The Digital CX Podcast

Building Community in Digital Customer Success with Marie Lunney | Episode 030

December 12, 2023 Alex Turkovic, Marie Lunney Episode 30
Building Community in Digital Customer Success with Marie Lunney | Episode 030
The Digital CX Podcast
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The Digital CX Podcast
Building Community in Digital Customer Success with Marie Lunney | Episode 030
Dec 12, 2023 Episode 30
Alex Turkovic, Marie Lunney

Send us a Text Message.

Marie Lunney joins us this week in a whirlwind conversation in which we cover a lot of ground. Not only is she a seasoned digital CS leader, including her current role at Top Employers Institute, but she's also founder of the DCS Connect Slack community.

In this fun filled 45 minutes, Marie and I dig into:

  • Digital CS before it was called DCS
  • Cross-coordination with other departments around the Customer Journey
  • How employee satisfaction plays into a healthy digital journey
  • The DCS Connect Community
  • The many variables involved in Digital CS
  • Evolution of digital away from segment coverage and into broader operations
  • Data hygiene and knowing who your customer contact personas are
  • Strategies for cleaning up your data
  • Digital business reviews & checking in digitally with your customers
  • The branding implications of a good digital CS program
  • Comparing customers to their peers to drive behaviors
  • Hiring for Digital CS and how your most tenured CSMs may not be an ideal fit for the role.

Enjoy! I know I sure did...

Marie's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marielunney1/
Join DCS Connect: https://airtable.com/appLGhZyujOoYp8BQ/shr4ixoZmB8hBoLbM
The Digital CS Sweet Spot: https://digitalcustomersuccess.com/dcs-sweet-spot/

Resources:

Shoutout:

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.

Marie Lunney joins us this week in a whirlwind conversation in which we cover a lot of ground. Not only is she a seasoned digital CS leader, including her current role at Top Employers Institute, but she's also founder of the DCS Connect Slack community.

In this fun filled 45 minutes, Marie and I dig into:

  • Digital CS before it was called DCS
  • Cross-coordination with other departments around the Customer Journey
  • How employee satisfaction plays into a healthy digital journey
  • The DCS Connect Community
  • The many variables involved in Digital CS
  • Evolution of digital away from segment coverage and into broader operations
  • Data hygiene and knowing who your customer contact personas are
  • Strategies for cleaning up your data
  • Digital business reviews & checking in digitally with your customers
  • The branding implications of a good digital CS program
  • Comparing customers to their peers to drive behaviors
  • Hiring for Digital CS and how your most tenured CSMs may not be an ideal fit for the role.

Enjoy! I know I sure did...

Marie's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marielunney1/
Join DCS Connect: https://airtable.com/appLGhZyujOoYp8BQ/shr4ixoZmB8hBoLbM
The Digital CS Sweet Spot: https://digitalcustomersuccess.com/dcs-sweet-spot/

Resources:

Shoutout:

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:

It's an answer to how to achieve higher profit margins without sacrificing employee and customer satisfaction.

Speaker 2:

Oh dang, that's cool. You know I like oh yeah, I like the addition of employee satisfaction into that. 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. Welcome to episode 30 of the Digital Customer Success Podcast I almost couldn't say that and our last episode for the year. That's right, it's going to be our last episode of 2023. I'm taking a couple weeks off of publishing episodes just to give my brain a little bit of a break, and but you know we'll be back in January, starting January 2nd, with a bunch of shows. I think I've already got all the shows kind of scheduled for January, february and into March. So lots of great guests, lots of great content coming. But you know, thank you for a stellar year. Your engagement has been amazing, your feedback has been amazing and I thank you for all the listens. I really, truly appreciate it.

Speaker 2:

One quick thing to mention is I did just publish a new article on the website, digitalcustomersuccesscom. The article is all about the Digital Customer Success sweet spot. This is a bit of a model that I came up with to try and help you formulate a mindset when it goes comes to comes to building out digital programs. The sweet spot is essentially that magical place where customer journey intersects with data and automation. And so, you know, give it a read. It's you know, it's probably a 10 minute read. Would love your thoughts and feedback on that article. Again, again, that's the Digital Customer Success sweet spot For today.

