're providing a business to business solution. That's complex. The buyer, you know, is sold on the product, but the users may have heard nothing about it. So there still needs to be some way for the users to know the value of using your product and whether it's a, you know, a chat bot or or a high touch onboarding specialist or customer success manager. There still needs to be some transfer of what was purchased, and why so that I would say the handoff does remain Relevant with a digital customer success. Then we have the. We have the adopt stage, which includes the implementation, which could take three minutes or three months or three years, really, depending on your Solution and the adoption. And just because you have a product that's gone live does not mean there's a license to renew, because in a B2B world, the users need to be using it. So If a year comes by and it's time to renew and renew and no one's seeing any value in it, then then you're in big trouble. So the adopters is not just deploying a product and have something to log into, but really making sure that users are onboarded and enabled, which is where all that instructional design that you and I come from come in. Then we have a review and again that's more of a high touch approach, but you might be reviewing metrics. You know our customers getting value and you know are they getting value from. You know the most important part of the product that you know like delivers value. Are you staying current on what customers need? Next? I don't know about you, but pretty much every company I talked with is having a Pivot, is having a change of priorities and goals these days. So, even though you might have captured a lot of that with the initial onboarding, guess what that's changing? And you need to stay current because your customers are changing, your product may be changing. You need to stay current. And then there's the expand, and earlier today I had a customer success forum where we talked about re onboarding. So how do you like stay engaged with your existing customers To help them, you know, deliver a value journey and not just go live and say see ya.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly because that happens all the time. I would love to dig in a little bit more on, you know, the second phase, which is the handoff stage in the framework, because that is, that is one area, at least in my experience, that's so many get wrong, or somebody just don't, do you know? And and there's the old adage of a professional services leader who, or you know a project manager who gets a project and he's, you know, talking with stakeholders at the customer who weren't even part of the purchase decision. They end up having to resell things and it's like you know, it happens all the time, we see it all the time. We're both smiling because we encounter it a lot, and I guess where I'm going with this is is two fold. One is what have you seen? Or what have you, have you advised customers on your customers on To aid that handoff and to make a particularly seamless handoff? There's, there's obvious, obviously, you know, exchanging mouth words between people is always very good, but also, from a documentation standpoint or a transfer of data standpoint, are there some specific things that you can, you can point to that that you find particularly effective?

Speaker 1:

Well, first of all, you know, everyone thinks they don't have time for a handoff, and then they run into all these issues downstream with onboarding. In fact, I was working with a company where that was costing them a half a million dollars a year doing resales and botched implementations.

Speaker 2:

