The Digital CX Podcast: Driving digital customer success and outcomes in the age of A.I.

Digital Musings: Measuring Customer Health Without Telemetry and Combatting Imposter Syndrome | Episode 060

July 09, 2024 Alex Turkovic Episode 60
Digital Musings: Measuring Customer Health Without Telemetry and Combatting Imposter Syndrome | Episode 060
The Digital CX Podcast: Driving digital customer success and outcomes in the age of A.I.
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The Digital CX Podcast: Driving digital customer success and outcomes in the age of A.I.
Digital Musings: Measuring Customer Health Without Telemetry and Combatting Imposter Syndrome | Episode 060
Jul 09, 2024 Episode 60
Alex Turkovic

Send us a Text Message.

In this solo episode, we tackle two primary topics:

  • Imposter Syndrome specific to Digital CS and how to combat it
  • Building Customer Health Scores without the benefit of product Telemetry

Along the way, I also share a few news items and resources with you.

Enjoy! I know I sure did...

Resources:

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

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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.

In this solo episode, we tackle two primary topics:

  • Imposter Syndrome specific to Digital CS and how to combat it
  • Building Customer Health Scores without the benefit of product Telemetry

Along the way, I also share a few news items and resources with you.

Enjoy! I know I sure did...

Resources:

Lifetime Value Media
Lifetime Value aims to serve the audio/video content production and editing needs.

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:

Got another solo episode for you today. We're going to focus a little bit on imposter syndrome. We're also going to focus a little bit on health scores. So here we go Once again.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Digital Customer Experience Podcast with me, alex Turkovich. So glad you could join us here today and every week as we explore how digital can help enhance the customer and employee experience. My goal is to share what my guests and I have learned over the years so that you can get the insights that you need to evolve your own digital programs. If you'd like more info, need to get in touch or sign up for the weekly companion newsletter that has additional articles and resources in it. Go to digitalcustomersuccesscom For now, let's get started. Digitalcustomersuccesscom For now let's get started. And welcome back to the Digital CX Podcast. It is episode 60.

Speaker 1:

My name is Alex Turkovich. It's so great to have you back this week and every week where we talk about all things digital, cx and the industry and all kinds of fun stuff. So if you've been listening for I don't know, the last couple of months or so, you'll know that every fifth episode I'm going to do a solo episode where we cover things like various announcements and just kind of what's going on. We talk about items in the news, so I've got a couple of news updates for you that might find interesting, a couple of resources as well, and then we're going to dig into a couple of topics today. One is imposter syndrome, specific to digital CS, and the other is health scores, and specifically health scores without telemetry data. So before we get started, though, I wanted to let you know that I'm going to be partnering with Sam Davis from mondaycom, as well as Scott Wilder from Clary. We're going to try to put togethera virtual meetup for Digital CX folks. We don't know exactly when or where that's going to be happening, but wanted to ask you for your input, actually. So we're kind of collecting some data as to when people might want to meet and what they'd want to talk about, and so there's a QR code up on the screen if you're watching on YouTube. Otherwise, there's a link down in the description in the show notes, where you can spend one or two minutes, give us some feedback, let us know when and where you'd want to meet and what you'd want to talk about, and we're looking forward to having you as part of that meetup. Obviously, I'll make some announcements on the show as that gets a little bit more formalized, but really looking forward to that.

Speaker 1:

So let's get into a couple of news items here. The first one is I wanted to share with you a little bit of insight about the Forrester CX index that they put together every year. Now the index itself it's like 1500 bucks, 1400 bucks, something like that. I don't have those deep pockets to download it and read it. That said, though, I used Perplexity, one of my favorite tools ever, to look at various kind of summaries, if you will, and articles that other people have posted about the CX index, and it's kind of interesting. If you know that index, it's very much B2C focused, but I think there's, you know, definitely some things we can glean from a B2B perspective.