Speaker 2:

Amazing guest I'm really glad we're ending the year with this particular guest. It is Marie Loney, who is the founder of DCS Connect. It's the Slack community, all about digital customer success. I know we all have a lot of Slack communities that we belong to. This is the one that I probably pay attention to most often. I mean for obvious reasons. But you know she founded this community roughly about the same time that this podcast was launched and so we've been, you know, chatting for a while and and the community is steadily growing. There's new members coming in every day. We'll definitely link it in the show notes if you want to go check it out, but it's a great place to hang out, get some advice, you know, drop some knowledge and just make it part of your daily routine.

Speaker 2:

Anyway, awesome conversation. Marie has been doing digital customer success for a while. She also has a marketing background. She's super bright. She's kind of the go-to when you need advice on what tools exist for a certain thing. She knows her way around a bunch of tools. She's built some, she's built great programs in the past and so she offers a ton of just practical advice around digital customer success. So I really hope that you enjoy this conversation with Marie Loney, because I sure did. I welcome to the podcast Marie Loney. Did I pronounce that correctly? You did Loney like money.

Speaker 1:

That's what I said. Loney like money.

Speaker 2:

I mean, the only reason I think I guessed correctly is I'm a huge space nerd and there was a famous Apollo era flight director named Glenn Loney. So I don't know. You probably really yeah.

Speaker 1:

That's like the first ever Loney reference I've ever heard.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean look into it. Thanks for bringing that to me. Yeah, yeah, for sure. I'm really excited to have you on the podcast for several reasons, One of them being that you're one of the few people that I've talked to period not just on the podcast who has actually held a bespoke digital customer success leadership role for multiple years, when, you know a lot of us are, a lot of folks are just talking about getting into digital CS and whatnot. You've walked the walk and talked the talk for quite a few years, and so I was excited about that. But also you have just founded a cool new community that I encourage everyone to join after listening to this episode called DCS Connect, which is, you know, intended to get digital CS folks together. So welcome to the podcast. I would love for you to kind of, you know, introduce yourself, but also give us a little bit of an origin story and what got you into CS and digital CS specifically.

Speaker 1:

Yeah Well, thanks for having me Definitely excited to be here and I'm glad I'm one of the few people that you have ever talked to. I thought there was going to be a period then, and then you continue. I was happy about that. My origin story so I've worked in B2B SaaS my whole career.

Speaker 1:

I've worked at a five person startup to begin with that was delivering online dyslexia therapy and, as you do in such a small company, you wear many hats and you also learn how to bootstrap and be really scrappy.

Speaker 1:

So I, out of that, I really learned process design and optimization, but I was craving connectivity with other humans. So I learned about customer success from a friend at the time and I joined her company as a CSM and it just opened up this world of building relationship with customers and I think out of that role, I really built my customer's centristy and really understood the value of not just teaching a man to fish or giving a man a fish, but teaching a man to fish in terms of how your software works, but more larger than that. So what are the business problems that you as a customer are facing and how can I strategically problem solve that with the tools that I have as your CSM. So I loved being a CSM, but I was hungry for more at some point and I moved into marketing just purely out of the opportunities that were there at my company at the time. And I was then in a series of trial by fire marketing roles leading zero to one, initiatives go to market for S&P division.

Speaker 1:

Partner marketing webinar program really anything that that was kicking off these strategic marketing programs and the last one in that company you had. You'd said you know I've held the digital customer success title. I actually started doing digital customer success before I had the title.

Speaker 1:

So, my last role I was in post sale product marketing, with technically the role but built out our customer journeys was looking at how to optimize them with different touch points and tools and really centralizing these different initiatives that other areas of the business were creating for our customer but really pushing on to our customer rather than engaging them at the right point in their customer journey. So that's really where I started finding my happy place of blending customer success and marketing and then led to my most recent role, leading digital customer success and building out a team to achieve that. So I finally find in my career this is where I'm jazzed to be and would like to stay for the foreseeable future, especially because, like you said, it's a new frontier and I think there's so much growth to move into.

Speaker 2:

I'm right there with you. Yeah, that's, it's nice, it's, it's a good feeling when you find your home, so to speak. And I told, I told you we were gonna go on some tangents and that I'm already. I'm already going on some tangents. I, you know, one of the things that I've often repeated on this show is the fact that Digital customer success is something that actually other organizations have been doing and Doing well for a long time. Like you mentioned, marketing, but also product, you know, has been doing this sort of thing with product walkthroughs. But marketing with, you know, post sale email campaigns, blah, blah, blah, like Businesses have been doing this stuff forever. It's just now that we're, you know, actually concentrating those efforts. You know, in the within the customer journey, so to speak, via CS, that I think it's especially powerful.

