The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode 133 · 1 year ago

133. The 4 A’s of Customer Experience w/ Leah Chaney


Not only should everyone want to have customer experience as an integral part of their org’s DNA, but they should also be accountable for the fact that they are a part of the customer’s experience.

In this episode, I interview Leah Chaney, Founder and Chief Experience Officer at BetterGrowth, about her brilliant 4 A’s of Accountability bucketing system.

Leah talked with me about

- How customer experience is like a theme park

- The 4 As and how to scale them

- How to weave retention into all of your goals

- Cultural impediments to the CX conversation

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

- Buc-ee’s

- BreakoutCS

- Revenue Collective

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. Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Customer Experience Podcast in your favorite podcast player.

I've created what I call the as of customers success bucketing system, and it's basically for as. So it's acquisition, activation, adoption and advocacy, and within those four a's are all of the members of your organization. The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. If you're paying attention, you've probably heard some version of this several times over the past year or so. Retention is the new growth, or retention is the new acquisition? Those directionally true. I don't think it's new and I'm excited to hear what today's guest thinks about it. Throughout her career she has served as a customer success leader almost exclusively in the text base. She's founder and chief experience officer at better growth, a team that helps companies accelerate revenue growth, increase retention, drastically improve expansion and provide world class customer experiences. She's also a community builder, serving as to Portland Co chapter head and lgbtq moderator at revenue collective and as organizer of breakout CS. Leah Cheney, welcome to the customer ex Arings podcast. Thank you. Wow, it's exciting to be here. It's always really interesting to hear people talk about you, isn't it, and I'm like, Oh, I did do that. Yeah, absolutely, especially with the privilege of all of the hindsight at having years of experience behind you, which I'm really excited to get into. I think you have a really cool and unique perspective and obviously a ton of valuable experience, and so I have a several things I want to get into, but I want to start with retention. Is the new growth or the new acquisition? Obviously, when I see directionally true, I think it's consistent with the rise of Sass, the rise of CS, the rise of subscription in membership at the same time. Repeat, referral, expansion, share of wallet, these types of things have long been part of any healthy business, probably for centuries. Like what are your thoughts when you hear something like that? Yeah, listen. So I think anyone has heard me talk before I'm really passionate around certain things and this is one of them. Right. Like, I've heard a lot of people say that retentions the new hot topic. I don't think that's the case. I think what's happening is that we're in a down economy and all of a sudden keeping money in the bank is really noticeable, right. So it's always important, I think, the customers that get it right find a way, even in the best of economic times, to keep retention front and center, make sure their customers are happy and make sure that they're staying. But particularly right now, yeah, it's a big hot topic right like when, when the cells pipeline is not as strong, all the sudden keeping money in the door becomes kind of keeping the lights on. Yeah, what do you you've seen out there? I mean you can salt a variety of businesses, like are we turning? Is that is is still kind of in the wait and C mode. What do you think about new revenue into obviously it varies, of course, by the product or the service, but kind of what is the tone or feeling out there right now? Yeah, I mean, look, some people have done really well in this right. Like, if you are a software company that focused on working from home. You did pretty well in this, you know, pandemic and challenging economy. However, I think what I'm saying out there is that most people are struggling. Most people are struggling. Most people really had to cut back right and and what's interesting to me is I've been a startup junkie for, you know, a couple of decades now, and working in startups, I've been through a recession, not a pandemic, but I've been through a recession and I can tell you that a lot of startups are doing this for the first time right, and so if you've been through it before, it's like, oh no, this is totally where. You nurture relationships even you know more. You you ask for Renewal Yeses, like you know way in advance of what you might have been before. You really make sure you understand what your net...

