The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

2. Business Relationship Quiz: How many of your contacts pass this test? w/ Zvi Band

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

With the right attitude, business relationships, instead of being a depreciating asset, could be transformed into compound interest that pays you over and over.

Getting your business in the right relationship mindset is the business of Zvi Band, CEO/Co-Founder at Contactually, a SaaS-based intelligent customer relationship management (CRM) platform for relationship-oriented industries that helps users develop and strengthen authentic, long-lasting relationships.


Band is also the author of the upcoming book Success Is in Your Sphere: Leverage the Power of Relationships to Achieve Your Business Goals (publishing April 5, 2019).

You're listening to the customer experience podcast, a podcast dedicated to helping today's growing businesses restore a personal human touch throughoutthe customer life cycle. Get ready to hear how sales, marketing and customerssuccess experts surprise and delight and never lose sign of their customers humanity. Here'syour host, Ethan Butte. Hey, thank you so much for clicking playon this episode of the Customer Experience Podcast. I'm really glad you're here and Ihope you enjoy it. I know I'm going to, because I'm beingjoined by V band, the CEO and founder of contactually, who's on amission to empower business professionals to build authentic relationships. Zee, welcome to thecustomer experience podcast. Thank you so much for having me even yeah, weso, we've known each other for a while. It's nice to be ableto have a semi formal conversation here. What's going on with you and thecan't actually team these days? Yeah, I guess, given this a record, I can't use the many car exploitives as we normally do when talking.Right. Hey, whatever happens. Yeah, I mean. So, listen,we have an incredible amount to be thankful for. I can actually it'snow been seven and a half years of running the company. One of thebigger trends that we've been working on is, you know, we start off focusingmore on selling to small businesses and now we've made this transition over thepast couple of years to now we really can truly say we are enterprise softwarecompany. So it's it's been exciting and definitely very relevant to our conversation today. Cool and for folks that don't know, cant actually, what's a one lineor two liner on what you're all about? Beside, absolutely build authenticrelationships, which I love. Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, ifyou have our goal is that your we believe that the best businesses in theworld are built upon personal and authentic relationships. What can tacks you provides is acrm platform that helps you manage and nurture those key relationships. So whatwe do is we act. We pull all your all of your relationships infor you and your organization. We help you identify the relationships that are startingto go cold when you want us stay in touch one on one and thenbe able to provide you, like, very strong tools that allow you tobuild a nurse that relationship, whether it's for repeat referral or new business,whatever you're trying to do. If relationships are your core asset, we arethe tool that helps you strengthen that awesome and I'm sure we'll get into theasset that the relationship is. But before we go further, something I liketo do to start is get a clear definition, because it's one of mymotivations and starting this podcast at particulars. I think the term customer experience istossed around a lot and I think he knows what it means, but shealso know what it's. Knows what it means something different and they know somethingdifferent. How, how do you think about or how do you even definecustomer experience? Yeah, really great question. So I kind of just generally say, like I pull up a lot.

Right is, you know, ifa customers on one side and your company is on the other, thecustomer experience is just simply like everything in between. Right. It's what acustomer sees right, how they feel, the website they view, the emailsback and forth, the phone calls, you know, the underlying indicator areaof the customer sentiment towards you right. So it's really obviously, if that'swhat's most important, is the customer experience, then obviously then you can back outand say, all right, will what does sales need to do tosupport that customer experience? What does customers success thing to do to support thatexperience? How do they work together to support that experience? So that's kindof what we think about. Is like, well, you know, from themoment someone first here's about us to you know, hopefully, the momentthat they renew, Yo, year, three, year four, year five. What happens in between? Great. So how how are you structuring that? Like are do you just do create like cross functional, because we're inthe middle of this too. Is like how do we do this well andit cross you know, you name several functional parts of the organization. Doyou do need across those? I how do you how do you create continuityacross that experience? Yeah, I mean I think the important thing is thestart of the top and really figure out, like what do we care about,and then back it out from there. Right. So, for example,you know the primary and there many indicators that you can look at whenit comes to you know, understanding. You know is the customer having agood experience. But for us, ultimately is is someone. Are you maintainingthat customer relationship at the same or higher level than before, month and monthout, year and year out? And so that's why, you know,net dollar attention or churn. You know, it's unsexy, but like that's trulywhat what gives us the indicator you have if the customers are giving ustheir hard earned dollar and trusting us that we're going to make that worthwhile,that's the best indicator. And so from there, you know, then youcan back out and really understand, all right, how do the pieces fittogether right? So, obviously, like from a sales perspective, you havesales is focused not just on trying to get that contract but to understand theirunderstand the customer and understand their pain points be able to really say, Hey, is this going to be the type of customer relationship where we can reallyadd value? And then, obviously we have cut our customer success team.They are focused on making sure that customers are happy and on boarded and trainedand renew renewing on time. Well, obviously we don't want to be abad customer experience. If they if they were start off like blank slate,you know, once the deal sign so yeah, like we make sure thatthere's a really strong handoff between sales and customer success. But for us it'sreally making sure we start at the top and always are asking ourselves, Hey, is this the best thing that will ensure that customers obviously not only signon with us, but continue to work...

