The Digital CX Podcast

Putting Humanity Back Into Digital Customer Success with Jon Johnson of UserTesting | Episode 029

December 05, 2023 Alex Turkovic, Jon Johnson Episode 29
Putting Humanity Back Into Digital Customer Success with Jon Johnson of UserTesting | Episode 029
The Digital CX Podcast
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The Digital CX Podcast
Putting Humanity Back Into Digital Customer Success with Jon Johnson of UserTesting | Episode 029
Dec 05, 2023 Episode 29
Alex Turkovic, Jon Johnson

Send us a Text Message.

Jon Johnson is an incredible human. You've likely heard of him as part of the Unchurned BS & CS podcast series in which he shares some of his incredible background and upbringing on a recent episode.

Not only is Jon an incredible CS leader, he is also a fantastic musician and writer, which are both topics we discuss as part of our conversation.

I had the pleasure of spending this hour+ with Jon a few weeks ago where we begin by talking about music. I present Jon with a quick game of 'this or that' album. After that, it was time to get down to business discussing a variety of amazing topics:

  • The interplay between human & digital
  • How digital is the empowerment of a CSM and the customer journey
  • Segmentation by behavior & usage based personas
  • The loss of humanity in Digital 
  • Digital makes up the 80%, but the 20% human engagement is what makes a digital motion successful
  • Using the time that you have with your customers effectively and maximizing for building rapport and relationships
  • Workplace trauma,  mental health, emotional intelligence in leadership and building REAL relationships in business
  • How a one-size-fits-all approach cannot fit all customers
  • Your digital program can be 1:1. “Personalization with a Purpose”
  • Jon's tactical approach to building a digital engagement strategy

Enjoy! I know I sure did...

Jon's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonwilliamjohnson/
Measure Over Method Newsletter: https://measureovermethod.com/
Wild Coast (Jon's Band): https://open.spotify.com/artist/17TwPEUjOWx4BESKVsqrPK
Unchurned Podcast: https://blog.update.ai/blog/category/unchurned-podcast/

Resources:

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.

Jon Johnson is an incredible human. You've likely heard of him as part of the Unchurned BS & CS podcast series in which he shares some of his incredible background and upbringing on a recent episode.

Not only is Jon an incredible CS leader, he is also a fantastic musician and writer, which are both topics we discuss as part of our conversation.

I had the pleasure of spending this hour+ with Jon a few weeks ago where we begin by talking about music. I present Jon with a quick game of 'this or that' album. After that, it was time to get down to business discussing a variety of amazing topics:

  • The interplay between human & digital
  • How digital is the empowerment of a CSM and the customer journey
  • Segmentation by behavior & usage based personas
  • The loss of humanity in Digital 
  • Digital makes up the 80%, but the 20% human engagement is what makes a digital motion successful
  • Using the time that you have with your customers effectively and maximizing for building rapport and relationships
  • Workplace trauma,  mental health, emotional intelligence in leadership and building REAL relationships in business
  • How a one-size-fits-all approach cannot fit all customers
  • Your digital program can be 1:1. “Personalization with a Purpose”
  • Jon's tactical approach to building a digital engagement strategy

Enjoy! I know I sure did...

Jon's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonwilliamjohnson/
Measure Over Method Newsletter: https://measureovermethod.com/
Wild Coast (Jon's Band): https://open.spotify.com/artist/17TwPEUjOWx4BESKVsqrPK
Unchurned Podcast: https://blog.update.ai/blog/category/unchurned-podcast/

Resources:

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:

You've touched the customer without them knowing.

Speaker 2:

It's a gentle touch. That's one of my favorite. It's really hard for me to talk about touching customers, because the first lesson that I learned in business is that you don't touch your customers. I made out with a customer at Starbucks once and my boss got really unhappy with me. Really that wasn't cool. Yeah, not cool at all. I love the just meandering around very serious topics and then goofball.

Speaker 1:

That's the way we gotta be. Once again, welcome to the Digital Custom Success Podcast with me, alex Turgovich. So glad you could join us here today and every week as I seek out and interview leaders and practitioners who are innovating and building great scaled CS programs. My goal is to share what I've learned and to bring you along with me for the ride so that you get the insights that you need to build and evolve your own digital CS program. If you'd like more info, want to get in touch or sign up for the latest updates, go to DigitalCustomerSuccesscom. 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 29 of the Digital CS Podcast. So great to have you back for this one. As always, I'm so grateful to everyone that tunes in every week and your feedback continues to be something that keeps me going and keeps me wanting to record these episodes with some pretty fantastic people. Before we get into today's show, just a quick note that I will be at the Customer Success Festival put on by the Customer Success Collective in Austin in February I think it's February 16th, 17th, something like that Talking about Digital CS. So I'll be doing an event there, doing a little bit of moderating there. Might be doing some podcast recording there, who knows. But if you're at that event in Austin in February, would love to see you, so definitely come and say hi.

Speaker 1:

This conversation is a bit of a long one but because we get into a lot of really great things, I'm speaking with none other than John Johnson today, who is a principal CSM at user testing, is part of the BS and CS crew of the Unchurned podcast. If you listened last week with Jeff Kushmerick, who is a musician, we nerd out about music at the beginning of the show. We do the same thing in this episode. So for those of you who like that, hey, guess what. We're going to do a little bit more music talk at the beginning of this one. For those of you who didn't like that, don't worry, this is the last time. We do it for a little bit. But thank you for indulging myself and my musical nerdy friends in a little bit of that.

Speaker 1:

But in the actual, once we get past that, john and I get into all sorts of things Really digital CS related and really the combination of digital and human and how the digital should bolster and fortify the human activity within CS. We do get into some topics related to workplace trauma and mental health and building relationships and kind of. You know the more human element of CS that a lot of digital programs kind of tend to ignore. And you know, talk about really how digital fits into all that and you know, personalization with purpose, as John puts it at one point in the show. One quick thing to note John is an amazing musician and we're going to play out at the end of the show with one of his songs called Bottle Rocket, and I'll put a link in the show notes if you want to go check it out. But for now, if you know of John you've heard John before you know that you're in for a treat with this conversation and I hope you enjoy it, because I sure did.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, where do you want to start? How do you want to do this? What do you want to do? What's up? Hey dude, let's fucking go. My favorite start the last episode that we did on the other podcast. I think it was one of my favorite cold opens, because Josh usually plays like intramusic and he makes it all fancy and he didn't this time and we're all just sitting there.

Speaker 2:

Just waiting Like yeah, and Kristy goes are you going to play the music? That's how the episode starts, and I was like this I'm here for this, this is what I need, and everybody just started busting up laughing, so it was pretty fun. That's good.

Speaker 1:

No, I'm not fancy like that, but you know that you've been on the show before I do, I do.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I'm so glad to have you on solo bro.

Speaker 2:

I know, just me baby.

Speaker 1:

Just you. I do have a fun, this or that for you All right.

Speaker 3:

I'm in as an opening.

Speaker 2:

I did this with our friend Jeff Koshmark a little bit ago.

Speaker 3:

That dude knows how to be cool.