...revenue retention is. And so yeah, I mean I think that if you haven't been through this right, if you're three, four, five year old company, you probably got splash with some cold water on this one. You probably made some big mistakes, you probably lost a lot of revenue, you probably had pretty high churn and yeah, I mean basically, I think companies right now, because they cut back, have a choice on what they're spending money on. And if you didn't make sure that your customer experience was really solid, you probably got cut. Yeah, and that's a it's a great transition point. You're one of the handful of people who has a customer experienced title. I would assume you're able to give it to yourself, and so I would. I'm especially excited. I love asking everybody this question, but special especially interested in your take. When I see customer experience, what does that mean to you? Leah? Yeah, so a customer experience doesn't have a definition because it's a movement, right, like I like to explain this. If you go to a theme park with your kid, all right, and I have an eight month old, so I'm going to talk about parenting a lot and I'll Jeez, but if you go to a theme park with your kid, you're going to have an experience, whether or not that theme park put any attention towards what your experience was or not. Right. And so the customer experience happens with your product or your service, regardless of your participation in that. They have an experience as they go through setting up your platform or going through your consultancy or whatever it is like. You know it was it timely? Did people care about me? Was the return on investment there? Didn't sells sell me something that was actually valuable? Or, you know, did they just sling me into no no man's land and it was nothing like I signed up for? Right? And so customer experience and putting an attent, putting attention on that or a title to that is saying that, Hey, I'm here to actually make sure that this theme park is solid and that when this customer leaves, they're going to want to come back love the theme park. Analogy. So what would you say to someone who's trying to decide whether or not to make it a role or a team or a function or whether to carry it as like a guiding philosophy that transcends silo even in a healthy culture we get siloed and so like. How do you because obviously people land successfully and people fail with both at with both directions, how do you encourage people to think about that? Yeah, I actually don't think people really succeed without a focus on it. Now, it doesn't have to be the title of customer experience, like I like. But you know, going back to the analogy of if you have a museum, right, and you have someone that walks you through and explains everything to you, right, like I'm from Austin, Texas, and I remember going to the state capital and I joined the little tour and someone talk to me through everything I was going through, and if I hadn't had that person there, I would have just been staring at a lot of old paintings and really nice chairs and doors and been like this is cool and old. So the customer experience guide right, like somebody WHO's dedicated to that make sure that that experience is valuable but that they're getting the most out of it, and it's somebody paying attention to that as a fulltime job. If you don't have that, what inevitably happens, in my opinion, is that people start to create the customers experience based on what their experience is. So if you're a CTO, you're building a product based on what you want that product to be and not what your customers actually using that product or or experiencing it. I see this a lot and senior executive teams at startups right, like they mean well, they have a passion and a vision and something they probably wrote on a Napkin that they put blood, sweat and tears into and haven't slept in a year and a half when they got it off the ground. Right. But regardless of what you started out for, once customers actually start to use it, they create their own path and if you have somebody there that's paying attention to that, you can really make sure that the product is growing with what the customers actually need and not just what you wrote down on a cocktail Napkin years ago. Totally Fair. And now, what do you think about the type of role that lends itself? Obviously I think the most common or the most consistent is someone...

...comes out of cs or you have a chief customer officer that takes on or oversees this responsibility or function. Does it matter to you where this comes from within an organization? No, I mean, my favorite thing is further to be a customer experience committee, right, and it's one person from each of the major pillars, because, again, I want to make sure that the people understand that there's a difference between customer success, which is a department like sales and marketing and products and customer experience, which is a movement right, and so ideally you would have a customer experience committee where somebody on product, somebody on customer success, somebody on sales, the CEO sit in and like talk through the customer experience. And major companies do this right, like the really successful companies like Amazon have always done this and their own way. And then I also like to recommend that you rotate them out. I think the CEO should always have a permanent seat in that committee, but I recommend that you rotate those seats out within other people within those departments, so everybody's kind of got this customer experience in their DNA right, and so I'd like to think of it in my recommendations more of a movement internally than just a person. Love it. Any other advice around making CX part of company DNA again, titled Or Untitled Committee or team, however you want to do it? Any other insights, because I like this idea of a cross functional effort dedicated to Cx. Especially I like the rotating seas. Do you have anything else? They're like just from this DNA perspective? Anything else that brings it deep into how the company operates. Yeah, okay, so this is so kind of a little background about me. So you get this, I'm going to get you to something proprietary that I'll give away, that I've built myself, and so I call it the as of customer service and it's basically an accountability bucketing system. I think again, not only should everybody want to have customer experience as a part of the DNA, but actually everybody needs to be accountable again, for the fact that they are a part of the customers experience. And I think oftentimes where companies fail in this is they put a customer success team together and they put the weight of the world on the customer success team to like be responsible for all the customer centiment tracking, like any net promoter scores or back to them anything else, and you know, I have my beliefs on what's good and bad about net promoter score as well. But going back to this, you have to have accountability across the board. So when you're doing a customer experienced journey map, if you will, I've created what I call the as of customer success bucketing system and it's basically for a's so it's acquisition, activation, adoption and advocacy, and within those four a's or all of the members of your organization. So this way nobody's hiding behind the curtain of Oh, I'm an engineer and I what, what do I have to do with the customer? Well, you actually have the majority to do with the customer actually as an engineer. So again with acquisition, activation, adoption and advocacy, I put that into okay, acquisition is anything that goes out the door. So, going back to the theme park, that's your flyers that are going out about the company. That's the the cold calls that are going in from like the sales team about, you know, the company, etc. And so that team is going to house anyone that is responsible for top of the funnel or your first brand image to that customer, because that's their first experience, right and then from there they go into the activation phase. So that's your onboarding team, that's your product team, that's everyone that's a part of getting the customer up and running, your customer success team, probably your support team, and then from there's the big chunk of the business, the most important part, which is the adoption phase. And this is where most companies just set up a customer and leave them and forget them. Right, we got months before the renewal by I'm going to go focus on revenue. This is when your customer decides that they're staying. This is when your customer decides if they like you. This is when your customer decides if there's a return on an investment. And so this is the most crucial part, and this adoption phase is everyone in your company. This is everyone.