So you know, and the sales seem to be like you know, we don't have time for escalations.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we don't have time for handoffs. So you know time kills all deals. But the irony was that they were having to come back in and resell to existing customers when they should have been out there selling to new customers. So it's costing them personally a lot of money and the company, as I said, a half a million dollars a year. So I always say you slow down, to speed up later. Simon Sinek says start with why. And the reason for that is the way our brain works. We need to kind of understand that big picture and that's where the handoff can really help. You kind of describe what was purchased and why. Maybe you know, let's say, you're selling to a company and they have, you know, medical practices all around the country and there's a procurement office that they bought the product. And just because you know they're convinced does not mean that all the receptionists of the medical practices are going to use it. They might say, hell, no, I'm not using your product because if I do I'm going to lose my job. So in a higher touch model I would bring the stakeholder, the buyer, in and make sure that they hear it from their buyer why the product was purchased and how it's going to make their lives better, so that when the onboarding or the CSMs or the customer-facing teams don't have to try to convince the users, you know, from a transfer of information, can you? You know this one company I worked with, they had this whole. You know Google Doc. Oh okay, sales rep, you got to fill in all this stuff every time a deal closes. I'm like dude, like you got to prepopulate that from your CRM like 80% of that could have been captured. No sales reps can fill that out. So you know, maybe then you know you're capturing what's unique about each account. So again, this is for a higher touch kind of engagements. But let's say Alex is my main point of contact. I want to know how technical is Alex, you know what's his personality like so that I can be successful. You know, maybe Alex has used our product before as a huge champion. He's ready to go. You know, then that's going to help me be successful, rather than dragging you through all these steps you already know, versus like he's never done anything like this before. You're going to have to repeat everything three times because he's not very technical, he just had a baby like you got to go through everything three times. Then I'm going to help. You know that's going to help the relationship. So you know one there should be some automated way that's some digital CS right there to transfer all of that information that sales reps capture. You know, can you pull stuff out of gong calls with some gen AI? You know there we go. And then I know there's a company I don't think they're live yet and I'm not, you know saying, you know recommending any specific solutions, but it's called handoff and they're all about kind of from gen AI pooling all this to give you like a kind of like your your handoff, you know document, so you're, so you're not having to dig through all this stuff just to get to know a company. And then let's say, you know, at some point maybe you start feeding that into chatbots or onboarding, you know, in product guidance. That may create some customized, personalized experiences as well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, sure, I mean at the you know. At the very least, I think it can be incredibly useful to just automate what you have. You know. If you're working with Salesforce and some kind of you know customer success platform, you might as well pull over the MedPick data or you know who your champions are. At the very least, you know. But I think you pointed to something that's that's very important as well. It's it's yes, you need to know why the customer purchased and what their goals are, and, and you know how they themselves made the business case for, you know, for the purchase. But then also, the seller has this wealth of information that they've gleamed from their contacts as to so and so is super easy to deal with. So and so is super hard to deal with. You know, it's like those things don't get passed on and and, and I think there's been tons of you know, failed attempts, I'd say across all companies for these handoff documents like Confluence Okay, that's where stuff goes to die. Google docs Okay, did we link it anywhere? Where's that? You know, and so tangibly. It can be incredibly hard. Nobody wants this, but it could be incredibly hard to actually do it in an organized way to where you almost need like a project manager involved or something have you experienced like the building of those processes before?

Speaker 1:

Well, so there's a couple of things I do. I just want to jump in there before before I answer that. So one is you know, okay, I was at Saster last year and you know, basically everyone was practically walking around chanting product led growth, plg, plg, yeah, and that's great, that's a great aspiration, and I see digital customer success, people kind of going, you know, having that same kind of chant.

Speaker 2:

Sure.

Speaker 1:

The reality is in the realm. I tend to work, but not exclusively is in business to business. Products are pretty complex and to have a PLG B2B tech product, I think that's more of a unicorn. You know. Oftentimes implementations take, you know, on average three six to nine months, and people are involved, and so we. I think there's an element where we've got it. That doesn't mean we can't scale. There's always opportunities to scale. But I think, you know, we need to accept that things are complicated. There's data to migrate, there's customizations, there's APIs to connect. There's a lot going on. There's whole change management. And then just earlier today, I interviewed Nido Kubane. Dr Kubane is the president of High Point University and you know his audience, his clients or customers, as you like, are his faculty and his students and the students' parents, and so I was asking him for advice around business to business, and he's like look, we're all people, it's human to human, you know that's, and so we got to keep that in mind. We're dealing with people, and so whenever we're looking at digital solutions, we're still dealing with people. We're dealing with complex technology, often complex business processes, and so we need to just be realistic around that. Just throwing some kind of, you know, automated something, it does not solve it, which is again why I talk about hybrid customer success and we can delve more into that. So, while PLG and digital customer success are great aspirations, it doesn't mean, you know, we click our fingers, we're there and all of our problems are solved.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, and I think a good digital program should augment the human to human element. Right To your point earlier. It's like, you know, the sales, the account executive, shouldn't have to fill out this entire, you know, handoff document. It should be 80% completed out of the CRM and then you can put the final touches on it. You know, just to get it over, I think. I think to your point. That's a phenomenal example of hybrid CS.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Can I share a couple more examples?

