The Digital Customer Success Podcast

Tearing Down PLG & SLG Walls in Digital CX with Dee Kapila of Miro | Episode 038

February 13, 2024 Alex Turkovic, Dee Kapila Episode 38
The Digital Customer Success Podcast
Tearing Down PLG & SLG Walls in Digital CX with Dee Kapila of Miro | Episode 038
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Today's discussion with Dee Kapila is a fascinating insight into the world of building innovative digital programs within a very well known and broadly used organization, Miro. As Global Head of Scaled Customer Experience, Dee leads both digital and customer education functions. Her talk last year at Pulse on having SLG & PLG work in harmony for the benefit of the customer journey was fascinating on completely on point!

Our conversation focused on:

  • How digital CS is putting many functions and practices together to scale CX - not just CS.
  • Digital CS in relation to other orgs in the company and ensuring you are building together with cross-collaborators
  • Leveraging cross functional competencies to work together on securing the customer journey
  • Focusing on quick wins to get something going quickly, while you focus on the big picture, future state activities
  • "Product vs. Sales Led Growth? Embrace BOTH with Scaled CX": Cliff notes of Dee’s talk at Pulse last year
  • Her scaled team structure and the importance of leaving room for variability when building these teams
  • Scaled Customer Experience Team with three pillars: Scaled Education, Scaled Production & Digital Success with Scaled teams to support
  • A peek at the digital tech stack + the custom in-house tooling built at Miro 
  • In-app guidance needs to be elegant and not overbearing or clunky.

Enjoy! I sure did...

Dee's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deekapila/
Dee's Talk at Pulse in 2023: https://pulselibrary.gainsight.com/video/product-vs-sales-led-growth-embrace-both-with-scaled-cx
Dee's Substack: https://deekapila.substack.com/

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The Digital Customer Success Podcast is hosted by Alex Turkovic

Speaker 1:

You need to be almost undetectable, right? You don't want to be an annoying like pop-up in the face of a user who's trying to accomplish a critical task by the next meeting.

Speaker 2:

I was going to say. Like you know, I've used Miro in screen share mode in the middle of a meeting with, like you know, 20 expensive people on the call. The last thing I would want to have is for it to be a pop-up that goes hey, it looks like you're trying to do this. And once again, welcome to the Digital Customer Success podcast with me, alex Trokovich, 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 for now, let's get started. This is episode 38 of the Digital Customer Success podcast. Welcome back, it's so great to have you. I feel like I say that this is a great episode, every episode but isn't that kind of the thing you do as the host of one of these things? That said, today's episode is really, really great. We have Decapila, on which, if you don't know her, she is head of global I'm going to butcher this global scaled customer experience I believe it is at Miro, which a lot of us use or at least are aware of. So she has under her purview not just digital customer success but also customer education and talks a lot about her cross collaborative work at Miro and the tooling and all that kind of stuff. Just a lot of really cool, tactical, great advice and insight into her world. She gave a really cool talk at Pulse last year all about how PLG and SLG, product-led growth and sales-led growth should work together in harmony to serve the customer journey. Just really cool stuff, super bright, and we've been trying to connect for a little while, so I'm so glad we finally got her on the show.

Speaker 2:

One quick note of warning I guess my audio is not the best in this episode. It jumps around a little bit. I think I don't know my computer was revolting against me that day when we recorded it or something. I've edited through most of it. But just know, once in a while you'll hear my audio kind of do some weird stuff, use your context clues and power through, kind of like I did. But I hope you enjoy this episode with DiCapilla, because I sure did, di. I want to welcome you to the Digital Customer Success Podcast. It's awesome to have you here. It's been a long time coming. I've been looking forward to this conversation for frickin' ever so welcome.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much for having me Love the podcast, love you, love Digital CS, love it all. Thanks for being here.

Speaker 2:

Okay, we're done. That's great. Good interview. I appreciate that, as is normal, you do a little bit of research on your guests and you dig into really. Actually, somebody recently said something interesting that if you're looking through somebody's history on LinkedIn, it's not considered stalking, it's considered research. But if you're looking through somebody's history on Facebook and Instagram, that's considered stalking.

Speaker 2:

So I'm not going to say that I stalked you. I'm going to say that I researched and a couple of things jumped out at me. The first is that we have a lot of similarities of. You have some history in learning and development. I do as well. We both put in some time at Dell. We've had some implementation kind of roles as a vice, so there's a lot of kind of cool, congruent stuff there. But the one thing that jumped out at me so my mom spent years as a GM of a public radio station, classical music host as well, and I noticed you spent a considerable amount of time at KUT for those of you who aren't in the Austin area, that's Austin's local public radio behemoth and so I wanted to just pick your brain real quick on what that was like, because I think you were kind of the web. So in 2009, 2011,. You were their web and mobile products person, according to LinkedIn, which means that you were probably like the tech guru. Oh my gosh.