Everyone should have something to do scalably in this part of the customers experience and journey. And then, finally, instead of a renewal phase where you panic and try to get the customer to renew, if you've done it correctly, you have what I called the advocacy phase, and that's when you're asking. That's where sales and marketing come back into your customer success and leadership team, because now you're taking all the great word of mouth, the white papers, the case studies, the referrals and you're using those to generate more business. So instead of looking at this like a map that's flat, where you start here and you finish here, you're actually looking at this like a circle, because if you do this correctly. It never ends, right. It's like this renewal loop, if you will. So you highlighted adoption as probably one of the greatest opportunities for most businesses to improve in general. I know this is going to be variable by business, but in general, are you talking like first ninety days, or you talking about like, like what is this adoption window, and maybe what are a few keys to success here? It's everywhere. After the onboarding experience, and I think that a lot of people, and so depends. Some people are up and running within ten minutes of starting your platform. Other people are, you know, sixty down, ninety days if you've got a really complicated API connection right, and so whatever you're on boarding phases, which I call that activation phase, it's everything else. It's everything after that up until you've said Yes to your renewal is your adoption phase, and so that's your, you know, first day of being up and running through your renewal, as, the adoption phase. The one thing I really like about the forays, of course, is that it maps the entire or it accounts for the entire customer life cycle from the first touch through healthy years long relationship where you have double or triple the commitment as the initial commitment years ago in the D and All of this. It's one of the things, it's the most exciting to me about customer experience and one of the reasons I'm so glad I have the privilege of hosting this podcast is that I think that that is how everyone should be thinking. Something that I think has been similar, similar in it's how popular it's become, is is the CRO roll. One of the things I like about the Cro roll is that it accounts for, you know, it's not just someone overseeing kind of sales or sales and marketing and this acquisition piece and then we'll let the CS team figure it out. It's this idea that revenue. It takes a more holistic view of revenue, kin to the way x and the forays take a holistic view of the customer experience in the customer journey. Any thoughts on the parallels there between Cro or any cautions or any hot takes or opinions? Yeah, no, absolutely, and plug to revenue collective, who's doing a crow school right now. Sam Jacobs and their team there came to me to lead the customer success part of that and I found a great partner to partner with me on doing that, because C ro, you know, the the chief revenue officer, is so pivotal to the customer experience, right, and so I actually do think there's a lot of parallel. I'm seeing more and more that companies are aligning customer success like a like to go up to a crow and then you know, and I don't know how I feel about that. I mean, like, ideally you would have a customer a chief experience officer, right, that that would report to, but this cro is a huge part of it, regardless if customer success is reporting to this person or not. And so I think that what it really showcases is that for the customer experience, if you put in the time to build a customer experience, you can expect that to generate revenue for you. Right, like it should have a large, large, large seat at the revenue table. Right, your customer success team has a has a seat at the revenue table if you're doing it correctly, where they're getting renewals and expansions and referrals, and the customer experience is what's making all that happen because if it's a good customer experience, they're...

