The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

65. Product Usage as a Vanity Metric w/ Chris Hicken

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Product usage is a vanity metric.

 

Actually, product usage is just one of 15 factors that companies should use to build a picture of their organization’s health. These belong in four “buckets” that show what to track instead to create a risk profile for each account (likelihood to renew or churn).

 

In this episode, I interview Chris Hicken, cofounder and CEO at ‘nuffsaid, about what tracking product usage is (and isn’t) good for.

 

What we talked about:

 

- 4 main buckets: Customer Maturity, The Product, The Experience, The Pricing

 

- Why the CS leader should own more go-to-market strategy in the future

 

- Considerations for product-led growth, sales-led growth, and marketing-led growth

 

- Why free and freemium may not be a good fit

 

- Considerations for going up market from SMB to Enterprise

 

Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or Google Podcasts, and find more episodes on our blog.

Customer experience is about how a customerfeels about every touch point with your company. The single most important thing you cando today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers.Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desiredoutcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is thecustomer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Product usage is avanity metric. That's right, I'll say it again. Product usage is avanity metric. That's an idea. Today's guest brings to the conversation here onthe customer experience podcast, and he's got the UIUX and behavior testing background toback it up. He brings fifteen years of experience and B Tob Software asa leader, investor, advisor and board member with companies like STUDYCOM, getprime and test rigger. Most notably, he spent eight years as president andchief operating officer for user testing, where he developed an expertise in creating greatexperiences for customers. Now he's the CO founder and CEO of nuff said,a software company that's integrating all those inbound messages you get across multiple channels intoone smart, customizable and AI driven view. Chris Hicken, welcome to the customerexperience podcast. Thanks, Ethan. An honor to be invited. Appreciateit. Yeah, really excited for this conversation. Obviously that that idea ofproduct usage being a bit vanity, you know. I've heard vanity metrics appliedwidely, but not to that, and so I'm really interested in your takeon it. But before we get going, you studied engineering and computer science,but you say on your linkedin profile that you were born and artist.Tell me a little bit about that and like maybe how that set you upfor success. Well, when I was growing up as a kid, Iwas constantly drawing, charcoal painting acrilics. I was mentoring with a guy fromindustrial lite and magic for a couple of years and when it came time toapply for college it I had to make a choice. Was I going tofollow, you know, kind of more of a creative art, artistic career, or what I build, more of the Engineering Route? And I appliedto about fifty. Half the colleges I applied for an art major and halfI apply for computer science, and I just ended up loving cow polly somuch, I ended up making the decision more on the school than on theprogram itself. So, funnily enough, I only did a computer science forabout a year coming out of college, and so I guess I'm I'm trainedas an engineer, although I've I've worked mostly as a business leader. Awesome. What an interesting combination of skills and strengths. Do you still you know, from I guess, a hobbyist view, are you still active in creating art? I do, but the way it my my I would say theoutlet that I use the most for art is that I build and design websitesfor pro bono, generally for friends, family or nonprofit organization. So that'sthat ends up being my main creative outlet. It's awesome. I look forward tobecoming friends. So we're going to start as we always start here onthe show, which is your thoughts. Are Characteristics, are your definition?When I see customer experience, what does that mean to you? Chris?So, I might have a little bit of a unique perspective on this becauseI was president of user testing, which was an enterprise software company that helpedgenerally large companies improve the quality of their customer experience on their websites, mobileAPPS and towards the last few years that I was there, more and morein store experiences and I did a lot of reading and talk to a bunchof professionals in the space. And customer experience has a lot of different angles. You know some people. Is Customer experience the perception of your brand oris it about making interactions easy and simple?...