Speaker 2:

Let's go yeah.

Speaker 1:

So here's a digital moment in a high touch journey. So this is a company based in the UK and they do a big data platform and the customer success managers were doing the same things over and over those basic repeatable tasks we talked about. A lot of that was teaching new customers about the data and how the data structured, about their product, about their platform, and I'm like you guys are too smart to be doing this. You know, over and over, you need to be focused on what's unique for each customer, and I have a quote I want to come back to. And so the digital touch in a high touch journey there was having customers take some basic required courses from their academy. So those were self paced. They get a digital touch and now they get the foundations. The customer success managers can be more specific to what's unique to each account. They're more challenged, they're more focused on what's special and they can handle more accounts. Now and that brings me to the quote I was I really like from this is from the person who founded the Four Seasons Hotels and they said you want to systemize the predictable so you can humanize the exceptional. So again that's a great way.

Speaker 2:

I'll say that again you want to systemize the predictable, the basic, repeatable stuff so you can humanize the exceptional, so you can be that strategic advisor really helping to transform your customer's business, not just deploying your product or doing going through the route actions and because we were talking about Education earlier, it's kind of like the Khan Academy style model, where you know you're, you're, you're giving somebody the lecture digitally or in a video or an e-learning module or whatever it is, and then when they come to class, that's their time to ask questions and do the homework and actually do the hard work and you have, everybody has this baseline of Understanding, so that your high value, you know employees aren't spinning their wheels Re-explaining the same thing over and over, and, over and over.

Speaker 1:

You're reminding me of years ago. I worked at a company where I was Helping to run sales enablement and this was a very high growth company and every month We'd bring in hundreds of new sales reps and from all over the world, and then we'd sit them in the dark and have them watch PowerPoint slides after PowerPoint slide, and I like this ridiculous. We should be using the people here to be doing role-playing and really practicing Skills rather than just doing a data dump and they would leave at the end of the week Exhausted on really been knowing what they learned. You know so. So, like you know, we got a leverage. These are people. Let's make sure that they're leveraged appropriately. Yeah, absolutely, I'm gonna give you another example, which is a high-touch moment in a digital journey. This, coincidentally, is another big data platform based in the US, and they were building out a self-paced journey for a big chunk of their customers, and what I kept hearing when I interviewed internal stakeholders and their customers was we need to be able to ask questions, we need to be able to get answers, and so Went from interviewing customers and asking about great onboarding experiences. We learned from them that they really value in-app chat from other vendors that they use, and so we were looking at this initially as a high as a human. You know someone behind the chat, so they could. People can get their questions answered, and the you know these are data scientists, data analysts, data admins, and they generally like to breathe self-sufficient, and so when they need they need help, they need help, and so there are two great things. One again, it helps people from dropping off in the journey, and this company has a consumption model, so if a customer drops off, you're losing potentially huge, unfathomable amount of expansion and To the company can really learn what are the, what are the drop-off points, and they can then build them into the digital journey and then you know, eventually you can start to move some of that into a chatbot, but I thought that was a great way to really address the customer's needs and learn from customers at the same time.

Speaker 2:

Mm-hmm, learn from customers. What a novel idea. I mean, you know, nine times out of ten, it's your customers who you know. We fail to listen to customers a lot of times and they have so much to say, like, because they're the ones Experiencing what it is that you're offering. You know, there's, I think I think we and I've said this before on the, on the podcast but we sometimes fail to put ourselves into the shoes of the customer, like you know. What does this journey feel like to us? You know, not just that is one of the biggest, I'll just say opportunities.