Speaker 1:

I don't think there's any repeats from him. There's one. There's one repeat for him. So Jeff is a music guy. You're an Uber music guy I love your music, by the way, and so for those I'm a music guy. So, like for the, for music guys, people, things, I like to do this or that. So if you're watching on YouTube, you'll get it. If you're just listening, I'm going to tell you what albums I'm going to hold up and John can pick his favorites.

Speaker 2:

Here we go. You ready Drum roll please. I am so ready.

Speaker 1:

First round Rick Springfield, working class dog.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

Versus Toto.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I think I'm going to have to go with Rick Springfield. Really, yeah, you're going. Rick Springfield, I'm going. Rick Springfield, I'm not.

Speaker 1:

I'm not Jeff Piccaro and the Piccaro brothers and all that stuff.

Speaker 2:

I'm not the biggest Toto guy. I like storytelling. I don't like anthems.

Speaker 1:

Interesting. Yeah, yeah, I love that. I hadn't expected that, but that makes sense.

Speaker 2:

I mean I'll get down on Africa. But like you know, it just kind of falls apart for me. There's some good cuts on that record for sure. I mean, can you deny that man? Look at how good he is.

Speaker 1:

So my wife has maybe an instant unhealthy I would say it's solidly healthy obsession with Rick Springfield, even though he is 70, now 70 something yeah.

Speaker 3:

Oh and I should talk.

Speaker 1:

Okay, round two, round two. We're going to go, peter Gabriel.

Speaker 2:

So, I hope this is not a difficult one.

Speaker 1:

I don't know, the album may make it a no brainer. But Sting, sting, the blue turtles 100%.

Speaker 2:

Sorry, peter, like I love Gabriel I do, but there's just nothing better than Sting and anything he does.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, sting Easy.

Speaker 1:

This one's going to be a little weird because it's not quite the same genre.

Speaker 2:

We need to tell the time period versus Okay.

Speaker 1:

Green Day Dookie Right oh right. Zero versus cake fashion nugget Cake.

Speaker 2:

Okay, easy, easy, easy. Win, and I'll tell you why. So, cake, I went to a very I went to a private school. I don't know if it was very private, it was private. Yeah, normal amount of private and we did this thing ever.

Speaker 1:

Every is there a normal private. What is this Well?

Speaker 2:

this was a biblically private and then there's the governmentally private right.

Speaker 2:

So this was the Jesus movement thing, Cedar Park Christian in Baffle, Washington, class of 2000, with like 20 other people. But not only was the school a school, it was also a church, because that's what you do at a Christian school and everybody in my class was in my youth group and you know, on Friday nights they would have their big youth group thing and every once in a while they would have everybody take out their secular CDs and then break them or they would throw them in a bonfire. It was just so ridiculous I did this for years where I would just keep buying the same damn records over and over and over again and then maybe a couple months I would get quote unquote convicted, as they said. Everybody who's been in church trauma knows what it means to feel convicted. It's just self-imposed shame and yeah and so. But one of the holdouts for me that and I don't know why this was the case, but that record fashion nugget was one of my favorites when it came out what.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, 96, 94, something like that.

Speaker 2:

Something like that, one of the other, a few of the other records. It was the Weezer Blue album. It was the first Third Eye Blind record and it was that Green Day record for sure. And then there's one other one, I forget. I think it was a hip hop record like a Tribe Called Quest or something, because I was really into that at the time. But I would just keep buying these five records it was these CDs, I mean, it was just before and be three players or whatever.

Speaker 2:

So, every three months. I would just go to. It was a Ben Franklin and I would go to the music section and I would buy them, but I would break them all. I would just go. I just I got to listen to BB Winans or whoever DC Talk or whoever they're telling me to listen to. They always had this thing where it was like if you listened to Blink 182, you would like Reliant K or if you like you know Interesting, so you would like skill it when it was never good. You're like this is not anything like it. It's kind of like if you like bacon, you'll like turkey bacon. Yeah, and we know that's not true. Welcome to Christianity in the early 2000s. No, but that, that cake record. I actually never broke the cake record. I don't know why, but that was one of the ones that I bought and I was like that doesn't count.

Speaker 2:

So my soul wasn't worth fashion nugget by cake, and it's just a good record.

Speaker 1:

It's such a good record.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I have my earliest days of the. My earliest memories of the internet are firmly entwined with that record because that was when I first got online. I remember when the Kazaa.

Speaker 2:

Did you use Kazaa? No, it was like did you use to Torrent?

Speaker 1:

It was. I was on MRC like a lot Okay, Got it. Unhealthy amount of time. Yeah, I remember sending my first email and calling my friend who had sent it to and say, hey, did you get it, did you get?

Speaker 2:

that Bing You've got mail Like it wasn't. That's good Next one.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for that. That was fun, okay, phil.

Speaker 3:

Collins no jacket required.

Speaker 2:

Oh, versus, you have a, you have a type. Keep going Sting. Peter Gabriel, phil Collins.

Speaker 3:

Wait till you see the next one, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Versus.

Speaker 1:

John Cougar Mellon Camp. At the time only John Cougar, american Fool.

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh, john Cougar. Seriously, phil Collins is something, something to be, but man, mellon Camp, that was a good record.

Speaker 1:

I mean, it's got you know, hertz, so good. Jack and Diane.

Speaker 2:

That's. You know, I that's good, I love, I mean, like I like that. That was 90s, right 80, late 80s, early 90s, I think this is 82.

Speaker 2:

82. Shit, I was way off, um, but that kind of like Americana rock, yeah, like um, tom Petty, mellon Camp, uh, I mean there's, there's like a dozen of them right, and like I just he just fully turned on telecasters singing about the heartland, like that. That like truly, truly, truly. That is what gets me going when I write like it's what I write about. I don't necessarily have the same like pomp and circumstance of like 80s and 90s, like Americana rock, but it's absolutely what I'm chasing Just a constant forward momentum. It's like a train right, like that, just driving forward into something. That's what music is and that's what I like build.

Speaker 2:

when I'm writing songs and when I'm in my band it's like I'm really chasing that, like I just want somebody to be like Tom Petty up there and like just go. You know what I mean and like move forward Phil Rudd steady yeah. Buddy East street band like kicking in the background like uh, that's good.

Speaker 1:

Okay, last round, there might be a bonus.

Speaker 2:

All right.

Speaker 1:

Perfect Master of puppets, okay. Versus the black album. Why this is going to define what kind of a Metallica fan you are.

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh, I think the black album Like, uh, I think the black album Um, no-transcript that was. Let's see, that was junior high. For me it's like seventh or eighth grade. We're going to talk about records that my church made me break. This is the devil. Metallica was the devil, and it's funny because as you get older, you listen to the lyrics and you're like wait, this, actually this is like therapy man, like these are like this is cinematic orchestra.

Speaker 3:

We're not singing about the devil here. No, it's really good yeah black album.

Speaker 2:

I will also say also one of my favorite Jay-Z albums, the black album.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the Metallica black album is the one that made me go to music school and learn audio engineering, because it's such a great sounding record Okay well, well, because it's the bonus that's going to make the bonus round Very interesting, because we have two black albums. One is Metallica's black album that we just talked about. The other is ACDC's back in black, oh boy.

