The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode 117 · 9 months ago

117. Your First 30, 60, and 90 Days In a CX Role w/ Jeff Breunsbach

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

What should your first 30, 60, and 90 days in a new CX role focus on? Be prepared for most of your time to be spent listening.

In this episode, I interview Jeff Breunsbach, Director of Customer Experience at Higher Logic and Founder at Gain Grow Retain, about designing a peer-to-peer community that goes beyond online.

What we talked about:

- The relationship between customer experience, community, and customer success

- The vision underlying Gain Grow Retain

- The first 90 days in a new CX role

- Creating a peer-to-peer community

Check out this resource we mentioned during the podcast:

- The Gain Grow Retain Podcast

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.

We need to put more of an emphasis backinto making sure that we're listening and hearing the customers making surethat we're thinking about this customer first approach kind of outside in Lensthat we were talking about for so long in our consulting business. The single most important thing you cando today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers,learn how sales marketing and customer success experts create internalalignment, achieve desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in apersonal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here'syour host eaten beaute. If you wanted to have a conversation at theintersection of customer success, customer experience and communitybuilding, which I'm excited to do you'd be well served reaching out to today'sguest, which I obviously did. He held multiple Customer Success Rules withDigital Marketing Agency level wing. He served has vp of customer success andhis managing partner at sascs and CX consultancy, customer imperative, andtoday he's cofounder of the customer success. Community and podcast Ganegrow rotain, as well as director of customer experience for Higher Logic, ahuman focus, engagement platform that helps companies with community andcommunication to connect, customers, members and employees at every stage oftheir journey. Jeff Brunsboch welcome to the customer experience podcastethin great to be here. I appreciate you having me on I'm excited for this.Today we connected on Gane Gro routine, which was an absolute pleasure. I lovewhat you guys are doing with that show and I recommended to anyone listeningto the customer experience podcast. I promise, if you like theseconversations. Let's see you've heard five episodes of this show. I promiseyou will enjoy Gane Gro routine as well before we get going and again, I feellike this one could get messy because you are definitely a foot in all of thesecommunity customer experience and customer success, but before we getinto t and see o see where that goes, you've been mentoring with big brothersand big sisters of America for a while, like how's that going for you, and whydoes it matter for you? I love that question. That's something that my wifeand I became passionate about. I think we we enjoy and love children. Mybrother has three kids: We've got now pobably two or three sets of our closefriends: Who've got kids, and so we're always just around them. You know oneday we hope to have a family of our own, but in the meantime we wanted to find away to get out there and connect in our community and do it in a positive way.So we've really enjoyed that this year. We it's been unfortunate because, asjust as we get started getting into it this year it's been covid, and so it'sbeen a little bit challenging. So we've gone from kind of inperson events tohow do we do things digital and then there was a point where you know W,where you do interact safely and have you know someinperson things, but it's definitely been hard, but I think you know webecame passionate about that as well. Just because I think, at the end of theday, trying to develop great great relationships in our community was justreally something that we wanted to do and so yeah it was something my wifeand I just came together. It's something that we also can do together,which I think is nice. You know I work from home. My wife goes into the officeevery day, and so we generally don't get to see a ton of each otherthroughout the week days and so tit's just another way that we can dosomething fun have some different interaction. You know on the weekendsor whenever weere able to see or our little brothers, so yeah we reallyenjoyed that, and I appreciate you dig it into that now. I don't thinkanybody's really called it up before. So it's a good find from you. My Linkdid profile for sure yeah. I love it. It's so important to do and I'm it'strite. It's Cliche, but I'll bet it's true, you're, probably getting as muchout of it as your little brothers getting out of the experience as well.Oh my gosh. For sure I mean you know trying to entertain a twelve tothirteen year old. You know trying to find fun activities, just eveninteracting and talking right. Just thinking about how to ask openitidquestions. It has actually been a very good experience for me just because youknow in my role I tend to go interview a lot of customers, I'm talking withprospects and I'm just trying to...