Speaker 1:

But in general, it seems like the CX index has just dropped pretty dramatically among various brands, and they talked about in the index report. They talked a little bit about the reasons for that, and I thought some of them were kind of interesting. One of them talks about this drop in kind of, or an increase in, emotional disconnect, and they attributed a lot of that disconnect with customers to the increased proliferation of chatbots, which tells me a couple of different things. First, obviously, with AI becoming a much more mainstream thing and a set of tools based around that, the increase in chatbots is definitely explainable. But it also tells me that those chatbots either aren't quite ready for prime time yet or haven't been trained properly, and it feels like another layer between the customer and the, you know, the services teams or support teams. Another thing that the index pointed out was some lessons learned from some of the premier CX brands that are out there. Specifically, they called out a lot of automotive manufacturers actually which is bizarre, but we won't get into that Acura, chrysler, Mercedes-Benz. They had RBC Dominion in there as well, a couple of other ones. But one of the things that they talked about was that the employee experience was absolutely critical to driving an excellent customer experience, which is something we've talked about on the podcast before, but it kind of goes without saying. Right, if your employees are well taken care of and are happy, then the customer experience will essentially follow. So a lot of what they really focused on in terms of the recommendations were to really prioritize employee well-being, and they talked about making sure that if you're going to put a chatbot in place, make sure it's actually decent quality and provide some solid service and advice rather than just being an extra layer, so I thought that was worth mentioning as part of our news segment.

Speaker 1:

I did want to call out another bit of news. We have some of our friends. We have an upcoming interview with one of the co-founders of Join, j-o-y-n, but they received a round of seed funding from CS Angel recently. A couple of reasons that is significant. First and foremost, it is the first female-founded investment for CS Angel, so I'm super excited about that. But also, join is super cool. A lot of what join helps solve for is cross-functional communication between departments, specifically post-sale teams and engineering and product. So really excited at the problem that they're solving. Also excited about the interview that will be published in a few weeks time.

Speaker 1:

The other little bit of news that I wanted to focus on is really just there's there continues to be a just a proliferation of brands and companies talking about digital and talking about digital CX specifically. We're seeing a lot more digital CX than CS out there in terms of, like new reports that come out and you know articles that folks are publishing. But there's some interesting articles from Churn Zero. There's a couple of interesting things from Gainsight and HubSpot as well. Basically, what I'm going to do is link a few of those down in the show notes in the description, so that you can go check that out, but there's some interesting trends in there about, you know, 2024. I will say it's nothing earth shattering other than to say that a lot of what is mentioned in those articles really expands the scope, you know, out of just the CS bucket and into CX in general and looking at the customer experience holistically, which is, I think, a phenomenal trend and one that we've jumped on on this podcast as well.

Speaker 1:

Now, one of the resources that I wanted to share with you that I have been thoroughly enjoying is actually a live stream that happens every single day. I don't know how they do it, but it is literally a daily live stream. It's turned into a podcast. That's how I first found it. It's Everyday AI, um, so whether you, you know, once in a while they'll do some things on everyday AI that has has to do with screen share, and so it's useful to look at it, um, on YouTube, for instance, but, um, you know, I listened to it quite regularly as a podcast. It is daily, so it's a little bit hard to keep up with. Um, however, uh, it is a nice combination of AI news. It's a great way to stay ahead of what's happening in artificial intelligence and what you know various companies are coming out with and the latest models and pros and cons and all that kind of stuff. But there's also some amazing interviews on that show, um, for instance, recently there was a chief product officer from Google on and all those kinds of things. So I would highly recommend that you check out everyday AI, as if you needed one more thing to listen to. But you know, if if you're one of those people that is really struggling to stay ahead of what's happening with artificial intelligence, I highly highly recommend, uh, everyday AI. Uh, it is kind of changed a lot of what I do on a daily basis. One of the recent episodes of the live stream, which I'll actually share down below, is one where they talked about various easy strategies to implement AI into your daily workflow. But that's just scratching the surface, so I'll stop rambling on it, but go check out Everyday AI.

Speaker 1:

