The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 3 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 to use a personal touch vers a custom touch from the moments really matter, just like in marketing, one of them, markets become very sophisticated, as you know what so has our our BS Bere we know, all on a machines and as a message. You're listening to the customer experience podcast, a podcast dedicated to helping today's growing businesses restore a personal human touch throughout the customer life cycle. Get ready to hear how sales, marketing and customer success experts surprise and delight 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 the power 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 own PR firm inside Your Company for you and your team. I've got a gentleman here who's the director of customer success at Swim Lane. He was a customer success in business consultant adviser for years. He spent a dozen years at IBM and departed. Is the senior manager of customer success, Jordan Olivero, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thank yous thrill to be with you today. Thanks for having me. Yeah, we, some of our team members, met up with you up in Denver at a customer success meet up to your right up the road from us. That's right. To borrow it, you came highly recommended. I'm excited for this conversation and I want to start where we always start, which is defining customer experience. I argue that it's the single most important thing our companies produce and deliver, but I think it has a 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 a customer by delivering on our brand promise. I think it's a function of customers success, other function being and customer outcomes, the desired outcomes that intended. The customer petit in purchasing the software, the product, the service, and so yeah, customer experience is crucial and we, when done very well, complements those outcomes and drive the retention, expansion and copies. Looking forward to that. That's awesome. I love the you touched on brand. That's another way that that we've talked about here on the show before, brand being this kind of holistic, all encompassing thing that everyone is ultimately responsible for. You say that customer experience is a function of cus. Where does brand sit for you as at a marketing function? Branded us is a marketing function. If Our promise, from how we position ourselves relative to our competitors, is one of 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 schedule and automate every single touch of points. Will likely have a touch points that are not skillable, that are highly personal so we can humanize that. That awesome. 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 it on paper there like cannot do it, we can't do that. That won't skills. I'm looking for to that. But before we go get too much deeper, just for context or the people can understand where coming from. As you share your experiencing your expertise, tell us a little bit about Swim Ling. What is that all about? How is your team, how are you doing there? What's Swim Ling all about? Yes, it's all about the analysts who are overwhelmed with the number of alders they're getting. The kind of work analyst does is often very administrative and quite Monday. So swimmling does is removes that Monday task from be so burdens some of their day today and it gives 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 of that, does automation and orchestration to leave you some of that pressures to the it's good. It sounds like another thing that we've had on the show before, 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 humans do the do the complex and interesting analytical work. So love that. What types of analysts are we talking about? Like, who are you? Know, if you were to describe two or three of your ideal customers, who are these people? I deal customers tend to these security operation centers which are responsible for protect being the brand that they work for. In some cases there's MSSP's out there who are managed security service providers who will protect other brand but they'll do it as a service. Those of the kinds of organizations with the kinds of GROUC or departments that need to be highly productive because there's a talent shortage out there today. There's just not enough people that are capable to handle the kind of volume from all these all these attacks by the offense. So we'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 school swimmer. So it's like a swim lane markers and watching the black line on the 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 I want to I want to get into some of the things that we only drove by 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 books that really inspired you, that we just chatted about briefly, was from chip and Dan Heath, who are kind of in that vein of business psychology research based, popular and approachable, highly functional. I think of like Dan Pink in that same zone. Talk a little bit about the power of moments and how that comes into play for you. I read the power of moments a year ago and it really transformed the way I looked at the customer journey and I like the research because they broke down the kinds of things that are all are common across any memorable lasting impressions that we have, the things that you may have done in college. You still talk about things that happen in your childhood. Likely didn't happen by accident, happened by a design. So how we do the same sort of things in our customer experience and these these moments that are powerful or memorable or lasting for customers often have three common traces of them, their types of moments that are really important. There's the pits in that in that experience, that journey, there's the peaks in the journey and there's the transition beginning and the end. Those are the places where you have an opportunity to make a moment that really last the customer. So we've as a swim lane. As a team looked across the customer journey. We started with right at the decision points to buy swimming up until they make decisions to renew or expand or their their working business with us. With it the cross of caple. What are all the touch points and where we who owns that touch 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 dealing with us. How can be easy to deal with, and I can go on and on about, you know, these transitions. I can get you more examples if you like those. Yeah, that be great. You know, it sounds like you've mapped the entire customer journey. So a how did that project go? How many people were involved? Where did you start and then be how did you identify kind of the peaks in the pits, and are you designing, are you creating specific moments kind of tie everything you started with their just tied together a little bit tighter, and maybe start with like who 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, but it sounds like you really mapped it at some level of detail. We didn't have any detail. I got to be honest. Okay, my first one diost if they had one. They didn't.