...going to spend more money with you. Right, and one of my least favorite things that I see is people, especially the old school mentality of customer success, being, Oh, we don't want to ask the customer for money, we're friends, we have a relationship. Well, if you've done your product right, if you've gotten your feedback and you've digested it and done something with it, then you're doing your customer a favor by selling them more because your product is evolved to help them make more. Right. So they're putting ten dollars in and getting a hundred out based on what your product is doing for them. So the customer experience being strong across the board makes that really easy to tea up for a customer success person or a sales individual. If your organization has sales that takes on expansion opportunities. It's not my favorite, but if you do that, good for you, right. And so yeah, I mean I've more than answered question, I think, based on my opinion. So one of the cautions, I feel like that I inferred from what you said is that, you know, revenue is a reflection of a great experience. I think outcomes obviously have a role to play there too. But that there's more to the experience than just revenue and if we use revenue as the proxy for a good experience, that we might be missing something. Did I infer that fairly? Is there something there? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, listen, the experience is also what's going to bring you word of mouth marketing, right, and so, depending on what, regardless if you're a baby start up that wants so badly to have the first big logo to if you're a huge, you know, Fortune Fifty Company, you want a good experience to happen for people to speak well of you, right. And so I think it's beyond revenue because it's your brand. It's like, you know, we spend so much time thinking about what our logo looks like and what our color looks like. I was just bragging about how I love you guys, you know, like your website. Right, we put so much thought into those things, but we don't put hardly any thought into what the experiences for the end user and how they're going to talk about us. Right. And so yes, I think it goes beyond revenue because it is also what people feel and what the actual tangible brand image is of you, beyond just smoke and mirrors and you know if people paid more money. It's what's really going to be solid about you. It is what is going to get you through a difficult economy, right, like if everyone knows that your company has this amazing customer experience and that they get a lot of Roi on it and that people care about them, like, that's not easy to cut back, right. So when you're trimming the fat of your text act, you're probably not going to trim that one. Yeah, the feelings is such a keyword. I don't think we use it often enough. I think one of the reasons that it's difficult to measure surveys. Get at it kind of. I will not to you up for a go at NPS there, but that I love that you use the word feelings there, and I completely agree. It's that it's foundational to kind of an assumed yes, it means. You know, we make so many decisions subconsciously and so much of that is emotionally driven, and so when we have positive, positive impressions formed by positive experiences, we say positive things to other people about a brand or a company, it further reinforces our positive position because now we've expressed it outwardly to other people. I think feelings are often overlooked. Let's go really, really practical here to speak to the sales people, in the marketing people. What can we be doing in the acquisition bucket? To kind of go back to the for Ace, what can we be doing in the acquisition bucket to improve retention? Tell the truth, don't overinflate it. That's the biggest thing. Okay, and it's and it's usually not even on purpose, right like you'll have these brilliantly talented marketers that are just siload right by it, not even no fault of their own silos or from leadership. They're not from departments. Leadership Create Silos. And if you have silo departments and you have beautiful collateral going in but it doesn't sell you correctly, then it's a huge challenge for sales...