...understand what they're trying toaccomplish some of the he objectives that they've got on their plate and sotalking to a twelve or thirteen year old. Definitely forces you to getoutside of the box in terms of your question asking because if you givethem a Gess for no question they're pretty much going to take that ahundred percent of the time and leave it at a closed ancwer. So so yeahthere's there's other than that. There's at ton of that we've been ableto to get out of it, especially just even exploring our own community. We'velived in Charleston for close to fifteen years and I feel like we'regetting to do some things that maybe we really haven't, thought of or haven'tdone and a number of years before, and so it's just been a nice way to as wellto kind of go out and see other parts of the community that we haven't reallyhad the time to get to, and so it's been another aspect of it for sureawesome I lost count, but I think this is officially a win win win when when,when so, it's great, so we're going to getinto your role, which is director of customer experience at Higher Logit,but we're going to walk our way into it and we'll start right here, which iscustomer experience when I say that to you Jeff, what does it mean to me? I think I look at that and Idefine it as every interaction that your customers, having with you yourbrands or your people, and to me, I think the you know, sometimes that thatmight be like a cliche right of, like all the interactions really- and I justthink that in today's world, as removing more digital as you're gettingto experiences that get outside of just the human human contact right, we'vegot websites, we've got messaging, we have content, we have thoughtleadership, we have a podcast whatever it might be. All of those interactionsare starting to help the consumer shape. What their perception of you as a brandare what you stand for, what they can expect from you, the the type ofexpectations that we have, and so I really see it as a a very big and broadswath of it's really to me, customor Experienceis, now anything from evenbefore I become a customer all the way through. You know my renewal and howI'm going to be with you F R for a multiple year relationship, and sowe've really taken it a very broadbrought uprochher at higherlogic.I think this is also been shaped by the work that Jand I were able to do ov thelast number of years with customer, imparative and and also just doing ourown community Gane Grotan yeah, so we're what we're trying to do here iscreate a conversation across, in particular sales marketing and customersuccess, even though it also gets into product. It gets into developmentdepends on the nature of Tyour Organization Operations Etceter,because it is customer. Experience does span all of these. You know we all havesome responsibility to it. So how do we do it better together? And so, withyour CS background, I'd love to hear from you on on how you would describethe relationship between customer success and customer experience, YeahTat's Great, so I do just for maybe to help Orient. I report into our chiefcustoer officer, J Nathan now, and so I'm very much involved in a lot of whatwe're doing on the custer side, and so I'm right now and at least in my role,I'm looking at things like what is our customer journey? Look like what aresome. He experiences for enablement and training that we're putting out thereso at least with customer success. Right now we do have a CS operationsrole, and so there's really this nice intersection, where RCS operations,team and leader they're thinking about how are you measuring this? How we'regetting it into a tooler system? And then how are we enabling our housmornsuccess? Managers to go, you know, do what's needed and then I'm there tohelp shape some of the content delivery, some of the the way that we're going topush messages out to customers the interactions and kind of those keymoments that were having across the customer lifecycle I'm getting to helpshape those and make sure that it's kind of on point to what we want theperception to be from our customers. The way we want to talk about, you knowtalk to them, talk about them, talk with them, and so I'm really there froma supporting role, but definitely involved in things that were rolling atright now and just for example, you know we're kind of revamping ourexecutive business review process and so being involved in trying to shapewhat that conversation looks like. Are we bringing up the right points? Are weyou know, thinking about the the...

