The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode 147 · 6 months ago

147. The 7 Pillars of Customer Success w/ Wayne McCulloch

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The role of customer success is to build value on the promise of what the customer became a customer in the first place. Being so deeply invested in the customer’s journey, CS must become more than trusted. It must become strategic.

Joining me on this episode is Wayne McCulloch, Global Head of Customer Success at Google Cloud (Saas) and author of The Seven Pillars of Customer Success, to talk about the relationship between CS and CX:

Wayne and I also discussed:

- How there were 5-12 pillars in the beginning of the book

- What the 7 pillars are, including strategic advisor

- Why CS is similar to both parents and police

- How a 1940s movie perfectly illustrates CS

- Why you should use a 3rd party for customer exit interviews

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

- Wayne McCulloch on LinkedIn

- Customer Success Pillars

- Tom Hogan on LinkedIn

- Maria Martinez on LinkedIn

- CLEAR

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 in your favorite podcast player.

The realities. I think we needto be more than trusted, we need to be struts heg. The singlemost important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experiencefor your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internalalignment, 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.The seven pillars of customer success. Now, we may not be able to godeep on all of them today, but we're joined by the gentleman whodefined those pillars and wrote the book on them. He served as head ofglobal education services at companies like IBM and HP Enter Prize. He spent threeyears as a senior VP and the customer success group at Sales Force. Heserved as executive VP and chief customer officer at Coney and as VP of theGlobal Customer Success Group at looker when they were acquired by Google cloud for twopoint seven billion. Today he's global head of customer success for Google clouds entireSASS portfolio and, as I mentioned off the top, author of the sevenpillars of customer success. Wayne McCulloch, welcome to the customer experience podcast.Thanks Athan. I think that's about all the time we have for today.So thanks. I've certainly done a lot of things when I was listening toit, but it's great to be here. Thought it cool. Yeah, Iguess I got a bottom line and said this guy has been a aneducation and cus executive in a number of fantastic organizations. Next, okay.So all right, let's get moving and we'll get moving on customer experience tostart. When I say that, Wayne, what does it mean to you?Customer experience were to me, really just means it's what's the perception ofyour brain and a customers mind. And the reason why it sounds really obvious, of course, but the reason why it's really important is because we,when we're a part of the brand, we have a very, very strongidea what a brand messages, what our value proposes is like we love it, we breathe it. But the reality is when a customer consumes that experience, they will fall their opinion and that is customer experience. To me,whatever they perceive your brand to be, is the customer experience really good.It is definitely owned by the customer more than it is by us. Ithink you can influence it, I think we have aspirations for it, butit really comes through execution. What's left with the customer? Couple follow upshere, just because of your background, in your view, like what ifthe relationship and customer experience, customer success and perhaps even to customer journey?I think all these words are used. Sometimes their misuse, sometimes they're usedalmost interchangeably, like how do you peel those apart? Yeah, so,as I said, that customer experiences of perception of the customer. So that'sall about what the customer believes. The customer journey should be a representation ofthe customers experience with you as on their journey to creating those perceptions. Butmore often than not we build from the Lens of ourselves. We build thejourney of old. There's an implementation, there's adoption, there's a renewal thatand that's our view of the June. That's not a customer journey, that'sour operational you. But if we actually let me ask you this question.How many people who do a customer journey have their customers come in to helpthem build it? Hardly any that I know. They all bring in expertsand consultants a stuff, which is great, but they always forget the customer pieceof the customer journey, which is weird. Now customers success, thisis a really interesting one and something that I wish I'm going to write abook on this one day, because people have got it wrong. People createthat, they hide these customer success managers and then they say here's my customersuccess department and they're already you've already lost like, because that is not yourcustomer success department. Your Customer Success Department is every function that works with acustomer after the first transaction is closed, once at new logo becomes part ofyour organization, the teams that take that. That is what customers success is.It's the customer facing organizations that are responsible to usher that customer along thejourney you've created, to create a x or a customer experience, perception inyour customers mine. And we get it wrong because we created apartment call customersuccess instead of thinking of the all these organizations. Is What customers success is. Yeah, it's really interesting. It gets to an interesting tension that wetalked about often on the show. More in customer experience than in customer success, but I think it applies in both, which is, you know, thekind of the roll, title function dynamic versus the ethos or the cultureor the you know, overall pervasive guiding philosophy. Like give any thoughts onthat? That divider, that challenge, I mean, because as soon asyou put a name on a person or a team it starts to silo alittle bit, but the whole goal here is to create like unity in alignment. Yeah, absolutely so. He's what's...