...and see us. And so you know, I think one of the things to really keep in mind is that that team, if there's a committee going back to that and you're talking about what's really going out there and using that an analogy again of like theme parks, if you're putting out into you know, the Internet, you know the world that you're going to get an experience that you're not the and when the customer gets there they realize that and during that adoption phase they're mad about it. So the first thing you can do in that acquisition phase is make sure that your collateral is truthful, that it's detailed. Some of my favorites even speaks to what they're not. This is what we're not, right. And so then when they do get handed over to the activation phase and beyond, the ready to go, and you know that includes your scur teams. Like often times people are trying to hit numbers from phone calls and they'll say anything. They'll say anything and I feel for them, but they'll say anything to get the person to sign, to hit their quota, to hit their number, and it never works out good. So again, be truthful. That is the number one thing an acquisition and to be truthful you have to really understand what it is that you sell, not just how to make it look good or sound good. Yes, so much good stuff there. I really like this idea of expectation management from the get go. I feel it and that's my language for it. I think disappointment is a function of expectation, and so this idea of seeing what needs to be said to make what you want to have happen happen is incredibly dangerous for variety of reasons, mostly that it sets up what a there's an integrity issue, but be there's this also false expectations that you're setting up and then you're just taught kind of tossing it over the fence for someone else to clean up and figure out later on. Drastically improving expansion. I forget whether I got that language from Linkedin or from the better growth website, but as soon as I read it I was like that is probably a really huge opportunity for most companies. Why do you a I assuming you're familiar with the use of this were drastically in this context. Why that word choice and what are a few ways that you help people and advise people to drastically improve expansion? Yeah, I mean the first thing is, I can't believe you know how many times I've come in as a consultant. You know that's what I'm called for. Right like usually with better growth a company that I own, a CEO or a senior executive reaches out to me and says we have a problem with our with our revenue generation. There's something broken with our customers experience. You know, we want to be better in these areas and you know, nine times out of ten, the first thing I realize for areas that they can improve it is that they don't have a game plan like you would have a sales playbook for expansion. And there's so much money left on the table I can't I can't even begin to tell you. Like ten out of ten times I go into a company, there's so much money being left on the table from being afraid to ask for expansion, for not understanding how to get to a Yes for expansion. Again, we're putting this a lot of times on like a customer success manager, but not giving them any tools. Right, they just get the guess they're going to do this, not like hey, so and so's coming up for renewal. How do we get them to go, you know, beyond where they are today? How do we have goals like a sales would to have, like expansion its own quota even right, like a percentage of business that grows? And so, if you do it correctly, if your product is strong, if you've been building and improving a product based on customers feedback and based on what customers need, then you will drastically hit expansion numbers. oftentimes, again, I go into a company and they've got expansion is like ten percent of the revenue target. When done correctly, that should be more like thirty or forty percent. Thirty or forty percent for a company that has built their base customers, right, like, if you're still in like land grab mode, get your first customers, you could still have a playbook, you can still be getting, you know, thirty to forty percent of that, but really, once you've established yourself, that's... a goal that you have going for it. And the way you do that is you create a playbook and you go and you have milestones to check to make sure that they're utilizing what they have today. Right, because if I go to you and I'm like, Hey, I want you to spend more money, but really you haven't. Like let's take a gym membership, right, like we all have had these before, right, like if I have a gym membership and I'm never going to the gym because it's hard to go to the gym, and then you come to me and are like, Hey, I want you to buy the swimming package. I'm and be like, I don't even go to the gym. Right. But if you make sure that they are going to the gym, if you're giving them a good experience, if you're checking in on them, if you're giving them benchmark data, if you're showing them or other customers making a lot of money on putting an extra effort and then they start utilizing what they're paying for, they're probably going to add that extra to it. Right, and so it's creating the playbook for expansion, just like you would sales. Do you see? Nobody does not sing. You know. I'm thinking about lead scoring. On on the acquisition s side. Are you seeing anyone doing some kind of like a roll up, kind of an early indicator that this is ripe for expansion or for the expansion opportunity? Me Like to your point with the gym thing, this box is checked, this box is checked, this box is checked. We should talk to them about the swimming package. Are you seeing companies do something similar to I'm using lead scoring and I'm air quoting for those of you who are listening. Do you see people using some kind of a lead scoring mechanism to have these conversations at the right time with the right people. Yeah, so the they're using customers sentiment to decide if they should and that's where they're failing, right they're using inps or five star ratings or thumb up thumb down to be like, oh, they want to expand then, and that's not what it's good for. Right, like customer sentiment has its place. It is a it's like getting an oil change for your car. There's other stuff you have to do. You don't just get an oil change, right. You got to make sure your tires are filled, you got to check on your engine, you got to do other stuff. People are using inps or customer sentiment like the North Star. So that's where the challenge is, because they're saying, oh, these are promoters, therefore they will expand, and that's not the case. I mean that's why I say the MPs is a vanity metric, because really they're saying, hey, they like their CSM or something's good, and that's great, put it on the wall. We've got a tend that's awesome. But what gets down to the nitty gritty is one who said that? Who gave him the ten? Was it a decision maker that actually like you know, can write a check, and that's where I feel like to get something back from your customer, like more money, you have to give them something first. So going back to this old school quarterly business review, some kind of report that lets the customer know where they stand compared to others, lets them know what they're doing well and what they're not. And you know, that is the meat of and making sure that the right people are in those quarterly business reviews, so decision makers are in there, not just on the day that you're asking them for more money. And then, in addition to that, your health metrics should always include a usage. So, however your product or service is, is the customer using it or they logging in? Are they using it more right, like going back to the gym membership. Maybe, like you know, at first you're trying to get the customer to show up twice a week. Well, once they start doing that, how do you get the customers show up three times a week? Right, so making sure that that usage is growing into like the ninety percent of what they can do with it range and then you ask them for expansion. Love it, and I saw a stat I don't know how long a they'll probably six or eight months ago that the typical product adoption is something more like the thirty thirty percent range, which that which is its own a when have you seen or heard something like that? Yeah, I think. I think that that's really saw. I think I heard thirty forty percent myself, and it's and that's if you're lucky or, I think, a lot of people. To write. We've got these freemium things where people give something away for free, which is Great. I don't have a problem with that, as long as you have a way to make sure people are using it. Because, like again, I'm going to go to the gym analogy, because I have not been in over a year. I do have a poet on which I enjoy. But if you're if I'm going to the...