...with us to the point where they'reactually like entrusting us with you and more their harder dollars. I love itso that the handoffs are critical and starting with a high level vision and view. And for you, again, it's around this authentic relationships. And socongratulations on scaling successfully contactually over the past several years, almost eight years now. I assume that that you're find in delivering this experience for your customers andwill transition to how they use contactually to deliver experiences to their customers. Butyou obviously have to leverage technology. Would it for to produce scale for youin your team? What is the relationship between technology and the human in producingthis experience? Like, how do you how do you balance that? Howdo you know, talk a lot, I mean like it's that's definitely afair point. Right, you know, and I one of the things weare very thankful for. As your word, software company and people are paying foraccess to the software, right. But obviously, as you know,you know, it's not they're cut. They're not trying to WHO, youknow, buy a, you know, a six millimeter drill bit, they'retrying to have a six millimeter whole drilled, right, and so that's why theand customers tell us, you know, in testimonials, that fifty percent ofthe reason why they choose us as the software and the other fifty percentis the team that we provide, right. So, yeah, the way thatwe think about it is you can give someone a chef's knife, butthat's not going to make them a great chef. You know. That's wherethe people side come in. Obviously, we make sure our people are armedwith data so they fully understand everything going on with the customer, what thelast conversations are. They can even look back and see like, all right, you know, when we were bringing them on board, what were thesales what were our salesperson's attractions, and see how and see how that workedout. Obviously we're able to leverage a lot of really great technology nowadays.To be where our customers are. You know, that means that if somepeople just want to talk on the phone, great, always happy to if somepeople, if a brokerage wants to do a Webinar with us, yes, obviously, always happy jump on a Webinar. If a individual consultant justhas a quick question, yes, they could search our knowledge base, youknow, they could email support or they can just click the little chat buttonand start a live chat session on our team. So technology for us,you know, doesn't necessarily replace the people side of our business. It justallows us to be much more effective and what we do great and in italso, as you said, they're gives your customers a choice on what theirexperience is and you'll meet them in any of those channels as they prefer.Yeah, exactly, and that's one of the things like we've had to justbe more comfortable adapting. Like I wish we could like I wish I couldsay like all right, yeah, we just provide email support and that's it, but we've had to leverage a lot...

...of you, a lot of differentchannels to be able to again, you know, know that people have differentstyles. You know, we have customers that we visit on site, youknow, once every quarter too. And then there are some people that youknow they've worked with us for five years and you know we've never seen eachother's faces, right, and that's okay. You know, obviously we can sometimestake advantage of scalable things, right. You know, with the tens ofthousands of customers we have nowadays, we all we have to rely onmore scalable things, but we're never afraid to, you know, answer thephone when someone calls. That's great. Now let's flip to your customers alittle bit. You know, you kind of described to to general buckets ofpeople in the beginning, like enterprise teams and kind of SMB in individual practitioners. How do you equip them and what kind of feedback or you're hearing onyour role in their customer experience? You need speak to either or both sides. Yeah, it's great questions. So, y'all. So our business tends tofocus on professional services. So we're talking about realtors, brokers, consultants, financial advisors, lawyers. The common thread for them is, given thatthey're often selling their high priced services, their reputation and relationships there are theirmost important asset. Their customer experience, frankly, is centered around us.That their most important thing isn't necessarily like you, they're not providing software really, they're providing actual services, and so that customer experience is critical. Sothey really rely on contactually to be the nexus of that, to be thathub of that, to help them identify which customer relationships they should be engagingwith, which ones they're falling short on, because they have an engage with itwithin a period of time. And so they do really loverage us becauseyou, when it comes to a customer experience like, for example, no, let's take let's picture a real estate agent. Unfortunately, like a verycommon thing when it comes to you. The customer experience between a agent andconsumer is Yo agent does an amazing job of building that relationship initially and helpingthem, you, find their home and, you know, navigating the really tough, turbulent waters of, you of home closing, and that's why,according to the National Association realtors, eighty percent of buyers say they'd work withher age and again, on the flip side, though, well, theproblem is is that, you know, out of sight, out of mind, a the average real real toward doesn't engage with them after the transaction.Right. So really strong customer experience initially, but then disappears because it fades overtime. You just go about your marry ways and that's it. Focuson the next plans action and feel the focus on the relationship that you alreadyestablished exactly right. And that's why, again, according to the National Associationof Realtors, Eighty eight percent of buyers say they'd work with or age andagain, but only twelve percent actually do...