Maybe is it about customer satisfaction?I think we're getting closer for me. For me, customer experience is abouthow a customer feels about every touch point with your company. So itreally is both pieces. It's emotions and it's the actual experience itself. Andso when I say touch point, I really do mean every touch point withyour company. So that means an advertisement and newsletter a customer more support chat. It could be using the product, it could be browsing the website tryingto answer a question, it could be a store visit. So that's whatI mean by touch point and the reason why the emotions so important is thatdelighting customers is the quickest way to earn advocacy and ultimately, loyalty from yourcustomers. That's why I focus on the feeling part, and I think fromthat definition comes the tactics that you would use to to delight your customers.So that's where you would talk about things like communicating value or beautiful design orhaving a very simply user experience or one touch, one touch customer support,and so you know, after working with you know many fortune one hundreds ontheir their customer experience programs. I think this does the best job of encapsulatingwhat most companies are trying to do. And, by the way, thecompanies that are leaders in the space are the ones that are truly our customersobsessed. So, without going into the details, no surprise. Companies likeAmazon, like Microsoft, I mean they have very, very advanced customer research, customer experience programs and you see it reflected in the products. Yeah,really well done there. I think the reason here are so many approaches indefinitions to it is because what you captured the essence of their that the waypeople feel across every single touch point or influenced by every single touch point.Just every single touch point alone creates so much complication and variants in the waydifferent people in different seats in the organization view it in. So I lovewhat you did there and and these thoughts and feelings are what turn into behavior, for starters, repeat purchasing or expanded purchasing or positive online reviews or whatever. And it's the end, it's a precursor to the stories that we tellother people in terms of, again, online reviews and testimonials and referrals andthings. So really well done. Before we go any farther, I wouldlove to spend a little bit of time talking about enough said. I thinkyou all are tackling a really interesting problem and and I think what you sharehere will give some context as we get more into some of these themes aroundproduct usage. So what is enough said? And who are your customers? SoI'm going to answer that question, but let me give you a littlebit of context first. So the problem that I wanted to solve emerged asI was building user testing, and what I found consistently over time was thatas we went from a five person company when I joined to a three fourhundred person company when I left, people went from being able to focus onehundred percent of their of their daily worktime on the work itself to by thetime I left, it felt like we were doing spending only a fraction ofour time doing the actual work that mattered, and it was because of information overload, communication overload. We have so many APPS, we have to dealwith, daily reports, newsletters, text best just coming in, slack channelswe have to follow. And so I thought, okay, how are wegoing to this problem is going to get worse in the future. So howare we going to make it easier for a knowledge worker to focus on workthat matters? And so we looked at different ways that you could use aito solve this problem, to not only automate the work of knowledge workers butalso to help them focus. You know, given fifty things, you could doit once. What's the one thing that you could do right now tomove the needle in your job? And so, if you've ever seen themovie iron man, he wears that suit. That's like, you know, processingthe world's information and synthesizing it and telling the main character what he needsto focus on. He calls that Ai...