Yes, we got in a white board. I got what we're in a room, Bro some teams inside the start of white boarding what we thought that journey look like. And that just 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 is this the CS team? Well, the CST the made up of professionals, rooms and support, as cus and so that we call it sex as a parent organization under the CEO. Now that groove as it well and change the last fifty seven months I've been here. We brought in marketing, the sales to the conversation. First looked at the kickoff, the kickoff being a beginning and an opportunity to set that tone and at pace with the customer and we talked about, okay, what we do to the light that customer for the end of that call so that they feel like they're in boody hands. They're not to be left out of the drive. So we did is ask the CEO to record a video, to use the Cell Boon in some instances when he's on the road, traveling, or some of the is use on the office, and he just made with thirty second, forty five second video personalizing it to the the customer, using their names, maybe referencing their view specific parts of the deal that were important, and then and then pressed up said it to me. We included it inside of that kickoff call we did with the customer and the close of that call it was often you'd find all the customers nine their head and smiling and and getting the good sense of this company Swim 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 truly personal video to make sure that every kickoff call ends with this feeling that this company cares about me. That's right, it's great. So talk again about peaks and pits. So it seems like maybe you felt like there wasn't enough positive momentum coming out of that kickoff call. So you found a way to address it with a cross functional team. Talk about some other peaks and pits that 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 give specific details around how long it takes to that with swim lane, but it was 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 realize value and during their contract with us. So we looked at measuring the first time the first value and then so, okay, what can we do to decrease 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 ask me, why is it taking so long to get up and running? That's a red and black we need to do something about that and as a team want to look at ways to reduce that time off. And what is for your customers? What is first value and do you have any tips on for people 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 and getting that first reply back right. We want that Aha moment where someone says and 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 think it's super important, not just for CS but for everybody, recognize what first value is. Just a conversation alone is healthy. How did you all arrive at yours? Yeah, we have discussion on that. Is it the moment 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 to what's your goal and when do you think we're going to get? Asked them the wind question, the how, how we know we've arrived. So we like to look at is are we truly learning value? That means a swim lane is up and running in production with data ingested, integrations done, work flows created and is contributing true, true automation right and reducing some of that work that was once intend. That's good...

...implied right there. Actually, you said it maybe it's explicit, it's not implied. Is that having this clear agreement 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't assume one thing and you assume another. I think you're in great shape and you're extremely disappointed. We have you know, we go on without being clear about that. That's where we started. I kick off call, I jump on. Why did you buy swim lane? And I may have heard it from the cellar. In fact, I do this transition with the sales cam to understand the reasons why they lost one when I want to hear not just from enough, but I wanted them to say in front of their broader team to so the entire team of this enterprise account understands what direction we're headed toward at a big picture of all if from that mantage point, really we design everything 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 being clear about that plan to get there but not overwhelming them, and then then delivering up. That's great. Talk about the handoff there. You just kind of talked about a little bit of a sales to see as handoff, the salesperson is already told me what, in their own language and in their own perception, 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 particularly right for improvement? This is a big one. The sales to the customers success is often fill with tension and I can understand why. If I have I'm not going to speak I hearbally, I just speak from experience. There are times where I don't give the benefit of the doubt that the person's going to treat this customer the way that I think they should be. Are they going to deliver? And they probably in sales makes the same thing about customer success. 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 attention is good, because we all are after the same struggle that I had initially was I wanted to be the hero, and so I didn't pay it enough attention to this. And so I shift into an abundance mindset and and with that abundance mindset, I partnered with sales to enable them to be successful and in turn, I was too, and started by asking the question, what is it that you need to see us to to feel really confident that that you can hand over the customer to us now? And then just delivered on that. And it took time. Takes time every time to time, and IDM 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 externally with customers, but internally as well with your teammates, because you're really talking about a mindset shift their right. I mean an abundance findset. It's just a change in the way you look at those. Everything else is happening the same, you just view it differently. In the outcomes are dramatically different. Right. We design the process so that the customers the hero, I were trying to tell story, and where their guide and we want them to be the hero. That's now we're just shifting of the time. We Guide to God along their journey and which is really a transper of druss. So we just try to work with each other so that there's this this handoff where the customer isn't feel like they're repeating the same thing. Two different people swim when we want to be able to communicate them with the communicate understanding, and that ways there. It's great. Talk to me now about some of the things that don't scale. I don't imagine. They're probably turning on five hundred new accounts 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 some other things that you've chosen to do,...

