The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

18. Create Delight to Keep Customers for Life w/ Jordan Olivero


What’s a surefire strategy to solidify your reputation for offering a superior customer experience?

We’ll give you a hint. It involves tacos.

Jordan Olivero is the director of customer success at Swimlane. He visited our podcast recently to discuss the power of moments, doing things that don't scale but doing them anyway, giftology, and being your own PR firm.

Olivero read The Power of Moments a year ago and it transformed the way he looked at the customer journey. They broke down the things that are common to any memorable lasting impression.

Those are the places where you have an opportunity to make a moment that really lasts. In customer experience,the moments that are particularly powerful or memorable often have one of these three traits:

  • They are pits in the journey.
  • They are peaks in the journey.
  • They’re at a transition in the beginning and the end.

A customer success. We try touse a personal touch vers a custom touch from the moments really matter, justlike in marketing, one of them, markets become very sophisticated, as youknow what so has our our BS Bere we know, all on a machinesand as a message. You're listening to the customer experience podcast, a podcastdedicated to helping today's growing businesses restore a personal human touch throughout the customer lifecycle. Get ready to hear how sales, marketing and customer success experts surprise anddelight and never lose sign of their customers humanity. Here's your host,Ethan Butte. Welcome back to the customer experience podcast. We're talking about thepower of moments, doing things that don't scale. You know they don't scale, but you do them anyway, about gift Ology, about being your ownPR firm inside Your Company for you and your team. I've got a gentlemanhere who's the director of customer success at Swim Lane. He was a customersuccess in business consultant adviser for years. He spent a dozen years at IBMand departed. Is the senior manager of customer success, Jordan Olivero, welcometo the customer experience podcast. Thank yous thrill to be with you today.Thanks for having me. Yeah, we, some of our team members, metup with you up in Denver at a customer success meet up to yourright up the road from us. That's right. To borrow it, youcame highly recommended. I'm excited for this conversation and I want to start wherewe always start, which is defining customer experience. I argue that it's thesingle most important thing our companies produce and deliver, but I think it hasa variety of definitions. How do you look at customer experience? Well,I think the customer experiences a combination of different impressions that we give to acustomer by delivering on our brand promise. I think it's a function of customerssuccess, other function being and customer outcomes, the desired outcomes that intended. Thecustomer petit in purchasing the software, the product, the service, andso yeah, customer experience is crucial and we, when done very well,complements those outcomes and drive the retention, expansion and copies. Looking forward tothat. That's awesome. I love the you touched on brand. That's anotherway that that we've talked about here on the show before, brand being thiskind of holistic, all encompassing thing that everyone is ultimately responsible for. Yousay that customer experience is a function of cus. Where does brand sit foryou as at a marketing function? Branded us is a marketing function. IfOur promise, from how we position ourselves relative to our competitors, is oneof customer INS in the sea and excellence and service and that high personal touch, then we need to deliver on that kind of promise. We won't scheduleand automate every single touch of points. Will likely have a touch points thatare not skillable, that are highly personal so we can humanize that. Thatawesome. I look forward to following up on doing things that don't scale,because it's one of those things. I think a lot of people see iton paper there like cannot do it, we can't do that. That won'tskills. I'm looking for to that. But before we go get too muchdeeper, just for context or the people can understand where coming from. Asyou share your experiencing your expertise, tell us a little bit about Swim Ling. What is that all about? How is your team, how are youdoing there? What's Swim Ling all about? Yes, it's all about the analystswho are overwhelmed with the number of alders they're getting. The kind ofwork analyst does is often very administrative and quite Monday. So swimmling does isremoves that Monday task from be so burdens some of their day today and itgives them that times they're highly productive so that they can work on or interesting, complex, complex kinds of so swily, I'm sorry, is a platform ofthat, does automation and orchestration to leave you some of that pressures tothe it's good. It sounds like another thing that we've had on the showbefore, which is this finding that that... healthy balance between humans and machines, letting the machines do the thing that machines are good at and letting humansdo the do the complex and interesting analytical work. So love that. Whattypes of analysts are we talking about? Like, who are you? Know, if you were to describe two or three of your ideal customers, whoare these people? I deal customers tend to these security operation centers which areresponsible for protect being the brand that they work for. In some cases there'sMSSP's out there who are managed security service providers who will protect other brand butthey'll do it as a service. Those of the kinds of organizations with thekinds of GROUC or departments that need to be highly productive because there's a talentshortage out there today. There's just not enough people that are capable to handlethe kind of volume from all these all these attacks by the offense. Sowe're helping the defense protect these brands and these entities, organizations, government agencies, and we're just making them over of the so it's a woman boom.Love it and I love the name. It reminds I was a high schoolswimmer. So it's like a swim lane markers and watching the black line onthe bottom of the pools. You try to keep moving forward. So good. So we had a really great conversation before we hit record and so Iwant to I want to get into some of the things that we only droveby really quickly, around this this idea of customer experience and being everyone's responsibility, but see us having a special role in that. One of the booksthat really inspired you, that we just chatted about briefly, was from chipand Dan Heath, who are kind of in that vein of business psychology researchbased, popular and approachable, highly functional. I think of like Dan Pink inthat same zone. Talk a little bit about the power of moments andhow that comes into play for you. I read the power of moments ayear ago and it really transformed the way I looked at the customer journey andI like the research because they broke down the kinds of things that are allare common across any memorable lasting impressions that we have, the things that youmay have done in college. You still talk about things that happen in yourchildhood. Likely didn't happen by accident, happened by a design. So howwe do the same sort of things in our customer experience and these these momentsthat are powerful or memorable or lasting for customers often have three common traces ofthem, their types of moments that are really important. There's the pits inthat in that experience, that journey, there's the peaks in the journey andthere's the transition beginning and the end. Those are the places where you havean opportunity to make a moment that really last the customer. So we've asa swim lane. As a team looked across the customer journey. We startedwith right at the decision points to buy swimming up until they make decisions torenew or expand or their their working business with us. With it the crossof caple. What are all the touch points and where we who owns thattouch at this moment in time? How can we avoid those pits? First, make things a little more a little more pleasant, reduce the friction,reduced customer fatigue and just reduce that effort that they have to spend in dealingwith us. How can be easy to deal with, and I can goon and on about, you know, these transitions. I can get youmore examples if you like those. Yeah, that be great. You know,it sounds like you've mapped the entire customer journey. So a how didthat project go? How many people were involved? Where did you start andthen be how did you identify kind of the peaks in the pits, andare you designing, are you creating specific moments kind of tie everything you startedwith their just tied together a little bit tighter, and maybe start with likewho took this on mapping the customer journey, because it's obviously a big deal.I think a lot of people think they have sight into it, butit sounds like you really mapped it at some level of detail. We didn'thave any detail. I got to be honest. Okay, my first onediost if they had one. They didn't.