...really fascinating. People always refer toall sales force kind of invented the CSIN right. They created this new modelof how to buy software through a subscription and it's delivered through the web andit's like this all this amazing change. And so sales force created it,and so they created an organization that every company today is trying to mimic.So they build a customer success function. But what's really strange and what peopledon't understand is there is no customer success team of CSMS. It sales forthand then it it has me. It's actually sales force calls all of thatpost Fer Sale Organization, the customers success group, CSG and they do thatbecause customers success is a group of people, a group of organizations. It's nota department, it is a suite of functions. So it is afellow city for the whole company. But let's face it, sales has togo get new logos, marketing has to go market the brand, finances toprocess the accounting. But the customer success group is just maniacally focused on thecustomer. And so the group of CSMS live inside an organization called CFL,customers for life. But every other company that at least I'm aware of,they create a customer success group with csms, and that totally pigeon holes the factthat all you own success. We own services, and so we haverevenue, margin and utilization, which are all internal operational metrics, nothing aboutthe customer. We own support, which is okay, ticket deflection, sortof again operational metrics. And and ultimately they miss the point, which iscustomer success is a group of organizations and functions that have to come together forthe customers journey with you, and I feel like that's kind of lost inthe people are just so quick to say, Oh yeah, we have a customersuccess to check the box they're not really embracing the notion of customers successthat drives the experience to their customers. Yeah, if you could just theessence of it, like in a line, what is that like? What isthat group trying to do? I mean, obviously it's too from thecompany's perspective, it's to create a customer for life. I love the nameof that, that subdivision, because that is the goal. But what wouldyou see about customer success, like in a line or like? What iswhat is the very essence of it? Yeah, well, okay, ifyou have to boil it down to a sentence or something, it's it's reallyto deliver on the value and the promise of why that customer became a customer. About Organization. That's that's all it's about. If we can, ifa customer trusts us to deliver a certain outcome, some value or then wehave to deliver that. And if we can deliver more and we can expandon that, then that's awesome. In a customers loves US FOR IT.But ultimately that's that's all it's about. But it's it's almost too simplistic toboil it down to that, because sure, if us cut different customers and differentenvironments and different products and different markets. There's so many nuances, but ultimatelythat's the only thing that matters. So people talk to me about,well, we've got to make customers just fanatically happy with this. Well,I know a lot of happy customers that left. I know a lot ofunhappy customers that stay. So to me that's not the North Star. TheNorth Star is how we delivering on what they need is to deliver what wepromised to deliver and ultimately, can we create more value for that customer thatbuilds a relationship that's it's nice to go on a date or two or threeor four, but we want to get married like we want to be togetherforever, and that's really the essence of customer success. Yeah, really welldone and I do appreciate that sensitivity to getting to the outcome before we reallyworry about the surprising delight elements, before we dive into the pillars, whichI'm excited to do. I've got what I hope will maybe turn out tobe like a little bit of a lightning round thing. Role introduced an ideaI thought was interesting. Any kind of share, you know a few thoughtson it. But before we do, tell us a little bit about yourrole with Google cloud, like what are some of the main objectives of viewand your team, like what, it's a good day or a week ora month or a quarter look like for you? Yeah, I think thereally unique aspect of being a google is I have the opportunity personally from acareer perspective, I get to operate at a scale not many people in theworld get to do. So that's kind of cool, right. So youthink about all I was at sales for Starman. They have hundreds of thousandsof customers and people are like that's amazing. Well, I'm a Google and oneof my products has seven point one million pain customs. You know,like that's a scale that people come when you talk about Ol. Do youhave any CSMS do you have on that, on that product? You're like,well, I certainly don't have a million of them and have a oneto seven ratio. I. But so for me it's the ability for Googleto touch so many people, and I'm talking specifically about the workspace product,right, and it has billions of users worldwide, including the free version.Like use Gmail, for example. You're using workspace right so I get anopportunity to think of success at a scale that maybe be TOC companies typically willget to deal with, and they have...

...much bigger ones potentially. Well,actually, I can't think of many that would have more than a couple ofbillion users. But it's more of a bet TOC thing, a mindset ifyou will, which is fascinating for me personally and also an amazing opportunity forGoogle, who is so strong on the B to be world with Google cloudand some of the amazing products there. But they have this product that justtranscends be to be and and so for me it's exciting to be able towork in both. So I have products like apogee, chronicle and looker ofthe data platform, and that's a traditional be to be kind of play.But then you have workspace, which is a Bob play but has a BTCelement. That's exciting for me as a success leader. Awesome. Just reallyquickly, education services. Now that's in a professional context. I'm not personallyfamiliar with that as a title, especially as an executive title. Is itabout customer education? And then, of course, does that build a linkbetween education services and customer success in terms of your personal career. Yeah,absolutely. So back in the S, like I almost said, like today, if like fifteen years ago, and then I'm like, well, okay, it's more than that. So back in the S I joined a comingcalled people soft, which was failing you back then, and I joined inthe education department. So it's really teaching people how to use it. Butthat's where, that's where I started to essentially I was starting my customer successjourney before it existed as a profession, which was how to get people toadopt your technology and get value from it. And ultimately, today customer success isvery much which motivated R and how do I get people to use thatin get value so that we can get a retention sort of play going andmaybe expanse and value, sell some more licenses, expand the use cases,whatever it is. And so yeah, it was really around training, certification, adoption, things like that, and what I realized is this is onecomponent of a much bigger journey that we need to be conscious of. Andso I made while as a sales force work for lady called Maria Martinez,which just phenomenal, amazing leader and just customer centricity, and she went todo a similar roll over at Cisco, Sianell the CEO. It's this gobit. She for me, motivated me to start thinking more broadly than justthis adoption component and think of the entire customer journey into end and that's whenI transition into more of a chief customer officer or gross across all the postfor sale functions so I could actually influence and think of how does our brandoperate along the journey rather than just this one piece, and that was thetransition for me. Yeah, really good and I yeah, Maria. Iinterview to people that work for her now at CISCO, Steve Cox and Christieror Ellis, and they both speak very, very highly of her end. Infact, Steve, I think, just took on an x title,which is as progressive as you know, telling someone like you earlier, earlierin your career, to think about the whole life cycle, not just aboutadoption, really awesome. I love the legacy that people can leave through yourcareer in the lights that they affect. Let's get into the seven pillars ofcustomer success. Before we get into it, I just want to say for listenersI highly recommend this. It's loaded with frameworks like the ten tools forCS, the five rolls of CS. It's got models, tables other likesystematic visualizations. It's heavyweight. It's like over three hundred pages, and yetit's fun to read and even easy to kind of like pick up and setdown as needed again because it's so well organized in packaged and it's based onWayne's extensive experience, but he also calls in like tons of other people.So they're like breakout boxes and really, really even like inline in set storiesand perspective. So highly recommended. Wayne. Why don't you share maybe your motivationfor writing it in the first place, because it's no small undertaking and you'renot a less than busy person, and then we'll maybe just quickly doa drive by on the seven pillars. Yeah, so, permitting my career, like many people coming in, it's a new proficient. So a lotof people coming in from the not born in the see us world. Imean it's more so today. People are graduating. Is a great sort ofNBA sort of program out of University San Francisco that Vj runs there that youknow, is meeting these sus professionals early in the career. But most peopleare, in my experience and background sort of migrating. And what I didis I realized that customer success for me was really confusing. So I readthe book that everyone reads, customer success, or nick made a danced on andLik a movie, and it it's great about explaining why this function existsand why it's necessary and Whit's so critical and important than metrics and all thatstuff. And there's a bunch of other programs that teach people and certifications andtraining being a great csn. You can there's seven different types of CSM certificationsnow, which is a little confusing but great, like I can be agreat CSM, but there's this thing missing in the middle, because I waslistening to the thought leaders and best practices and deploying them and then they thefailed and I'm like, what's what's happening?...