Speaker 1:

Many other words ran through my head, but that's when the biggest opportunities business to business, b2b tech has. Because you know, to be to speak frankly, a lot of companies really are focused on their technology and they're not listening to their customers, and everyone thinks they're too busy to listen to their customers, and so I like to guess I can't tell you how many times I tell them listen to your customers. You know it's. You could just listen to five to ten. It's amazing what you can learn from five to ten customers, half hour each. It's just, it's not a lot of Listening. But you know, the reality is that we are all consumers every day, your, but your, your buyers, your users, they're all, they're all consuming Products. You know, every day we all have digital experiences and we know what we like, we know what we want, and the reality is B2B wants a lot more of a B2C kind of experience, a lot more Transparency, a lot more accountability, a lot more visibility. I, you know I get tech, so your shipment's on its way. How can we help? And you know, customers have no idea in B2B tech where we going, where we been, where are we? Who's doing what who's? You know they have no idea and and that is this really not acceptable. When you know I can order a pizza and know exactly when it's going in the oven and when it's gonna arrive at my house, so I can have the the dinner plates and forks and knives and napkins on the table.

Speaker 2:

So funny you say that because literally one of one of my other guests, we were talking about this exact same thing and this is something that a few companies ago I wanted to implement. We called it the pizza tracker because basically you wanted your customer to just have Context about where they were in the customer journey, because a lot of times they're just like floating in an ocean and not sure who to talk to when and all that kind of stuff, whereas it would be as simple as sending them a weekly or a monthly email that has literally a tracker in it that says you're, you know, using the example your pizzas in the oven, your pizzas being, you know sliced up, your pizzas in the car for delivery hey, guess what? Your pizzas at your doorstep like those kinds of. It seems childish a little bit, but having that context of where you are in the journey and what your responsibilities are and all that kind of stuff.

Speaker 1:

And trust is the beginning of Enduring relationships. When you're saying it's like floated, they're like floating in the ocean. I just have this vision of this image of like. You know, we're treating our customers like jellyfish. They're just floating around and, you know, with no direction.

Speaker 2:

It's not a way. We only pay attention to them when they sting us.

Speaker 1:

I love that. I'm writing that down.

Speaker 2:

Well we go. You. You dropped a really good quote and we just created a horrible quote. Are there other like blunders and things that you've seen that are just like I can't believe they're doing this, or I can't believe I've seen this, or things that you know you've seen implemented that just fell flat on their face and you learned a valuable lesson from maybe well, one is just.

Speaker 1:

As we already mentioned, was the amount of high touch, treating every customer with special care, doing one to one with every customer, like, oh my god, there's so many, there are so many opportunities for one to many, even not that aren't digital, automated. There are so many ways to do one to many approaches. Like really any customers want to learn from each other. You don't need to be one to one.

Speaker 2:

Don't want that, like they don't, they don't want to be. You know, talk to like every second of the day, like it's just like you know.

Speaker 1:

In customer success. We think, oh, we gotta have our review meetings, we got to do this meeting, check in. They don't realize that you know, most of our customers are dealing with many products and you are not the only person trying to get at their a piece of their time. Yeah, I worked with a company that that was building out as self-paced journey and you know things like they would say they would, they would get to a place and there were four Links. I'm like I don't want four links, just tell me what to do. Like you got to like, remove all the friction. And then this company, linkedin, with it integrated with Microsoft Azure and which is the you know cloud, a data cloud solution. And so then there was like, oh, if you want to learn about Azure, it ended up I think it's the I think of the name is plural site. I may not be right, but it was like the entire library of Microsoft training for every single product they ever Created, and it would probably take an hour just to find what I needed on Azure. So, right back to what I was saying is the right content for the right persona at the right time. So you know, the solution to that would be knowing like am I a data scientist? Am I a data admin? You know, guiding me on a journey to get some value very quickly and just giving me the content that's gonna deliver that day drive, that behavior that you know gets me to value, yeah and I think it's interesting because I think some companies are tackling the problem of not knowing who the persona is within their customer in very unique ways.