...customer lends and this angle of like?Are we hitting what they really need to know out of this executive businessreview and is ist something that they want to do you know it's either part of,if even looking at this to is from that Len. So definitely a close relationshipeven more so is the fact that I'm sitting on our leadership team from thecustomer Experience Angle, and so I'm you know closely aligned with Darcywho's. Our director of customer success as well awesome and we'll get a littlebit more into the role, because you know so many. I just recorded anotherconversation to be released her on the podcast and, and we were observing howfew you know as much as customer experiencis kind of bubbled up in thepopular business conversation or at least feels that way. There are not alot of people, who've operationalized it titled it Etcetra, so we'lldefinitely get into that. But before we get too much farther, tell us a littlebit about higher logic like who's, your ideal customer. What do you solve forthem? What do you do just for the context to the rest of the conversationyeah? Definitely so, we've kind of got two main markets that we go serve. Oneis the association and Membership Space and we've traditionally been there forthe last ten to twelve years. Really, you know made our mark there and it'sbeen great. It's really kind of funny the as you start thinking about how theparallel start to happen with a SAS type model. The Association ofMembership Space has been doing that for a long time, and so we're actuallylearning just about how there is so much of an intersection between oursecond market, which tends to be corporate SASS subscription basebusinesses, and you know, customer success. Leaders tend to be where we'retalking to and that community and engagement base, and so higher logic isa platform. We've got products that sit around developing building, retainingand growing communities that we've also got that same thing on just on theengagement side. So thinking about Arcitin communication, email engagementand so we're kind of bringing together. Those two within the platform andassociations were dealing with. Community managers were dealing withassociation, directors, membership directors, we're dealing with BOURDlevels over there same thing kind of on the corporate eside. But it's just youknow, customer success, leaders we might get into some support managerssupport leaders there now is starting to become a larger role for communitymanagers on the corporate side as well, so you're actually started to see howthat is starting to take shape. But those are the two markets we typicallyserve and generally, at the end of the day, there's probably a couple thingsthat we're thinking about for each of each actually avenue or markeket thatwe serve, which is really. How are we? How are we helping them or retain moremembers or more businesses? How are we helping them spark relationships andengagement that they can go have and and how O we make that more meaningfuland valuable interactions on a regular basis? And so it's been fun. You knowwe'recontinuing to push our way more and more into the corporate space,because we've been so so well known in the association space for a long timereally good. I don't know which way I want to go next, either deeper intothis community concept, which I think has a lot of there's. Obviously, a lotof movement there, but Alli think probably some misunderstanding about it like what it means and how todo it well et Cetera, like I just don't need to join another slack group. So,like you know, and then the on the other side, I guess the rule, so Iguess we'll start there is, was director of CX a new role whencustomer repairthave got acquired by higher logic, so you and J you knowbecame team members at higher logic. was that a new role at the time it wasyeah, and I think you know we kind of went back and forth on that for a longtime ban. I think to your point. It was kind of going back and looking at wherewe felt like some of the best Btb Sass organizations were moving and what weresome of the trends were seeing and one of them was. You know there is somebodyin this customer experience, role, who's kind of crossfunctional,dedicated towards programs that really span n the business and isn't kind ofheld down just to one area of practice, and so for us. I think, as we looked atcoming into the business and where we felt like I can make a positiveimpactise with the skill sat, I have and the knowledge that we've gainedover the last fhree years. You know kind of couple that with where we arefrom a maturity, sandpoint as a...