I've followed the rules that it toldme to do this and what I recognize was what's missing as a frameworkas a customer success organization. This is what's really unique about something new iseveryone you talk to you says, well, cus is still maturing and over hereit's a firefighting process, over here it's more of a support process,over here it's a selling process, they've quota. It's all different everywhere yougo, and I'm like, well, you know why that is? It'sbecause we're super nice, empathetic people. And so when people say I gota problem, to fix it like go plug that gap, and we're sayingyes, because there's no framework of what's CS is. So it kind ofhas become this catch all, like all we have a problem sending success andthey'll smoother it or they'll manage it. And and we got to stop doingthat as a profession because actually, sales knows what sales does. Service isno more service does, marketing knows what, but cus can be anything. Thatdoesn't make any sense. All we're doing is we're trying to plug thegaps of problems in the customer experience. Problem for the product, problems withsupport, problem with our document patient, problems with our services, problems withour marketing, problems with our sales engine, problems with our success motion. Likethat's all we're doing. And so what I wanted to do is builda framework to say this is what success is, this is how we doit, this is how you measure the impact and here are the metrics thatyou know prove that we're actually doing what we said we would do. Reallysimple, and so I wrote the framework so I could be really confident infront of my leadership team and CEEO and see, this is who we are, this is what we do and this is how we do it. Andwhen something POPs up that is not in that framework, great, let's cometogether as a company as customer success put our customer successor on. How dowe solve this problem? It's not CS as problem to go fix because it'sa product problem. Okay, product, help us go fix that. Maybeit is a success thing. Maybe we're not on boarding them correctly and educatingthem on how to use all our resources. Like there's a great quote, byusing the book from Scott Hudgens, who's a cheap commercial officer at whatDisney world, which is no one owns the customer, but someone or alwaysowns the moment. And so if we have that mentality, when something goeswrong, it's not all CS goes fix it, it's who owns this moment? Whose responsibility is it? Okay, you need to step in and helpfix it. Will all support you. And so for me, writing abook is that framework that was missing on what customer success really is and howit should work, not all these other things that people have a running arounddoing. It's it's just defining the function and while it might not be adoptedas the industries framework, I'm hope being it's a stop to a conversation that'smuch bigger about the function itself. Wide exists, and that's what I feellike it's being missing all these uses because everyone's just working it out, takinga stab at what it could be, and we got to get past thatnow that customers deserve better. Yeah, it's so interesting to think how youngthe discipline really is. I mean it feels like for those of us thatare kind of immersed in these conversations and those adjacent to it, it feelslike, well, it's just is, it's been for years, etc.But when you think about it, ultimately, another one of my guests on thePODCAST, Todd Capony is, you know, has a sales background andhe's constantly reading and then posting about like sales materials from a hundred or evena hundred fifty years ago, and it's interesting because you can take you canline up three quotes, one from a hundred and twenty five years ago,one from seventy years ago and one from seven months ago, and they allsound a little bit the same. But here I really appreciate the way youbroke that down and I think you're right. I think this is an important againfor listeners. The seven pillars of customer success is a really great readto kind of firm up some of what's been really loose in this young,maturing situation, and I love the quart that you pulled out to this ideathat someone owns the moment. Let's figure out who does own the moment.No one owns the customer, because when we think about who is owning thecustomer, then we start, you know, following the trade ational funnel and we'rehanding the customer off, handing the customer off, handing the customer off, which goes back to where you were in the beginning, which is we'rethinking about it all operationally. And what do we need, what do wewant? How to we see the customer versus? What is the customer actuallyexperiencing? What do they need, what do they want? What's best forthem? And each of those moments, whether it's a good moment or abad moment for that individual the effects of all everyone's touches. The product isproduct is in that moment, marketing is in that moment, sales is inthat moment, even if it's a post sale moment. Like the influence ofeverybody is in a lot of those moments. Yeah, that was a monolog ofmy own situate. I didn't put that in the book in Second Edition. that. You're exactly right. And that concept of owning a customer sortof went away with owning the software. You don't own the suftware anymore.You rent the software through a subscriptures. Yeah, so why are we stillcling to owning a customer? You don't own a customer like we own amoment. And then that to me,...