Speaker 1:

So I love your research, I love all the similarities and we've got a sidebar about your mom, because I'm sure we were a lot of the same people, because public media is a small world and when you're in it and when you work in it for years, I mean you love it and you never really leave like your public radio for life and public radio nerd for life, and so that's definitely a big part of my heart. But yeah, so it was sort of a dual kind of a role, so it was really you could think about it as product management. Before that was really a thing, right.

Speaker 1:

Because when we were trying to figure out traditional media is dying, we're moving to the web, but what's the business model, right, and how do you engage with the audience and where are they and where do we need to be besides just radio, right, and so we were kind of putting a lot of that stuff onto the web for the first time. So that was like a key component of the role, like working with the newsrooms, with human interest reporters, and figuring out, ok, how do we do video and what does video look and feel like for public radio?

Speaker 1:

right, and so that was a key component of it, while also figuring out like, ok, streaming services, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, all of that sort of thing, so I think in that way you got to be the technical person, but like what we back in that time used to sort of call trying to glamorize ourselves as like creative technologists, right, I think a lot of people across the industry were in these sorts of roles where they were trying to bring things to the web and trying to figure out OK, like if the business model includes advertising, what is that look?

Speaker 2:

like.

Speaker 1:

If the business model includes subscriptions or donations, like, what does that look like? Right, where you can drop your car off on the web, if that comes to mind for KUT, right? So it's sort of it was that whole space. But I think there's so much deep connective tissue between digital success, between all of the things that we're trying to do to scale a CS organization and some of the lessons that I learned there. But I think of it as like a beautiful on-ramp back into CS, because I started in CS before it was CS, went into this world and then came back into it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, which is so cool. I think that background in tech and product and then combined with the education bit that you have a deep history in as well, and learning and enablement and really customer education that to me, that forms the basis of what a digital program is all about. It's like you're productizing this content in a way that makes it easily accessible at the right time but also enables your teams to use it in an easy way. So I would imagine and I'm putting words in your mouth, but I would imagine, if you were you are today, which is to say, you've morphed from education back into CS and leading the scale programs at Muro that that has all come together for you full circle maybe.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I love that. Yes, and I would say that these are all critical components of CS. I think CS is a newer function, if we really think about when it started, and has gone through a lot of evolution and, I think, is figuring out ways to put a lot of things together. I think as our customer needs change, their expectations change, they're driving us really to do that, and so when we think about again going back to public radio, you think about what that service is that you're providing to your audience back in public radio land, like what is the service that you're providing to your customers in SAS and what is CS's role in providing that service specifically, because CS isn't providing the service alone, but what is our specific role? And that is a really strategic blend of these things of education, of orchestration that we do on the digital success side, thinking about support in strategic ways, thinking about all of, obviously, what our high touch CS teams do, what professional services does.

Speaker 1:

We're talking CX now. Everything blends together and that's really how digital successes is a core component of my team's portfolio, but we're really about scaling CX overall, because I think that's really where all of this is moving to. We're not going to create silos within CX. We're trying to solve for silos across organization. So what are the key pieces that are done extremely well by these amazing dedicated teams in CX? And then how do you have a function or a team that can scale across all of that?

Speaker 2:

And that's really what we're looking at doing with, of course, digital being that orchestrating kind of conductor function of it all, yeah, yeah, and this probably lends into, kind of, my next question and the question that I basically ask all of my guests, which is to say, you know, collecting everybody's elevator pitch, so to speak, of digital CS, and I have a feeling yours is going to be a little bit unique, but, again, I won't put words in your mouth. So if you had to explain to somebody in 10 to 30 seconds, you know what is digital CS, what would you say?

Speaker 1:

Man, I change my answer for that, I would say every two weeks, and so I'll give you a couple of components of it and then eventually, maybe we'll stitch it together.

Speaker 2:

Sure.

Speaker 1:

One of the ways that I really like that. My leader for digital success on my team, laura Johnson, describes it as really we are the CSM of record in a digital capacity right, and I love that because it's so much simpler than I think. What so many other people say about digital success and what I hear when we start to talk about things like ah, at scale, at the right time, at the right data, at the right people are just like well, we do that in marketing, or we do that in product, or we do that in this team, we do that in this team. So it's really hard to cut to the core of what it is that you're trying to do, particularly in the initial part of when you're like getting a digital success team off the ground or when you're getting a digital success program off the ground, it's very hard to sort of explain to people what you're trying to do.