...business, where organization is kind ofwhat functions we had already developed, I just kind of made a lot of sense.There was this nice crossover where again, you know the last three years,I've had such great experience with our with our consulting business. I've seenso much and being able to kind of dive into multiple areas of customer successbusinesses. So you know thinking about implementation, onboarding support,customer success, professional services, so I've been able to really see it alland so kind of moving and shifting that into a customer experience where alwaysreally natural, and I think at the end of the day too, we also noticed thatthis is something that our customers maybe felt like we. You know we feltlike they needed it. You know we need to put more of an emphasis back intomaking sure that we're listening and hearing the customers making sure thatwe're thinking about this customer first approach kind of outside in Lensthat we were talking about for so long in our consulting business, sodefinitely knew, which is also kind of a first time and in my career that I'vebeen able to maybe shape a position. So it's very been a very interesting firstthree months, I technically probably don't really have a anactual roles ofresponsibilities or a job description, yet we're still in the midst ofcreating it, and so it's been a very interesting transition to be able tokind of look around and see you know. Where can I be impactful and then whatare the things that start to make sense overtime right like, as we startthinking about two thosand and Ndtwenty, one we're really trying to find an Sartto define that a little bit more but yeah? It's been a fun fun three monthsfor us doing that I love t. You already answered one of my my followupquestions and I'm asking this kind of on behalf of somebody listening who'slike okay: Let's do it. Let's assign someone to this role. We can figure outwhere we want to house it. Obviously for you, while it's under the chiefcustomer officer generally on the on the CS side of the house, you couldreally probably put it in a variety of spots so well set that aside, but Iguess a two part question you mentioned. You know my skill set lent itself to itand you referred to it a little bit but go a little bit deeper, like wher, acouple skill sets or skills, or maybe experiences that you think you know ifsomeone's looking around their own organ, we like Gosh, you know who wouldbe. Who would be the right kind of person to maybe send off on thismission and then related. You know what kind of goals or or activities to do,assign yourself for like that. First thirty, you know we think about thefirst thirt Yand sixty ninety for or all the time you know. I know you wereoperating without like a formal job, description or whatever, but you knowwhat were some of the most important activities for you besides or I guess,including probably getting out and making good relationships with some ofthe leaders and folks that you're going to need to be connected with to beeffective, yeah Soeong. To answer your second question first, because I thinkyou can feed back into the first one, but we had some really have you. What's the have you read thebook, the first ninety days where it talks about like as you're a new leadercoming into an organization. It's like Hou're, the things that happen so Ja,and I you know we're reading this boo as we're coming in. We have all thisstuff outlined all these things happen and we get in a D, and we literallyjust like ere like picking up the book and just like throwing it out. Thewindow were like, Oh, like this is like we're moving at way to thea waydifferent, so it's kind of a fun little story that we were. You know we werereading that book as we came in. There is some really impactful stuff, but Ithink we learned pretty quickly about just how adaptal you have to be. Inthose first days, you're coming in I'd, say there was, as we look at the firstThirtd d sixt ninety and the thirty we ere really focused on having as manycustomer conversations as possible. So there are two things that we did veryspecifically right off. The Bat which was one initiative, was of fiftycustomers in fifty days, and we made the the pledge to go talk with fifty ofour customers over a fifty day span, and we did that with our executive team.So our chief executive, O officer did that our chief product officer and thenJ Y chief customer officer divided up the list. They went and had fiftyconversations and just a way for us to help Oriente ourselves to listening tothe customer, first understanding their experiences, and so while they did thateffort, I did a Cx road show, and so I was doing a little bit smaller number,but I ended up doing about twenty two. I think it was over the first thirtydays about twenty two twenty two customer calls over those first thirtydays. So if yo, you know you look at that, we've got about seventy to eightycalls that we had done notes. You know...