Speaker 1:

Totally. I you know if I might Ramble on that tangent. That's something that I see is, and it's also something it's a blessing and a curse, because a lot of People who are wanting to build out a digital customer success strategy or role or function and and they're met with resistance from other departments that are saying, well, that's my role, or we do a little bit of that, or I'm supposed to own that and you know, that's that's where you put your liaison skills in play and work really cross-functionally to Understand you know what's on their play, what their priorities. Can they even get to this and show them? You know, if we work with me, then we can get further together than if we stay in silos.

Speaker 2:

Or also, yeah, like why wouldn't you want help get it achieving your KRs from somebody Totally not in your department?

Speaker 1:

Exactly. And I think the other thing is and this is across all businesses and all departments is we really quickly can fall into the traps of doing, you know, planning a, a function or a goal, a project, with the Business outcome in mind and not the customer experience in mind?

Speaker 1:

So, that's how you end up getting. You know, the community that's owned by marketing, and the university that's owned by education, and the in-product messaging that's owned by product and the you know, maybe one-off emails by support, and, and it's all pushed on to the customer. So all very outbound and it's the classic like if we build that they will come. No, they won't. So all of these, all of these departments are, have built these amazing things, but it's not landing, it's not being adopted by customers because they're not, it's not a uniform user experience and they're not being delivered to the customer when and where they need it. And that's where digital customer success comes into play.

Speaker 2:

Exactly and it all looks different. It's very obvious that there are 20 different people talking to you instead of, like this, one Entity and persona and whatnot. So totally Well, you know, we've kind of already died. Dove, dove dived, don't ask me about grammar. We've kind of already gone into that subject, which is around digital customer success, but one thing that I ask all of my guests is their kind of elevator pitch for CS, because it's all different. Everybody's answers are different depending on their backgrounds and their current roles and what their opinions are.

Speaker 1:

So I would love from you Just your quick elevator pitch of what is digital CS and so, to me, digital customer success is really a strategy and A blending of functions we had mentioned quite a few of them already to deliver an optimized customer journey and through operations and technology and direct customer programs and the zinger at any elevator pitch to make someone want to buy it is. It's an answer to how to achieve higher profit margins without sacrificing employee and customer satisfaction. Oh dang that's cool.

Speaker 2:

You know, I like, yeah, I like the addition of employee satisfaction into that, because there's so much emphasis on customer facing motions and, yeah, internal efficiencies and things like that. But also, like I feel like there's massive opportunity for these kinds of things to actually make it kind of fun to do your job. Thousand percent, yeah, well, if you have happier customers because of these direct customer programs.

Speaker 1:

Then you're gonna have any much easier job. And then on the back end, I do believe that DCS Combines CS operations, so you're also optimizing. You know the tools and the workflows of your CS team and so, in essence, their job should not. I'm not ever gonna say it's gonna be easy, but it's gonna be a lot further than traditional CS functions and delivery. If you know exactly who to pay attention to and when to pay attention to them and what they're saying and what they're wanting and you know there's no mind reading anymore.

Speaker 1:

And again, hopefully they're in a much happier Spot a lot quicker because of the digital CS Programs. Totally, yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

I it's. It's very obvious that you have a strong presence in the CS community and you've, you know, you're, involved with several things, cs angels being one of them. You, you know, you've posted quite a few great articles, I must say, in in on LinkedIn as well, which is cool. I'll link to those in the show notes. And the other thing I'll link to as well is the, the new DCS Connect community Slack community that you have Started and are building, and I see it every day gaining momentum. There's, you know, since you announced on LinkedIn, there's, you know, starting to be more and more members, and I'm I'm still at the point where I can Welcome everybody that that jumps in, but I have a feeling that it's gonna blow up here real soon. So all that to say is like you know what drives you to the CS community and and and and what's your motivation behind kind of being so active and starting the new community? And?

Speaker 1:

I think it's a way, it's a pay it forward motion. You know, digital customer success we've already mentioned this is a new frontier and there's so much to be explored. And you know I call myself a digital customer success expert only because I have been doing it for, you know, four years compared to most to our justice system To have or just getting started, but there's still a lot for me to learn.