...even though on paper it doesn't really add 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 from the moments really matter, just like in marketing, one of them. Markets become very so apicated, as you know, but so has our bs or we know when a machine send us a message and we know when a real humans send us a message. So we try to scale those announcements maybe around a new release being available or a known issue or affixes now available. But when I'm speaking directly to a stake older, these are enterprise accounts over a hundred kg, 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 communications to 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 see us without my video. And then that approach to colms with customers has now spread other parts of our organization where more of my colleagues are turned on their videos and having a little more nonverbal communication, having a face to recognize, increases trust and press of prosody. And those are some things that we've been thinking about. What we do these these one of one things, oh, one more thing about it. Places, these gifts are the gifts that we send out are necessarily scalable. We pay high attention to these peaks or they choot that first value or have gone live on second use. Case we try to 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 new no, that we try to do it at these subprising moments, because those 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 people eyed eye rather than just simply voice a voice. It's it really goes a long way. Someone else you introduced before. I really want to talk to you about this customer advisory board that you just ran. We would have done this a few weeks ago, but you're preparing for this really awesome event that I'm excited to hear about. But talk to me a little bit about building the culture of your team and advocating for CS internally inside the organization, especially for the customer success leaders who are listening. Absolutely so the customer advisor World Talk to first even I'll talk to talk about a customer kind of culture of customer success. So Advisory Board is something that a lot of companies try to initiate product management perspective to get ahead of where the customers are going. They invite these senior level folks into group of maybe ten to twelve people, like we did and we asked the questions. Where are you making? That's your business. We're in this security orchestration, automation responsible name. Why did you buy a products to solve this solution? Are you getting the return on the investment you've made? We're some things or problems you think we need to address and find solutions to and the next year or to we didn't ask them to rank features and solutions. We asked them to rate problems. Let us take on the heavy lifting of finding solutions and great solutions as the experts we want our biggest customers, our most influential customers. They're huge advocates for us to health guide 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 team there and about twelve all other customers. Cool and and where did they come from? All over the world or across the country? We invited a view from Australia and Europe, but they they could make it so mostly the ground country. That's awesome. And so how did you? How did you pick them? Again, these were these were some of your longest term clients or your highest value clients or like what was it, you know, for someone thinks, okay, I want to do...

