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 customerexperience podcast a podcast dedicated to helping today's growing businessesrestore a personal human touch throughout the customer life cycle, getready to hear how sales, marketing and customer success experts surprise anddelight and never loose sign of their customers. Humanity here is your hostEefan Beaute Hethank, you so much for clicking playon this episode of the Customer Experience Podcast, I'm really gladYoure here and I hope you enjoy it. I know I'm going to because I'm beingjoined by V band, the CEO and founder of Kontactually, whose onomission toempower business professionals to build authentic relationships, seeing welcometo the customer experience podcast. Thank you so much for having me ethenyeah. We so we've known each other for a while it's nice to be able to have aa semiformal conversation here. What's going on with you and thecontactually team these days yeah, I guess, given this to record, I can'tuse t e many explatives is that we normally do when talking right. Whatever happens, yeah I mean so listen.We have an incredible mount to be thankful for I cant. Actually, it's nowbeen seven and a half years of rid in the company. One of the bigger trendsthat we've been working on is you. We start off focusing more on selling tosmall businesses, and now we've made this transition over the past coupleyears. To now, we really can truly say we arean enterprise software company,so it's been exciting and definitely very relevant to our conversation today,cool and for folks that don't know contactually it what'. What's a oneline or two liner on what you're all about becide yeah absolutelybuild,authentic relationships, which I love yeah exactly so yeah, if you W, if ourgoal is that Youkow, we believe that the best businesses in the world arebuilt upon personal, authentic relationships. WHAL contax yhouprovides, is a crm platform that helps you manage and nurture those keyrelationships. So what we do is we act? We pull all your all of yourrelationships in for you and your organization. We help you identify therelationships thaare starting to go cold when you want us to B in touch oneon one and then be able to provide you like very strong tools that liwe you tobuild a nursh that relationship, whether it's for repeat or Furral, ornew business, whatever you're trying to do if relationships are your core asset,we are the tool tot helps you strength that awesome and I'm sure well get intothe asset 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 in starting this podcast in particulars. I think the tenn customerexperienceis tossed around a lot, and I think she knows what it means, but shealso know what it knows, what it means somthing different and they knowsomething different. How do you think about? How would you even definecustomer experience? Yeah really great question, so I kind of just generallysay, like I pull up a lot right. Is You...

...know if a customers on one side andyour companies on the other, the customer experiencis, just simply likeeverything in between right? It's what a customer sees right, how they feelthe website? They view the emails back and forth the phone calls. You know theunderlying indicatoreo of the customer sentiment towards you right. So it'sreally. Obviously, if that's what's most important is the customerexperience, then, obviously, then you can back out and say all right. Well,what does sales need to do to support that customer experience with hiscustomer successing to do to support that experience? How do they worktogether to support that experience, so that's kind of what we think about aslike? Well, you know from the moment someone first hears about us to youknow, hopefully the moment that they renew you year three year for Yoar five,what happens in between great? So how are you structuring that, like do youjust do create like cross functional, because we're in the middle of this,too is like? How do we do this well and across you know, name severalfunctional parts of the organization. Do you do need across those like how doyou? How do you create continuity across that experience? Yeah I mean, Ithink the important thing is to start as a top and really figure out likewhat do we care about and then back it out from there right O. for example,you know the primary and Therere many indicators that you can look at when itcomes to you know. Understanding you know is the customer having a goodexperience, but for us ultimately, is is someone? Are you maintaining thatcustomer relationship at the same or higher level than before, month andmonth out year and year out, and so that's why you know net dollarattention or surn? You know it's unsexy, but like that's truly what what givesus the indicatory of if customers are giving us their hard earned dollar andtrusting us that were going to make that worthwhile, that's the bestindicator, and so from there you know, then you can back out and reallyunderstand all right. How Dod the pieces fit together right so obviouslylike from a sales perspective of sales, is focused not just on trying to getthat contract, but to understand the understand. The customer ad understandtheir painpoints be able to really say hey. Is this going to be the type ofcustomer relationship where we can really add value and then obviouslyhave cut our customer success team? They are focused on making sure thatcustomers are happy and on boarded and trained and e renewing on time? Well,obviously, we don't want to it be a bad customer experience if they, if theywere starting off like blank slate. You know once the deal sign so yeah like wemake sure that there's a really strong handoff between sales and customersuccess, but for us is really making sure we start at the top and always areasking ourselves hey is, is the best thing that will ensure that customersobviously not only sign on with us, but...