So first topic that I wanted to talk a little bit about today was imposter syndrome. You know there's a lot of things out there on imposter syndrome, but I did want to speak to it specifically from the lens of digital, because I get approached quite frequently from people who are, let's say, leaders who are trying to establish a digital motion or digital strategy, or, you know, especially employees of smaller early stage companies who need to stand up a digital strategy but don't really know how to do it and they're kind of stepping in, you know, to a role that they they just don't have any experience with and don't feel comfortable with. And I think, you know, imposter syndrome is one of those things that we all struggle with. I, I struggle with it on a daily basis. I mean you, I mean you name the scenario you know to jump into and I'm going to feel like you know, what am I doing here? Like why am I talking about this stuff? Or why am I in charge of this stuff? I mean, I think everybody struggles with it and what a lot of people will tell you is the first step is really just like acknowledge it, like yeah, I feel a little bit of imposter syndrome. Like acknowledge it, like yeah, I feel a little bit of imposter syndrome, and you know, really kind of writing those things down or verbalizing those things can be a really great benefit to relieving some of those feelings and kind of shifting the negative to the positive right. So I think if you're in that kind of situation I just wanted to talk about it briefly and say hey, you're not alone. Pretty much everybody around you is struggling from imposter syndrome as well, even though it may not look like it outwardly. And so by normalizing it a little bit, I think we can all do ourselves a little bit of a favor. Little bit, I think we can all do ourselves a little bit of a favor.

Speaker 1:

But beyond that, I think there are some tactical, like tangible things that you can do, you know, to really try to minimize your you know your imposter syndrome. And specifically when it comes to digital, I think it's really healthy to kind of step outside the boundaries that you've been given, at least mentally. Step outside the boundaries that you've given yourself and think about you know the core of what it is you're trying to solve. Okay, let's say you're standing up a digital strategy. You don't really know where to start. You're kind of thinking about you know what kind of automations can I put in place? Or you know what data do I need and all that kind of stuff, and what I would invite you to do is just to hit the pause button, take a beat, take a timeout and really get into the weeds of what it is you're trying to solve. What are the problems you're trying to solve? Why are you standing up these things? Why have you been asked to stand up these things? What are your executives thinking about digital CS and what problems they're trying to solve for by implementing these strategies?

Speaker 1:

Take a second and really think about and analyze and, you know, ask other people about you know what it is that they feel a digital strategy should be, because I'm going to tell you a secret. It's not a secret. Everybody's talking about it, it seems. But, like you know, your digital strategy that you implement in one place is going to look completely different than the digital strategy you implement at another company, different than the digital strategy you implement at another company. No two digital strategies look alike because you have so much variability in what it is you need to go do, but also the inputs and who's involved and how it's built and what the data looks like and what the tools are like and what the variables are, you know, practically endless, and so knowing that hopefully gives you a little bit of a sense of relief in that anything that you're going to go build is going to be unique. You know, joe's digital CS strategy is no better than Susan's, because they're different. They all they work for the purposes in which they're implemented and they're custom to each of those scenarios, each of those companies. So that's why it's so important to take a beat and really just think about what it is you're trying to implement and what problems you're trying to solve by implementing your digital program.

Speaker 1:

I think there's another element to this as well. You know, once you have identified what it is you need to go solve for, at that point it becomes time to start collecting the pieces. And one of the first things you want to look at is you know how are you going to measure those things and what kind of data do I need to back that up, and what kind of data do I need to impact a metric? If you're looking at driving an NRR number, do you have that data readily available? Do you know what segments you wanna hit? Do you know exactly what areas NRR is struggling specifically? Or if you're trying to drive product adoption, do you have product adoption data and do you know what specific elements within the product are, you know, lacking in terms of adoption. Those are the kinds of things you're going to want to start to uncover, and it's kind of like a little bit of a game of mystery. You know where you're going to want to uncover these things that are low-hanging fruit that you can go after really quickly and get some quick wins on the board.

Speaker 1:

And the last bit here is surrounding yourself with people that are doing what you're doing. Granted, I said everybody's going to be doing it differently. It's beside the point. Everybody's kind of hopefully approaching this in the same ways. Like I have a problem to solve and this is how I'm going to solve it.

Speaker 1:

And you know there are various resources out there. One I would recommend to you is the DCS Connect Slack community. I've talked about it on the show quite a bit. I'm in there all the time. It's a great community of digital CS practitioners and leaders, folks that are in the weeds, building this stuff, sharing, you know, resources and sharing how they did a certain thing. One of the things you see all the time in that Slack group is hey, I'm building whatever it is, I'm building a welcome flow. Can you give me some examples of what you've done in your welcome flows or you know, similar kinds of things. Like I'm building this, who has an example of it, and everybody in there is just um, you know, uh really willing to share, and so it's a really cool community. The other thing to look at is, uh, some of the articles actually that I'll link in the show notes from the earlier topic that we did during the news segment, which is to say there's a lot of companies that are just posting about digital and they're writing articles and resources about digital. That is, digital customer success, which has some really great fundamental things in there about how to run a digital CS program. I have it on good authority. There's a few courses coming, including one that I may or may not be working on with a couple of folks, so stay tuned. There's more coming around digital. But know that there are resources and there is a community available to you to help you through battling some of that. There are resources and there is a community available to you to help you through battling some of that imposter syndrome and giving you the knowledge you need to confidently move forward in establishing that strategy.