...that critical. That that's statement tome change my perception on even how I communicate inside my own company, becauseyou come across people that are very much like, well, I solve thecustomer. That's my as my count, you know, all I'm implementing atthe customer sets my candle to see us. M is like, well, I'mto see a sem along the whole journey. So it's my count andpeople confuse a contact, like a central contact, with ownership and that's notwhat it's about, and I often talk about the customers success of the CSMteam. He's kind of like the like parents. I feel uncomfortable saying that, but they like parents in the organ sort of saying he's a bad experiencefor the customer and you, I need your help to sort of come upwith a solution and make that better or or likewise, he's an amazing experienceyou provided as a services organization. We need to do more of that.Congratulations, good for you, and really highlight that to the company, sayingthis is really customer century activity going on over here in the services seem likewe are kind of like the responsible for making sure that we're pointing these thingsout, good or bad, because all of those moments of truth is whatcreates a perception of experience to the customer and we need to be good atall of them. Some are easy, summer hearts. Take a lot ofworks, I'm doing, but every one of them counts towards forming the perceptionof what value, what the experience is like for your brain. Yeah,you've you've already pulled forward too of my kind of lightning round topics, whichI love. No, no, it's good let's hit those seven pillars reallyquickly. I'll just read them and then maybe share whatever you want about anyone of them or the way they work together or these type. I thinkpeople will see part of the flow, but you've done a nice job kindof book ending them to so number one is operationalizing CS. Too, onboard boarding. Three, adoption for retention, five, expansion, six, advocacy. Seven, strategic advisor. So I think most people will recognize kindof the structure of onboarding, adoption, retention, expansion, advocacy. Somaybe start with operationalizing Cs and then I think when we get into my lightninground, I'm air quoting for people that are black video clips, will hiton strategic advisor there. So but just start, start at the top andthen maybe share anything else you want about how you structured these seven. Yeah, so a funny story about the seven pillars is when I started writing itit was the five pillars and then it was six. I got the nineat one point and the reality was, as I test these and I talkedto my peers and I look at what I'm doing in my business and I'mreally trying to understand what these pillars should be and it came to seven,and it's lucky because someone said seven's a good number for a book, likeit's a lucky number or it's easy to like seven, seven, seven,habits of Allia. Fifty people like seven. Is Good. Rights people like seven. So the publisher was good on board with seven. But the rallywas by started with the customer and I said what's a customers journey with usin sets, and the problem is is not a linear right, but thisdiffinite stages of the Jurney. So then they you there on boarding, thenthey have to adopt it and then they have to get value, which enablesyou to retain them, and then hopefully they find more value and you getmore use cases, maybe more licenses, companies growing a dot, you know, new departments, and then ultimately they love it so much they'll advocate.And so for me I'm like, okay, cool, they're my five pillars.But then I'm like, well, actually to execute on the five pillars, I need to operationalize customer success, which is all about how do Iget repeatability at scale of what great looks like? So my customers are alwaysgoing to get the best that we can give and as a company I alwaysknow I'm delivering on the promise. And so operationalization was the very first pillarbecause to me that's the foundation. I can give you the framework to builda beautiful house and and of course you get to choose the tile and thecarpet and all the furniture, and that's that's the value you bring to theframework. But without a foundation it's going to be shaky. And so I'mnot sure if this is in the lightning around or not, but there areten tools that you kind of need in your tool box to operationalize success,and I did a lot of analysis on is a ten, is at twenty, is at four, is at seven. The reality is the most common tenthat I always see in every business case that I've been the thought leadersI've spoken to and companies I've worked with. There are ten of those. Andonce you've operationalized those ten, whether it's through sophisticated data science and awhole bunch of investment over years or you're just starting out using a google sheetto get going, it doesn't matter. As long as you start building outthose ten tools, that then laser foundation for those five customer journey stages tobe executed. On a scale with repeatability. Then the book ends you talk abouton the other end of the scale is a strategic advisor. Again,too often customer success is my CSM is a firefight and know there are avalue creation person. Oh, they're actually a growth engine. Know they're.Ultimately, if if someone knows you're in...