...something like this, I want to get great customer intimacy, I want to build even deeper relationships with them, I want to learn from them directly. And, by the way, congratulations on going to problems over the product itself. Again, just going back to Henry Ford'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 the problems, 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 someone thinking about putting something like this together, how like what would just the real basic nuts and bolts of from okay, let's do this to okay, it's happening. Okay, first that's say go to like geospe. MICO SEPPI is the authority and a great trust advisor on this or a lot of this material online. 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 at least four to five months out, select the venue and then start to think about period in fight. I have an invite come from the CEO. Those invites could be too long standing customers or brand new customers. Well, you're looking for is people who are really bought into your vision or really excited about your 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 invited to this kind of conversation. Was that home? Yeah, absolutely, that's goods and it's so. Was this at a hotel, which this is a your office? Like said, downtown music station at the Crawford Hotel was the venue of for audations and then across the street of the Oxfordville used their staying room. of fantastic venue or like. A lot of gratitude and thanks to that team. Nice and glad you got such great feedback on the event to as a concluded. So double back. Talk to me about building the culture of CS inside the organization at large. For sure. I start with asking teams to observe or share their good and bad experiences with brands, what was outstanding and what wasn't, by talk about with your colleagues. This is about how, just in conversations and passing. About a month into starting a swim lane, 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 on customers success. So it took about forty five minutes to go through a dish deck. But really spend the next hour on a fun game. They called it churn busters. So the designed from scratch, had a number of different risks 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 how they would handle that risk and then both teams presented what they would do and the rest of the company voted which team had a better better response. It just started to get everyone thinking about, okay, retention matters, of spansion matters. It's five, seven times more cost effective to sell to your customers and to find acquire a new one, and so it just shaped the culture to think about this now. I did have a colleague and told me, Jordan, this is just about like a month ago. He said, when you you spoke to the whole company, I was suspicious. I wasn't quite sure we were going to be able to achieve what we've actually come to achieve and 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 Slack Channel 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're starting to make as has a great little checklist of actionable stuff. So if you're listening, hit that thirty two back button. Write a couple of those down, because those are just really simple, straightforward, practical things. As you say them, I say, well,...

Gosh, that's so obvious. At the 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 buy in 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 at bombomb and on the customer experience podcast is relationship. So I always like to give you a chance to think or mentioned someone who's had a positive impact on your life or career and to to talk about a company that you think is doing customer experience really, really well. Phil grewer comes to mind. He's a local here in bolder and then I'm met ten years ago and since we 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 invited me to join his team and work for it, and I was such a way because he not only maybe oversold my abilities, put me into a position where 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 let me 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 say B rouver someone I want to just call out and think that's great. We're all lucky if we have one person in our career like that, and hopefully we all have a few of them. Is there a company that he's had a great experience with recently or great his great experiences over time? Company that kind 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 can think of a few examples that I think will leave into our conversation. One is is jipal a. About ten years ago, five ten years ago, they used to, without notice, freely give free Burritos two customers that they just felt like it, and I thought that was a really unique way to create the light through surprise. It wasn't expected, it wasn't some kind of punch card where we get by ten, you get one of three. It was just this delightful encounter that you have. What they're rant. That's what comes to 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 think it was just kind of random, like I'm feeling this lady, I'm I'll give 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 back a good gosh almost ten years now, and that farm team was a bunch of people they wanted to create as Evangelis and they educated us on their whole food with the tegrity brand, the process and how they think and why they think 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 was a 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 some professional relationship or like, how did that get going? How many of their were 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 Two Thousand 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 was so intrigued by the farm team and what was going on, I invited him to speak at the College School Mandamen Roseching to school and he accepted the invitation and a month later he came and I introduced in front of kind of executives and he talked about it in more detail.

So those kinds of interactions with brand just just really develop this oyalty genuine interest. That's excellent. Hey, Jordan, this has been really fun. I think there are a number of super practical takeaways. I'm looking forward to going back through my notes for people that want to stay connected with you or they want to connect with swim lane or some places that you might send them and asking. So swimmling, swimlingcom pretty straightforward for me. Lovely cuck of anyone is listening, Jordan Oliver owcom great place to go, or on twitter, Jordan Oli errol one. That's awesome. Thank you so much for your time today. Really look forward to connecting again and connecting in person up in Denver sometime. Forward to it to thank you for having me. You're listening to the customer experience podcast. No matter your role in delivering value and serving customers, you're in trusting some of your most important and valuable messages to faceless digital communication. You can do better rehumanize the experience by getting face to face through simple personal videos. Learn more and get started free at bomb bombcom. You've been listening to the customer experience podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visit bombombcom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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