...continue to work with us to the pointwhere they're actually like intrusting us wit, theeven more of theirhardermollars. I love it so tha the handoffs are critical and starting with a highlevel vision in view and for you again it's around this authenticrelationships, and so congratulations onscaling successfully contactuallyover the past several years on state years now I assume that that you'refinding you in delivering this experience for your customers and willtransition to how they use contactually to deliver experiences to theircustomers, but you obviously have to leveragetechnology. Would it foree to produce scale for you and your team? What isthe relationship between technology and the human in producing this experiencelike? How do you? How do you baance that? How do you know talkt o? I meanlike it's. That's definitely a fair point right. You know and I one of thethings we are very thankful for as you we're software company and people arepaying for access to the software right. But obviously, as you know, you knowit's not their COMPA they're, not trying to you know, buy a you know asix millimeter drillbit they're trying to have a six millimeter holedrillsright, and so that's why and customers tell us. You knowntestimonials that fifty percent of the reason why they choose us as thesoftware and the other fifty percent- is the team that we provide right soyeah. The way that we think about it is you can give someone a chef's knife,but that's not going to make them a great chef. You know that's where thepeople sid come in. Obviously we make sure our people are armed with data, sothey fully understand everything going on with the customer. What the lastconversations are, they can even look back and see like all right, you Kn,when we were bringing them on board. What were the SALESP? Well, what wereour sales person's attractions and see? How then see how that worked outobviously were able to leverage a lot of really great technology nowadays tobe where our customers are. You know that means that if some people just want to talk, Olthem phone great, always happy to if some people, if, if a brokerage wantsto do a weaponar with us, yes, obviously always happy jump on aWebenar. If a individual consultant just has a quick question, yes, theycould search our knowledge base. You know they could email support or theycan just click the little chat button and start alive chat session on ourteam. So technology for us, you know, doesn't necessarily replace the peopleside of our business. It just allows us to be much more effective in what we dogreat n and also, as you said, there gives your customers a choice on whattheir experience is and you'll meet them in any of those channels, as theyprefer yeah exactly and that's one of the things like we've had to just bemore comfortable. Adapting like I wish we could like. I wish I could say likeall right yeah we just provide email support and that's it, but we've had toliverage a lot of dea a lot of...

...different channels to be able to again.You know know that people have different styles yeah. We havecustomers that we visit on site. You know once every quarter two and thenthere are some people that you know. They've worked with us for five yearsand yeah we've never seen each other's faces right and that's okay. You know.Obviously we can sometimes take advantage of scalble things right. Youknow with the tens of thousands of customers we have nowadays we are. Wehave to rely on more scall things, but we're never afraid to you know, answerthe phone. When someone calls that's great now, let's flip to your customersa little bit, you know you kind of described to two general buckets ofpeople in the beginning, like enterprise teams and kind of SMB andindividual cractitioners. How do you equip them and what kind offeedbackerar you're caring on your role in their customer experience? You canspeak to either or both sides yeah, it's great question so yeall, so ourbusiness tends to focus on professional services, so we're talking about noreal jors brokers, consultants, financial advisors, lawyers. The commonthread for them is given that they're often selling their high price services,their reputation and relationships. There are their most important asset. Their customer experience frankly iscentered around us that their most important thing isn't necessarily likeYo, the they're, not providing software really they're providing actualservices, and so that customer experience is critical. So they reallyrely on contactually to be the Nexis of that to be that hub of that to helpthem 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 lovreage us, because you, whenit comes to a customer experience like, for example, you know, let's take,let's picture a real estate agent. Unfortunately, like a very common thingwhen it comes to you o the customer experience between a agent and theconsumer is, you know, ancient, does an amazing job of building thatrelationship initially and helping them. You know find their home and you knownavigating the really tough turbulent waters of you of humeclosing and that'swhy, according to the National Association, Realtors, eighty percentof buyer say they'd work with their agent again on the flip side, thoughwell, the problem is that you kn out of sight out of mind a the average realreal tour doesn't engage with them after the transaction right, so reallystrong customer experience initially, but then disappears because it fadesover time. You just go about your merry ways and that's it you've, always onthe next plansaction and Fou nowthe focus on the relationship that youalready established exactly right and that's why, again, according to theNational Association of Realtors, Eighty eight percent of buyer say theywork with or agent again, but only twelve percent actually do right andwe've seen the stat stats in other...