...we recorded some. We didn't record allbecause we wanted some. You know we were hoping that we would get sometrudhs and some transparency, and so first thirty days that was probably thebiggeest thing that I was working on was kind of operationlizing, thatmaking sure that we could get some of those insides back into to our CRMsystem, making sure that we could also go tell the CSMS or account managerswho are working with those companies hey. We talked with this person, here'ssome of the feedback that we got so that was really a part of that firstthirty days and I'm glad we did that effort. I really think that that ishelping to shape our second thirty days, which really became more of like aplaning exeercise. So after the first thirty days listening to a lot ofcustomers, we were listening internally as well. I think we went and had youknow there might be, I think, there's a total, maybe four hundred fourhnre andfifty people in our company. We probably talked to at least a third ofthose people across vary parts of the business fifteen, thirty minuteconversations at times, but all the effort of trying to align our customerLens with our Employe Lens, and then we were hoping to bring our own lens fromthe outside and trying to combine those three things to figure out. Okay, then,during the planning phase, you know what does that start to look like interms of for me at least customer experience, initiatives and there's acouple of things that started bubbling up, which was one we felt like. Therewas more of an effort that we needed to really drive all of our customercommunications through one one spot in the company, and it could be acrossfunctional team. We call it now the customer communications clearing ahouse, but what we realize is that there was any given time. Maybe twenty thirtymessages that needed to go? Ut customers, we were generally leveragingemail in our community and there was just so much more. We could be doing tomake that more of like a campaign structure. How do we start sequencingmessages across multiple platforms and then how do we open up thispossibilities that that became part of that? Second, thirty days was reallylooking at. How do we start honing some of these cutsomer communications andmaking sure that we're all in the same page? We all have an understanding ofwhat's happening there, and now. The last thirty days is now we're lookingat more the customer journey work that we have been thinking about so now thatwe feel like we've got some listening done now that we feel like we've aleaststarting to hone where some of the communications are coming from. NOWORthird part is really focused on. How do we start looking at the customerjourney and where some of those those moments in time that we just know wecan improve? So two that are critical to us right now were are Aur onboardingand implementation, and so we need to be onboarding our people andimpluenting. The software and thinking about how we you know do those verywell. The second piece that we're focused on is a concept that we'rethinking about now kind of in the backhalf, maybe the first year of beinga customer. But how do we get very pointed and specific about some valuetraining? So how do we go in very specifically and say: Hey you know,you've been with us now, six, seven, eight months. How do we continue to getback in front of you with the right information? Do you feel empowered onthe platform? You know we can look at some of t the data that's coming infrom the product side and marry that up with what we're kind of seeing andlearning from them, maybe to to create more of a tailor, training that theycan actually have kind of in the backhalf of that first year and makesure that they're still successful. So that's first thrnt sixte. Ninety thoselong winded someone to pause there busreally give me some feedbackor. Ifthere's anything that that's enticing there to dive into there is, I guess,just a really quick one. Do I assume correctly that you can use your ownplatform to help customers especialy specifically like is during theplanning and states to I sunme you're planning on how do we use higher logicto help hierlogic customers? Definitely, yes, and so we are in the other benefit.Maybe the side benefit. We've kind of Tald talked about it just for a minute,but I'm also a customer through game grow tain. So we have a a thought:Leadership Community around customer success, and so I've now got the thedistinct pleasure of actually kind of going through the motions of being acustomer which is also lending itself to us in that planning stage and U'sthinkng about thet customer journey. But Yes to your point, that isabsolutely one of the things that's on the top of our list. Is You know ifwe're going to have a community software? How do we makesure and actually push out community...

...and we have the best community in theworld that you know we can actually rely upon? Our customers can look atand say that's a great representation and same thing on the campaign. Emailengagement side right: How do we? How do we start doing those things?sequency messages like we need to and kind of again making sure whattheforefront of what what we're doing so cool so again, just th the firstpart of that flastoh yeah, shoing back hes. So so again, what I'm looking forhere is, like you know what are some like characteristics or backgroundtraits that, whether it's a leader trying to identify someone within theirteam or maybe even someone trying to selfidentify- is this a direction Icould should would go like wh t just in your observation and experiences.Certainly through you know, talkg with a variety of leaders on the podcast inthat community like and your own experience like what are a fewcharacteristics. We might point to yeah, definitely and then I'm GONNAI'M G, I'mgoing to turn that question back on you to, because I know you've interviewed alot. Some I'm curious e. If you've got some more to add, maybe, but I thinksomebody who is so I'm, I would say, I'm generally naturally curious Pperson, so I'd love to go research businesses. I love to see how they makemoney. I love to read their annual reports. I like to go. Watch video sogenerally to me. Ih've just been very curious about the businesses that wereinteracting with and making sure we get a full picture right, even though wemight be impacting the customer Success Department or the Marketing Department.I want to understand kind of the full thd nd sixty, so I think trying to findsomebody who has got some some natural curiosity in that I enjoy engaging withwith other people, so I'm generally on zoom calls I'm generally talking topeople- and I would say maybe fifty percent of my weeks are spent, tryingto find ways to engage ith customers right now. At least you know: How do we,how do we understand their challengees better? How do we make sure and look atthe opportunities that they bring up to us? How do we connect them just peer topeer? More specifically, so I think somebody who's just also verycomfortable, with having conversations being on zoome calls asking curiousquestions and being okay going in with kind of a Loos agenda. I thinksometimes people aren't very comfortable. I H that right whereyou're saying hey, I'm just kind of Rhey, I want to come into thisconversation, and you know our gend is going to be very specific, which is, Iwant to learn more about you and learn more about your company on alerable anwhere your problems, but we're going to do that in a way that is not verysystem at like right, I'm not coming in and having somebody Ho with preparedanswers. I want this to be a little bit more off the CUGF and relax. So I thinksomebody who can yo can do that very specifically. One other aspect that I think is youknow. Another reason why this made sense is I've come from the marketingbackground, so I do have a little bit of marketing experience an expert Teece.We had to run our own business for the last three years. I've also had to runyou know our Gangro Tan community, so just being able to, I would saysomebody who's, naturally into kind of marketing techniques. Thinking aboutcopywriting thinking about positioning and not in the sense that you're goingto go impact all of the kind of front end before they become a customer. Youknow when they're in the prospect stage, but think about how you can lend thosesame types of skills after they become a customer right copywriting. You know,you'll hear Dave Garhard, Chris Walker, any any of those e marketing goorersout there and Linkeddan. Anybody in the world would probably tell you that Sampar from the hustile is another one. That copywriting is still probably oneof the most underated skills to think about, and SI I've really dove intothat a lot this year. So I think, naturally having some markeing skillsor thinking about at least just thinking about that lens of thecustomer h how they're perceiving it, how we're presenting it to them thechallenges, opportunities that they have so think. Those are a couplethings that come to mind for me. But what else would you add? After all,your conversations with the with bleaders yeah I'll, add one and I'll.Also, just restate something you observed about yourself earlier issomething really really critical and I'll start there. I would just say,generally speaking, business acumen, like an understanding of how differentbusinesses make money like I in a very generic sense, yeah, but then we'respecifically how are different. You know what are some ways that companiesare organized. How do these different teams work together? Because it reallyis this crossfunctional piece, so I guess you know. I just can't see a lotof the rules that report up to a lot of the people thatI'm talking to I'm not talking with a...