Speaker 1:

Hey, I want to have a brief chat with you about this show. Did you know that roughly 60% of listeners aren't actually subscribed to the show, on whatever platform they're listening to it on. As you know, algorithms love likes, follows, subscribes, comments, all of that kind of stuff. So if you get value out of the content, you listen regularly and you want to help others to discover the content as well, please go ahead and follow the show, leave a comment, leave a review. Anything that you want to do there really helps us to grow organically as a show. And while you're at it, go sign up for the companion newsletter that goes out every week at digitalcustomersuccesscom. Now back to the show.

Speaker 1:

Next up is a topic that I actually posted about last week on LinkedIn that I wanted to share with you all about measuring your customers' health without product telemetry. One of the things that I've struggled with a lot is that I currently operate in an environment where we serve primarily customers that have on-prem environments where we cannot see anything. Once in a while We'll get some phone home data. We don't have this rich set of telemetry where we can see even basic things like logins, and that's very, very problematic because for most digital programs, that is the lifeblood of what you base your digital motions off of. Now, that said you can over-index on that stuff. If you have a bunch of product telemetry, please don't just use the product telemetry, because it's very one-sided and it's going to be very biased towards one set of actions. What you really want to strive for is a well-rounded set of metrics that feed into your insights so that you can know exactly what's happening within a customer.

Speaker 1:

For the sake of what we're talking about today, I do want to share some insights into how you might build some health scoring and some alerting for your customers if you don't have really deep telemetry data that you can draw upon. And the first thing that I'll guide you towards is the systems that you have around you that serve the customer. So a prime example of that is your community. If you have a community and your customers are chatting in there and they're engaged in there, asking questions and those kinds of things, that's prime territory for you to get a sense for how engaged your customers are with your brand. So you might look at user specific data, but more often than not, that's going to be aggregated up to the company level, where you'll be able to see okay, are my users logging into the community? Are they posting, engaging, asking questions, are they responding to other people in the community. You know how active are they within the community. And kind of related to that would be if you have an academy or a university or whatever you want to call it, you know if your customers are engaged in the learning opportunities that you're providing them logging in, registering for courses, completing courses and those kinds of things. All of that can aggregate towards engagement data and how a customer is engaging with your brand.

Speaker 1:

Now, if you want to take that a step further and kind of go you know, go PhD level on it, one of the things you can start doing is pulling together some user profiles, or some, I guess you would call them. You know, personas, so your admin persona or your end user persona might be looking at different things in your knowledge base, for instance. So an admin might be looking at these sets in your knowledge base, for instance. So an admin might be looking at these sets of things, versus an end user might be looking at another set of things, and you can start to actually identify what role a person is playing based on what they're accessing and, you know, build some automation behind that. You can actually help to improve your overall data hygiene and data quality by identifying proactively what type of user somebody is based on what they're accessing.

Speaker 1:

One other very cool way of you know really judging the engagement of your customer with your brand is looking at support telemetry. Now, you know, a lot of us are looking at support. You know cases, ticket volumes and those kinds of things all the time, and I think it's very important for us to maybe look a layer deeper on the aggregate. So, yes, of course you're going to be concerned if your customer is putting in a high volume of support tickets Never really a good sign. The thing that actually scares me more than a high volume of cases, though, is where there's an extremely low, or maybe even zero cases put in against a customer, because to me, that represents a customer who has just given up, they're gone, they're ghosting. You right, every customer will have an issue here or there, and so if you you know if you have at least one or two tickets in the system, it means that you know there is some level of activity happening there Again, so your support team can be a really you know great gauge for how engaged a user or a customer is with your brand. Now, one of the things that I like to look at is a level of concern and an area where you need to probably pay attention to that customer. But to take that a layer deeper, one thing to look at is the ratio of engineering escalations to overall tickets, because if that ratio is a high one, in other words, a high percentage of the tickets that they put in are escalated to engineering, to me that sets off all kinds of alarm bells versus, you know, one or two with a relatively high ticket count is not going to be as critical, and so you can start to build kind of levels of risk depending on that ratio specifically.