Speaker 1:

That being said, I can pass along the learnings that I have had. So it depends again, this is my marketing and how I approach DCS as well. It depends. Your channel is going to depend on your audience and what the end goal is. So me writing the articles is more of pay it forward, but the community, honestly, is somewhat selfish, Like I want to have everyone who's jazzed about DCS in one place so we can all geek out together and I can connect with you.

Speaker 1:

Know what are, what are the top, you know user flows that you're building, what are the challenges that you're running to and the tech that you're using to solve it, because every every approach and solutions going to be different. It's like puzzle solving. You know you have your tools in your toolbox, that might all be the same, but the puzzles are all going to be different and different shaped pieces and the end picture is going to look different for every, every company and ever every customer success function. Yeah, so it keeps it really interesting too and I want to just stay, stay attached to it, stay a part of it.

Speaker 2:

It is fascinating to see what people come to the table with in that community.

Speaker 2:

Though, thus far and I agree with you, that's part of what I love about digital is because it's a. It is like a giant puzzle, like you know, and there's so many variables that change the puzzle pieces on you Constantly. You know whether it's tooling or data or whatever, and and you know because so you and I, you know, have held digital CS roles and titles for quite a few years, and I think both of us have kind of started to see the, the time that we're going to be able to do that, the, the transition that digital CS has has taken in kind of the, the zeitgeist, if you will like. People are talking about it differently than they were, you know, a few years ago, when it was, you know, I remember just coming in it was like literally here's, here's the digital segment and go do stuff. And it's not, it is not that anymore. What's your experience on that pin of? I'm very curious, you know, from when you kind of started getting into it to where it is today.

Speaker 1:

Well. So when I started officially under a digital CS title, we were a fairly new CS organization and we had competing needs. So my original purview was going to be you know, you're handling all of the SMB book of business and creating a skilled approach to servicing them. So it's hired for that. But literally week one that changed in terms of we're hiring and scaling our CSM team and we need to create processes and repeatable customer experiences through CS operations. And the first thing at play was I always say digital customer success is as only good as your data. You know you're going to be severely limited in your approach to customers If you don't have even the right contact info. You know, as simple as that. But it says it's a very large problem and a lot of organizations.

Speaker 2:

I'm just going to double click on that first. I hate it when I use buzzwords like that. It happens, you know that right there is like the simplest thing that you know it can. It could just be like a throwaway statement, like you got to know who your contacts are and you have to have content, but it's such a huge problem like knowing not only who your contacts are but what role they play within an organization that is so hard to get, get clean From the start and keep clean.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm, and if you you know it's for many reasons. I think there's probably a million and one sales force products, not necessarily by sales force, but people have built whole businesses off of them to try to solve that problem of keeping your data clean and sales force your contacts clean, and but it is. You know Sales aren't necessarily incentivized to identify all these contacts. They just need the ones who are gonna sign the contract and then when you're in onboarding You're really focused on time to value and not necessarily focused on what's to come after onboarding. So identifying those contacts might not necessarily happen then. Or even if they do, let's say they do, yeah, down the road, how are you keeping them updated? And especially if you're going to a Very heavily digital approach, if you're not continuously checking in, you could easily Get ghosted by a customer, and it might not even be be because you know they're Disinterested.

Speaker 1:

It might because they left the company and you had no idea so all of these problems come up and and you really do have to build in solutions to capture the information and continuously verify it throughout the customer journey If you want to be able to deliver these digital touch points totally, yeah, totally do you?

Speaker 2:

just to Go down that rabbit hole even further?

Speaker 1:

Remember the original question.

Speaker 2:

I can't either. It's all good.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

But, like you know I, there's obvious the operational aspect of Collecting and keeping that data clean, which is to say, like there's, you know you do events around data clean blitzes and you know Cupcakes and beer and all that kind of stuff you know to get people to update their data. There's also some Quite inventive Things that I've seen about you know, actually asking users in products like who they are. What are some of those methods that either you've used or seen that you think are especially effective?