...your user vendor knows your product,you know your customers, market or industry, you know your customers challenges and problems, you bring a unique perspective of how our product can transform your organizationto grow revenue or reduce costs or create more users, a loyalty or whateverthe customers objectives are. Strategically, you can go do that. And it'sfunny because every CS mission statement I've ever seen says we are the trusted advisor, and I'm like, isn't everyone meant to be a trusted advising my supportperson, my legal people, my finances? Shouldn't they all be trusted? orthey're not trusted, but we are, like I think people will sort ofjust use it because they've heard it, but the reality is I think weneed to be more than trusted. We need to be strategic and Ieven had a great conversation with someone. They're like, well, not everyproduct is a strategic product, and I'm like, well, we mean anexample, and they said Trelloh, you know, it's kind of helps youplan out projects and stuff, and I'm like, Oh wow, trollo.Well, what if? What if we had a pandemic and suddenly had toon board a bunch of people remotely and you had to go taken through abunch of steps and you had troller. You could do that and that transformsthe way you on board employee like people are thinking really small when it comesto wow, they only really big transformations are your crms or your EARPI's orlike these big monolithics down like the the smallest technology can transform for a groupof people or even a company how they do business. And your job asa CSM is to be very strategic. We talk more about that later bit. Those are the seven pillars for me. And but it starts with your company. And people like isn't this a Mok about customer success? And you'restarting with and I'm like it's like, employee success drives customer success. Operationalizingsuccess gives you a foundation for customer success. There's a bunch of work you've gotto do. I've got to work out and train if I want todo the Ironman like I it's just that's why you have to start there andit's a hundred percent in your control. So that's why that's the first pillar. But yes, they're the seven pillars and, like I said, theydon't have to be linear. You can be on boarding another department and anotherpart of a company while you're expanding in another part. So they don't necessarilyfollow each other. Initially, it does the first time. That the natureof sess and that infinite motion of it. Finding more value, buying more product, on boarding more people, expanding more. They can go in anydirection and that's the key aspect of the pillars. Super I'll just share anidea that I thought was cool or interesting or helpful, and we just qualifyand how to really like, and you already touched on this a little bit, but I'm going to pair it with another concept, customer success. Asthe parents and as the police, not just helping customers but also helping alldepartments help customers in the moments that they own along the journey. Yeah,well, maybe we grew up in different households, but my parents were thepolice. So there's the same thing. To me, it's the it's thekeeping order, it's the building of the relationships, it's the setting the tone, it's it's all of those things. I absolutely agree and I think oneof the really cool parts of being in a CS sort of function inside acompany is you get to help other organizations reframe how they think of the customer. I've mentioned one other conversations with people like the finance department sending out ahey, renewals coming up in sixty days. Just heads up, get prepared.He's the amount, blah, blah blah. It's very formal and verycorporate and I'm like that's a great opportunity to create an experience that's unique.You know, why not create an html email that goes off and says we'reso excited that our partnership is coming up for a your because we get toextend it. He's the wins we've had in the last twelve months where youknow you're thinking, will the peculiment person over? That company doesn't care.They just need to know that there's a renewal coming. That's not the point. The point is you are creating an opportunity for a perception of your brandin other parts of the business a CSM might not necessarily be talking to.You're in finance, you get to talk to a bunch of people we don'tget to talk to. Take the opportunity to solidify the relationship, to talkabout the successes, to to really show that we are excited about it andnot just a corporate stock standard email. So, and that's just one example. And you can go through every department and say, if you're touching thecustomer in any way, there is an opportunity for us to tell them howmuch we appreciate it business, to show them that we're actually taking some time, like we sor excited being a customer since two thousand and fifteen, andsince then we've had some tremendous wins. And here's a you presented at ourconference. It's not hard to do. But imagine as a procurement or financepeople and they're sitting there in a pandemic going we got to cut some coplike well, so it's like we do a lot with these people. Likeit's just you're just influencing your brand and how people think about you. Thatcould make a big difference and you don't even know it. But it doesn'tmean we shouldn't do it. So anyway, see us has a has the opportunityto police how well we do across all the organization and point out what'sgood and point out what we could do better. Good Guy. I lovethe example. And again you just think about how many boring, straight,no personality emails that person is getting and...