Speaker 2:

Okay, like this is actually a pretty easy one for me. Metallica, for sure. I have not been the biggest ACDC fan. Bless for me. I know it's fine. You know rock is interesting. I love Angus on guitar, like Brian has just probably one of the best vocalists in that genre. I think, I don't know. I think I just I think there's just maybe some trauma tied into it.

Speaker 2:

I don't know, it's like I can't listen to Kiss, I can't listen to, like all of these bands from like the 80s that, like my church told me were the worst. You know what I mean. Right, and I kind of dipped my toe into some of it when I got into it. But I would say, more than rock, like heavy rock, like the Metallica's and the ACDC's, I actually leaned more heavily into hip hop. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I got I started with songwriters and I started with kind of like you know, the Beatles and the Stones and like all those great bands growing up and Dylan. And then I like dipped my toe a little bit into country and said that's not for me and somebody gave me low end theory by Tribe Called Quest, like a burned album of it, and it didn't leave my CD player for a year and it was just like Five Dog and that whole world just opened up to me this, like privileged white kid in suburban Washington going to a $10,000 year private school. Like yeah, I'm just going to like crush it to tribe, right, and everybody, nobody in my school listened to that music. Like nobody listened to that kind of music and I don't know, it was like my little rebellion. Like everybody was listening to the Foo Fighters and all these like you know, kind of current rock bands.

Speaker 2:

Sure, I just I needed that. I really love rhythm, I really love flow, I love a. Really I love like tongue in cheek stories. I like the way that word play is huge and hip hop and that was a big thing. And when I got back, you know, as I got older, like that's still something like when I look at songwriters and when I listen to rock and roll, like it's hard for me to like really get into it. If it's just like I'm going to say four words and give you guitar riff, like that's just not it for me.

Speaker 1:

You know so anyways what are? We here to talk about. I mean people would think that listening so far this was a music podcast.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, it is when you get two engineers in a.

Speaker 1:

That's right. Yeah, I mean, you know, music's great, it's good stuff.

Speaker 2:

I mean it's nice to talk about.

Speaker 1:

And you know it makes absolutely it makes for probably the worst transition into digital customer success ever.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely hard left.

Speaker 2:

No, no blinker straight into traffic. Just let's go full blown.

Speaker 1:

Giddy up. Well, dude you're, you know, you're obviously very well known in CS circles, very well respected in the CS circles, part of the BS and CS crew, which is cool. You guys have a lot of fun and it's always, you know, whenever you guys release an episode, it's always fun to live vicariously through you, which is cool. But you know, I, in fact, I think, just like yesterday, day before, a little bit ago, you know you put your your A. I have to say you're a very prolific writer, like you're a very good thank you good writer like a solid writer.

Speaker 1:

You know it's not just like random sentences pasted together. You like think about the structure and you flow. Even in your LinkedIn posts you tell a story, which I think is probably the songwriter in you. But you did post a couple of days ago about just digital CS in general and that kind of interplay between, like, the human and the digital, which is something that I'm crazy passionate about and you know I've been talking about as well, but you have kind of a cool spin on it. I was wondering if you could kind of take that and, as you know, I ask all my guests what their definition of digital CS is, and so I'd love your flavor, because I have a feeling it incorporates some of this stuff.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, you know, I mean I appreciate you calling out. It's something that I am like I really care about, like I don't believe in fluff. It's kind of one of the things that I think I struggle with as somebody who some people look to for opinions and thoughts and maybe some leadership, and I'm really grateful for that opportunity. But it's also I don't post every day Like I can't, I just I can't get.

Speaker 1:

I can't know how that happens.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I just can't get out of bed every day saying like, oh, I just got to make my 750 words, you know, and like, get those engagements. Like I really think about, like what value? What I'm learning and it's a lot of it is what I would I put out comes from what either I have just learned or maybe remembered. Yeah, and I had just spent the week before at a customer conference in Raleigh, north Carolina, with Pendo. We use Pendo at in my current role at user testing, and I've used Pendo for about 10 years and they've been kind of the leader in not necessarily digital customer success, but in in this kind of idea that I subscribe to, which is digital is not a replacement for humans, it's not a do more with less. It is not anything other than the truest form of customer success. It is using data to understand what you can and then using a human to go deeper.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think that's as succinct as I can put it and I think I think there's been an over index on software to solve a problem that they have not identified, and I think, if you want me to define digital customer success, it is using as many tools and as many access points as you can into the behaviors of an individual user to ascertain what problem they're solving with your software, and that's it. It really comes down to like that is the, I don't care about anything else. And it's not a QBR, it's not an executive business review, it's not a overview whatever you want to call it. There's so many things that we do.

Speaker 2:

But like the heart of what we do is solving a problem, and sometimes it's with software and sometimes it's with solutions and sometimes it's with processes and like all of these other wonderful things. But if you're not starting from like a problem, like to use actually just my newsletter, the next newsletter that goes out on Tuesday really talks about kind of this thing around. You know, like Salesforce and what they started with customer success. I know they're not really the starter of customer success, but somebody wrote a book about it and so everybody thinks they were started.

Speaker 1:

Well, they were first to sass and that's a natural evolution into customer success. I guess I don't know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but like in it I talk, I talk a little bit about, like you know, nick Meadow wrote this book and Gainsight was started and it's the leaky bucket. You know thought like that. You know, salesforce had a leaky bucket. They were like man, we're closing all these great deals and we're losing a ton of customers too. Like why, that's it, that's it, that's all that customer success is. That's the genesis, that's the end it is. I've got 100 customers, why am I losing 50? And like it really comes down to how we view our roles and I just see so many people waxing poetic about the intricacies of this industry and this role and I think it's all kind of bullshit. Yeah, if I'm honest.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I'm spending a lot of time kind of deconstructing not, you know, not just my religion, but also like what is the point? And I don't mean that in a diminutive way, I mean that in like. I think that we should ask ourselves that every day. And when I'm coaching CSMs and when I'm talking to people on my team, if they can't tell me what the problem that they're trying to solve is, then I tell them to get off the call and go figure it out. I'm not going to be able to help them until they do.

Speaker 2:

And digital gives you a toolbox. It's a toolbox that we didn't have before. It's it's access to tools that everybody like in 10 years ago, our marketing ops team had access to Pendo, or product team had access to Pendo. They had Marketo data, they had open rates, they had click through rates, they had experiential surveys, they had access to, you know, feedback loops. All of these things went into other teams. And for the last 10 years, csms have been like guys, what the hell? Like what's happening with my account? And the response has been your siloed, go talk to them to figure it out. And then we get gatecapped right. And this digital model is saying hey, I think it's a good idea that the CSM has these data points to and has some control to like, like we're going to be the cruise ship director.

Speaker 2:

If we're the person that a customer comes to with a problem, we should also have at our disposal all of the data and all of the access to tools that the rest of the company has, that they're making decisions on and they're making, like, large macro decisions based on large scale data samples. Right For us as CSMs, we get to break that down into the micro, right Into the minutia and, like, if our job is to take a customer from the actual to the ideal, why don't we have access to everything else that everybody else is using?