Speaker 1:

So I've done both In practice. We kind of needed to do a full data cleanup and then, in addition, what's what's the strategy moving forward, which honestly, is it's very common with most, you know Neil's been implementation of project products, projects. You always think about the new customer and you never think about your existing customers, but you need to come up with a solution for both. So with existing cut customers, we did a total, you know data cleanup, gave our CSMs and account managers a deadline, and then we also looked at with products, doing that in-app you know message to capture what's your role? That was specifically interesting to us because in the products that we were delivering, our point of contact was maybe a more operational contact, but the Value the influencers of you know are you getting value from this tool were account executives.

Speaker 1:

So the nurture flows and kind of engagement strategies and all of these different Customer journeys. We're going to be very dependent on the role. So we might have the contact email but we don't necessarily know what their role is. So that was really important with the in-app capture. Now, not everyone is going to be in our role, not everyone is going to be in our application, just the way it was used.

Speaker 1:

So I also created a Conendrum. So then it's how do you, for those Select few that aren't necessarily going to within the application, how do we get that information? Via email and tools like Type form or some kind of survey, or you can even use air table forms to capture that and send it back into your CRM, or connected via Automation Is one way to do it be email. And then, if you think about the net new customers with ideal journey, my ideal journey is that Sales is capturing that information, at least for the initial users and contacts, and then, during the onboarding phase, we're surfacing that to the customer and asking for verification.

Speaker 1:

Rather than asking for it once again, because that's also something I'm seeing is like yeah.

Speaker 1:

I've already told you all of this. I don't have to tell you it again and type it in why you should have this information. It's totally true. So sales should be capturing it and then serve it up to your customer, either through again a form Like a type form, and say is this all correct? You can also do it through, maybe a customer portal like a brafter, or you want to do it in your app. You can use a tool it can do so. There's a lot of different ways you can go. It just matters what your budget is and how scrappy you need to be.

Speaker 2:

Basically, yeah, totally yeah, you got me hit to type form. Which is it, which is a? Really it just looks good. Type forms, great.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's a really smooth user experience.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, which is great, which is cool. Excuse me, one of the articles that you wrote on LinkedIn was all about, I will say, virtual QBR is in the, in the sense that it kind of gets us towards the goal. I don't, I don't think we're there yet in terms of actually being able to run true virtual QBRs, but at least checking in on goals and things like that.

Speaker 2:

And in that article you laid out really really great strategy for you know digitally checking in with customers on, you know their outcomes and how they're you know Progressing towards those and and whatnot, and I thought it was very valuable Because it's it's actionable, it's something that a lot of folks could probably take and implement. So would you mind giving us a little bit of a overview of what you laid out in that article and maybe if that's changed at all Since you wrote it?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, I think there's a lot of overlap with what we just discussed in terms of like the tools that you can use to Capture and surface information to your customers.

Speaker 1:

It all starts out with capturing what they do care about why did they purchase your Software, what do they want to do, what their goals are, what their timeline is. So, again, capturing that through either type form or, if you're doing it in app, through a tool like can do, or through a portal. Those are all options and and and. Then, ideally, what you can do through then delivering that QBR or Maybe you're not doing totally a QBR, it might just be a calculation of their ROI. All depends, again, what, what the numbers are and what these cases are. But you can do that again through, let's say, let's go with the ROI, a calculator example. So you build an ROI calculator. There's ways that you can again, if you have the dad on the back end, throw it through this calculation and surface it via a Email Tag when just insert hey, this is your ROI, insert what their ROI is, click here to explore more, and that can then open up the calculator and they can edit all of the fields If they don't think that that ROI is correct, but at least it's.

Speaker 1:

It's almost like and this is where the marketing emphasis comes in play. It's really important on how you deliver that message and, again, who you deliver that message to. So that's a message that is going to go to a decision-maker and maybe not your everyday user, and that decision-maker has an email inbox. That's huge and you need to get at the top of it, especially if you're not having a human you know. Deliver this QBR, or I should also preface, I've used this method to tee up an in-person QBR. Get more engagement from high-level executives, who usually don't attend to these EBRs or QBRs.

Speaker 1:

I like that yeah so you get a really interesting tagline of like this is how much money you're saving with X, y, z? You know SaaS company and you open that up and you say this is the number and it's a really clear call to action, whether that's click through to explore the ROI calculator, or maybe click to book your QBR with your CSM or account manager to explore this number further. So, yeah, there's some really interesting ways you can use that data and also again remind them exactly verbatim what they've told you who's important to them, and that's, I think, a really for lack of a better term a sexy digital customer success play where you're using this data, combining it with marketing and getting a desired customer outcome, which is value realized.