Speaker 1:

So I think the way that Laura describes is probably the best way to cut to the heart of it. And I think when you start to mature the program, that's really when you can bring in some of this additional terminology and say, okay, look, we're automating success milestones across the delivery journey or the value delivery journey for the customer, and that could look different depending on if you're serving a digital only book of business or if digital is a strategy for all CS segments or if it's both, which is ideally what you're doing. You're doing kind of a blend of both those things to explain to people who are like oh, tell us more about digital success, what is it? I'm like let me tell you what the industry definition is and break that down, and then subsequent slides will break that down and at the end you kind of come back to that definition.

Speaker 1:

And that's because when you hear it it's a mouthful and you're like that sounds a little bit jargony, but when you break it down, those are the best words that we have in the English language actually to communicate what digital success is trying to do.

Speaker 2:

You know it just doesn't make it easy. That's so interesting, because I find myself doing that Like I'll throw out kind of like my own definition, and then I'll be like but let me unpack that for you a little bit, and then you come back to it and you're like OK, does that make sense? You know, now, does that make sense?

Speaker 1:

Because we have this packing problem for somebody.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, it's like, and we're supposed to be the ones that communicate this stuff very clearly, right, yeah?

Speaker 1:

I know and then that's. I think that's that's the irony Right and it's it's so funny. So like I think the OK, I found it. So the thought leader kind of lends and this is a quote from somewhere and it's brilliant. But again it takes breaking down it's digital CSS of data driven methodology for creating values for customers at scale by using purpose built tools that facilitate a personalized customer experience, regardless of segment or journey stage. So that's a paragraph. There's a lot of really critical bits and pieces of it, but when you're talking like practitioner to practitioner outside of CS, it's very difficult to grasp.

Speaker 2:

It is. And what's interesting is, as you probably know, on the website I've been collecting all everybody's definition, turned it into a word map or whatever, and what's interesting is that definition is kind of encapsulates bits and pieces from everybody's little. You know everybody's definition and and it goes to show that that you know what somebody thinks of as digital CS has a lot to do with also with how they're operating, what their history is, and you know what's kind of fed into that and how their organization views CS as well.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and to clarify, that's not my definition.

Speaker 2:

That is like right, sure, yeah, that one Like I ripped that from.

Speaker 1:

I'll have to give you the attribution later. But, yeah, it is. It is all the bits and pieces that I think we have, you know as as doers of this thing, accumulated over time.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, exactly, going perhaps a little bit deeper on something you said earlier in relation to digital CS as it pertains to other organizations within the company.

Speaker 2:

Because I see this, there's no secret that you know, digital CS is is kind of a collection of skills and things and processes that other organizations have been doing for a while.

Speaker 2:

You mentioned marketing. I think product could fit, you know, in product kind of stuff, and there's there's a number of other things too, but it's kind of like this close things all focused on on that outcomes journey or the customer journey or whatever you want to call it right. And and that's where I think the role of somebody you know leading these things becomes particularly tricky, because it can be kind of seen as, hey, I'm stepping on your toes or, you know, this is your thing versus my thing, and there's kind of like this ownership thing, and I think it takes a really open-minded and collaborative structure to support those things. And, you know, and at the end of the day it's like whether you do that or I do that doesn't really matter, as long as it's coordinated, looks kind of similar or whatnot. But I wanted to get your take on how a digital strategy kind of fits in cross-functionally.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's such a great question and I think it. You know, to me everything just starts with culture, really, for all this stuff, because digital successes is newer than a lot of the, you know, the folks that we're going to be collaborating with cross-functionally.

Speaker 1:

And to your point, they have been doing these things right for a little while. So who are we all of a sudden to come up and say, hey, we're doing this thing, it's never been invented, we're inventing it. It's like I would be upset too right, and so I think there is occasionally a little bit of that that you know unintentionally can come across. But I think what I've experienced and this is sort of I think you want to build together with those teams from the beginning is probably the first thing I would say. But I think you also want to kind of sit down and co-own that journey together. Like to your point, what I love about what you said is you're starting with a journey, which to me it's like you want to start with a customer at the center of everything. Right, and I think what you'll find when you sit down with some of your counterparts in product marketing, sales, what have you is that we all have one sort of different versions of a customer journey that are a little bit more about internal processes and how our teams go to market than they really are what the customer is experiencing. And the second thing is that we all have different metrics and so those journeys morph actually to optimize for those metrics. And those metrics are internal business metrics, they're not customer metrics. And so, again, is it really a customer experience or is it really a customer journey that we're rallying around? And so I think that that is a role that we can play as a CX org, or CS org is to come in and say, here's a customer's journey from their experience, and let's kind of rally all of our stuff that we have around this, and then you want to audit that right and you want to figure out all right whether it's auditing overall programs that seem to be duplicative in nature or maybe they have some sort of like a little bit of event diagram and they can both stay, but they need to have their distinct kind of value props all the way to a level of detail of like what notifications are they getting right? Do you have a governance model in place to make sure it doesn't feel like different departments that your company are talking to your customer? It's like these things need to be mapped out because you really don't know your customer experience.