Speaker 1:

Yep. One of the analogies I've used recently is kind of like digital CS, is like this exoskeleton to a CSM where, like you, have this kind of support infrastructure around you that make you look really good and perform really well and be able to articulate yourself very quickly and to your not quickly, well, but to your point. Like you know. A note to an executive buyer who purchased your solution for a specific issue or specific problem or something that they needed to do. I have a very clearly detailed note with all the insights that says, hey, look, compared to all the other customers in Europe.

Speaker 2:

Whatever region or whatever, yeah, segment or whatever.

Speaker 1:

You're doing this really well. You're not doing this really well. These are my recommendations.

Speaker 2:

That's it, Yep Well and then what I do love about that analogy is that that CEO is then going to say great, how do we do it? And now I get to say, as a CSM you know, using Pendo as an example here's the guides that I'm going to build out for all of your users that are going to get, like we need to change their behavior. So for the next 30 days, we're going to run this process where every time they log in, they're going to get this guide to show them how to do X, because this is your goal, right, to get your people to do X, more or less or whatever. That behavior changes and we get a co-create.

Speaker 2:

And I think we talk we use that word a lot and it's really difficult because most of the time the economic buyer isn't the user. You know what I mean. They're just like hey, I bought this, fucking figure it out, right. And then Sam, whoever it is, shows up and it's like so my boss just bought this and I don't know what to do. Like, and then there's reeducation. And then you get the end users and like well, my boss told my boss that I have to use this. And then you're six months into this contract.

Speaker 1:

And all you've done is resold it three times, three times, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So it's like it really is coming down to like the problem and the value prop. And I think if CSMs are not able to adequately share value prop upon like levels, and I mean the value prop to a CEO is going to be different than the value prop to a product manager. Like those are different people in different personas and I think what this allows us to do, when we have data, when we have access to tools, that allows us. This is the other thing that I kind of think about. I segment a lot by behavior.

Speaker 2:

I know a lot of people think of segments by macroeconomic climates or regions or segment or customer types or user types, but, like, I actually try to get a little bit more granular to that.

Speaker 2:

Because you're moving a person, right, we're talking about like wide swaths of people. And if you have a hundred people that all have the same title but they're doing different things in your tool or they have a different KPI or you're going to get lost in the sauce, you're going to get absolutely buried in. I just don't know how to like talk to these people, right. But if you look at behaviors, if you say these 20% login in the morning, these 20%, login once a month, these 20%, you know, and then segment by that you actually have a pretty clear path into changing behavior, right, because you know. The other thing that I will say is I think that digital allows CSMs to meet a customer where they're at. Yeah, and I think that's something that we've really struggled with back when we had to dial for dollars, before zoom and the world ended in 2020, and then again in 21 and again in 22 and again in 24.

Speaker 1:

Whenever that?

Speaker 2:

I think we're in a quiet year right now, for us at least.

Speaker 2:

I know that's hard to say, but I think I think we spent a lot of time kicking up dust for our customers and causing our customers to do more work in order for us, to CSMs, to do our job. And I think I think a lot of folks that have been in SAS and in software for a long time are on the other side of the fence, not in CS, but are feeling a little bit of relief on one side, and I have a very opposite opinion as well. So I think I can you can hold two truths at the same time. Yeah, I think a lot of customers are saying like oh my God, thank the Lord I don't have to get on this call every two weeks with this guy. Like I love John, he's a great CSM, but like I got to get my shit done and every time I get off a call with him, he's got. I got to fill out this form, or I got to inform him on something, or I got to teach him because there's a new person or there's an old person and there's just a lot of work that us, as CSMs, make our customers do in order for us to be CSMs.

Speaker 2:

So the opposite end of that, I also think that, in this rush to digital, us, as CS leaders and folks that are in this industry, have really fucked up with communicating the fact that we're changing, not just because our company did a 20% riff or your company lost headcount or because your budgets were slack, like those are all. Those are all like individual moments, right, but this industry is, is there's this big swing to what I hate the term doing more with less, and I don't think that anybody I'm sure there's that's a broad generation and I won't I won't complete that thought, but I think there's a lot of companies that have maybe laid off a bunch of people and they said we're going to go digital and then they just did it and the customer was not informed. There was no feedback loop, there was no experiential metricking or benchmarking on CSAT or NPS or these other things to say what was it like before and what is it like, but what is it now? And to the point of the LinkedIn post, because I know that's where this started I think that we lost a lot of humanity in digital and one of the things that stood out to me most not just about sitting in a room at Pendo with incredible product leaders that understand like the like, the actual like reason why people use software.

Speaker 2:

I didn't hear many people talk about the human on the other end of the line, on the fact that you're building a product that Sam Jones in Milwaukee, wisconsin, is going to sit and use to do his job.

Speaker 1:

I love all these macro things.

Speaker 2:

It was actually low. I said that name came up and I was like wait, that's the barbecue place that I go to on Sundays after church to eat my feelings. Really great, really great brisket. But Erica Aikroyd from Pendo, she's like senior manager of now.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but she ran the scale programs at Pendo for about two years. Had her on our podcast this last week. It was one of my favorite episodes. I adore this woman, not just for her as a person, for her realness, but also I feel like she gets it in a way that I think a lot of people are just kind of starting to get. Digital solves for the 80 80%. What digital allows you to do is to look at broad strokes and to say this is how I'm going to solve, like the bare minimum of enablement is. I'm going to get the plane in the air Right and then humans, absolutely without question, need to be in place to solve for the 20% for the niche for the 1000%.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think, following that, like that's a, that's a framework that I work through when I'm, when I'm building out campaigns, when I'm looking at analytics, when I'm looking at teams, when I'm looking at segments, it's like great, what's, what's the thing? That'll solve a lot of problems and it'll make up for 80% of our nut when it comes to revenue or change. Man, whatever you're doing right. But the most important thing and this is what I said, you know, on LinkedIn this week was very much like if you're not thinking about the on ramps and the off ramps to and from a digital experience to a human experience, to elevate that experience, then you're not doing digital, you're just doing rework.

Speaker 2:

And I think what happens a lot of times is that we build out these frameworks and these processes where maybe we have a walk me guide to kind of do some enablement. Maybe they're, you know, giving you, you know gamification for education, so they get a certification. You just get baseline stuff right and then you know there's somebody gets, sends an email like, oh, frank, let's jump on a call, and they meet with their CSM and the CSM goes like how can I help you? Right, and they just show up at zero and the thing that I want to shout from the rooftops is that your job as a CSM is to inform yourself on your customers every single day, every single day.

Speaker 2:

Not just behaviors, not just what buttons they're click, Not just the problems that you're solving, but like the economic fortune and misfortune of your customers. If you are not aware of risk in the marketplace, then you're not actually aware of risk for your account base. We don't need to become like data scientists or McKenzie you know consultants but you absolutely, utterly need to show up to that meeting after they've checked seven boxes, knowing what seven boxes they've checked, Coming into that call saying, man, we're so close, I'm so excited for where you're at today. Here's what we need to do to get that last 20% done as an extension of the team.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and that that those things that we do before we get on that call we used to have to do our customers had to do for us.