Speaker 2:

Like you know, there's there's like In-app modals that'll ask a user to self-identify like are you an executive, are you an admin, are you a whatever? Which I think is very smart. But I also think that If you have that high touch relationship, you know there there's there's an element of data hygiene there that can also be quite important for your high-touch CSMs, for example, to to really go through and identify, you know, the personas that exist within their customers, so that then you can create those digital flows you know and and and help them kind of achieve success without you having to like babysit.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, another. Another challenging situation is working with the company and they're like oh, we built out all of our self-paced, of course, content for our Academy and when I took the courses, they were just one very boring and two all about the product. So you know, everyone wants to know what's in it for me. So you gotta make sure when you're helping your users, help them to know how they're you're gonna make their lives better. It's not about your product, is about your users and and and helping them be heroes, and so that's that's a big fail. Everyone thinks that I just so you had to navigate around my product. You're, you're gonna be better.

Speaker 2:

No, it's not about the product. It's about how you live, how you use it. I feel like we could go on forever, but you know it's inevitably it's time to start kind of wrapping things up. But I would love to know how you keep yourself fresh and what's in your content diet and what you absorb and you know to keep yourself informed of what's happening.

Speaker 1:

Well, I'll watch webinars that pick my interest. To be honest, I'm not a big podcast listener. I'll listen every now and then, but I listened and read books. I listened to and read a lot of books, so I just finished one last night and about customer value, and I like reading about the neuroscience and like things about like you know how, like one I read recently was the paradox of choice. That's about 20 years old, but by Barry Schwartz. I was really interesting to see how, you know, the more choice we give people, the more stressful it is, and so we really have to us to guide customers along that Journey of best practices. And then you know I'm reading, so I have all these. I'm constantly and overwhelmed with all the books I want to read between fiction books to help me, you know, run my business better. Books on customer success, books on value and neuroscience, so that you know, so I'm a I'm a long form reader. We joke that my husband reads the entire internet every day and I like dive into a good book and so I tend to read books more than I read. You know, I read articles and then also I really like learning from people, from conversations, so I've been interviewing a chief customer officers, chief executive officers and chief financial officers to help help. You know, I'm doing research for my next book and so listening to what what's going on in people's heads and what they think is really that's that's often how I like make my a haze and connections. I'll often have a lot of information but I have to kind of talk it through to really go oh, that's where those things connect.

Speaker 2:

It's fascinating, isn't it? I mean, that's a big part of why I started. You know, the podcast is just to, you know, to Talk with interesting people that think about things in a, in a, in a little bit different way, and putting it all, putting all that together is is a is a cool thing because there are many light bulb moments.

Speaker 1:

Oh, that was just I was reading a book about, about money the title is not coming to me right now, but I talked about compounding. You know, and like compounding interest and compounding and savings is just like you know, the the most powerful thing you can do with investing right, and it's just like start early and just leave it alone. And but that just made me think was like that's what we have to do with customers. It's not just about the products ready, it's got to be this compounding experiences. It's not like a great experience here in there, we've got to do this compounding. You know that. Then it all starts to build up into that great experience where they become our, our champions. And so that you know that was a connection. It wasn't really about customer success at all. But this can, how we can compound Interesting yeah.

Speaker 2:

You know it takes a lot of compounding to achieve desired outcomes, but it only takes one withdrawal to mess it all up. Exactly, is there a book that you look back on, let's say over the last decade or so, that you read that had a massive impact? It's probably a hard question to answer.