Jarvis. So how do you bringJarvis to knowledge workers? So that's that's that's the vision of where the companywants to go in the future and obviously you know we're relatively new company.We have to build baby steps to achieve that vision. And so the firstproduct that we just released two weeks ago we just announced our funding, isa product that centralizes all of your work communication. So it pulls in anywherewe're communications happening, email, chat, SMS, Linkedin sales force, allthese different places communications happening. So it allows you know. Once we haveall that communication in one place and once we know who the important people arein your work life, we're able to do a really good job of prioritizingthe communication in your life that matters. And so that's that's the one ofour product which we just released, and then later the summer were bolting anai onto that product and we're bringing in data from other parts of your worklife. For example, maybe your your crm could be from your for example, if you're a customer success manager. It'll pull in your health score data, it'll pull and usage data. I'll pull in all these different forms ofdata and help you understand which customers are must at risk and, wit,where you should be spending your time today to improve the health of your overallportfolio. So that's what the company is trying to achieve. In those arefirst few steps to get there. I love two layers here in particular.The first one is the idea that you have a vision for using AI toput humans in their best position to be of highest value. And then tothis idea of kind of persona based tweaks to this right. So when yousign up, maybe a new I'm imagining here out loud, so feel freeto correct me, to redirect me. You know, as you bring on, say, a team of eight customer success managers, they're going to beset up maybe with a default setting that is different than, say, ifyou brought on some product folks or some marketing folks or some engineers as ateam of people in and obviously then the AI will not only tweak and makethat persona based default better and better and better, but it also probably getbetter and better and better by individual based on how they're interacting with the differentmessages from the different sources the spot on. So each ai that we develop becustom tailor to each functional role in in the company and one by doingthat, will be able to understand not only what you do at work,but will know what your goals are, how you're measured in terms of success. And then we'll be able to prioritize work, data and communication. Thathelps you focus on the work that actually matters, on moving the needle.I love it. That's another layer that we've been talking about on the show. I've had a couple guests where we've had themes of this conversation, whichis adapting your customers Kpis and success metrics and making them your own. Andit sounds like you're doing that, or aspire to do that, through software. That's exactly right. That's the vision of the company. Cool. I'mexcited for you. It's good. In a conclusion to this section, andI think we can all say that slack is not the email killer. It'sjust more messages that we need to put into one. Well, here's whatI would say. I mean we adopted slack at User Testing and I thinkslack solved a lot of problems that we had pre slack, including making iteasier for people to collaborate in groups, so you could create instant channels peoplecould collaborate around topics. I think the easy keyboard shortcuts and the emoticons.There's a more emotional way to express yourself in writing. So I think slackedit a really good job of solving those problems. But again, the problemhere that we're going after is we don't want to help people send more messagesor connect more with each other. You've got lots of technologies to help youwith that. For us it's about you got too much noise. So whatare how can we help you focus on work that matters? It's good,yeah, same thing. It has a number of benefits, but again itcreates some noise and distraction just like us. So channels. I'm starting to seethis, at least in the initial launch phase, before you really makeit Ai Laden, as really being the TAB killer. Enough said, beinga tab killer in that you know, when I think about you know whatyou're talking about, to think about the...

...channels that I use, I thinklike it's multiple tabs in slack that that are all open at the same time. Let's get a little bit into product usage. Obviously you have a deepand unique per view into the way people interact with software. Talk a littlebit about product usage and then maybe get into the vanity side of it,like what is the vanity aspect of it? So product usage was typically absent fromcustom under our previous understanding of customer health, and I'm going back probablysix or seven years. This is pre gainside or to Tango Era Customer Successand account management. So the introduction of usage data in understanding customer health wasreally valuable. But I think as a as an industry, we've over indexedon the value of usage data and what we've what we found and from talkingto a bunch of success leaders, what we found is that usage data iswhen it's binary. So when your customers are not using your product, theyare at risk and they're unlikely to renewer. You're gonna have some ournial challenges.If the customer is using the product a lot, it's impossible that thatday that insight isn't enough to help you make any kind of prediction. Sousage is only helpful to the extent that it's binary. No usage, bad, lots of usage. Who Know those? And I think that for that reasonit's very much of vanity, vanity metric, because so many health scoresare driven predominantly by usage. But usage is one of fifteen factors that companiesshould be looking at to determine health and renewal risk. But that what we'veall over indexed on on usage, and so for that reason I don't Idon't particularly well, it's not that I don't value usage data, I justthink of it as one of many elements that need to be considered as partof a overall portfolio health assessment. I love it. It it. AsI knew that we're going to talk about product usage, I started thinking aboutlike, okay, what if usage correlates positively with lifetime value or NPS orsome of these other factors? But what you offered here just kind of unplugsthat question, because the best follow up question now is, you know,if it's one of you know, a dozen factors or fifteen factors, whatare some of the other factors that, if we were going to try tobuild a model that says likely to renew, what are some of those other factorsthat belong in the mix? Yeah, I won't share any any of thesecret sauce, because I think this is some of this is the secretsauce of our company. But what I can do is talk about the categoriesthat I think are leading indicators of health. And so the first bucket, I'mgoing to break it actually into four buckets, customer maturity, the product, the experience and the pricing. So those are the four being buckets Iwould break it up into, and within each of the those I've got aseries of questions that I think are important to answer in order to to determinewhether or not the account is at risk, for example under maturity. I wouldsay one of the most important questions in that bucket is who advocates forthe product? What's their authority and has it changed? Every customer success managerwould love to have the answer that question. None of them do. But guesswhat? If you're if the advocate for your product is an individual contributorand there's only one of them, they could have all the usage in theworld, doesn't matter. They could be the happiest cups customer in the world. But as soon as that as soon as that champion leaves the company,Boom, that account has gone. So it's another example of how usage isnot a good indicator of risk, that the risk is actually quite high ona high usage individual contributor account. And so part of what we're you know, part of approaching solving this problem is looking at you know, I thinkI've got fifteen or sixteen different elements that I'm looking at saying, okay,if we can gather this information, both in an automated way through your communication, through surveys, through integrations with your...