Speaker 1:

And we're actually get?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we're. We're reducing friction and I think the CSMs that don't get it and the team leads in the leadership teams and we fight it every single day inside and outside. You know the company that I'm at and other companies I talk to people all of the time that are just like I just don't know what digital means. My leadership doesn't understand digital and understand mid touch or low touch or high touch, whatever you want to call it like they just don't get it and it's like fuck all of that shit. Like respectfully, like respectfully. There's a purpose behind it.

Speaker 2:

But if you cannot, if you're not starting with a problem, you should not be coming to the table with the digital play because you don't understand what you're doing. You're just going to spend money on software that you're not going to have retention on that. Some other CSM is going to get dinged on for their you know GRR a year from now because you didn't use it or you didn't adopt. But I think there's just a lot of times that we just really need to start from square one. What's the problem? What's the leaky bucket? Why are customers leaving and how can we? How can we make sure that we're meeting them where they're at. Are they leaving for good reasons or do we just? Is there something we need to fix?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I love what you said about kind of this notion of usage based personas.

Speaker 1:

Dan and his talks about this quite frequently and and I love him, yeah, and does it he does some pretty amazing stuff on on the back end with analytics, about you know, figuring out how you, who, you know what user persona somebody is just based on their usage, without having to ask them, and all that kind of stuff.

Speaker 1:

But you know, I do think that it is interesting to to think about not just how somebody's using it, but also just what the you know what the kind of social climate is around that person or that team or that company or whatnot, and, like you know, being kind of emotionally intelligent about those kinds of things and segmenting based on that. And then another thing that you're a co-conspirator Kristi Faltruiser likes to say is is about this notion of building an additive program where, if, if you, if you're building a digital program, that's all well and good and to your point needs to be aligned to a problem and be part of the solution for that problem. But it also needs to feel like you're not replacing stuff. It needs to feel like you're adding, adding to the you know, adding to the experience, versus taking stuff away and replacing stuff, and I think that's that's huge.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, and to that point, one of the things that Kristi and I excuse me talk about a lot is is you know, we don't know what we don't know, and I know that's a plattitude, but our customers also don't know all of the problems that our software can solve. And I think this gets us into you know, usage everybody. Fine, we should look at usage. That should be part of our health score. But if we have not benchmarked, like the person itself, like if it's a product manager, they're only using 20% of the software. They're never gonna use this 80%, right? So why?

Speaker 1:

are we sitting here going? Yeah, they are yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's like well, they only log in once a month. It's like well, yeah, because I understand their process and I know that all the designers are in there and the product manager doesn't come in until the project's done, so that's it.

Speaker 1:

That's the months and months they go to pull their report.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they're on like a waterfall or agile, like monthly release schedule. So it's like we have to have this understanding of saying, okay, we as software providers want somebody, we want sticky software, we want the TikTok effect, where people are spending nine hours a day scrolling through whatever we've built and just falling in love right, that's what we want. But the reality is like if we don't have a product that drives incremental usage and value on a daily basis like why are we setting benchmarks as companies saying, well, we need them to log in 14 more times this month. Go get some like login stuff it's like, ah, but that's not the value, right. So I think that a lot of times and this is what I do love about I know we haven't really talked about this, but I think that there's a lot of need for CSMs to be educated on what discovery looks like and what probing and open based questions, like I've gone through a lot of sales trainings and a lot of people have. But we should always be curious and the moment that we think we know everything about our customer and how they're using the software, that should be a red flag, not for the customer but for us, that we're missing out on something that the moment you are in a stagnant conversation where you get on with your main stakeholder and like, oh, it's great, nothing's going on, you're like, awesome, how was the football, the sports team that you like? And then 20 minutes go by and you're like, okay, see you in two weeks, let me know if anything changes. And then that becomes the normal.

Speaker 2:

And how many CSMs that listen to this call please raise your hand or this podcast. Leave your comments on LinkedIn have those meetings every single week and they feel burned out and they feel overwhelmed and they feel like they have too much, when half of what they're doing is just a status check. That is utter bullshit and a lot of it comes down to look, I'm the first person to talk about mental health and making sure that you take care of yourself. I struggle with this in a major way, but I also think we need to be realists about everything that we do. Why are we on this call and I don't just mean like I'm gonna give you some time back so that we don't need to talk, but like you have that call that customer is showing up, taking time out of their day, 30 minutes an hour to meet with you somebody that they are paying probably hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the segment that you're in. How are we not maximizing those moments right Of look?

Speaker 2:

I don't know this about you. So what questions do you have? And I spend a lot of time on Mondays and at the end of the day on Friday, after I get off this podcast, looking through like what I have next week and saying like what questions don't? I know I do.

Speaker 2:

It's really simple to do a basic gap analysis of your accounts and of your relationships, of the individuals that you work with, and then I go look at the data and I say what can I answer and what can I inform myself in with these tools that I have, so that when I show up and I ask a question, it's not I don't know anything about you and I need you to answer this. It's my assumption is these three things I'm looking at these and I show my customers are dashboards and Tableau and Pendo and all these things usage of why I'm thinking these things. And it's like, correct me if I'm wrong Like this is what I think, and then it's a note and then it's something that I follow up on at some other time during another conversation. But if I don't have that, I don't have a meeting.

Speaker 2:

Like I don't know you shouldn't be on that meeting, and it's not even just a respecting, it's just what is your job. Is your job just to check in and be a name that they email?

Speaker 1:

Absolutely not in no way, or an order taker or a, you know, a collection point for issues or whatever.

Speaker 2:

We are value drivers. Like this is the thing that I like and I get. Like this we are drivers of value. We are not captures of value. We are on the leading edge, our foot is on the gas and if the customer pulls the e-brake, we have the processes and the experience and skill to know why and how to get them back into the fast lane.

Speaker 1:

To your point on kind of the struggles and the.

Speaker 1:

I mean, obviously there's mental health issues all over the place and whatnot, but like work trauma is a real thing, like I don't think people talk about work trauma nearly enough because it is a massive thing.

Speaker 1:

And guess what?

Speaker 1:

The point of contact or the you know the five or six people that you're talking to at your customer accounts, they're probably experiencing those things as well. Right, and I think that's where the relationship building comes in a little bit, because you know, I think we talked, we mentioned earlier that you should essentially be an extension of the team in the sense that you get what environment they're operating in, what challenges they're facing, what round of layoffs they had, you know, three weeks ago. Like you can sympathize with those things because you yourself and your professional career have been through those things. You're coming to the table with, you know, really good, well-informed question and that just I think, yeah, you're trying to build stickiness and retention in your software, but a huge component of that is what your relationship looks like with that point of contact and how you're building that relationship. And I love that you pointed that out because, yeah, we're here to talk about Digital CS, but Digital CS, to your point, is the thing that can help you facilitate those kinds of things in a meaningful way.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but you know, like I said, I talk about this all the time. I'm very open about my mental health struggles. I struggle with anxiety and panic attacks and I have just some like I've some like really baked in, like emotional and physical trauma. And you know, I think there is a softness that comes from not only going through those things but then kind of having the ability to process what that looks like on the other end, to be able to look and reflect internally and say, like this isn't true, this isn't true. Okay, there might be some merit to this. So I need to explore this a little bit, right?