Speaker 1:

Otherwise, I think we might look at some data and get some indication. We might get some qualitative results or conversational inputs from customers that make us think we know what they're experiencing. But until you do this level of detail like top down analysis of it, you don't, and I think that's those two places are where I would start building together. It's really rallying around that journey and doing an audit with your cross-functional partners and then starting to talk about overlap, team competencies and how do we all get together and do this together.

Speaker 1:

I think the third thing I would say that just kind of dawned on me, but this is something we you and I have talked about this before, and I think looking at your go-to-market model, looking at your business model and figuring out where the gaps are in plugging those is, I think, where a skilled team or a digital success team is particularly effective.

Speaker 1:

So the two models that are really that everyone talks about these days is like product-led growth, so PLG, and then sales-led growth or product-led sales, or either one of those three, and when you actually put the tenets of those models together, you start to realize where each of them is really effective and where each of them either hands off to the other or is actually missing, something that you can plug and fill, and so that's something else that we did, and, again, an audit really kind of helps with this is it helps you figure out what are our customers actually missing and how do we bring that to the table?

Speaker 1:

Now I'm going to argue with what I said earlier and say, like, if you don't have the ability to like build together and like you've got, you know folks in other departments they want to work with you but they just don't have the time right now and they're like look, go, do your thing. Let's come back in a couple quarters and figure it out. I would start in the gaps. I would start in the gaps in the areas where you've clearly identified no one at your company is tackling these problems, and try to, you know, get some traction there before you go and work with your partners.

Speaker 2:

So that's my very long-winded answer to your question and I do feel like there is. You know, when folks are talking about digital customers, that's like two years ago it was like okay, we just need to cover this segment. More recently, obviously, it's shifted to okay, it's just, you know, strategy, not a segment, and I think everybody kind of gets that now. Where I kind of feel like people are starting to shift a little bit more is this notion of getting these, this, you know, this program implemented in such a way to where it's not a CS thing, it's like everybody's doing CS in relation to what their remit is. And I know I'm just completely repeating what you just said. But you know, I think it's a profound shift in mentality where you're not just talking about, you know, okay, this email needs to go out, then this email needs to go out. Then it's like okay, there's a bunch of stuff that happens pre-sale, there's a bunch of stuff that happens in the renewal cycle that don't live in CS, but all of that stuff needs to inform you. You know your processes. There's a bunch of stuff that happens in finance hey, guess what? That should be part of the journey. There's a bunch of stuff that happens in product and support Holy cow, like you know, it's almost like a return to what we used to call like voice of the customer committee and like where you try to like wrangle everybody.

Speaker 2:

But it's, it's, you know, and we're finally getting a little bit more programmatic about it, to we're having these cross-functional conversations, or at least you should be, and I do. There's, I think, there's a cautionary bit here too, though, because there are. Probably the number one question I get is like okay, this is great, I want to, I want to go do this. Where the fuck do I start? Like you know, I it's like. It's like there's a lot of stuff I could do, or there's a lot of stuff I need to do, but where do I start? And yes, you should have those cross functional conversations. And yes, you should start with kind of like mapping out a high level journey and knowing generally where your customers need to go, but then also, it's just about, you know, failing fast and getting some stuff in place while you map out all that other stuff.

Speaker 1:

Right, yeah, no, totally, and do them in parallel, right. It's like it's sort of the way you would balance a healthy portfolio right. When you're working on anything, on launching anything new you have, you've got to get some quick wins, you've got to get things to market quickly and while you're doing that, you're building a solid foundation that is going to sustain you for quarters and quarters and years and years and years and years to come. Right, you can't just like do the quick win stuff and not focus on the bigger picture. You can't just focus on the bigger picture stuff and like never execute anything. And so it's always about looking at, like your Starbucks cup sizes, quarter of a quarter of like initiatives and being like okay, what are my like talls, my grand days and my ventes?

Speaker 1:

to get digital success off the ground and, you know, making sure that those are in balance and in harmony. And I think you know, are there big business problems that people are complaining about that you could make a dent in right away, like that's. You know, to me that's, that's a place to start while you start on that overall journey map right.

Speaker 1:

Like in looking at that journey, it's like do those things concurrently and I think you don't need a ton of resources to do it. In fact, that's pretty anti. What, like a digital success team is all about? Really right, but I think you can be really smart, yeah, and you can do both.

Speaker 2:

I'm going on a complete tangent here and Googling while you're talking, because you just reminded me of that hilarious Paul Rudd rant about the sizes of cups or whatever it was.

Speaker 1:

Oh, you have to say I don't think I've seen this.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's like. It's like you know, talking about how venti actually means 20 and all this kind of stuff is like it's. It's really funny.