Yes, we got in a whiteboard. I got what we're in a room, Bro some teams insidethe start of white boarding what we thought that journey look like. And thatjust that just brought a lot of a lot of conversation with the table.We got clarity around WHO's going to own with product, part of the process. We identifies it. Sorry, it's this a cross functional team or isthis the CS team? Well, the CST the made up of professionals,rooms and support, as cus and so that we call it sex as aparent organization under the CEO. Now that groove as it well and change thelast fifty seven months I've been here. We brought in marketing, the salesto the conversation. First looked at the kickoff, the kickoff being a beginningand an opportunity to set that tone and at pace with the customer and wetalked about, okay, what we do to the light that customer for theend of that call so that they feel like they're in boody hands. They'renot to be left out of the drive. So we did is ask the CEOto record a video, to use the Cell Boon in some instances whenhe's on the road, traveling, or some of the is use on theoffice, and he just made with thirty second, forty five second video personalizingit to the the customer, using their names, maybe referencing their view specificparts of the deal that were important, and then and then pressed up saidit to me. We included it inside of that kickoff call we did withthe customer and the close of that call it was often you'd find all thecustomers nine their head and smiling and and getting the good sense of this companySwim Ling as humanize this part of the process and and I trust that's excellent. I mean that is a powerful moment for people. So CEO records trulypersonal video to make sure that every kickoff call ends with this feeling that thiscompany cares about me. That's right, it's great. So talk again aboutpeaks and pits. So it seems like maybe you felt like there wasn't enoughpositive momentum coming out of that kickoff call. So you found a way to addressit with a cross functional team. Talk about some other peaks and pitsthat you identified and maybe one or two examples of how you resolve those?What comes to mind is hit in the implementation process. So we won't givespecific details around how long it takes to that with swim lane, but itwas obvious to me that if we could reduce the time the first value,we would, in the customers mind, increase that receive the value and realizevalue and during their contract with us. So we looked at measuring the firsttime the first value and then so, okay, what can we do todecrease this this time to get there? Where parts were contributing and anxiety,where do people have to serve the final answer to a question when they askme, why is it taking so long to get up and running? That'sa red and black we need to do something about that and as a teamwant to look at ways to reduce that time off. And what is foryour customers? What is first value and do you have any tips on forpeople who are listening that that might not be highly conscious of first value?So for us at bombomb our first value is getting that first video sent andgetting that first reply back right. We want that Aha moment where someone saysand the sinking you're creating on your kickoff calls is this, oh my gosh, this is a different way to communicate, and so it's important. I thinkit's super important, not just for CS but for everybody, recognize whatfirst value is. Just a conversation alone is healthy. How did you allarrive at yours? Yeah, we have discussion on that. Is it themoment that matters, or is it full value or is it half value?It's not that important where you land for as long as you're starting to measure. He's leading and lagging indicators and asking the customers always a good idea towhat's your goal and when do you think we're going to get? Asked themthe wind question, the how, how we know we've arrived. So welike to look at is are we truly learning value? That means a swimlane is up and running in production with data ingested, integrations done, workflows created and is contributing true, true automation right and reducing some of thatwork that was once intend. That's good...