Speaker 1:

One other area to look at is event attendance. Are your customers attending the webinars that are being put on by the brand? Maybe you have some virtual summits or actual in-person summits, since those are happening again virtual summits or actual in-person summits, since those are happening again but are your customers attending those? Are they active in them? Customer advisory boards is also another great place to look at and really to gauge where your champions and your executives are engaging with your brand. If your customer has an assigned CSM, another thing I like to look at is how often they're engaging with that CSM, and so we'll look at how often they're having meetings or QBRs or calls with the CSM, and the longer the time period is between those calls, you know, the redder the score becomes. I typically like to use, you know, a quarter as a gauge. So if you're not hearing from your customer or your CSM is not engaged with the customer for an entire quarter, to me that's a little bit problematic, and so that's where the scores is really going to tank. Versus if you have a monthly kind of healthy engagement, even just, you know, exchanging emails and messages, I think that's, you know, that's becomes a lot, a lot healthier of an engagement than one where there isn't any engagement.

Speaker 1:

Lastly, one of the things that I like to look at is champions or executives who have moved on. People change careers, people change companies, people change roles all the time. Right, it's a well-known problem and one that I think we all deal with a lot in customer success and post-sale and even sales struggles with this, because if your champion leaves, then all of a sudden you're back into rapport building mode, you're back into selling mode, you know, you're back to that area where you need to spend some time getting to know the new points of contact and those kinds of things and making sure that they understand the value of your product. It resets a lot of stuff, and so you know. My guidance to folks who are establishing these kinds of scorecards is, if you know of a champion or an executive that has changed, that account immediately goes to red like red, all hands on deck. Let's pay some attention to this account, let's engage this account, make sure they're feeling the love you know and then over time that can gradually move out of red.

Speaker 1:

As to how to gauge whether those champions and executives have left, there are some cool tools that you can use to do that. One that comes to mind that is also quite active brand in the CS community is Champify, who will actually help you track champions to other companies, which I think is a really cool opportunity for CSQL, for instance, which I think is a really cool opportunity for a CSQL, for instance. However, you know the use case is there. If a champion or if an executive leaves, you know you can flag those things via a tool like Champify. Nine times out of ten, though, you're not going to have a tool like that, all right. So it becomes an exercise of manually tracking those things, and again, you know, the more you can engage with a customer that way and really find out what's happening within the customer, the better. So you know, those are a few tips that I have about you know, really building health scoring around.

Speaker 1:

You know, a customer where you don't have that, that kind of telemetry insight, I would love to hear from you if you are using other indicators and things like that in your health scores to gauge the engagement of your customers. So I think that about does it for this episode of the Digital CX Podcast. I hope it's been useful for you. Please let me know in the comments and things like that what other topics you'd want me to cover in future solo episodes. But I just love the feedback that I'm getting.

Speaker 1:

One thing that I think what I've really loved hearing, especially with relation to the last solo episode, which was an AI primer for CSMs, is that you know a lot of leaders actually sent it out to their CSM teams as a way of, you know, driving artificial intelligence usage within the teams. So super appreciative for those that have reached out and kind of told me about those things, because you know we put these episodes and this content out into the void and sometimes it's really hard to gauge you know how it's landing or how people are using it. So thank you for your uh continued feedback and suggestions and comments. They are super well appreciated and, as always, I've loved having you listen to the show and, if you've made it this far, make sure you're liking, subscribing, doing all that kind of algorithm stuff to help out the show. So until next week when we're back into guest mode, I hope you have a great week ahead and let me know what you want me to talk about in episode 65, which will come in August sometime. We'll talk to you then.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for joining me for this episode of the Digital CX Podcast. If you like what we're doing, consider leaving us a review on your podcast platform of choice. If you're watching on YouTube, leave a comment down below. It really helps us to grow and provide value to a broader audience and get more information about the show and some of the other things that we're doing at digitalcustomersuccesscom. I'm Alex Tergovich. Thanks so much for listening. I'll talk to you next week.

Imposter Syndrome and Health Scores
Building a Unique Digital Strategy
Measuring Customer Health Without Telemetry