Speaker 1:

I'll send it to you. We're going to have to edit that out then. Yeah, I should have just said T should sizes, right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there you go. Exactly, although it is an Excel really an Excel. And is a large really a large? I don't know.

Speaker 1:

I know right you can, it's just yeah.

Speaker 2:

And no, we're not editing that out. So, tying back to what you said earlier, you were at Pulse this year, the Pulse conference this year. You were a speaker and your talk was all about this notion that there is no PLG or SLG. It's like you know, neither are dead and I love the analogies, but the link to the talk will be in the show notes, so if anybody wants to go see it, it's hilarious and great and the analogies are on point. But you really clearly articulated this notion of you know together these strategies are like the recipe and the killer for how we should be engaging our customers on both kind of like the machine level, but then also, you know, let's not forget about the human element of things as well. Do you want to give us like a quick cliff notes of what that talk is and then everybody can go check it out, like you're going to do the trailer in a world?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, no, I'm really sure, and thank you, yeah. So this talk at Pulse was called product and sales led growth embrace, both with scaled CX, and essentially I was kind of showcasing what happened during and after the pandemic, which is where we saw a lot of these headlines in the press about how sales led growth, which is kind of the incumbent model, was dying, right, and it was the year of product led growth and literally six months later, product led growth was dying and said, like, you need sales. And so it was just like it was just kind of looking at this sort of thinking and essentially my talk was about well, first of all, none of them are going anywhere. They're both incredible strategies and a business should leverage everything at their disposal to succeed. Right, and for your customers to succeed, for your customers, like you also have to be really ruthless about and self aware about what's missing in your models and what you might be able to bring to the table that your customers need that you haven't yet and what does that look like?

Speaker 1:

And so essentially it was like looking at right, where do these things, what are the strengths of both these models and what are the gaps, and essentially saying that, hey, scaled CX, which is the name of my team, which comprises of essentially all of the engines you can think of. That could scale CS right, whether that's education, digital success, production, you're like all in house, so on and so forth. The idea was, look, we can add something to these models on the CX side that don't exist, right, and essentially that's the talk and it kind of goes through. Well, what are those things Like? Where do these models succeed, where do they fall short and what do we introduce into the mix?

Speaker 2:

It's so great because you give some actual practical example. There's a lot of talks out there where you're like, okay, great now. But actually if you go look at the slides and look at what you presented, it's like, okay, well, there's some actual like shit I can go do, which is great.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, and I consider that the highest compliment right. It's like talking to practitioners, people who do things every day, and not really just giving a TED talk with vagaries that don't result in anything actionable. Right, and that's I think I'd love to hear that. Thank you, High compliment, and I think that's what we strive to do in digital success and on our teams is to make sure that the things that we're putting out there are actually used to yeah. And that's something that carries through in how we do talks too.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly Well, in that spirit of tangible kind of examples. You know your team at Muro, by the way. I love that you have global in your title, because it's a big distinction, right, and there's a big tendency to kind of be very regional focused and then forget about the rest. Anyway, that's a tangent. That's another thing altogether.

Speaker 2:

It's a good point though, what's the state of your team? Because I know you've been building like crazy and you've hired some very cool roles. I've seen over the past year or so that you've hired some really interesting roles into your team and maybe in ways you're building things in ways that I don't think a lot of other people are really thinking about building this. So would you give us kind of a roadmap?

Speaker 1:

Sure of the roles, specifically on the team programs, or.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, of the team structure or kind of how you're thinking about it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think leave room for it to evolve organically is one thing I'll say as a caveat right Before we go, before we kind of going to detailing this out, because this worked in my current context in Muro, right, and it may or may not. Your mileage may vary essentially, is what I'm saying right?

Speaker 2:

And again.

Speaker 1:

So we'll find in a previous company, future company, so on. So I think what has worked really well for us is high level. We have essentially we're the scaled customer experience team. We have three major streams or pillars. We have scaled education, scaled production and then digital success All global. We look after everybody.

Speaker 1:

So, whether you're a premium trial user or you are our largest customer, we take care of you right, and that's essentially been our philosophy from the very beginning, when we started as primarily an education team and so kind of started as education built from there we've got production, digital success, and I think the key roles on the education side are our learning experience designers, which is pretty common in education. We've got facilitators, slash coaches, slash consultant role, which is also pretty common, and we have, essentially we run our own help center as well. So we've got, you know, technical writers that take care of the helps in our content. So those are our education team roles. We have a production team which really functions as sort of a shared service between both teams. It's all in house.

Speaker 1:

You know, our secret sauce is really our content and the delight that comes through primarily in our videos and the beautiful assets that that team creates.