...crm, can we build a pictureof different aspects of the overall customer journey with your company and the customers overallengagement with your company to give you a true risk profile of each account.And so that's that's one of the I'll give you another example under the product. So I was one of the four categories. One of the questions Iwant to answer is does the product solve a severe, ongoing problem for thecustomer? Sham on us that we can't answer that question for every one ofour accounts. If one of our customers feels like the product, the problemthat's being solved is maybe ongoing but not severe, you potentially have some riskthere because that customer might not feel like they need your product in the futureto solve that problem. Maybe there are a good alternative workarounds or maybe it'sa very severe problem, but once they solve at once the problem goes awayand you don't need it anymore. And so again that's another example of aproblem where if, if you can get if you can answer that question,you will have a much better insight into the actual health of that customer.Health is not a good word. The risk profile of that customer really reallyinteresting. The severe thing, it just really rings true for me here atbombomb you know, we make it easy to get facetoface in places. Someof your typed out text, you know, because it doesn't communicate is clearly itdoesn't connect with people and in ultimately, whether it's a minor conversion or amacro conversion, you know, the more personal you can get them moreyes, as you're going to get ultimately, which is ongoing every time you clicksend. There's an opportunity to be more effective and more personal or human, but it's not necessarily felt in a severe way. It's interesting for ourcustomers it's, you know, the ones who make it a habit are theones are like, I can't imagine my life without it. I don't eventhey I don't know they would call it severe. It's really interesting as achallenge. What are a couple questions under the experience bucket? So okay,there's I've got four major questions here. The one that I'm going to bringup today is around expectations. So did the product and service match or exceedthe customers expectations? And this is really important because the customer, you know, when the customers going through a sales process, there they have a certainexpectation of what the product will be able to deliver and the problem it'll beable to solve. A lot of times the actual product itself does not matchwhat was promised or sold as part of the sales process. So it's reallyimportant for you to understand really very early in the customers engagement with you,maybe that during onboarding, but maybe within three months of the original contract signeddate, for you to get a good understanding of that customer how they expect, how the customers expectations match what they were sold during the sales process,and that is a very early indicator of whether or not a come a customeris likely to renew in the next nine months. I love it. Thatalso gets to a theme on the show, which is making sure that sales andC us are on the same page with regard to what's being sold,how it's being sold, how expectations are set and managed. And you know, a disappointment is exclusively a function of expectation. So if you manage itwell, you know you're setting yourself up. It's Cliche or try to say,but you know under promise and overdeliver. I might have an unusual perspective onthis and that I believe that the success leader, Holly, is responsiblefor driving those conversations. The success leader is the main conduit, the mainlifeline between company and customer and they need to be in a position. Itdoesn't happen in as much today as it should, but I think in thefuture customer success leaders need to be driving strategic and tactle con tactical conversations withtheir peers on eastaff around which customers do we need to target? What typeof offering, what type of sales offering leads to the best overall engagement withthe customer? which products and features need...