...implied right there. Actually, yousaid it maybe it's explicit, it's not implied. Is that having this clearagreement with the customer is super important, like what is value to you?And let's make sure that we're both on the same page, so I don'tassume one thing and you assume another. I think you're in great shape andyou're extremely disappointed. We have you know, we go on without being clear aboutthat. That's where we started. I kick off call, I jumpon. Why did you buy swim lane? And I may have heard it fromthe cellar. In fact, I do this transition with the sales camto understand the reasons why they lost one when I want to hear not justfrom enough, but I wanted them to say in front of their broader teamto so the entire team of this enterprise account understands what direction we're headed towardat a big picture of all if from that mantage point, really we designeverything else around achieving that and we go back to it later and say,you mentioned fact six months ago we wanted to keep this, we have fantastic. What's next? Right, and that's the conversation. Is Not too hard. It's really civil block and tackling, just clarifying the objectives and then beingclear about that plan to get there but not overwhelming them, and then thendelivering up. That's great. Talk about the handoff there. You just kindof talked about a little bit of a sales to see as handoff, thesalesperson is already told me what, in their own language and in their ownperception, what the customer needs and wants, and so you're managing that handoff.What are some other handoffs that he mapped out and which ones were particularlyright for improvement? This is a big one. The sales to the customerssuccess is often fill with tension and I can understand why. If I haveI'm not going to speak I hearbally, I just speak from experience. Thereare times where I don't give the benefit of the doubt that the person's goingto treat this customer the way that I think they should be. Are theygoing to deliver? And they probably in sales makes the same thing about customersuccess. Well, they deliver on this. I put my brand as state,my personal grand estate for this customer. Brought them in. Come on,guys, you got to deliver. That question is there and and attentionis good, because we all are after the same struggle that I had initiallywas I wanted to be the hero, and so I didn't pay it enoughattention to this. And so I shift into an abundance mindset and and withthat abundance mindset, I partnered with sales to enable them to be successful andin turn, I was too, and started by asking the question, whatis it that you need to see us to to feel really confident that thatyou can hand over the customer to us now? And then just delivered onthat. And it took time. Takes time every time to time, andIDM to a little bit of time here, but we're in a great place.I love it's such a healthy way to approach relationships, not just externallywith customers, but internally as well with your teammates, because you're really talkingabout a mindset shift their right. I mean an abundance findset. It's justa change in the way you look at those. Everything else is happening thesame, you just view it differently. In the outcomes are dramatically different.Right. We design the process so that the customers the hero, I weretrying to tell story, and where their guide and we want them to bethe hero. That's now we're just shifting of the time. We Guide toGod along their journey and which is really a transper of druss. So wejust try to work with each other so that there's this this handoff where thecustomer isn't feel like they're repeating the same thing. Two different people swim whenwe want to be able to communicate them with the communicate understanding, and thatways there. It's great. Talk to me now about some of the thingsthat don't scale. I don't imagine. They're probably turning on five hundred newaccounts a day and so the CEO needs to make five hundred videos a day. That's that's one that can probably scale to a point. Talk about someother things that you've chosen to do,...