Speaker 1:

And so they, you know, we've got multimedia designers and we've got essentially in app, almost like product managers within that team or that we don't call them such. They're almost like an evolution or like a hybrid between learning experience designer and a product manager type role. Take care of our in app experiences, right, whether that's your guided tutorials or whether that's our short form, robust learning center in the app, and so that's, that's our second stream, and then our digital success team is program managers, so they take care of that happy path journey. They take care of the essentially the risk journey, right. So if you're off path, and then you know we've got we've got some program managers across the team that are that are looking at other things like localization and distribution and things like that, so you know, for us this is something we've built like brick by brick over the last three years and you know we really every single role on the team like to me I feel like it's five roles, right.

Speaker 1:

It's just, and that's how it should feel when you're building intentionally and when you're, you know, really responding to the needs of your customers. That's what it's going to feel like.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And so that's just how we built it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I love those, those, those three kind of segmentations and, I guess, a couple of follow ups. You know, you have these program managers in the digital customer success team and my assumption is that they're really looking after journeys, building up certain things, working on probably projects related to flows and things like that. I'm guessing there's a lot of cross-functional work within your teams to get some of the right assets in place and all that kind of stuff. But at what point do you transition a custom just engage to maybe proactively reaching out? And who does that within Miro? Is there proactive engagement with the customer?

Speaker 1:

Great question.

Speaker 2:

When something goes awry, yeah absolutely so.

Speaker 1:

we do have a skilled success team as well. That is essentially. It's a segment powered by our digital journey with proactive calls to action, and CSFs get involved that way, and that's something obviously you don't have to have a segment for. You can do this across your entire CS model. What's interesting, too, is you can do this outside of CS, so you can do this when you start to get really interesting indications for a renewals team for your AE buddy in sales.

Speaker 1:

You can do this when there's interesting things that are coming in that you want your product managers to know about, right? Maybe you launched a new feature, went to market with a new feature. You did it in a scaled way. You're starting to get some interesting buzz from your customers and you want to alert product managers who may want to speak to customers, right? There's just a lot of ways, I think, to think about this concept that we have in CS of like, hey, how do we do this proactive engagement on the CS side? Now think beyond CS. How about we do it across the organization and pull in a different lens for the customer?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's really cool. Are you tech stack wise? I think you're a Gainside house, right.

Speaker 1:

We are yes, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And do you use PX for in? Are you a Pendo Like what's your in-app stuff looking like these days?

Speaker 1:

It's all custom yeah our in-app stuff is all custom right now.

Speaker 1:

Wow, yeah, yeah, yeah Not to say that we're not poking around and looking at other things, but if you look at our learning center, we actually have this amazing product team that we get to work with on a regular basis to enhance, maintain and that in-app full-on learning center that we have alongside them. So it's been really amazing. And then also, outside of that particular surface, we do a ton of things with our various product teams in-app. So it's one of those things where it's like custom that's a lot, but it is a lot if you actually look at the product inside the app. It allows you to do quite a bit without leaving a mural board and getting exactly what you need when you need it, and so it works for us. But again, your mileage may vary, but we're again, we're very lucky though Our team this is one of the things I think is so special about our team and really it's special about Miro is that we get to work with folks cross-functionally in a way that I've never seen.

Speaker 1:

It sounds so cheesy, but in a way I've never seen done at other organizations, which is why I started our whole conversation with. This is all about culture. It just depends on if your culture is set up to help you succeed. In this way, you're going to be able to get something a little bit controversial off the ground, which, let's face it, sometimes digital success can be. And so, I think, in-app, we work really closely with our product teams. We've got amazing relationship with our data analytics teams, with our operations teams. I don't even think of them as separate teams, they're our team and that's just how closely we work together, and I think without these relationships, you're just not going to be able to do a lot. So it's just crucial, I think.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, I posted not too long ago about the fact that I think let's just call it digital CS. However, your structured around digital CS, but the function of digital CS is probably the function with the most number of variables.

Speaker 2:

Oh, my gosh, that's true Within an org because of what you're highlighting, right, I mean, it is truly different within every company. But then you've got a different tech stack, you've got data everywhere, you've got different roles You're working across. There's just the amount of variables that you navigate in this role is not for the faint of heart, and so kudos to you for being able to operate that way. Obviously, I think it sounds like Miro culture has definitely helped facilitate some of those things in a way that's productive. But that's really cool that that's in-house, because I think, to your point too, miro is such a unique product that if you want to surface that in-app kind of guidance and things like that, I would say it almost has to be a custom-built kind of thing, because it is very, very, very. The tool itself is rich by that nature. You need kind of a rich in-app guidance.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and it's going to need to be really sort of elegant in the flow of work, right, because our infinite canvas how hyper-collaborative our product is.