Speaker 2:

But to your point about like workplace trauma, actually, like I was listening to this, I was listening to I don't know his name, some big wig on LinkedIn who's got 100,000 followers, talking about how, if somebody you know, if he's reviewing resumes and if there's anybody that has less than two years' experience at a specific job, he thinks they're a failure. This is like the CEO of a billion dollar company and he was talking about this. And then the comment section was like what the hell are you talking about? What a horrible moment.

Speaker 2:

And it was individuals that were saying I have had five jobs in the last two years and I've been laid off from every single one of them and I cannot get an interview. And I think that there is all of us workers in the fields, like in the trenches whatever analogy you wanna use like we're kind of the grunts right now, right, like I don't mean this like in a diminutive way in any way, I just mean it. We're not CEOs. There's some of you that are CEOs and, if you're listening, my God, like bringing some humanity into the fact that that we as a culture and we as a country and we as a society have gone through violent shifts in how we live, how we work, what bills we can pay, what revenue looks like, and it's changed every six months Like it is chaos.

Speaker 2:

There's a girl that I know that I do some coaching with. Her name's Ann. She got an incredible job opportunity recently and like three weeks after starting they did a round of layoffs and like she got cut and it's like I think that should be illegal In France it is.

Speaker 1:

In some parts of the world it is yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So you know, greatest country in the world or whatever, Um, but to your point, I think there's a lot of sterility in digital and I think this is something that I wanna see more empathetic digital leaders grow with, is? You know, I met with one of my one of my favorite customers this week and you know, like I said, I'm pretty transparent I had a pretty substantial like panic attack over the weekend. I made some decisions that you know are just you just kind of. You just kind of have to process some things right In different ways, and some of them are healthy, some of them are not, Most of them are not, but a lot of like the processing is really, really hard and there's a lot of things that you know you show up and you get in a meeting and it's like, all right, erase all of that. I gotta be on, I gotta focus and in my case, there's a very visual difference in me. I shaved my head. It's fine, Don't worry about me, I swear to God. But it was one of those things where it's just like oh, what happened, John? And it's a topic, right, it's no big deal, right, but I made a face and my customer was like what's really going on right?

Speaker 2:

And I think a lot of times, when we're talking about empathetic leaders and when we're talking about building relationships, we talk about, oh, the weather and sports, and I don't think that we live in that society anymore. Most of us are working from home, Most of us see kids in the background all of the time, we have cats and dogs that jump up on our laptops, we have the plumber that comes in, Like we are a part of each other's lives in a way that we never have been before. And, yeah, it's over this little magic box that Zoom pays for right, but at the same time, like we have a window into humanity in a way that we haven't and we're trying to sterilize it. We're trying to dither everything down into a manageable KPI, when the reality is like this customer had a pretty big you know riff or layoff in the last year and they're trying to figure out how they're gonna do the same things Because their boss said we have to have to have the same productivity even though we have 30% less headcount.

Speaker 2:

So I'm sitting here, coming in a human moment, saying like it's fine, like I have the process that I need of you know, we'll go to therapy, I'll handle it right, Don't, you don't need to like. This isn't like a red alert, but it is a human moment. That was then offered in response like kind of a hands in the air. Like God, I'm really struggling with this, too, because we use your tool to do X, Y and Z. My boss told me we got to keep doing the same thing, but I have 30% less than what I had of people before. How am I supposed to do that? Right, there's a problem, that's a problem, and what has come out of that is incredibly deep conversations around process changes. It's like we're both throwing our hands up in the air saying I don't know what to do with my life, you don't know what to do with your work. Let's just like workshop things right. And it's an example of, I think, like the best way to get to like a human moment is to be human.

Speaker 1:

I so agree with you, and one of the things that just clicked in my brain about this is something that I've carried with me in interview style or like my interview. The way I interview people is I come to the table with my own version of what I want to ask.

Speaker 2:

You know, like.

Speaker 1:

I come to the table with, like, for instance, I'll say something like hey look, I'm always trying to improve myself, these are the things I'm working on, these are the classes I'm taking and these are the mentorship relationships I have. What does that look like for you? And that's a very small example of what you were talking about. But those are the kinds of things where if you lead with vulnerability and you lead with, like you know, openness about what it is that you're facing with, that opens the door for your customer to do the exactly the same thing. And that may not be culturally appropriate in a lot of places, but I think in most cases it is. You know.

Speaker 2:

I think there's also some intelligence in I think what people assume digital is is one solution that answers the broadest amount of questions, and the way that I say that, like I don't have I don't have that level of conversation with every single customer or even every single coworker or employee that I work with. Like I know, like this is actually a new muscle for me to be able to, like, get on a podcast where there's gonna be thousands of people that are listening, saying like.

Speaker 1:

Oh, john, john, I mean Seven people.

Speaker 2:

I mean, we have hundreds of thousands on our, so I don't know where you're at. But no, like, it's like a new muscle for me to try and be like. I need to normalize this for myself Because it's something that I struggle with and I have to ask for grace when I have these struggles, to be like Look, it's just, it's just not the day, like I gotta I gotta be a millennial in this and be like boss, give me a break and you go for a walk.

Speaker 1:

But to that point you doing that very much because it opens the door for others to feel comfortable doing that same thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and that's what I would say is like you know, not that I want to be everybody's therapist, but like you should feel comfortable in reaching out to people that you have heard share similar experiences and for you to say, man, this helped me because I'm struggling with this. It may not be the only answer, but it is a answer. Yeah, but kind of to that, to that kind of point. Is Not every single customer that you talk to wants to get on a meeting with you every month. Not every single customer wants to tell you about their grandmother who's, you know, just turned 90 and went skydiving for the first time.

Speaker 1:

Like not every single customer. I need a beer, beer, beer.

Speaker 2:

You have beer, beer, air horn, but also and this is to the leaders when we're setting KPIs and success metrics and what our individual contributors are doing. If we're saying you've got to have a Touchpoint with every customer once a month, and then we define those touch points, it's like I need a QBR, I need a deck, I need an hour here, like we're actually setting our CSM's up To not be CSM's they're just note takers, right? So one of the things that I try really hard to do is it's a good idea for you to, for you to have a touchpoint with your customer every month. Define that touch point for me.

Speaker 2:

Whatever that sometimes, sometimes that is not completely agnostic to talking to a customer. Sometimes, that is, I spent an hour in Pendo and I found these three key users who have trended quarter over, quarter above or below what we expected. And what I did is I built out this engagement plan so that when I do talk to their point of contact next month, I come to the table with XY like that's good enough for me and that's really really good work, and we don't celebrate those things you've touched the customer without them knowing.

Speaker 2:

It's a gentle touch. That's one of my favorite. That like. It's really hard for me to talk about touching customers, Because the first lesson that I learned in business is that you don't touch your customers. I Made out with a customer at Starbucks once and my boss got really unhappy with me. That wasn't cool. Yeah, not cool at all. I love those. You just kind of meandering around very serious topics and then Gooseball.