...to be developed based on what we'rehearing from the customer base? And I think today generally, success leaders don'thave the tools that they need to make to advocate for those positions, butI do think it is their responsibility to drive those decisions in organizations really,really interesting and I think you're right. I feel like that is the leadingview and it's from the status quote to a better future, and I thinkit's probably one of the reasons we're seeing a lot more titles in structures aroundrevenue in general that are responsible for the full customer life cycle, because youobviously, in a traditional sense, cs just takes whatever happens and makes thebest of it. You know, yeah, we generated this revenues you you cando to keep it? Yeah, and I think actually I think themistake. I think be a mistake to put it in revenue also, becauserevenue leaders, well I mean revenue later leaders generally have grown up within sales. So they're thinking, I've got a quota, I've got a number toohit, I'm going to do what it takes to hit the number, andthey're less connected to the actual customer and revenue leaders more likely to make compromisesin the selling process in order to hit their number because ultimately they're fired ifthey don't hit their numbers. That's all that matters. The customer success leaderhas the benefit of actually caring about the customer themselves. A lot of timesthey don't have a number, or at least they're there co selling with thesales team. So they have the benefit of drive that you could give themother metrics to drive towards that aren't about revenue. That allows them to reallyfocus on what would help a customer be successful really good. So we've coveredthree of the four buckets. Might as well go for the fourth. Whatare what are one or two questions you really like around pricing? I've gotthree major questions that I ask with in pricing. Probably the one that's mostinteresting for today's conversation is alternatives. So do competitors offer more affordable alternatives?And the way that I think about answering this question, and probably enough setis uniquely position to answer it. We're able to scan all communication between thecustomer success manager, the Customer Support Team and the customer. So we're ableto track mentions of competitors. We don't have to, it's not we're notwe don't require the CSM to document anything. This is all tracked automatically and sowe can see. We can see when a customer is asking a questionlike hey, I heard you know x company offers this feature or x companyis offering the same thing for x price. And so it's important for for theProduct Marketing Team within a company, but especially for the out of Csus, to do the renewal to know what the real competitive landscape looks lookslike, where the pressures are coming from, whether that's pricing or feature based pressures, and then they can then the company can proactively react to that ratherthan being caught off guard when they lose an account to a competitor that theydidn't even know that they were in competition with. As part of a renewalconversation. It's good. I like this affordable alternatives because it really sets featureson the side a little bit. I mean parody of course, to talka little bit and you've been you've been in this space for years. Talka little bit about product parity and maybe have you seen it at my impressionis that it is dramatically accelerated. Would you say that that's true in yourexperience or observation? I'd say that's generally true. A lot of companies noware not trying to differentiate on straight features. They're trying to differentiate on quality ofthe experience that the deliver. So two companies might have identical feature setsbut one is much easier to use than others. In fact, user testingwas a well to leverage that differentiator between itself and other competitors in the space, because we invested so much time and building a really great experience. So, even though competitors could offer the exact same thing at a much lower price, the user testing experience overall was so...