...right. And we've seen the stats. Stats and other industries to that reflect the same thing. And so theway that we're able to help aid their customer experience is, frankly, justhelping them even understand, oh, this is a relationship that I still careabout. We provide the tools and tips to make make it as frictionals aspossible for them to maintain that strong customer experience. And so for them,you know, the way that an agent or consultant or financial visors able tomeasure it is all right. Are My customers coming back to me? Arethey referring me? If someone wasn't ready to ready to work with me sixmonths ago, are they ready to now? That's the ultimate indicator to tell us, okay, we are doing a strong enough job helping them maintain thatreally strong experience that you know someone's willing to entrust them with this incredibly highpriced service. Yeah, and so in that scenario it's really obvious that therelationship is an asset. It's really it's tricky whenever we talk about, youknow, transaction versus relationship. What's the how do those two things relate toeach other? You know, sometimes it's a couple questions here. One,what I'm transition to is, you know, you captured some of all of yourbest teachings and learnings over the past several years into a book. They'llbe coming out the spring called successes in your sphere. I've read the advancedmaterials on it and you know you talk about relationships obviously the same way thatyou have a mission for your entire organization, that the relationship is key and thatit's as an asset that you need to take care to value, treasureand leverage to produce additional business. One relationship is a little bit like customerexperience and that it's one of those sometimes soft sounding words. So can yougive a little bit of definition to make more clear for our listeners how youview relationships. And then also, you know, what are some tips foryou know, if we have an inside sales professional or even inside sales managerlistening or a market what are some tips from this playbook that you'll have comingout here on leveraging relationships? That would be valuable. Yeah, absolutely,it's a really good questions you ask. Kind of you how do we definelike a relationship? Right, you know, add most people when they think aboutlike their contacts, you know, they think of like I. I. You know, I have ethans email, I have his phone number, Ihave his head shot, I have his address. You know, Iknow his company entitle. Right, that's contacted. That's worthless these days.Right, I can get ethans contacted anywhere. Right. What matters, though,is the actual sentiment between us. Right, you know, like alittle quick testing, and we like to say is all right, go throughyour linkedin contacts and you know, who do you learn twenty bucks to?or WHO, if you ask them, they learn twenty bucks to? Right, those are the relationships you have, right, I'm going. Yeah,so it's always pretty disturbing when you see like wow, really not that many, right, and that's the problem is that, you know, we knowthat relationships are so important, but our...

...world has been so focused on gettingcontacts and just getting people that we're not always necessarily sure. Well, whowould refer me or who would I refer? Right, and so that's why thisrelationship, the actual sentiment, the fact that, you know, evenyou could drop being email and I wouldn't even have to ask questions about like, Oh, well, what's the podcast about or what's bombomb and why shouldI trust you? I was like no, of course, like I trust Ethan, so of course I'm getting on this right. So that's really important. So you a few you ask, second about your few key tips thatyou know we from the book. So, yeah, you're right. The booklays out a more prescriptive strategy. So if you know that relationships areyour most important asset, the success in your fear gives you a clear ideaof okay, well, what do I do to actually build and maintain andgrow that asset? And so one of the things that we always say thatwe start off first is prioritize right. You know, I wish we couldsay that we love all of our customers equally. We love all of ourchildren equally. But you do have to decide on what customer relationships are moreimportant than another, right, just like the one of the tricks to insidesales is you want to be able to get to a know very quickly,right in their head and in yours. Right. And so you have todetermine, hey, if I only have so much time on this earth,who are the people that I want to proactively build and maintain a relationship?Who am I going to follow up with? Who am I going to focus on? Who am I going to say, Hey, I'm going to let slip? So prioritization is important and that means that sometimes we may have tomake a hard decision. You know, you may meet someone in a conferenceinside, Hey, I don't think I need to engage this person. Right, maybe send them an email thanking them. Maybe something happen, maybe keep intouch once a year, but they're not going to be high priority thing. Another aspect which is related is intelligence. Right, if you know what matters, for example, is you know that again, either you and Ihave a relationship now, right, and it's not just because you know Ikeep saying high. Do you a conferences? Right, it's that I know you'rewriting a book. It's that. I know you live in Colorado,I know you love hiking, I know you care a lot about the environment. Right, those are things that allow me to build and maintain a deeperrelationship with you and vice versa. It's an excusable not to be able toquickly gain intelligence on a customer. Right when I say like, you knowone of our customers, success reps can look up and see the conversations andthis and the sales activities that happened three years ago with a particular you,with one of our particular customers. You know, that should be given thesedays, but still, that's why we always say, Hey, how doyou build up this collective intelligence on your customer relationships? So prioritize and intelligenceor two of the key things that we feel are universally applicable. Yeah,and that's you really got to to the...