...industries. To that reflect the samething, and so the way that we're able to help aid their customer experienceis frankly just helping them even understand. Oh, this is a relationshipthat I still care about. We provide the tools and tips to make, make it asfrictuals as possible for them to maintain that strong customerexperience and so for them. You know the way that an agent or consultant orfinancial advisors able to measure it is all right, are my customers comingback to me. Are they referring me? If someone wasn't ready to ready to workwith me six months ago? Are they ready to now? That's the ultimate indicator.To tell us, okay, we are doing a strong, Ogh job, helping them maintain thatreally strong experience that you know someone's willing to entrust them withthis incredibly high price service, yeah, and so in that scenario, it'sreally obvious that the relationship is an asset. It's really it's tricky.Whenever we talk about you know, transaction versus relationship, what'sthe, how do those two things relate to each other? You know sometimes is acouple questions here, one what I'm transition to is. You know you capturedsome of all of your best teachings and learnings over the past several years,Indo a book they'll be coming out the spring called successes in your sphere.I've read the advanced materials on it and you know you talk aboutrelationships, obviously the same way that you have a mission for your entireorganization, that the relationship is key and that it's as an asset that youneed to take care to value treasure and leverage to produce additional business.One relationship is a little bit like customer experience and that it's oneof those SSome pint soft sounding words. So could you give a little bit ofdefinition to make more clear for our listeners, how you view relationshipsand then also you know, wherear some tips for you know if we have an insidesales, professional, even inside sales manager, listening or a marketer? Whatare some tips from this playbook that you'll have coming out here onleveraging relationships that will be valuable yeah? Absolutely it's a really goodquestion, so you ask kind of you know: How do we define like a relationshipright? You know at most people when they think about like their contactsyou to they. Think of like all right. You know I have ethins email. I havehis phone number. I have his headshot. I have his address, you know, I knowhis companying title right. That's contacted that's worthless these daysright. I can get ethens contacted anywhere right. What matters, though,is the actual sentiment between us right. You know like a little quicktestyon. Ow We like to say is all right: go through your linked in contacts, andyou know who would you loan twenty bucks to or who, if you ask them, theywould loan twenty bucks to you right Fuc. Those are the relationships youHavei ontim yeah. So it's always pretty disturbing when you see like wow,really not that many right and that's the problem is that we know thatrelationships are so important, but our...

...world has been so focused on gettingcontacts and just getting people that were not always necessarily sure. Well,who would refer me or who would I refer riht, and so that's why thisrelationship the actual sentiment, the fact that you know even you could drawBeiang email and I wouldn't even have to ask questions about like oh well,what's a podcast about or what's Bombam, and why should I trust you? I was likeno, of course, like I trust ethen, so of course I'm getting on this right. Sothat's really important, so Yoa a few. You asked second about your a few keytips that you we from the book, so yeah you're right. The book lays out a moreprescriptive strategy. So if you know that relationships are your mostimportant asset that success in your sphere gives you a clear idea of okay.Well, what do I do to actually build and maintain and grow that asset? Andso one of the things that we always say that we start off first is prioritizedright. You know I wish we could say that we love all of our customers.Equally, we love all of our children equally, but you do have to decide onwhat customer relationships are more important than another right. Just likethe one of the tricks to inside sales. Is You want to be able to get to andknow 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 peoplethat I want to prouctively build and maintain a relationship? I, who am Igoing to follow up with? Who am I going to focus on? Who Am I going to say? HeyI'm going to let slept so prioritization is important, and that means thatsometimes we have to make a hard decision. You know you may meet someonein a conference and decide hey. I don't think I need to engage this personright, maybe send them an email thanking them. Maybe something illhappen, maybe keep in touch once a year, but they're not going to be high prioranything. Another aspect which is related is intelligence. Right. If youwhat matters, for example, is you know that again eth you and I have arelationship now right and it's not just because you know I keep sayingHidyo O conferenceis right. It's that I know you're writing a book. It's! Iknow you live in Colorado. I know you love hiking. I know you care alot,about the environment right. Those are things that allow me to build andmaintain a deeper relationship with you and vice versa. It's inexcusable not tobe able to quickly gain intelligence on a customer right when I say, like youknow, one of our customer success. DRAPS can look up and see theconversations and this and the sales activities that happened three yearsago with a particular Youl with one of our particular customers. You know thatshould be given these days, but still that's why we always say hey: How doyou build up this collective intelligence on your customerrelationships? So prioritize and intelligence are two of the key thingsthat we feel are universally applicable yeah and that's you really got o to thechallenge of it is...