...much easier to you. So Ithink there is a general trend towards looking for other differentiators outside of features inprivate spaces. It's good. So you are getting ready, even you're buildingthis company. We're chatting a little bit about this before we hit record.I'd love to know your thoughts as you're you know you're in a where I'mgoing here is this product led versus sales and Marketing led growth conversation. Thatseems to be pretty popular to have these days. And obviously, if you'rean established company with you know, let's just say, forty million R andyou've been going to market for years and you know it'd be difficult to makea transition from one to the other. As an early stage and as you'reputting this together, how did you think about about those two options? Areyou doing a hybrid approach, like how do you think about product led versussales led? Yeah, I think a product Le Sales let and marketing leaps. I wouldn't forget that option to and I think different types of companies arebest suited for each of those three. The questions that I would ask beforedetermining which strategy to go with. Our questions like how quickly can you delivervalue and a self service customer experience? So if a customers trying it forthemselves, how quickly can you get to value? How senior is the enduser of your product? Are you selling into? This is an obvious one. Are you selling it too? SMB, midmarket or enterprise? How quickly?How much cash runway do you have? How quickly do you need to grow? I think all of these questions factor into which decision you make.And so when I was thinking about enough said, I mean ultimately we planon selling into you know, we're selling an AI product for knowledge workers andultimately we're going to be selling into a senior executive of each of each department. But the users will be predominantly individual contributors, and so there's obviously apath for us to build a product life of growth product, which is theone that we just launched a couple weeks ago, the inflow product. Idon't like product led growth as the main driver of growth, and the reasonwhy is product led growth takes a really long time to spool up. Itcan sometimes take three to five years before it's generating any meaningful revenue. Sometimesit could take ten years plus before you see, you know, all ofthese overnight success companies develop, when when really they've been to building a productlife growth engine for ten or more years. By the way, I think agood example of that is qual tricks, who, you know, everyone knowsthe story. They exited for seven eight billion dollars, one of thebiggest tech exits ever. And but the reality is, you know, BrianSmith and his dad started this company doing surveys for colleges twenty years ago,you know, and they've been stoking that product led growth engine for a reallylong time. So where I'm going with this is what I think for ourcompany, and I would not advocate this for every other company, but forour company we're going to start with a sales leg growth engine in the earlydays to kick start early market adoption, to get customer feedback, to growthe company for maybe, you know, from its current revenue to, let'sjust say third somewhere between thirty to fifty in are and at that point,I'm hoping we're five or six years in, the product Leb growth engine has hadenough time to Spool up and we can leverage the product Lib growth engineto dry future and a price sales. And, by the way, reallywhen we say a product Le Growth, all we're talking about is who generatesthe leads. Are you paying product to generate the leads? Are you payingmarketing to generate the leads? Are you paying sales to generate the lead?So I'm hoping that, you know, by the time we get to thatlevel of revenue, the product will be mature enough where it will be generatinga substantial portion of the inbound leads and we'll be able to at that pointreduce or at least hold steady, our investment in sales. It's good.Sounds healthy and balanced. I like that. I like the way you describe thelead growth scenario. There's a WHO generating the leads. I mean itgoes straight to the definition of it,...

...but I never thought about it thatclearly before. It's interesting, I mean to your's your idea of like timeto time to first value and can people realize it in a self serve Wy. It's interesting. In our space there's a lot more free and fremium thanthere was, say, you know, two, three more years ago.But it's interesting as I talk with with executives that are thinking about implementing asimple personal video strategy inside their organization, like yeah, I got to tellyou we already tried video before. I was like that's interesting. Tell memore. While we used x company. I was like how, how didit go? Well, not well, because we're having this conversation now andit's okay, what kind of onboarding and training did you get? How?We didn't really get any. If you don't mind my asking, what doyou pay for this and how long was the commitment? I was free.So this idea of like, you know, just throwing it out there doesn't meanit's going to stick, and that's part of probably, I mean forthe for where it sticks and where it doesn't stick. That's probably part oflike the long spool up that you describe. Is like getting that feedback, knowingwhat's working, knowing why what's working is actually working, which is themost important thing to know. It's it's probably a you get you get usersfaster signed on, you get email address as faster as what I should say, maybe in a freer fremium scenario, but it doesn't mean that it's goingto stick Ethan. I love that example. It's really at the crux or thecore of a successful product, Lib Growth Strategy. Product live growth onlyworks when you can narrow your audience to someone who feels the pain, thepain that you could solve. They feel the pain really intensely and the productdoes a wonderful job of alleviating that pain. And the problem with Fremium, ofcourse, is the exactly what you said, which is that anyone cantry it. Most people have a terrible experience. They're going to go tellon social media, they're going to go tell all other friends. That's worthless. And now suddenly video, which is a very powerful tool to a lotof people, comes across as an ineffective tool when actually can be very effective. So I agree with you and actually for that reason I'm I think fora lot of businesses fremium does not make any sense, especially if they're usinga product like growth strategy. Yeah, interesting. I I call it burningthe field before anything's been harvested. That's right, like that's it. Toreplant this whole thing. Man. So before we wrap up here, andI really appreciate your time and your insights, I just want to hit one morething, just based on your experience, especially as a board member, advisorand investor, and maybe even as you as you initiate this, thisnew effort. With enough said, talking about going from like down market toupmarket. I mean you covered like smb made an enterprise. You've probably seenpeople make transitions or start somewhere and wind up in another, in another kindof go to market position from a from a size of customer standpoint. Whatcan you share with folks that maybe want to transition? Well, first readthe book a crossing the Chasm, because I think it's a it's a goodframework for how to think about the transition from, you know, SMB's,who tend to be more entrepreneurial and their adoption of products that can make decisionsvery quickly, to more mid market or an enterprise, is buyer who makesdecisions a very, very differently and the proof points that they need to makea decision are also different. And so I'd say first read the book crossingthe Chasm, because that will give you a good framework to think about howyou're going to make this jump into more of an upmarket buyer. The otherthing to think about is enterprise. So SMB sales. If you're doing SMBsales, they tend to be very transactional. The deal lengths, I bet youknow, your deal cycles are probably thirty to forty five days. You'reprobably selling a product that's five to fifteen k a year. When you starttalking about enterprise sales, it's a very different selling motion. So it's,you know, ninety, two, hundred, Eighty Day deal cycles. The dealsare bigger. You've got three or four different key points of contact thatyou have to be in touch with in...