...lot of like direct frontline folks, I'mtalking with the people who were in those frontline roles and learned andgrew, and they were curious. They had conversations they invested inthemselves, which is another thing you pointe out about yourself. You knowyou're investing outside the bounds of what at Ny one, whatever ask of you outof your own natural curiosity and your desire to be better tomorrow than youare today is so that's a good thing to, but this the understanding how howdifferent businesses work so that you can understand what matters to peopleyou know, and it helps you. It gives you a lot more context to understandthe problems that you're solving and or the opportunities that you're helpingpeople capitalize on the the new AD. I guess would just be General Comfort in a high level ofcompetence, if not more advanced skills related to both qualitative andquantitative data. Comfort, asking the right questions, not necessarilydesigning research projects per se, but you know having the leading questionsthat you know start pulling in the right answers and having the again theAcumin to understand what they mean to ask. Follow up questions to be able toshare that data with other people to be able to look at data that someone'spresenting to you and, like you know, just be able to make sense of it again.Both quality to Banquantiti, so I guess that'd be an ad yeah it' Rin for you.It did so just so Jay business partner and now he's our chief customer officer.He had a kid, a post on linkedin actually today, just about how we'rewe're trying to go a Nabl and we have a concept. We're using right now calledZeo zero to one and it's trying to get our team and our mindset around youknow there can be a brandios vision right. We want, we all want thesesystems integrate. Well, we want this to be automated. Everything wants tohappen, you know automatically and seamlessly and sure you know we wantthat at the end of the day like that is awesome to have that vision, but we'retrying to get in this mindset of this zero to one and it kind of triggeredsomething you mentioned just because there, the one ot means to us like howdo we just go? Get that one thing off the ground: How dowe go get it stand, stood up right and if it's a manual way for us to go, dothat in the short term. That's that's okay, but I think by and largesometimes where people get lost is maybe this idea that everything needsto be interconnected D. everything needs to have all the systems workingin order for us to go, make any movements and so we're trying to leastdeconstruct thot a little bit Anso. The reason why I brought that up, though,is I posted a a message, a comment on that thread, and I said we US business.People need to start acting a little bit more like scientists. How do wehave a hypothesis? How do we, you know, bring that hypothesis into a test? Howdo we test it? How do we look at andanalyze their results and then comeup with what the next steps are? Is Another test? Is it you know rollingout, and so I think that type of mentality, though, has just been lost,and especially what we've seen over the last three years right, we've justnoticed how businesses are a lot more. Oh, we have to roll this out to all ofour customers. Oh, we have to do this one big swoop at one time right and itI think, just trying to break it down into the smaller Chun, so it kind oftriggered what you', what you mentioned just about bringing data to bear andhaving hypothesis, I think, is just something that I'm trying I'm certainlynot there, but I'm just trying to get better at what's the hypothesis. What'sthe what's the measure that we're actually going to you know see if it'ssuccessful or not, and then how do we continue to keep that mindset, becauseI think that gets us in this motion of fluidity and we can actually starttesting things before we roll them out to you know the entire customer base,so many good themes in there. You know phrase that we use around here. A lotis the next right step. You know it's got a little bit of MVP baked Indo tits definitely got a little bit of adgile baked into it, and and there'sthis other bigger theme that I've been thinking about a lot which is, although we don't need to spend time onit, is this idea that I think so often we're looking to scale something beforewe truly understand it or befor, it's even good or worse scaling. You know, Ithink, and you know I think we try to do a lot of things really quicklywithout truly understanding a you know, tha the primary variables in play andthen b the people that are involved in and how they feel about it. You knowwhat no matter, what the problem is, we're trying to seld like we don'ttruly understand the problem, but we want to throw technology at it or wewant to try to write an algorithm that...