...just being different at all is immediatelyan improvement. Of course, I had that quote from Scott Hudgens as atalking point, but we've already covered that quickly. Give me a take onthe common mistakes that that you see that in you mentioned three of them.No playbooks, no data scientists and no health scores. Yeah, yeah,I think not having the journey mapped is always a big miss. Most peoplejust assume they know the journey and it is like, well, we havea framework on how we deliver, an implement and and renew a customer andso that's the that's the customer journey and that's not the customer journey. That'sjust that's our journey, and so people miss that. You're right about playbooks, that ability to repeat what is great at scale is how you make surethat, no matter if I'm in France or India, or Australia or theUS, I'm going to get an experience that is the best we can get, because I've mapped it out, I know what it looks like and Ican educate every person that's going to deliver that, whether that's in CS,the renewals team, support, whatever. playbooks are super important and customer health. Customer health is a tricky one because usually it's an amalgamation of all theseimports and ultimately, and I remember, you know, it's sales force,there was a hundred and twenty odd inputs that would drive a early warning systemthat would flag and send a playbook to a CSM to go execute solve aproblem before it every you know, eventuaded into a turn. That's great.I talked to other companies that identified, Hey, there's only two or threethings for features that have to be used, and the companies that do that wehave a ninety nine per seve pretension. So let's just get every company todo that. And we solved that. But what customer health allows you todo is to be proactive, is to understand where there are challenges andget straight on top of it, and so you know that's really essential.But there's a lot of other things to a risk framework is really critical.There's lots of different types of risk in and account and if we can identifywhat that is up front, for example, they could be a fit risk fight. So fit risk, which is our product, might not actually suitexactly what they're doing, but there's a promise of a road map change orthere's a you could you know, you could use the product to do this. It's not really what it's for, but it could, because and thecustomers excited about your brand and they buy it and then they end up gettingstuck and they call support and it cost you a lot and then they tune. So there's a fit risk that should be identified, and there are manyother risks as well, and so just being able to classify them and knowsort of what steps we could take to potentially avert a problem later is reallycritical. Success plans are really important, which is, you know, yourshared plan with the customer on how we're going to be successful together so thatyou can celebrate wins with your stakeholders and your leaderships. Or, as mysponsor, I'm going to help you get promoted and show value, and thenI'm going to do the same as a CSMI have to show VAT to myorganization that I'm doing the right things, and success plans is a great wayto do that. segmenting the customers appropriately as super critical and we all oftenoverlook that. We always go to the well is high touch, mid touchand tech touch or low touch, and and we create the triangle and theway we go and we don't really think about segmentation. You know, thefunniest one is, and I still see that's. Just read it the otherday on Linkedin and I was just laughing because we're still having this conversation abouthow much are, how much revenue should a CSN BE MANAGING? And I'mlike, it doesn't matter. It's the wrong question because I get have aproduct that ASPS are ten grant or at Google cloud it could be ten million. It doesn't matter. What matters is what does it take to make acustomer successful as a CSM, how much effort is that? How much timedo you spend on boarding? How much time does it spend adopting? Yougot to map all that out and do the hard work on knowing exactly whatit takes. So you can look at someone's capacity and say this one customeris all you have time for because it's big and it's glorable and they're deployingseven products. Or you might say you can have ten customers, because sowe don't think of segmentation properly generally, and I like I'm sounding critical.I'm critical of myself because that's how I started to I'm like, Oh,let's draw the triangle, because I saw it and that's what everyone talked about, and I talked about let's do the full million or two million or this. This person says it should be three me and so let's do three men. Like that's just US trying to work it out, and now I've realizedthat's the actually the wrong thing to be looking at. But become folklore,igus, voice of the customers, critical the ability to listen to customers,and people think that's a survey and that's again a very simplistic view and it'sgreat to start that way. We've got to get more sophisticated. There arelots of channels out there, whether it's so sure, whether it's surveys,whether it's, you know, gtwo reviews or gun appear inside the lots oflots of different places people can talk about Your Business. And then what dowe do with that data? That's critical. Customer delight is of another one aswell. People think, let's send them a Hoodie. That's Great CustomerDelight, and I'm like, well, that's probably number nine on the listof things that drive delight and it's a cool one and I like that one. But ultimately we're got to be more sophisticated in thinking about how we createdelightful moments, starting with Living Vay, which people just skip over they wantto get to the swag, but I'm...

...like, deliver that you creates delight. Don't have make no mistake, it does. And then, finally,but what are the metrics Ab our business, like, how we going to measureeffectiveness and impact so our company knows what we're doing and how we're doingit and that helps with discussions with finance and budgeting and other stuff. SoI know that was a twenty seven minute answer to your question, which wouldprobably meant to be a three minute answer, but the point is there are lotsof things that we need to consider and again, if you're starting outor pivoting your career or becoming a new leader and success especially, or wantto become one. That's a lot. That's a lot and it's so whydo you start? How do you start putting it together? And it's funnyis you're breaking some of that down. That's what I was thinking as,like all right, what role within our organization? Like we're still a relativelysmallish business, you know, we're about a hundred and forty people or so, about seventyzero customers and like, I'm just thinking about but we have resources, right, so I'm just trying to think, like, okay, whowould do that? We do that? Who should be taking that on?kind of a thing, like, I get it, it's it's a lot. Yeah, that's a cool thing about having a framework is you could literallytake the framework in my book and, like I said, it might notbe the framework for you. You could build your own and that's cool,but if you have something to start with and just say, okay, let'sscore ourselves on each of these components. Do we have this? Yes orno? If yes, what level is it? Is it basic, becausethat manual? Is it automated? Is a prescriptive? Is a predictive.Is it like could think about that maturity model and just map out your organsay where do we think is the best place to add additional value right now? Let's go just focus on that. No, over the year or twoor three is your company grows, you'll start to build that out and havea fully fridged, hopefully automated predictive. STATA, science, Ai Ml,all the cool things and but you want to stop that way and at leasthaving a framework will as you to say, well, this is where we're happing, this is what we're going to do next, and everyone's clear andit's it's obvious and and you can follow the journey throughout your career on howwe've evolved this and it's kind of cool if you're new and young starting outto do that. It's much harder going into a big company. It's establishedand built all this rigor and frame, process and expectations. That's a lotharder. But you have an advantage to hey, let's stop, let's startfrom scratch and see what we come up with. I think it's cool.Yeah, prioritize and start doing them in your priority order. You already mentionedjourney mapping from the customers perspective rathers in the company perspective. A couple otherideas I thought were interesting. For the sake of time, I'll just kindof bundle them and you can react to any of them that you prefer.Hiring a third party to do exit interviews with customers. I thought that wasreally smart and probably not a common practice. Despite AI, chat bots and otherchannels, we still need to actually talk to people, and you alreadyalluded to this one too earlier. With both of these actually, the firstis the future of this is a quote from the book the future of customers. Success means in nesting in your people, like really an x as the driverof x mentality is like the more we can invest in our people functionally, the more we're investing in our customers, because it really is all about thatthat team member bringing a lot of these concepts to life and really workinga score card. However you set up the you know the framework for whatyou want your organization to do and how you want to like level up onthese various things. And then I pulled a quote on the strategic advisor andI'll just read it because I have it and I think it's important for folksthat maybe don't get to that page in the book for no good reason exceptthat they didn't do it. As a strategic advisor is someone who actively advisesorganizations on important strategic decisions in an unbiased fashion. I think that's key,using deep industry knowledge and domain expertise to deliver the best outcomes through business anddigital transformation. I mean that is really the essence of cs it a lotof ways, the way you defined it. Is this, this seventh pillar ofstrategic advisory. Yeah, yeah, that last one. I think Iuse my my miracle on thirty four straight example, to talk about the youwas a great movie of mine remember watching as a kid. I'm talking aboutthe you know, the s version or whatever like. I remember as akid thinking it doesn't make sense why santacoles would recommend buying a toy from adifferent depotits all that makes no sense. Why would you do that? Andit's not until you're older that you recognize that the customer has a need.You can't provide it, but you know who can. Suddenly the value youhave to that individual is exponentially higher because you are helping them solve the problem. But the quote that the lady then says when she leaves the department storeto someone at the department store, she's like, I will be a customerfor life, like I will come to this store first every time and ifI find it, I'll buy it, and if I don't, you're goingto help me go find it. Why would I go when you where elselike? and to me I'm like that's that's the essence of a strategic advisors, not not be Santacaus but to be thinking about what is in the bestinterest of my customer. I remember I...