...order to get the deal done.So it really takes in a big investment in building a team around enterprise sellingand one of the hardest things for CEOS to do in the early days isto make the financial commitment to build in the team. That's necessary because inorder to do true enterprise sales you need to have account executives, you needto have probably some kinds some kind of solutions architect or sales engineer. Youprobably need need to have a legal team that's with a really sharp legal reallygood contract negotiator. You're going to need to have a security team that's dealingwith security audits, and so the investment isn't twice as big. To dois to sell enterprise. It might be eight times or ten times bigger.And so I think just in terms of, you know, mentally preparing for enterprisesales, it's one of the pieces of advice that I would give.And also, you know, and this is another difficult thing for a generallythe CEO to to stomach, is that the team that you built in theearly days to deliver well on SMB cells is very unlikely to be the teamthat's going to take into enterprise. And that's hard because you've probably have keylieutenants, people that you really love at the company who have delivered great valuefor you. But unless they have a world class mentor, it's very unlikelythat they're going to be able to learn about going from you know, forexample, SMB focuses. Let's let's talk about marketing for a second. SMBmarketing is all about content strategy and free trials and PR but when you startmoving into enterprise you do much less content marketing. It's more about success stories, case studies, sales enablement for the sales team, account based marketing.It's a whole different set of skills that you need to on board into yourcompany in order to make that transition. So, anyway, those are somesome thoughts to you know, for for CEOS that are thinking of making thetransition to consider before they make that decisions. Great recommendation and great caution there,and I I'll just button that one up with what got you here mightnot get you there. It might whether my God, and it requires alot of a lot of training and adjustment really for everyone involved. This hasbeen great, Chris. I Love I was excited about this, this conversation. It did not disappoint in any way. You're just a wealth of knowledge andI really really appreciate your time. But before I let you go,and because relationships are our number one core value here at bombomb and here onthe PODCAST, I'd love to give you the chance to think or mention someonewho's had a positive impact on your life, for your career and to give ashout out to a company that you really respect for the way that they'redelivering for you as a customer. Huh, that's a great question. Can Iask first what the core value is. Yeah, it's relationships, just relationships. Yea. There is there like a bullet point of or a typeof behavior that that you a spouse or that you advocate for, you know, in order to build relationships? Yes, I will read you a short snippet. Relationships, or the foundation of our business. Relationships are built aboutupon conversation, active listening and honest feedback. Our business is all about people andhelping people reach their goals through building relationships. Well, thanks for sharingthat. Our for first core value as also we build thirty year relationships.So good overlap there. So yeah, so let's let's talk about maybe I'llfirst talk about companies that I want to give a shout out to. Thefirst one while we're doing a zoom call right now. So I want togive a shout out to zoom for couple reasons. One is, as thecompany has scaled rapidly on board of tons of new customers. They've gone IPO, the quality of their core service has not diminished at all and I'm justso thankful for that because we've seen other companies in the space go through similartransitions and it has not gone well for them. And so many thanks tozoom, largely, I think, probably because of Eric Yuan's obsessive customer focus. I mean he is one hundred percent all about his customers all day long. He wakes up every morning and ask...