Speaker 1:

Well, there is one book is called a more, a more beautiful question by Warren Burger, and it's not about customer success, it's not about, you know, tech. It's about asking questions, and what that really did for me as a consultant was help me get out of that that headspace where I think, oh, I'm the expert, I need to have all the answers. That is not my job. My job is to ask the questions and, alex, it's like it gives me goosebumps when I talk about it. But you know, when I work with companies and you know, it's about getting out of the way, asking questions and like letting the, the, the solutions be uncovered and be revealed, and that that is a really beautiful and it's a beautiful process and things come out of it that I, you know, I don't have all the answers, and that the amazing, brilliant people I work with at all, the companies and they don't have all the answers like we you know, there's this synergy, this magic that happens when we, when we ask questions, and we get you know, you know, start, start learning to see. You know what is that? It's hard to even articulate, but you know, we ask the questions and then things come up that nobody was thinking of.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well it's. It's interesting because, as as a consultant, you probably walk into situations where there's, you know, a definite set of outcomes that the customer has hired you for, they want to achieve and but but they've probably they're so busy in their day to day that they've probably never actually sat down as a group and focused in in on these set of problems in a way. And so you know where, where you come in or where the consultant comes in, is the facilitator of these thoughts and and and really developing group think around those issues. And so I love that and I need to go read that book because I've experienced that where one question kind of knocks everybody loose a little bit and it's like, yeah, and in most corporations there is this.

Speaker 1:

More of an emphasis on having answers and and and being right or wrong. And so there you know, warren burger really emphasizes how, how important it is to be that you know the one asking questions and let that be a safe thing to do, and and he doesn't go into this but it also kind of opens up, you know, more of the right side of the brain where we can kind of, you know, get to the more creative solutions when we're just trying to kind of get, rather than just getting to the you know the answer right away. We were very, you know, black and white, thinking right wrong, good, bad, black, white, you know, very binary around that. So so sometimes it's opening it up, allows things nobody was thinking about.

Speaker 2:

That's great. That's great, great. Is there anyone you'd like to give some kudos or a shout out to? That's doing cool things and digital at the moment.

Speaker 1:

Well, usually it's from a, b to C experience. I would say. So you know one thing we're talking about the pizza delivery might an experience of the apple, where I sent my computer off to be Repair and that's stressful. You know. My whole world's on my laptop and immediately here's your repair number. It's been received at the repair center, your issues been resolved, we're shipping it back to you. You'll receive it by this time. So that that gave me a lot of peace of mind. So that's it.

Speaker 2:

That's an experience.

Speaker 1:

You know, I ordered some online cosmetics and they send a little like on boarding video how to use them for and to get the best results, like that's. You know those are really simple things, but it helps to build some some of that kind of that, some of that Trust and accountability brand juice.

Speaker 2:

Brand juice. Yeah, I think that in a lot of ways, you know, folks think that this notion of digital CS is a new one, but it's really not. It's just a focused kind of version of things that have been done to your point in B to C for a long time. I mean, ever since e-commerce became a thing, this stuff has been kind of around. Marketing teams have been doing this stuff forever. Product teams have been doing this a lot in terms of like in product and those kinds of things you know. So it's interesting you say that because, absolutely like B to C, by the nature of their businesses had to be digital and has had to figure that out, just because you know, yeah, millions and millions of customers.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, for sure, that's cool. Well, where, where can people find?

Speaker 2:

you engage with you and and learn more. Well, you can find me on my website wwwdonahuebercom.

Speaker 1:

and that's two ends and one B. So I like to say, like Madonna and Weber, the grill and so Donna. Weber and and you can subscribe to. I have a monthly newsletter. I have Tons of resources on my website, including my success plan, template articles, webinars, podcast, etc. And I'll include the link to this podcast when it's what's available and on LinkedIn. Find me on LinkedIn.

Speaker 2:

It's awesome. Yeah, there's so much great stuff on your website. It's awesome. I really appreciate you taking the time, spending some time with us. I've learned a lot of great little nuggets over the last 45 minutes or so, so it's been awesome. So thank you very much.

Speaker 1:

Well, thank you for including me on the digital customer success podcast.

Speaker 2:

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

Digital Customer Success and Onboarding Matters
Customer Onboarding and Handoff Stage Importance
Improving Customer Onboarding and Experience
Asking Questions and Facilitating Group Think