Speaker 1:

That's the way we gotta be. Do you have a heart? Stop, because we're past. Okay, great. No, I'm good, I don't need it, let's go a few more minutes. Here's the deal. I've been wondering what the deal was. The deal is we love to call a digital program, we love to label it one to many and yeah, it is one of many, but why can't your digital program be one to one?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. Personalization, and I'm gonna, I'm gonna. Personalization with a purpose, like I don't, I don't need a pop-up to know my name, I don't, I don't. Hey, john, welcome to the bull shit. That's a waste of resources. Personalization with a purpose Do you know my use case? Do you know why I use your software? Do you know what makes my head Spin in the middle of the night when I'm Thinking through what I have to do the next day? Like that's where personalization comes in, and I think so many people think that it's about auto tagging a name in an email or Knowing like something very, very specific about a person, but it really isn't so let's get tactical with that.

Speaker 1:

A little bit like what, what is what If you were to design your own personal digital nirvana?

Speaker 3:

You know, like nirvana to. Those are some great records.

Speaker 1:

Actually, actually, conan needs a friend. You listen to that. Yeah, yeah, yeah yep, the latest episode with with Chris Novicelli. Novicelli and Dave Grohl and Steve Albini, the producer no shit, oh, I have to listen to it.

Speaker 2:

gosh, that's so good 30th anniversary of in utero perfect.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, also 30 years ouch.

Speaker 2:

Remember when that record came out.

Speaker 1:

I do too very clearly.

Speaker 2:

All right, my Nirvana, my digital Nirvana. Give me some parameters.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So, like you know you're, you're leading the charge on building a digital engagement strategy. You know, yeah, I want to know, you know what, what? What voice are you going after? Like, how do you want it to feel from a customer's perspective? Let's forget about GDPR. Let's forget about, you know, cultural differences. Let's let's just talk about, like, how are you envisioning a Human, like interaction that happens digitally?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So you know, let's start with kind of like a scaled program, right? So we have, I think we've got like six or seven hundred customers in our scaled program I don't know what the APOR is on that right, we've got four renewal managers that I think, that manage that. We've got a director of scaled CS that owns that and that's it right. So if I'm coming in and I'm saying like what's the biggest problem? Because these not only do these strategies and these tools need to solve a problem, you have to define that yourself. That is your job, right. So the number one thing, the first thing, is how do I, as a leader, forecast and Understand Revenue and renewal rates in mass? That is going to be number one thing. So I've got 600 customers that nobody is talking to. Nobody is talking to what like? How do I tell my boss on a quarterly basis what they can expect on a Renewal basis, on a growth basis and on a risk basis? That's number one. So we're starting with the, the mechanics of the Business we have to start with and in my opinion, I will say the most important thing Doesn't matter what else we do. If I am unable to go to my boss and say, this quarter we're gonna lose 18%. Next quarter run and grow 20%, because that's the, that's the business we all are beholden to somebody. So it's where we're starting right. So what do we need to know about our customers? To know if they're gonna grow, if they're gonna Renew or if they're gonna churn, right. So we start there now. Everything else after it is I. I, I truly believe that I want to be the Bill Nye, the science guy of CS, and I want to experiment and I want to understand motions and levers and Actions that can be done to to understand those three factors more and To to enhance what I'm forecasting. I know we're talking a lot about revenue and I know CS doesn't really like to talk about revenue. I think it is incredibly important to understand that. That's why you have a job, is because you own ten million dollars in revenue and your boss is like I trust that when he says ten million dollars is gonna renew, it's gonna renew. That's why you have a job. Okay, so that's baseline stuff, right?

Speaker 2:

What I would then implement has nothing to do with tools. It has nothing to do with software or outreach or anything. It is an internal process of constant and continued feedback, once a quarter. I would, I'm gonna, I'm gonna quote Pendo They've got pillars right, so the way that they run things is, you know, they've got somebody Representing each of the pillars when big decisions are being made right, so that there's a voice at the table.

Speaker 2:

I love this model, something very similar where every quarter, we go back and we say, alright, we forecasted ten million dollars and we closed eight. Let's start looking at what, why, right, and then it is. It is a maturing process from then on out, and I think it's Incredibly important that we understand all of the stakeholders perspectives on Whatever you want to do, whether it's emails, whether it's pop-ups, whether it's engagement or enablement, all of these things that we do with digital Right. Yeah, if we are not constantly looking back in the mirror and saying I was right, I was wrong, here's the gaps, this is what I learned Then we're slowly and then all at once Going to be missing the point, and that's actually that's one of my favorite phrases.

Speaker 2:

There's this guy in like the 20s or whatever.

Speaker 2:

It was like a billionaire.

Speaker 2:

Then he went bankrupt and he was interviewing. He's getting interviewed by like this big New Yorker magazine or something in the 20s, and they're like how did you go broke? And he goes very, very slowly and then, all at once, right, and I think you, just you if you lose the plot, if you miss the point, then that one inch becomes a mile, and Then the only thing that your team is doing is just is just, you know, taking a bucket and throwing water out of the boat because it's sinking and you don't know why. Right, you're covered in water and you can't see the hole.

Speaker 2:

So, though I get so simple and it's so not simple, because that requires buy-in, that requires alignment, but I really think you, on a quarterly basis, if not more, maybe on smaller teams like in pods, but at least on a quarterly basis, if you're not going back and saying this is what we thought, this is what we now know and this is what is different and this is what we missed, then you're not gonna have a functional digital program. And then the last thing that I'll say about that is that if you're not then learning, in all of those instances, the pain of the customer, that your digital experience is onslaughting them with meaning, we have our C-sets have dropped 10 points or whatever, and here's all the feedback, because they just don't know how to get help. If you're not building out programs to answer those on a quarterly basis, then your churn is gonna get out of control and it won't matter how you're forecasting.

Speaker 1:

I love everything about that.

Speaker 2:

Hire me, I'm just kidding my boss is listening. I didn't say that Lane.

Speaker 1:

I would love to keep talking to you, but Of course, part two. We both have day gigs to get to and stuff to do.

Speaker 2:

That's my Friday. I'm kinda into the day here. So much touching.

Speaker 1:

So much touching of the customers, whether they know it or not.

Speaker 2:

Whether they know it or not, I'm watching you sleep.

Speaker 1:

What are you paying attention to? What's your content diet? Lay it on me.

Speaker 2:

Oh boy. So this is another thing that I'm actually trying to be really prescriptive about. I love this. I spent a lot of time learning outside of customer success. Yes, I'm meeting with a lot of founders of Ecom. I'm meeting with a lot of leaders in product and marketing, I think the C-s. There's always been this thing that's like C-s in sales or like the antithesis, like the sharks versus the jets. And I actually think that's not true. Yeah, we have tons of blogs. We've written about it, we've talked about it.

Speaker 2:

We fight like brothers and sisters, Totally but the same things happen with product and marketing and I think the closer that we can get to, the closer product can get to the customer and the closer marketing can get to paying customers, then they're gonna be able to do their jobs better. So I'm spending a lot of time talking to folks like asking like, what do you think of these C-s motions that we talk about in the echo chamber? When you hear that, what the hell do you think? And most of the time they're like I don't know what the I don't know what you do, what are you talking?