...can learn but there's insufficient data,or we don't even understand the data well enough to create a good rule setto start with all these things like we try to go so fast and I think a lot ofit really is as easy as stopping talking to people understanding, whichis another reason. I really like your thirnt and sixty ninety approach. Iwould love from your perspective because I think this conversation is is as popular as ever, but I thinkthere's a lot of misunderstanding around it and I'll just genericallycall it community. So, as you already said, you were a higher logic customerbefore you were the director of customer experience, so you're,obviously working on active community building. You did you know a listeningtour of your own and I'm sure you got some insights from the listening tourof the other folks who talk to fifty customers. What does community mean toyou? Like in this in this environment and what are some ways, people aredoing it. Well, I love the way you thought about that question, though,because I think one perception that we're seeing now is is people are tending to focus oncommunity as just an online platform, and so I think that's where we've triedto with our Gangarotan community and now coming into our roles. It startedto make sure that Werewe're thinking about community more broadly, and so toyour point- I think you mentioned this- I don't know if it was before werecorded or if we had just recorded, but you know we were just talking aboutyou know who needs another slack community to join. Sometimes thesethings just tend to be one off they're, not very value added and there'snothing, that's kind of following them up in other avenues, and somultithreated is tha thing. I keep thinking about with our community a lotso so I think one of the you know one of the trends and missnomers that we'retrying to get out of is that it's solely just an online community. Thatis yes, a very important part. There's so many ways to engage customers inthat engage members. You can do you know, ask m any things. You can havediscussion, threads Peure, peer connections that are happening. Youhave t and AG style, Ans, Er right, there's so many different things thatyou you in that online community, but I think we're starting to see now and thetrend is moving towards. Is that we're starting to kind of pull more and moreinto this word of community? So how do we get pure to heer events? You knowzoom style events and person, events. What does that look like? How do westart thinking about potentially bringing a podcast into the fold thatcan be a community driving activity? And so how do we bundle this experience?That looks the same as well, and then how do we start again kind of gettingback to what is the whole reason or the purpose behind the community? I thinkin the corporate space we're starting to see how we're getting outside ofjust the one man band of community is there to help us drive some supportdeflection. I think we're finally past for getting past that messaging,because I think they're starting to see that this actually starts to play inyour customer success strategy. It can be a one to meny strategy forengagement. You can create programs, wher appeers are connecting with peersand all that goodness is going to be in the the benefit of your customersuccess team. If your support team and there's all these other functions,Thatwi'll start to see kind of the benefits, if you can get the rightstyle of engagement of that. So I think that's just two things that come tomind, which is this. You know trying to get outside of online community as justa singular way, but also trying to make sure that we're getting outside of justsome single threaded reasonings of why we have a community. How do we getoutside of just support? Reflection- or just you know- is retr start thinkingabout the association space. How do we retain and grow members for long forthe long term? So I think we're starting to see the impact of how thepandemic and how that digital engagement in transformation is reallystarting to maybe accelerate where communities are going and I think to, as consumers were starting to demandmore of a community. I'm with you, I'm Inmany Tslak communities and I wouldsay the ones that I feel like I'm more involved in an more engaged in is wherethey're starting to get outside of just a slack thread and they're getting intoevent. Second attend they're, giving me thought leadership, content they're,setting up discussions that are going to be valuable for me, and so you know, I think, we're definitely onthat train of just trying to get outside of it slightly really good,there's so much good stuff in what you...