...had a great CSM when I wasat a customer of sales force and he would ask me a question like whatchallenges do you have today that I can potentially help with, and I'm like, Oh, I don't have any sales for see our into you guys.No, no, what in general, you know he's doing a great jobbecause he's learning my business and what. And I said, well, Ihave this really problem with this thing. He's like, Oh, I knowa person, I can connect you with someone. They do great stuff aroundthat. It's nothing to do with sales force, but I'm like you're sovaluable to me, like I'm going to come to you with all my problems, because you're helping me right, and that's that's really important. But thefirst one you mentioned about it's when I talk about churn journey mapping. Sowe do customers journey maps, but I've created this thing called a churn journeymap that I did with a company called third side. We did it togetherwith Ron Caston over there. And and it's be because I suddenly realize whenI was interviewing customers why they were leaving there, like we can get Vay, you product was too high, like you get a bunch of stuff.And really, when I had a third party go talk to the same Ijust wanted to see the different. I learned so much more. They weren'ttelling me the truth, and the the third party vendor, which is thirdside, by the way. They they said, look, customers don't wantto hurt your feelings. They don't want to get someone in trouble or worse, they think you're trying to whizzle your way back in. So I'll justsay anything that gets just make it impossible for you to combat like to expectit. You know what, we can discount too late. Already moved onmuch better that, like that's not the problem they had. And so whata churn journey map does is actually, when we talk about moments of truth, is we failed here, we failed here, we failed here. Sohave our customer experience is being eroded, eroded, eroded to a point wherethey will consider someone else to go give him a better experience. And whathappened is you see these things and these customers have these same failures of momentsof truth and they're little, they're not big, they're not escalation life sidedown, like, they're not those things. Typically, they're lots of little thingsand a third party elicits that very, very in a very honest and frankway that you would not get as a vendor for the reasons I mentioned. So I would always recommend use a third party because you get the honesttruth, as painful as it is to read and he's embarrassing as it isto see to your CEO. Well, I guess what we messed up herebecause we sent them, we call them by their wrong name in all theiremails, like just simple things that can be easily fixed. We missed it. Just stuff like that. You just got to own up to go fixit. And you know what, the rewards are really amazing. Yeah,the churn journey map is so smart and of course, yeah, I meanthe people are either going to be super pissed or they're going to be superpolite and you're not going to get what you need if he comes straight out. And I and you're exactly right. They you know, a lot ofpeople are going to perceive it as like trying to reclose something that walked awayreally quickly. Before we wrap up here, we've acknowledged that it's a young discipline, but a super critical one. It's moving quickly, there are somepractices that are established but, more importantly, there are frameworks we can think aboutit through. Where are we with cus overall? Where are we going? How do you feel? Just a couple quick ads from me. Ifeel like in hosting a podcast like this, I'm seeing CX become more important.I'm seeing the CRRO rule become more important, which kind of like welcomeCeus into the you know, into the revenue conversation more directly. Like,what are some trends or expectations or hopes or concerns you have about the futureof the discipline? Yeah, just a couple of quick ones. The monetizationof customers, succeists, is real, it's happening and it's because of thisstrategic advice of like, if I have someone who's that valuable, I wouldpay for that. And it's weird you get those adverse reactions when you saywe should charge for customer success or or like that's the worst thing. Whywould you? This is our investment in the customer. I'm like, well, our investment is support, but we sell premium support offerings to do evenmore. We have services. It sells. We have training themselves, like whycan't success have premium success services that are business value orientated? And customerswould say yes, come in, help me transport my business, give methe blueprints, show me the R way and help me on that journey.Like customers will be for that. So I think the monetization of success iscoming. Perhaps not all success is monetized, but just like support, like youget a certain level of service and if you want to anti that up, if you want to just take it to the next level, you havean ability to do that and it's funded by the customer. So it's nota cost equation challenge. It's a it's a skills and do we have value? That's the first one. I think we've got US start the conversation ofthinking more broadly about what customers success. It's not a group of CSAMS.That is just one part and there are companies that are starting to put thistogether. Actually saw the chief customer officer is become like the standard title forsomeone across all those functions. But I did see the other day there wasa chief customer success officer role, which I thought was the they get itright, they get that that it's across all the functions and it is customersuccess. It's it is and I think...