Speaker 2:

So interesting. My brain is going all over the place with this, because I think there's some fundamental things here that the first of which is it goes back to what we were talking about earlier. Right, you gotta know who your contacts are. You gotta know what information is gonna be relevant to them. You know your executive buyer might be very interested in those kinds of numbers, whereas a user might be interested more in, like, some things that would affect their own KPIs and their own professional outcomes or whatever. So it's like that personalization aspect of it is so powerful. And then just branding wise like by doing these things you're not just helping the customer and helping them to achieve their outcomes, you're really helping to build the brand. So in that sense, it is a huge marketing play as well. You're just marketing to your existing customers, right?

Speaker 1:

Well, even to build off of that. So you're capturing all this information at the beginning, you're capturing the outcomes through product data. Let's say You're now able to create proof points, which is like if you switch to Geico, you'll save what? Is it? 10% more or more?

Speaker 2:

on your car insurance.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so that's a proof point. But you can do the same thing because now you've developed a repository of data to say you know customers who engage with this feature experience X, y and Z more ROI, and that's maybe, or maybe you don't even have to say ROI, like you said the people who may be an end user. You can still incentivize them to adopt and expand by showing you know our average user is here and you're actually falling behind. Here's how you can get caught up. So it's a you can, and there's nothing more compelling than being compared to your peers and also hearing customers constantly and CSMs. I hear from CSMs all the time. My customer wants to know what other customers are doing. They want to know how their setup compares to other customers, and marketing solution which is not necessarily bad solution but only goes so far is creating a case study that has these proof points, but they don't really tell you, like how they did it. So that's where you can start to get into that digital CS. How do you kind of surface that?

Speaker 1:

very high level with a quick grab of you're not, you're falling behind compared to your peers and then click through for, let's say, a university course of how to actually implement that, or maybe it's click through guidance within app to actually implement that.

Speaker 2:

So there's a fantastic creative element to all of this because, as you alluded to earlier, everyone's situation is different. You have different tool set, you have different customers, you have a different industry, you have different data required, like data quality issues, I suppose, because everybody has data quality issues and that's where digital CS becomes this creative force or it should be a creative force where you take what you have, like an artist, you take the colors that you have and you paint a picture with it that achieves a certain outcome. And I think that's hard for a lot of folks. I think there are people who maybe especially come from certain backgrounds where it's like okay, now we do a QBR and now we do this, and now we do that and let's follow the playbook, whereas in CS it's really more around. Let's do away with some of these norms but drive success. I don't know where I'm going with that, but that's just where my brain is and that is a truly creative process.

Speaker 1:

It truly is creative, but it also combines. You have to be analytical, you have to be process oriented. I think DCS position is like a generalist dream job and it's really difficult to find a generalist. I always say that I'm a Jane of all trades and the whole saying of that is a Jack of all trades is a master of none, but often better than a master of one, and I think it's a mistake that I'm seeing often in hiring for a digital CS is a lot of the job postings are focused on previous CS experience and I'm sure they're hiring good people into these roles.

Speaker 1:

But a typical CSM is can't write an email with a one call to action. They're writing really lengthy emails with multiple calls to action. Or a typical CSM might not have the strategic problem solving and project management skills to look very far in advance of, like I mentioned at the beginning of this call, realizing when I entered my new role as a digital CSM or digital CS director that, okay, we need to solve the data problems Simultaneously, we need to solve the contact problems Simultaneously, we need to create a customer success platform and implement the playbooks, and seeing this overall vision versus more standard implementation for a lot of customers is kind of rinse and repeat, or if it's not. I mean there's plenty of complex, very personalized SaaS products out there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

It's still the methods to do that are much more, I think, soft skill based than creating strategies. I would just like all this to be said when people are hiring for Digital CS. I would like them to write more of the functions that someone's looking for, rather than the actual job title. Past experience. Well, past experience in terms of, like you've had CS experience- Sure. I'd want to say do you understand customer journeys? A lifecycle marketer can understand a customer journey.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I would almost much rather hire somebody who has a rich history in marketing automation, for instance, than someone who has been an enterprise CSM forever, because there is that element of creation and content and that knowledge there, but there's no one size fits all.