Speaker 1:

I think if we were layering too much on top of it, it's like the whole square like peg-round-hole situation where it's like it's just not, it's going to feel clunky, it's going to impact the user experience, and so just flowing those things together in a way that makes sense, Having you know I think we were getting anything off the shelf You're sort of you know, you're pushed into kind of their model of what an artifact inside of a product should look and feel like, or even what the content type is. And I think we have a lot more flexibility in this case to make it a lot more fluid when we're doing it with our product teams and trying to get to a specific outcome. That isn't getting in the way of them doing their work right. I mean, it's a productivity software, right. Ultimately, we don't want to impact that and I think the nice thing doing it this way too is that we can evolve as the product does right.

Speaker 1:

Like those experiences that we create can evolve as the product does and because, primarily, that experience is like a customer education experience in the product. Right, you need to be almost undetectable, right, you don't want to be an annoying pop-up in the face of a user who's trying to accomplish a critical task by the next meeting.

Speaker 2:

I was going to say. Like you know, I've used Miro in screen share mode in the middle of a meeting with, like you know, 20 expensive people on the call. The last thing I would want to have is for it to be a pop-up that goes hey, it looks like you're trying to do this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, and I think that there's just so much of that that you know we you mean you'll learn as you go through. When you're doing this stuff too, like no matter how much you've done in-app, like I feel like every time I've done in-app in any product, I learn like a million things that I and think like, oh, everything we've ever done before was wrong, right. So I think it's just important to sort of follow along and learn as your you know, as your customers, your users experience.

Speaker 2:

You know, you've got yourself in those shoes too. You know, I think a lot of us are afraid to, kind of like, have the customer experience firsthand.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, and like knowing that it changes. Right, we spent a lot of time, let's say, on onboarding three quarters ago and then we're like, oh, we're done. And then we move on and we don't come back to it for a year and in that time the product changes significantly. Or you know, xyz, things happen and your experience is not like you need to go back to that experience, you need to rethink that experience. So I think, just constantly iterating and experimenting and learning and changing that experience so that it's again always helping the customer achieve their outcomes yeah, that's the. I think that's the key.

Speaker 1:

It is indeed Well all these simple things, like we know these things right.

Speaker 2:

It's very simple, you put them together and it becomes complex all of a sudden.

Speaker 1:

Simple, simple, not easy, my friend. That's right, yeah, that's right.

Speaker 2:

So we kind of start to round down. I'd like to get a sense for what you're paying attention to, what's in your content diet that you might want to share with folks out there.

Speaker 1:

I am really riding the the Substack Train these days. I am living for some of the most incredible substacks that I have seen out there. It's all practitioners that are doing the work on a regular basis, so you're getting advice from people who have rolled up their sleeves, done a thing and either succeeded wildly or failed miserably, and they're both equally amazing learning.

Speaker 1:

So I'll send you a couple of those substacks. I also have been reading Shane Parrish's new book A Clear Thinking. I'm a big, big fan of structured thinking and frameworks to a certain point, and you know so I like that's what I'm reading at the moment, but I'll have to get you a better list I have to. I have to like open my things and get you a list of stuff.

Speaker 2:

What about you? Substack's a real. Yeah, oh, hey, hey, hey, hey.

Speaker 1:

I know that's going to be interviewing you, but I'm going to start. Give me some things.

Speaker 2:

Give you some things. You know it's pretty varied. I, I, I tend to, I tend to use like LinkedIn and stuff as a way to just you know, even using LinkedIn as a search engine is is, is crazy powerful because there's people that have posted on there and it just kind of disappears until it doesn't you know, but there are.

Speaker 2:

You know, there's some totally unrelated stuff Attention to like. There's this guy, I think his name is Mark Williams. He does a. He does a podcast called LinkedIn formed and it's all about LinkedIn, like all the stuff that's happening on LinkedIn and and and whatnot, which is which is super cool. I'm an atomic habits, you know, guy, so I definitely love that.

Speaker 2:

And I've been. There's one area where there's a there's a digital CS Slack community that that Marie Lundy started not long ago. That's starting to get some traction. That I've been in called DCS connect, which has been cool. But I really like your, your thing on sub stack. Sub stack, because I don't. I think that's a very worldly kind of place to get some really, really good, good insights. You know, I don't think that's super mainstream. It's kind of like the Reddit of professionalism, I think.

Speaker 1:

It's. I think it's getting there. I mean, I think like everyone's starting a sub stack, I like I'm going to do a reading list sub stack to start, just to get back into the rhythm of writing. I used to write all the time about the work that I was doing and I don't really do that anymore, and it's it's it's very 90s to me, like it reminds me of when live journal. It's obviously much slicker than that now.