...has senior staff to let him knowwhat customers have said about zoom yesterday. That's that's what he's all about.So I want to say make a big, big shot out and thanks to zoom. That's the bigger company. The smaller company I want to give ashout out to is rippling. So we use them for while they are there. They are our HR HRIS system. They I feel like they've built aproduct in a way that has anticipated all of my needs as an early stagecompany. They you know, tax forms, insurance, asset tracking, payroll,all those things are built in and easy to use and integrate. SoI want to say a big shout out and thanks to the team at riplaying. Really appreciate what you're doing over there. And, by the way, it'snot just in the product. They offer self help tutorials. Their websiteexperiences very intuitive. So anyway that that team is doing a really great jobsounds incredibly valuable and probably, I mean this gets to the other, theother key factor. They're, in addition to product, party and we've beentalking a lot about hyper competition and how much easier it is and how muchfaster companies can go. Starting today. I just think about you, know, you starting this company today, versus our cofounders starting our company, youand in two thousand and six, and what it took just to organize someof that legal stuff, that the TA tax documents and all that. It'slike this idea that you can build a company to solve a very specific andacute problem like that helps all the other companies that sign on with them getto their market, get to their customers, get to their value faster and andunlike your founders, I probably have spent a grand total of forty fiveminutes dealing with all these tax and other forms. So very thankful that ripplinghas solved all that for me. That's awesome. That's great, Chris.I'm going to let you go, but before I do, if people enjoyedthis conversation they want to follow up with you, they want to follow upwith enough said like, where would you direct people if they want to learnmore about what you're up to? The easiest thing is just too good enough. Saidcom, and you ffsaidcom tells you a little bit about the product.It's where you can go sign up for our current early access list. Ifyou sign up now, we're basically committing to giving you a lifetime price pointof ten bucks per person per month. So when we launched it'll be ahigher price point, prior higher price point than that, but you can lockit in at a lower price for being an early and early a doctor ofthe product. And actually I feel like I feel like I should also youasked about someone who who had an impact in my life. To have timeto yeah, I feel like I need to give a shout out to KenWeller. Ken was the SVP of sales at best by and especial, actuallyduring their big growth here. So that's when they went you know, theygrew to twenty billion plus and sales. He was also the CEO of acompany called the good guys. I don't know if you remember that business,but they were kind of like a electronics retailer. He ended up selling thatbusiness to Carlos Slim, but when he would do what he would visit stores. You know, you'd take this the head of sales would be one hundredpercent focused on sales and sales improvement. But when Ken walked into the storeshe would judge the quality of the store by the number of lights that wereout on the ceiling. You know big buy. Best buy has these bigwarehouse like offices with no natural light, and so they took the time toinvest in really a really nice lighting system so felt very bright inside the store. And so when he walked into a store and saw that a light bulbsout, he knew that the manager of that store was not obsessing about thequality of the customers experience. And so, anyway, I always thought I wasfascinating that a guy like Ken was so focused on customer experience and sodetail oriented that he noticed lights being out, and I felt like that was agood lesson for me about what true customer obsession actually looks like. SoI thank you again. I really really appreciate that. Yeah, it's reallygood. It's a great story and it is I mean it's like overlooking theblocking and tackling I mean it's another thing...

...we've had on the show is justbeing slightly better than average almost all of the time. Is it gives youa great experience in and so when you start making exceptions, like I,maybe will get to that light sometime. You know, as soon as youstart making exceptions, you're immediately out of the running for being slightly above averagealmost all the time. That's a great way to summarize it and a wholeheartedlyagree. Cool, Chris Hicken. Thank you so much for spending time onthe podcast today. Folks check out. Enough said. I assume that everyonelistening to this faces some version of the problem that they're tackling out of thegate. Ai will just make it even smarter and better, and I hopeyou have a great rest of your day and I hope you have a greatrest of your week. Many thanks, then. I appreciate the invite tojoin the show. Clear Communication, Human Connection, higher conversion, these arejust some of the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance, so pick up theofficial book. Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customerexperience. Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember the single most importantthing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for yourcustomers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in yourfavorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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