...your point about the CR row andsales in the SASS model, the upfront sale is not where the money's made, right, but it is super critical to add new customers to the funnel. So it's not changed. What's changed is rather than all the revenue sitswith the sale up front and then you milk of maintenance stream at the backend, those days are gone. What happens is you land a customer andthen the customer success organization's job is to retain it and expand it. Nowthat doesn't mean they have quotas. That doesn't mean that they sell. Itjust means that their job, through the nature of attaining value and finding morevalue, creates the opportunity to go back to sales to prosecute more new revenueinto the business, and so that hunter farmer delineation, I think, willbecome stronger. Most companies try to straddle both or they give Cs, youknow, quota, but I think what what we're really seeing is that delineationof hunter farmer. There's a great book about that as well for about anothertime. But ultimately I do think that that delineation is becoming important and moreof the revenue sits on the customer side. But cros at a savvy enough workoutthat I can use this massive engine of customer success to drive my newrevenues. Not You logos, but new revenue to the business from existing customers. And once you get that dream partnership, it's PB and j like this,so good together, and those companies that work it out have tremendous success. Really good. If you've enjoyed this conversation with Wayne, I've got twomore that I know you like. Episode one hundred and Seventeen with Jeff BringsBach who, by the way, hosted a great conversation with Wayne on thegame grow retained podcast. I recommend that podcast if you like these themes andtopics. Jeff is the director of CX at higher logic and a leader inthe game grow retained community and we titled that when Your First Three thousand andsixty and ninety days in a new C x roll because they had just beenacquired by higher logic. He had just taken that roll on, but Iknow you'll enjoy that conversation in one hundred and seventeen and then more recently,in one hundred and thirty three, with Leah Cheney. She's cofounder and chiefexperience officer at better growth. We called that the four a's of customer experienceand Wayne, I know you'll see your core five functional pillars in these acquisition, activation, adoption and advocacy. So again, similar themes in one hundredand thirty three with Leah Cheney. Wayne, before I let you go, I'dlove to know two things. First, who you might like to think ormention for creating a positive impact on your life, for your career,and second, a company or a brand that you really appreciate for the experiencethat they deliver for you as a customer. Yes, so want to acknowledge TomMorgan, who is a CEO or vine. went to HP, theCEO Commney and heeled Tom C will be built Siebel as a company back inthe late nine's, early two thousand and Sir he gave me my first startas an executive on a leadership team and it's been a great coach and mentor. And he's retired now, though I think he's working with Vista. Butyou know, if he hadn't have had that leaf in me back, youknow, twenty years ago, I probably wouldn't be here today. And ofcourse, as I mentioned, Maria Martinez for helping me understand this customer opportunityfrom a success perspective for a career. So both those people great from acompany. I think I mentioned it in the book, but I love toshout it out because this is what you do when you love a brand.You want to talk about it. And that's clear. which is the expressline in at the airport that I missed for so long. But just myexperience at the Denver Airport I had a horrible experience. I filled out thesurvey within an hour. Someone got back to me, they explained why ithappened, they explain what they're doing to prevent it from happening and they gaveme their personal contact details. At any other problems at the Denver airport withclear email me directly. I will jump straight on it and I'm like thatis that is a customer experience that is unmatched in the most of the world. Today. When you get a survey and you say you guys suck,well, maybe you get something back, thanks for your response. You know, or it. Maybe someone will call you a covered it like you know, they don't care. It's just a vanity metric for them and they're tryingto work on but this was to genuine like thank you for your feedback.He's and explain it. That's awesome. I love that. So that's myclear go get it. Awesome, well done. How can someone follow upwith you check out more about the book, the Google Cloud Sass portfolio, likewhere are you send people who enjoyed this conversation? Yeah, so thingsaround the book and all things customers success. So there's a website. CSPILLARSCOM stillbuilding it out, so I'm it almost done, but you can downloadthat all the stuff in the boat, the Dograms, the ten plates.You can go on that sought and download all the contents and they all thepodcasts I've done and all the information is it and you can contact me directlythere or just follow up on Linkedin, give me a direct message. I'vehad a lot of people told tell me about the book in the impact hashad and how it's actionable and stuff. So you know, please, ifyou read the book and You like it, let me know and I'd love toconnect with you on Linkedin. Awesome. I recommend that you read it.I enjoyed it, Wayne. I enjoyed the conversation as well. Thankyou so much for your time with us.

Awesome. Thanks, Ethan. Ilove being it can wait to do it again in the future. ClearCommunication, Human Connection, higher conversion, these are just some of the benefitsof adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to dowith just a little guidance. So pick up the official book. Rehumanize YourBusiness. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience. Learn more inorder today at Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening tothe customer experience podcast. Remember the single most important thing you can do todayis to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning thelatest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, orvisit Bombombcom podcast.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (180)