Speaker 1:

And like you know, people have legitimate businesses on here. But like it reminds me of that era when we were all writing about the stuff that we were working on and it was a little bit more of a hodgepodge. It was sort of like thoughts or notes from the field and, like you know, not everything was like the super polished thing. It was very much like a practitioner's notebook and I kind of like really loved that feel.

Speaker 1:

I hope they don't lose it, but all, yeah, I'll send you a some of my favorite sub-sex, because there's like there's a lot of these folks in SASS who were talking about like what's next for PLG, what's next for SLG, what's next what's product-led sales, and, like you know, and I think, like what I'm trying to also make sure there's a space for is having that same discussion around digital CS or on customer education, across all of these things that we do To scale CX, because that is you know, and beyond, because that is what we need to be doing as practitioners. Right, and you're doing it with this podcast.

Speaker 2:

And it's so important what you said about paying attention to kind of other places. Right Like I've had a few guests that say, hey look, I focus has been completely on the economy and where we're going, because I want to know where the money is. And, you know, I think the focus on kind of product strategy in the future of SAS and those kinds of that's why, like SASSTER and all those kinds of things, like like it's very easy to stay in the bubble and maybe not so obvious, you know where to go to not be in the bubble.

Speaker 1:

No for sure. One of my, one of our leaders at Merah, is fabulous that our CFO always says, like you have to like actively try to break that inertia right. And it's so true, Like we tend to get into this like zone as as workers, humans, practitioners what have you where we're like you're just kind of going through the motion or you're doing the thing that has always led to success. But we are all working in times where we're defining new things and you know, like success is kind of uncharted and so you have to do that. And so I just I love these types of places where you can see how people are thinking yeah, right, yeah, there's so much value in that like metacognition.

Speaker 1:

So I love, I love stuff stuck for that.

Speaker 2:

Metacognition that's real good. Are there? You shouted out your CFO just now, but are there people that are doing cool things and digital that you might want to shout out as well?

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh, there's so many people I feel like I'm so bad with, like on the spot list.

Speaker 2:

I am right there with you.

Speaker 1:

You're going to sound like a terrible person. It's another thing I'm going to have to get you a list of. There's so many cool people there's. There's a meetup that happens once a month for digital success that you were probably on, I think, sam. From when are we at here?

Speaker 1:

Like Mondaycom started and it's like a pretty cool beat up of practice. Yeah, I think you're on that one Like and I think it's lovely because of the way that, like they sort of she drives the agenda and kind of sends out the recording and the next steps and the show and it's almost like it's almost like it's own thing and it's a really cool community and it's just folks that get together once a month and I haven't been in a little bit, but they just talk about hey, what are the tactics that are working for you, what are the tactics that aren't working? And like we kind of just you know, when I was going, we were trading back and forth and trying different things and seeing what would stick, and it was this was a while ago, it was like early days and we were just getting digital off the ground my team goes, my team goes.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's great, that's great.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there's a lot of cool people doing doing great things and I, you know, I also want to shout out the people in customer education who I think are doing a lot of scaling that the DCS teams like rely on, right. So I mean in another simplistic way that I've always talked about, digital for folks who aren't familiar is like it is a distribution engine for customer education, right, I mean. And if you just define customer education beyond like an old school definition of customer education, like it starts to make sense that those two would live together and live in the same portfolio and like in the same department and team, and I think both like I'm starting to see a lot of leaders like when I started this journey, like nobody was really doing that, and now I'm starting to see a lot of leaders who are like oh, why aren't these two?

Speaker 2:

things together. They should be yeah, absolutely, that's awesome, Cool. Well, we are unfortunately, painfully and sadly out of time and I feel, super fast. I feel like we could go on forever. But where can the good people of digital CS find you? And you say hi, send you gift cards.

Speaker 1:

Coffee, coffee beans.

Speaker 2:

So I'm working. People send you coffee.

Speaker 1:

I'm on LinkedIn. I used to be on Twitter but now I guess I'm on threads, so you can find me at D capilla. You can also find my sub stack, I guess D capilla dot sub stackcom. So that's D E, k, p, I, l, a and at whatever thing, as I just mentioned.

Speaker 2:

Cool. I will link both of those things In the description. I thank you for joining. It's been awesome. You health of information and and energy and positive you know it's. It's awesome what you're building over at Miro and I can't wait to see where that goes.

Speaker 1:

Right back at you. Thank you so much for having me love the podcast. Yeah, we should. We should continue to chat as as we both build, build cool. Next thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and grab some breakfast tacos.

Speaker 1:

Yes, breakfast tacos, always breakfast tacos. Thank you, my friends.

Speaker 2:

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

Discussing Digital Customer Success With DiCapila
Digital Customer Success Concept in English
Implementing a Cross-Functional Digital Strategy
Building a Customer Experience Team
In-App Guidance and Customer Experience Iteration