...gym and I get, or if I'm looking at a gym and I get a five week, five day free pass, right, if I don't go during that five days and then it expires, it did nothing to convert me right. And so instead, if I was to get a five day pass that only counted on the days I went and there was a period of time to use it and it came with a coach and that coach checked in on me and was like Hey, I'll see it at ten o'clock. If they put that kind of initiative it and I went, then I would probably convert into a full gym membership right and so same thing goes with usage. If you're giving away the product for a limited amount of time, that is a pivotal window to make sure that people are using it. So how do you do that at scale? What kind of information can you give them where they start getting rowe during that free period? You know? Yeah, we have a we have a lot of freemium in our space and it's been a really interesting challenge. I think a lot of people, you know, without without proper support, without any kind of limitations at all, it's just free forever, up to you know, maybe some x amount of usage whatever. A lot of people feel like they check the box, like I tried that before. Just didn't really work for me or work for us, when in fact it was. You know, it's so easy to start. There's no you have nothing invested in it at all. And yet if you still feel like you check the box even though you made nothing of it, you probably didn't fully adopt it or even partially adopt. I say like they're burning fields before the crops have been harvested, which is really kind of partly it's fun to clean up because we're pretty adept at working with people very directly to map use cases into how to use video messages and when and where and what teams and how often and, you know, taking things that are working for them now and making them better or taking things that are weaknesses and using video to help kind of fill in the gap. So it's fun, but it's also it like there's an emotional and a mental challenge there to help people overcome it. Yeah, when I was thinking about that thirty percent adoption, I could see problems in three of the four buckets, with the exception, of course, of advocacy. I could see it being potentially mischaracterized, or the onboarding is not very good or, you know, the adoption phase there's not enough of vigilance or attentiveness there to support people into making sure they fully adopt. I could see a number of ways that that product adoption could be very, very low, high level here in general, you know, you're obviously highly engaged in the community, again through the work that you do consulting companies, through your work with revenue collective, through breakout CS. What are a few key like mindsets or habits that you're observing out there that hold people back from successfully being holistic about you know, the CX and crow conversation that we've been having. What are a few things that are like cultural impediments, things that have been normalized over the years that need to go away? What do you wish would change more quickly and more often? Well, if, and I'm really glad you asked that, because in my experience, part of why I created my own business as I wanted to work for customer experience at scale, to help customers do this at scale, to help companies rather do this at scale. I had, you know, been a startup junky. I had started so many customer success teams, grew them and I got to a point where I was just like, once it worked, I was bored and I wanted to do this across, you know, multiple companies. But there was also something that always gotten the way and that was the CEO or the head, you know, executive team, and even the board. Right, everybody talks about the customer, but so few companies, even the one whose product is all around customers actually put in the time. You cannot have a successful customer experience initiative in your company if the CEO is not bought in and if she or he does not actually believe it. They have to be front and center on that committee. They have to be really wanting it. Beyond an MPs score on the wall, beyond just saying hearing from their customers that they're liked,...