...challenge of it is, how doI weigh the value of these these various relationships? Do you mind going beforewe before you wrap, with a couple closing questions? How do you itcontactually and or how have you seen some of your customers prioritize? You know, I think one of the natural things is like, well, this accountis worth, you know, one thousand eighteen hundred dollars, Mrr. Andthis account is worth six hundred bucks a year, and so that eighteen hundred, Mr Hars, for valuable in what are just add one, one morelayer to that, either on behalf of contactually or for one of your customers. The obvious thing to do is what I just did. was like thiscould kin and is more financially valuable. But what are some other ways tothink about it besides the obvious one? Maybe? Yeah, well, Imean I maybe a slight tweak on that. That we focus a lot more onis potential. So we very much one a key part of our salesstrategy is we very much believe in land and expand. Your were oftentimes sellingand markets where people aren't convinced that software like that will be successful. Theyhad a lot of failed experience in the past. They're using excel spreadsheet.So we say, Hey, let's start small, right. So we mayhave, you know, companies that were working with that are two thousand userspotentially, but we're going to start with ten. Now do we say,oh, that per you know, they only have ten seats. Therefore youknow they're not really that worth it. No, we focus on the potential, right. We obviously look and saying, Hey, you, is this personstrategically important to us? Right, is that like, does that mattera lot for us to write you? Are they well known in their industry? Are they you know and the key accounts? Are they on a topperformers list? So people are really looking at them. So we also look, you out, not just at them from a dollar perspective but on apotential dollar and saying, Hey, is this someone that, if we proveour value, they will be much more impactful to us beyond the actual currentcustomer relationship? Perfect. So future impact, I. or by expanding within anaccount or by producing completely different ones, for their relationship with their community atlarge. Exactly. Yeah, all right, so here bombomb just likeit can to actually we value relationships. I'd give you a chance here toprop up two things. First, a person who's had a really positive impacton your career and then also give them men should do a company that's doingrelationships or customer experience right in your opinion? Yeah, it's a really great question. So I probably say. You know, one of our first investors, a entrepreneur and founder by name of David Steinberg, based here here inDC. He took a really big leap to back US and stayed supportive,you know, even when we didn't know what we were right. That's oneof things that is you again, going back to the relationship, right,he kind of knew me, you know,...

...he knew people who knew me,etc. I was able to build a relationship with him early on andwhen we were starting I didn't really have any idea what we're doing, orI did a really bad job pitching and at least, and you know,as as we made these kind of tweaks here and there, he still stayedsupportive right, and so I think one of the most powerful things for aninvestor is not to look at, you know, the value of the companyor their current company or the potential, but really look at the team behindit. He he really was able to able to do that incredibly well.In terms of companies that I think are doing a amazing job. In termsof software companies, I probably say they're there are a number of different servicesthat we use that are great but, like I probably say, you know, for us it's you know, we're really big fans of slack right now, right, and I think that's because, you know, they took a really, really, really boring thing of enterprise communication and just added enough whimsyto it that it's fun to use, you know, and I think,Yo, that is important. And so again, when it comes to customerexperience, right, I do think it does matter. Like it is theircolor scheme, it is like the labeling, labeling that they use. Level offun it is that the rounded edges right, you know, I thinksomeone could take slack and pull away that and, you know, you'd seeit's a pretty basic service that, you know, has been obviously hard toachieve, but pretty basic that's been tried many times before. It's that theyreally understood, Hey, you know, what is that user experience that's goingto get people loving it? And so we their number of kind of casestudies that we've seen, you know, with slack. This like all right, yeah, they really clearly get it. That's a great answer. We alluse slack every day too, but I won't see it the same waywhen I fired it up here as we shot this this conversation down. See, I want to thank you so much, a for a, for trusting needsenough to open the email and schedule this this time with me. Thanksfor being just a great guy who is obviously paying attention when you ripped offthose details about its like this guy really does care about relationships, and thanksfor being a great longtime bombomb partner, to for incorporating our video recorder andVideo Library as a way for people to reach out to their contacts through contactually. And finally, thanks for that twenty dollar loan. It's all the wayawesome. Hey, he's the I hope you have a great weekend and Ithank you so much for your time. Thanks so much for having even you'relistening to the customer experience podcast. No matter your role in delivering value andserving customers, you're in trusting some of your most important and valuable messages tofaceless digital communication. You can do better. rehumanize the experience by getting face toface through simple personal videos. Learn more and get started free at bombbombcom. You've been listening to the customer...

...experience podcast. To ensure that younever miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player orvisit bomb bombcom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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