...even though on paper it doesn't reallyadd up. It looks like I don't know if we can scale this.In customer success we try to use a personal touch vers a custom touch fromthe moments really matter, just like in marketing, one of them. Marketsbecome very so apicated, as you know, but so has our bs or weknow when a machine send us a message and we know when a realhumans send us a message. So we try to scale those announcements maybe arounda new release being available or a known issue or affixes now available. Butwhen I'm speaking directly to a stake older, these are enterprise accounts over a hundredkg, so they need to know that it's a highly irrelevant message.And so I'm speaking directly in a relevant context, sending the wonder one communicationsto them and oftentimes turning on that video. It may not be a recorded video, but these zoom means you won't have a call with me and seeus without my video. And then that approach to colms with customers has nowspread other parts of our organization where more of my colleagues are turned on theirvideos and having a little more nonverbal communication, having a face to recognize, increasestrust and press of prosody. And those are some things that we've beenthinking about. What we do these these one of one things, oh,one more thing about it. Places, these gifts are the gifts that wesend out are necessarily scalable. We pay high attention to these peaks or theychoot that first value or have gone live on second use. Case we tryto sound a meanful gift and we don't send in the round Christmas time,times of the year where it's almost expected, right when you're about to a newno, that we try to do it at these subprising moments, becausethose tens is really important. And you're speaking my language, by the way, and talking about trust and reciprocity through facetoface communication, really connecting with peopleeyed eye rather than just simply voice a voice. It's it really goes along way. Someone else you introduced before. I really want to talk to youabout this customer advisory board that you just ran. We would have donethis a few weeks ago, but you're preparing for this really awesome event thatI'm excited to hear about. But talk to me a little bit about buildingthe culture of your team and advocating for CS internally inside the organization, especiallyfor the customer success leaders who are listening. Absolutely so the customer advisor World Talkto first even I'll talk to talk about a customer kind of culture ofcustomer success. So Advisory Board is something that a lot of companies try toinitiate product management perspective to get ahead of where the customers are going. Theyinvite these senior level folks into group of maybe ten to twelve people, likewe did and we asked the questions. Where are you making? That's yourbusiness. We're in this security orchestration, automation responsible name. Why did youbuy a products to solve this solution? Are you getting the return on theinvestment you've made? We're some things or problems you think we need to addressand find solutions to and the next year or to we didn't ask them torank features and solutions. We asked them to rate problems. Let us takeon the heavy lifting of finding solutions and great solutions as the experts we wantour biggest customers, our most influential customers. They're huge advocates for us to healthguide us. So that was a full day and half of them.I hoped that you're Denver late February, when great we had the executive teamthere and about twelve all other customers. Cool and and where did they comefrom? All over the world or across the country? We invited a viewfrom Australia and Europe, but they they could make it so mostly the groundcountry. That's awesome. And so how did you? How did you pickthem? Again, these were these were some of your longest term clients oryour highest value clients or like what was it, you know, for someonethinks, okay, I want to do...

...something like this, I want toget great customer intimacy, I want to build even deeper relationships with them,I want to learn from them directly. And, by the way, congratulationson going to problems over the product itself. Again, just going back to HenryFord's you know, I would have given him faster horses or whatever.You know, that kind of classic line is like when you talk about theproblems, it's up to eat, up to the team in the company,to figure out the creative solutions that make sense for them. But for someonethinking about putting something like this together, how like what would just the realbasic nuts and bolts of from okay, let's do this to okay, it'shappening. Okay, first that's say go to like geospe. MICO SEPPI isthe authority and a great trust advisor on this or a lot of this materialonline. Even spoild of them a few times. He's a great guy.So first off we get credit credits to do they're a second start planning atleast four to five months out, select the venue and then start to thinkabout period in fight. I have an invite come from the CEO. Thoseinvites could be too long standing customers or brand new customers. Well, you'relooking for is people who are really bought into your vision or really excited aboutyour products and have a spugic perspective. This is not a user group,so it's be careful about the level of and sceniority of the people they invitedto this kind of conversation. Was that home? Yeah, absolutely, that'sgoods and it's so. Was this at a hotel, which this is ayour office? Like said, downtown music station at the Crawford Hotel was thevenue of for audations and then across the street of the Oxfordville used their stayingroom. of fantastic venue or like. A lot of gratitude and thanks tothat team. Nice and glad you got such great feedback on the event toas a concluded. So double back. Talk to me about building the cultureof CS inside the organization at large. For sure. I start with askingteams to observe or share their good and bad experiences with brands, what wasoutstanding and what wasn't, by talk about with your colleagues. This is abouthow, just in conversations and passing. About a month into starting a swimlane, we had a big all hands and CEO gave me a couple hours. Everybody in the whole company here in town it just to spend time oncustomers success. So it took about forty five minutes to go through a dishdeck. But really spend the next hour on a fun game. They calledit churn busters. So the designed from scratch, had a number of differentrisks to pretension presented to the ten different teams. They were five to five. They would head to head and each of them prepared a response to howthey would handle that risk and then both teams presented what they would do andthe rest of the company voted which team had a better better response. Itjust started to get everyone thinking about, okay, retention matters, of spansionmatters. It's five, seven times more cost effective to sell to your customersand to find acquire a new one, and so it just shaped the cultureto think about this now. I did have a colleague and told me,Jordan, this is just about like a month ago. He said, whenyou you spoke to the whole company, I was suspicious. I wasn't quitesure we were going to be able to achieve what we've actually come to achieveand and gave a lot of props and there's a private, private praise,but we're there. It see, stating some time to share that culture,celebrating successes in the journey, highlighting comments from customers and the company Wide SlackChannel is a big one, and then casting a compelling vision. I think, I think guy, I think I did that early on and now we'restarting to make as has a great little checklist of actionable stuff. So ifyou're listening, hit that thirty two back button. Write a couple of thosedown, because those are just really simple, straightforward, practical things. As yousay them, I say, well,...