Speaker 1:

You need a little bit of everything. No, skills can be taught, and skills can be learned. I would not be anywhere in my career if I wasn't given chances. So I think it's important to give people chances, but look for what can be taught and be open to people who maybe have operations background or data analyst background or marketing backgrounds or even product, I think, product managers.

Speaker 1:

They're looking at user flows. So there's definitely a wide range of people that you can pull from into these roles and I could also argue it would make them really savvy in that cross collaboration, especially with the teams that maybe they originally have worked in.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly, I'm thinking now because in the digital CSMs I've hired I haven't really done an interview assignment other than like 30, 60, 90 presentation stuff. But you got me thinking that for the next one I should probably put in place like a write me an email and an in-product prompt for this particular scenario or this particular problem and see what they come up with would be interesting.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, now I'm thinking about all the different things. I could test for.

Speaker 2:

Exactly. Well, look as we round out here. This conversation has been good and I feel like it's a short amount of time and we were both saying, well, we're going to scratch the surface on lots of stuff, and indeed we have, so perhaps we need to have you back at some point, but I'd love to get a sense for what you are ingesting from a content perspective. What's your content diet look like on a regular basis to keep yourself fresh?

Speaker 1:

On LinkedIn. I'm just following anyone that talks about digital CS, yeah, and, like I said, I've wanted to get all of that information in one place selfishly, so I created a little DCS Connect, which I hope anyone who's listening comes and joins us, I think. Also, I've really liked CS Insider, so it's a newsletter curated by people in the CS space. I think they do a really good job at basically synthesizing LinkedIn when it gets so overwhelming.

Speaker 2:

It's such a good resource, because there are so many things flying at you constantly and when you pull up the CS Insider report, it's like instantly okay, I feel a little bit more grounded and connected. So let's go through this yeah, I totally agree.

Speaker 1:

And then Generalist World is a community for generalists. I think it's a paid community now, but you can still get access to their newsletter and I'm learning from them. It's something I want to implement at DCS Connect. What I don't want DCS Connect to be is another Slack channel that people forget about and only come when they have a burning need in question. I really want it to be a community, and something I think that Generalist World does really well is they do send a newsletter. I think it's either monthly or weekly. That really just highlights the conversations going on in the Slack group. So, again, thinking from a DCS approach, it's re-engaging people and getting them value where they are, which is their email inbox and not in someone else's Slack.

Speaker 2:

Totally yeah, exactly Cool. And are there specific people that you want to give a shout out to maybe that are doing some cool things in digital right now?

Speaker 1:

You know, I'm meeting a lot of them in DCS Connect and discovering more. We're starting a series of show and tell.

Speaker 2:

Can't wait for that Just informal meetups.

Speaker 1:

Show us your tech stack. How are you using it? Where do you want to build it? Where are your questions organically coming up with maybe other questions and solutions, but someone that I really admire for how they use tech is Elizabeth Cortland. She does some really high-brow automations and she's a master of air table Cool. I feel like she's always knows like, oh, there's a tech for that, there's an app for that, yeah, yeah, that's cool.

Speaker 2:

Okay, I have to check that out and, you know, always gives me an indicator for who I need to talk to next on the show. So thanks for that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, for sure. I think she also has a podcast as well, but it's almost always in French. So if you know French, maybe you can join.

Speaker 2:

I'll mess up German, but yeah, not French. Well, I know that it's. You. Know you're based in Amsterdam, it's the end of your day and I don't want to keep you from you. Know, whatever it is you have coming for you this evening, but obviously people can find you on LinkedIn and DCS Connect, which I will link down below. For sure, you know, is that the best place for people to engage with you and work with you.

Speaker 1:

Definitely yeah. Linkedin and DCS Connect. They're very often, and hopefully I'll be building some new things soon, but too early to announce yet.

Speaker 2:

For sure, absolutely Well. I appreciate everything you're doing for the community and I've very much appreciated this conversation and for you to be, you know, part of this thing. And, yeah, thanks for joining.

Speaker 1:

Thank you have a great yesterday.

Speaker 2:

Thank you for joining me for this episode of the Digital Customer Success Podcast. If you like what we're doing, consider leaving us a review on your podcast platform of choice. It really helps us to grow and to provide value to a broader audience. You can view the Digital Customer Success Definition Word Map and get more details about the show at digitalcustomersuccesscom. My name is Alex Turkovich. Thanks again for joining and we'll see you next time.

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