...how do I weigh the value of these thesevarious relationships? Do you mind going beforewe before you wrap with acouple closing questions? How do you it cantactually end or howhave you seen some of your customers prioritize? You know, I think one ofthe natural things is like well, this account is worth you know, eighteenhundred Dolla MRR, and this account is worth six hundred bucks a year and Stoth, eighteen hundred Mr ars for valuable the end of a what ar just addone one more later to that either on behalf of contactually or for one ofyour customers. The obvious thing to do is what I just did was like this gocount is more financially valuable, but what are some other ways to think aboutit? Besides the obvious one, Baby Yeah? Well, I mean maybe a slight tweek onthat that we focus a lot more on is potential funny. So we very much want akeep part of our sale strategy. Is We very much believe in land and expand?You were oftentime sellyand markets where people aren't convinced thatsoftware, like that will be successful Y, had a lot of failed experience inthe past theyre using excel spreadsheet. So we say: Hey, let's start small right,so we may have you know, companies that were working with that Ar twotousandusers potentially, but we're going to start with tet now. Do we say, Oh thatpert yeah they only have ten seats therefor, you know they're, not reallythat worth it. No, we focus on the potential right. We obviously look atsaying: Hey you is this person strategically important to us right. Isthat like? Does that matter? A lot for us to rigt o? Are they well known intheir industry? Are they you know and key accounts? Are they on a topperformers list? So people are looking at them, so we also look Younow, notjust at them from a dollar perspective, but on a potential dollar and saying:Hey is a someone that if we prove our value, they will be much more impactfulto US beyond the actual current customer relationship perfect, so the future impact, either by expandingwithin an account or by producing completely different ones, for theirrelationship with their community at large, exactly yeah allright, so hert Bombom, just like it cantactuallywe value relationships. Ony Give you a chance here to prop up to things. First,a person ust had a really positive impact on your career and then alsogive the Mentou to a company, that's doing relationships or customerexperience right in your opinion, yeah. It's a really great question. SoI probably say you know. One of our first investor is a entrepreneur and founder by name withDavid Steinberg, based here here in DC. He took a really big leap to back USand stayed supportive. You know, even when we didn't know what we were right,that's one of the things that is, you kn again going back to the relationshipright. He kind of knew me Yo. Now he...

...knew people who knew me et C. I wasable to build a relationship with him early on and when we were starting. Ididn't really have any idea what we're doing, or I did a really bad job,pitching it at least and Youow, as we made these kind of tweiks here andthere he still stayed supportive right, and so I think one of the most powerfulthings for an investor is not to look at. You K, ow the the value of thecompany or the current company or the potential, but really look at the teambehind it. He he really was able to able to do that incredibly well interms of companies that I think are doing a amazing job in terms ofsoftware companies, I probably say: Theyre, there are number of differentservices that we use. That are great but, like I probably say you know, forus it's you know we're really big fans of slack right now right and I thinkthat's because you know they took a a really really really boring thing ofenterprise communiccation and just added enough whimsy to it that it's funto use. You know- and I think you that is important, and so again when itcomes to customer experience right, I do think it does matter like it istheir color scheme. It is like the labing labeling that they use all thefun it is that the rounded edges right you know, I think someone could takeslack and pull away that, and you know, you'd see it's a pretty basic servicethat you know has been obviously hard to achieve, but pretty basic that'sbeen tried many times before. It's that they really understood hey. You knowwhat is that user experience? That's going to get people loving it, and sowe their number of kind of Tase Studies that we've seen you know with slatthats like all right yeah. They really clearly get it. That's a great answer we all use slackevery day to, but I won't see it the same way when I fire it up here as weshut this this conversation down see. I want to thank you so much a for fortrusting needs enough to open the email and schedule this this time with me,thanks for being just a great guy who is obviously paying attention ye rippedoff those details about and is like this guy really does care aboutrelationships and thanks for being a great longtimebombom Fr to for incorporating or video recorder and Video Library as a way forpeople to reach out to their contact through contactually and finally thangs.For that twenty dolr low it's on the way awesome an Hes Ben. Ihope you have a great weekend- and I thank you so much for your time. Thanksso much froudof me than you are listening to the customerexperience podcast, no matter your role in delivering value and servingcustomers. Youre intrusting, some of your most important and valuablemessages to faceless digital communication. You can do betterrehumonize. The experience by getting face to face through simple personalvideos, learn more and get started.

Free at Bom Bomcom you've beenlistening to the customer experience podcast to ensure that you never missan episode subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visitBom bomcom. Thank you so much for listening until next time.

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