Gosh, that's so obvious. Atthe same time there's so many of these things that were just not doing. That are easy, low hanging things. So congratulations on getting broader company buyin into customer success. The net result is a better customer experience,especially with the journey mapping that you've done. One of our core values here atbombomb and on the customer experience podcast is relationship. So I always liketo give you a chance to think or mentioned someone who's had a positive impacton your life or career and to to talk about a company that you thinkis doing customer experience really, really well. Phil grewer comes to mind. He'sa local here in bolder and then I'm met ten years ago and sincewe started our professional relationship when I was working ivm. Is a great advisor, giving advice of my career. Then shifted little bit later when he invitedme to join his team and work for it, and I was such away because he not only maybe oversold my abilities, put me into a positionwhere I use my strengths. I was stressed challenge and then when his boss, you ask me to work for him, he didn't hold on. He letme go and and did even the thing that was not his self interest. So we still a great relationship. We go sing together occasionally and sayB rouver someone I want to just call out and think that's great. We'reall lucky if we have one person in our career like that, and hopefullywe all have a few of them. Is there a company that he's hada great experience with recently or great his great experiences over time? Company thatkind of stands out to you is as someone who really puts the customer first. I'm trying to think of one that stands above the rest. I canthink of a few examples that I think will leave into our conversation. Oneis is jipal a. About ten years ago, five ten years ago,they used to, without notice, freely give free Burritos two customers that theyjust felt like it, and I thought that was a really unique way tocreate the light through surprise. It wasn't expected, it wasn't some kind ofpunch card where we get by ten, you get one of three. Itwas just this delightful encounter that you have. What they're rant. That's what comesto mind. Even I probably think of others. I we can't.It's tough to beat a free burrito. That's right, that's a good one. So would you think that was like recognizable faces, or do you thinkit was just kind of random, like I'm feeling this lady, I'm I'llgive her a burrito. I like this guy. It's possible recognized spasis.I think that's what's one of the things what they did is they created advocates. As a result, they wouldn't even as far with me, for example, by inviting me to be on their farm team. This is going backa good gosh almost ten years now, and that farm team was a bunchof people they wanted to create as Evangelis and they educated us on their wholefood with the tegrity brand, the process and how they think and why theythink that way. And there's a select group of people. But we,we offentically became evangels for their brand with our networks and I thought that wasa really interesting way to way to approach the custom sperience. That's really interesting. Where you just a customer at the time, or did you have someprofessional relationship or like, how did that get going? How many of theirwere you? This is fascinating to me. I didn't know about the farm team, though. It's true. It's two thousand and ten. Is TwoThousand and eleven. It's when it when it started. Yeah, and ironically, and go into this a little bit, cut this out if you want,but it was. It was at a Chicago location where'm at the CFO, in the line ashore both way and in that moment, because I wasso intrigued by the farm team and what was going on, I invited himto speak at the College School Mandamen Roseching to school and he accepted the invitationand a month later he came and I introduced in front of kind of executivesand he talked about it in more detail.

So those kinds of interactions with brandjust just really develop this oyalty genuine interest. That's excellent. Hey,Jordan, this has been really fun. I think there are a number ofsuper practical takeaways. I'm looking forward to going back through my notes for peoplethat want to stay connected with you or they want to connect with swim laneor some places that you might send them and asking. So swimmling, swimlingcompretty straightforward for me. Lovely cuck of anyone is listening, Jordan Oliver owcomgreat place to go, or on twitter, Jordan Oli errol one. That's awesome. Thank you so much for your time today. Really look forward toconnecting again and connecting in person up in Denver sometime. Forward to it tothank you for having me. You're listening to the customer experience podcast. Nomatter your role in delivering value and serving customers, you're in trusting some ofyour most important and valuable messages to faceless digital communication. You can do betterrehumanize the experience by getting face to face through simple personal videos. Learn moreand get started free at bomb bombcom. You've been listening to the customer experiencepodcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the showin your favorite podcast player or visit bombombcom. Thank you so much for listening.Until next time.

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