Speaker 3:

about.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like what on earth are you talking about? And that tells me that there's actually an opportunity there, right? Not just for my organization but also for kind of the things that we put out into the world. So that's the first thing. The other thing, Ray Dalio is incredible visionary when it comes to business. He has this book called principles. It's like a work. It's got two sides, it's got work principles and it's got life principles, and he talks about growth engines in this book and it's a thousand pages. I'm on my second time reading through it right now and I'm just spending a lot of time looking inward on what I'm growing, what I'm building, what I'm fostering and what I'm feeding. So that's been a huge thing. And then, last, I am rewatching all of the Star Trek TV series Legendary. Like all of them in order no well, in Kelvin timeline, Sorry.

Speaker 3:

Nerd.

Speaker 1:

Wow. So where are you at in this?

Speaker 2:

journey. I'm almost finished with Discovery right now, which is one of my favorites because we have a historical pre Kirk and Christopher Pine and the first enterprise. But then we have post in the 31st century and we get to see what life looks like without the Federation and the pros and cons of that. And it overlaps with Lower Dex, which is a great little cartoon Star Trek. That's really cool. I don't know. Look, we're in a. I am a Star Wars guy, but when I was growing up, there was just the three movies, Like that's all that we had, and I watched those all of the time. But Star Trek was always on, and it was when my dad like fell asleep on the couch too. And it's so funny, my God. We could talk about this for another hour, but like I found myself in the last week like I woke up on the couch this morning because I fell asleep on the couch like my father did before me watching Star Trek, cause it was full circle.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it does. So that's my diet right now. Do you want to give a shout out to?

Speaker 1:

anyone digitally, somebody that's doing cool stuff, a digital touch.

Speaker 3:

Digital touch.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I think you know, I know I've been kind of on a Pendo kick lately, but a lot of it is coming off of what you know, what I learned last week. And Erica Akeroid is absolutely incredible. She's not so much like out and posting or whatever, which is actually really like cause.

Speaker 1:

She's just I love that. Does a lot of work. She and I have had a couple of failed connections, but she'll be on this show at some point, I think.

Speaker 2:

Oh good, you know, I think, the other person. Again, at Pendo I did like some strategy sessions with one of our customer experience managers and it's always fun as a CSM to like meet with somebody else who does what we do. And I had two sessions one with this girl named McKenna Claffery McKenna Claffy, sorry who's here in Raleigh as well, and just kind of opened my eyes to just some incredible opportunities within Pendo that we're not doing. And then I would like I just love the session so much so I scheduled another one at the conference and another CSM named Katie Lada, who just did, honestly, like really, really good work and as a CSM you don't often get to meet your CSMs Like we just don't have a lot of those opportunities, right?

Speaker 2:

So just the whole Pendo team that takes care of us at user testing, samantha Walker's, our salesperson, and I came into the conference and she just like told me where to go, got me the swag, got me to the happy hour. We went and saw a big boy from Outcast. We did care, like I mean, it was just like the things that I do on a regular basis, like these people did for me, and it was a very, very like a very healthy and holy moment for me just to see, like, what other people are doing and how they're doing it, and have somebody care for me in a way that I care for all of my customers. So, like, just the whole team at Pendo has done just such an incredible job of that and they're a great partner. That's awesome.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, cool. Last but definitely not least, where I mean obviously LinkedIn. Every single one of you can find you on LinkedIn, where can people find you? And I think also, where can people find your music.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, a couple of places. So I have my own podcast with some incredible people. It's called Unchurned, and we do a couple of different segments. There's BS and CS, or CS and BS, and then there's a couple of other like career passing things that we do. We just kind of have fun, right. So that's if you want to listen to me talk more, and then, most importantly, here my co-host make fun of me all of the time. Check that out, it's great. I actually just launched like this week I launched my own newsletter, because that's what everybody's doing. It's linked on my LinkedIn, but it's called Measure Over Method.

Speaker 1:

And in the show notes and in the show notes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's called Measure Over Method. It's just a capture right now, you know. I mean there's no like big fancy landing page or whatever. I just kind of wanted to weigh off of LinkedIn to expand a little bit more and have more kind of one-on-one conversations. So you know, there's a couple of people that follow me and I love it and it, you know, got like 20 emails written and they're just piped. So I'm really excited for that and I'm really passionate about like just learning, making sure that I'm not sounding like an idiot. Yeah, and then I have a band because, you know there's not enough hours in the day. It's called Wild Coast.

Speaker 2:

I put out music under that moniker. It's on Spotify and Instagram and TikTok and all that kind of stuff. So if you wanna hear me sing about heartbreak and life, that's kind of what you do. It was pretty fun. I got added to not so you know, obama puts out this like big playlist every year. That became like a big thing and now, like there's all these offshoots where he kind of does like you know, every quarter he does like one. And I got added to like a big this summer playlist, which was pretty fun.

Speaker 2:

So, like 200,000 people. I was like 110 on the playlist so it was pretty buried. But getting that notification that I put out a single a few weeks ago called Bollarocket, which I just it's one of my favorites that I've written yeah, yeah. So I mean there's a lot of places. But also, like, just shoot me a note, like I'm talking to an empty, like I don't know who you are, like listeners You're sitting in your cars and your office is listening to me talk weeks from now. I'm just really interested in hearing what you have to say and if anything resonates with you or if you have opinions that are counter to what I have. A lot of what I do is just informing myself on gaps and understanding what I don't understand, and you know it's what I love about talking with you, alex. We always uncover some sort of gem or gold that maybe I didn't think of.

Speaker 1:

So in this like four hour. I mean, that's one of the things that I really appreciate. I super appreciate that stuff about you. Like you know, you're just in it to like learn and share and just be a human among other humans, and we forget to do that sometimes so kudos to you.

Speaker 2:

No, I will not put on any airs.

Speaker 1:

So I rarely put on jeans.

Speaker 2:

these days also, it's sweatpants and nothing.

Speaker 1:

So on that note, thank you so much for having me. I think customers with or without, jeans With or without, I'm gonna update my headline.

Speaker 2:

I'm gonna update my headline.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you should do that, Dude. Thanks for joining me. It's been a pleasure. We need to do it again. I love chatting with you and one of these days we're gonna meet in person. I'm gonna hug you, oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

I've been meet. This is the thing. Like I met Dylan in, like we met for lunch a few weeks ago in Philadelphia and like it's been really fun to like connect like in real life. Like it's been really fun. And I know it's hard, but please let's find a time where we're in the same space. I'd love to Absolutely. Let's do it Cool, all right End. I love it.

Speaker 1:

That was good. 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.

Speaker 3:

I'll find a hotel in the city. The credit card makes it easier. Send up a bottle of wine A bit overpriced. It's the only way to fall. After all, these have been unkind. I'll stand by, waiting for a chance to catch a glimpse of your eyes. Got a record of pride waiting for us. Plenty of time before the morning shines a light on us. A dozen more stars to wish the night would never end on. Then a couple more miles to go before I drive you home.

Digital Customer Success With John Johnson
Music Album Preferences and Memories
Digital and Human Customer Success Exploration
Balancing Digital and Human Customer Experiences
The Importance of Customer Relationship Building
Mental Health Challenges in Workplace
Digital Engagement and Personalization Strategies
Learning Beyond Customer Success and Star Trek