...beyond your gtwo ratings, you have to actually care about what that customer experiences from the moment they talked to somebody in your acquisition team until they decide to renew or leave you. Like even when you've worked hard in a customers left you. That's valuable data to go and get in a post mortem on why they left you. And the right CEO she knows that, she hears that, she believes that and she does something about that and to be successful. And that's why I only at this point in my career, I only work with companies that actually believe that, they that they want this. They might not be there today, but this is their vision, is that the customer actually is valued, and I can't say that enough. If you work for a company where your CEO doesn't get it, leave there's a great jobs out there. Hit me up on Linkedin. I'll help you find one. Like don't work for a company that doesn't actually care about the customer experience because inevitably they will fail. They will fail. I've seen it happen time and time again in my career. So again, like I said, I'm really passionate about that, but you can't do it without your CEO. Can't do it. Yeah, it just like it because it's so fundamental. I think. I think, and I also think I'm taking this from other reading that isn't specifically about Sass or really even specifically about business, but there's something about leadership roles that reduces empathy because it creates greater distance from the front line, so to speak, and I feel like that's probably where some of the humanity is lost in some of the empathy is lost. Is is that distance from the actual front lines where people are trying to figure out how to solve a problem or people are trying to figure out how to make things work and that type of thing. Would you say that that's is yes, true your experience and Ethan here's a member of the show undercover boss, if you're CEO listening to this, I want you to go. I want you to start with your acquisition team. I want you to start with an SDR and I want you to sit in their chair for a day and I want you to do the outreach. I want you to sit and be a support rep for the day, like a CEO that actually sits through and understands these different customer experience points. Like what better use of your time then to go through and sit down and be each one of these frontline representatives that is supporting you, not to show them how smart you are, but to feel their pain. What barriers are in their way for giving a great customer experience? Are they understaffed? Maybe they're their leader keeps on come up to you. I need more support reps, but like actually sitting there and feeling it and understanding it like that. Is That's free. You just do. I mean, I know your times money, but like, I just can't think of a better use of your time. So yeah, yes to everything you're saying, and there's easy solutions. Put yourself in every position within the company for a day whatever and understand what their challenges are. That might be giving the customer experience and then understand what your customers experiencing when they interface with these different departments and Tam members. I love that recommendation. I think that this I mean not a you said something like not to show how smart you are. I think, if anything, that on one of the main reasons people don't do it, like one of the excuses they probably excuses the side. I think one of the real kind of motivating factors to avoid it is to is to avoid the discomfort of starting to understand what you don't understand and having to face how difficult that work is and that you might not eat, even though you probably sat in a similar seat years ago, depending on the age or the maturity of the company. You know, every every early stage person wears multiple hats. I mean our to cofounders. One of them took was making every single sales call for at least a year and the other one was taking every single support call for at least a year and beyond. It's funny. Our CMO, who we recruited to come to us, was a customer before he was our CMO and he remembers calling the company once with a problem and it was like... this connor guys like yeah, it is, you know you and it's so funny because you want to put it that impression on that you're bigger than you are, at least we did at the time. But there's no better way to truly understand the customer and the challenges of delivering for them then sitting in the seat. Such a good recommendation. Anything else here? Like we've had this conversation. We still have a little bit more to go. Is there anything that you would that you feel like belongs here, you're that you would just like to share? Yeah, I mean, I just want to for some clarity on some of this. So let me tell you what it's not. Like a CEO get involved what we're talking about. What it's not is them going to the customer and say, you know, basically dropping the leadership thing of I see that you've been upset or chow. Talk to me about it. Like being the hero, right say, your team up to be that I'm saying to actually get in on the ground and to your point, a lot of CEOS start this way. They do their own support, they do their own calls, but then they totally disengage in the world goes on and they're still in their experience window of what their product is or what their businesses and it's evolved over here and they're like in the dark ages of like the Napkin days and what you know. So what it is is it's going back to that even it's going back and just dropping in and like imagine, imagine if, like you're getting tickets to the Dallas Mavericks and Mark Cuban pops on and it's like, Hayleya, glad you're getting these seats. Suck. You should try these seats. Like first I would pass out because I'm a huge fan. But like there's nothing wrong with like a few customer like what a great experience that the CEO is. They're answering their question and if they're afraid that it makes them look small, then answer it. I'm doing this because I care about your experience and this is a this is a check. I'm doing a check to make sure that we're doing this right, right, and so I just want to clarify that, because I think what happens a lot is at CEOS think they're doing a grand thing when they like go solve a problem. Really you're just throwing the team under the bus and making the customer feel like, you know, they couldn't, they couldn't handle that. That's not the same thing as getting on the front line with different teams to understand the experience. Yeah, I think it makes me think a two key words, curiosity and humility. Taking on this exercise from a position of humility and curiosity, like I know that I don't know what I don't know, so I'm going to go see what I could find out. I love it. Sure, I know that I don't know what I don't know. I mean, how many CEEO say that? I love it? I think that's fantastic and I do want to say there's some great CEOS out there. I have one at better growth. You know there are amazing CEOS out there. So this isn't a dog on the CEO. This is just don't forget what you started. Don't don't get too big or stressed that you can't see the forest for the trees anymore. So good. I've enjoyed this conversation and if you are listening at this point, I know that you have to because you're with us right now. So on recommend to other episodes that reminded me of this a little bit. One is episode one and sixteen with Lauren Culbertson. She is also a founder, a cofounder and CEO at loop VOC and we called that one closing both loops with Voice of the customers. So we talked a lot about different ways to bring the voice of the customer into Your Business in an actionable way, not just in a look at this score. It's gone up in a week, which say as a fantastic conversation. Episode and sixteen with Lauren Culbertson. And then a little bit early are in episode ninety nine with Ean Luck, VP of global marketing at customer gage. We called that three ways CX programs go wrong and right, and we talked a lot about account sentiment, customer sentiment and account sentiment as a as an important thing to keep, keep an eye on and to act against. So episodes one hundred and sixteen and episode ninety nine are two others you might enjoy Lea before I let you go, I would love to know if there's a person that you would like to thank for a positive impact on your life, for your career. I've got a lot of people that fit that, but I want to talk about a group right now. So break out cs you mentioned. It's it's not my community, it's not owned by anyone. It's a...

...collective, collaborative, safe space for customer success leaders to talk to other customer success leaders. This is something that I stumbled on because I saw a problem and I was just trying to get a group of people together to like talk through it, and we had over two hundred C S leaders that we're having the same problem show up for a zoom call right and I was like, it was one of the most amazing days of my life, like to just have that kind of collaboration. I said nothing. I was a student, I learned and that's not easy for me, but I listened through the whole thing and and I couldn't let it go after that. So break out ceus is it's a collaborative community for CS leaders. It's free, it's a great space to just talk through ideas. It's a safe space, it's super inclusive. And then, in addition to that, you know, I just want to give a shout out to all the members of the LGBTQ I ai community, because it's it's it's not gay pride and I don't think we get shoutouts enough, you know when it's not that month. So I just want to say that, like you know, it's an underrepresented part of Sass and keep doing your thing. One of the things I do is I volunteer my time. Any members of my community that need help with a resume. Hit me up on Linkedin. I'm always happy to look over and to continue to get more members of our community into customer success as well as other, you know, pivotal parts of those a's within as Sass organization. Love it and for folks who are listening, it's Leah Lah Cheney, ch a and Ey. You can find her on Linkedin. I did. I'm glad that I did, and she is very sincere about these offers. So you should reach out. And also, again, that's break out CS. How about a brand or a company that you respect or appreciate for the experience that they deliver for you as a customer? All right, so I'm from the South and there is a company called Bucky's and I always use them. EGS Is an example for customer experience. They have the cleanest bathrooms and I am telling you, that's one of those small things, right that people don't think about but growing up as a kid, I remember we would go out of our way to go to a bucky's because of their clean bathrooms, and I really feel like that is a is a great example of putting the customer first. Right. Like you know, in theory, when they were creating this clean bathroom of meant they weren't going to make more money by spending more money on cleaning and making sure that that happened. But then they did. Revenue came because people went out of their way to go there for their clean restrooms, and so I know that's silly and it you know, it might seem crazy, but buckies out in the south, if you're ever driving through Texas, if you're driving through Austin, just outside of their all the way up to where I am in South Carolina, there's plenty of places that you can stop over and experience exactly what I'm talking about. So yeah, so smart. I really like this idea. I have to imagine that there's a halo effect to having clean bathrooms. Besides, you know we're going to go seek it out. To me, the halo effect is even broader than that and results in that and that it's if they're taking care of that. They must be taking care of everything else, you know, because been in otherwise nice places that you go in the bathroom like, I don't know about this place. That's awesome. I love that reference. I always said I love to shot places that pay their employees. Well, there are another one that like showcases their employee wages publicly, so you know what people are being paid, if people are being taking care of. You can't have great customer experience without great employees and you can't have great employees without caring about them, because the great ones leave. So yeah, I think it's full circle. Absolutely true. That's been an ongoing theme from almost the beginning of this podcast, which is now more than two years ago, the relationship between employee experience and customer experience. Leah, this has been awesome. I enjoyed it so much. I appreciate you spending time with us. We already mentioned that they can connect with you on Linkedin, but we're else. Would you send people to learn more about you or about better growth or about breakout cs or any anything else you like to share with people? Where would you send them? Yeah, well, if you go to better Growthcom, if you are a company with a leadership team...

...that believes and customers. We'd love to work with you. You can also go to break out CSCOM and we have a community there. We use a platform called circle, so as an actual community, we meet up once a month to have these breakout sessions and converse with other CS leaders. There's no pitching, there's nobody talking at you. It's literally like here's the topics we want to discuss. You go into rooms that are digestible. So we break out the rooms. We have moderators that help the conversations keep running. We're badging everybody. You're a founding member a breakout cs up to five hundred and we're growing like quite a bit every day. So so get on in there to get that badge and then also on Linkedin, like I said. I then eve and I just want to take a second to say I'm a huge fan of yours, so I think you for having me on this show. Like I think you are one of those people that's really making a difference by keeping this stuff front and center. So you know, I appreciate all the shoutouts to me, but I would like to give a shout out back to you. I like what bomb bomb is up to you and I had a great conversation before this got started about how these videos would be fantastic for customers success, scaling some of those customers that they can't talk to every day if they're client loads too high. So just want to turn that shout out back on what all you are up to, because it's really cool to watch. Thanks so much. It's a privilege. Those are very kind words and I appreciate it. And we round all this stuff up at bombombcom slash podcast. We drop in a few video clips and all the things that we reference to your including breakout ceus better growth buckies. I'll find them and put them up to it's all at Bombombcomla podcast. I appreciate ely. I hope you have an awesome afternoon. I appreciate you spending time with us. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Clear Communication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just 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 the official book. Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience. 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 important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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