...just share there, and I think, when Iwant a highlight and maybe get more of your thoughts on, is this idea ofconnecting our customers with other customers. You know, I think, when wewere all getting together in large events or whatever you know, a lot ofcompanies throw really great events where their customers can come together.But it's interesting because you know, even even when we're doing our best ineven companies that are actively talking with customers still at somelevel, we're marketing to personas we're selling to personas and we'reserving personas at some level as opposed to people and Wen wecan connectour customers to each other. You know theyr true peers, theyre often times,especially if you do it a segmented way. I mean regardless the product or o theservice brought to people that had a similar problem or opportunity togetherso therea peers on that level. But in a lot of case, if you can do it a segmentdid way it draws them even closer together. So I think I think customerto customer does so many wonderful things beyond support. I I love thelanguage support deflection to yeah and I'll. Tell you that I think the firstbarrier for companies and businesses to maybe have more peure connections iskind of getting over the fact or being comfortable with the fact that twothings are probably going to happen, which is one you might not even beinvolved in those conversations and that's okay right, like they're, notgoing to be bad, mouthing you behind the scenes or they might and that'sfine. You know what that's going to happen, no matter what whether you'vecreated that peer engagint or not, that's going to happen, and so I think,just being comfortable it that hey we're not going to be. Maybe we're notpart of that conversation, but one thing we do get from a brand personaperspective or perception perspective. is we helped connect them they're,going to remember that somehow right we brought them together for a Webinar andthey were in the chat window. They met each other. They went on linked andconnected at some point down the road. There's going to be a you know what Imet. I met Ethin through this Webanaur that we had and it was from hierlogic.You know what that's, where we're hoping to win years down. The roadright is first starting to set up these engagements because I think, beingcomfortable the fact that you're not going to be in the room and then to Ithink, also being comfortable the fact that those two that those two peoplethey might not be talking about your product at all and their conversationand that's another thing. I think we have to get comfortable with, which isyou know, as long as we're bringing those two people together, and I lovethe way you just worded that which is in some respects they have the samechallenge or opportunity to head of them because they purchase our software.So they're like ininherently they're, going to be linked for something, andso it might not happen in every single conversation that we have, or they havetogether a being comfortable it. That fact, too, that at some point they'regoing to be talking about our software and the best ways to configure it. Thebest way is to leverage it the best practices they're using. You know themetrics that they're seeing, but I think we also have to come to terms othe fact that in some cases in some respects, it's okay, if we're not beingtalked about at all times, because our customers are generally probably usingour platforms on average. I don't know ten twenty thirty percent of the time,and so there is a whole seven other, seventy percent that we can beimpacting, and we need to be thinking about that. Seventy percent moresometimes more than we think about the thirty percent, because that's howwe're going to win customers for the long term. So those are two things thatI think we've generally seen are trying to think about disspelling. The notionof when you start thinking about Pur o peer engagements yeah. It's funny. Onething I was thinking about even before you started answering tha in what I'mgoing to say is like in between both of those. You know you might not be thereand they may not be talking about either. Where I was going was like theymay not be talking about you positively necessarily, you know, and that's okaytoo. It's just honest conversation between people that have come togetherfor particular reason, and you know you just want to be kind of a good partyhost, really practical tip here for people. If you have it- and I know thisfrom a couple like light weight kind of DIY, you know MVP next rate, stepcommunity type efforts, I've undertaken from the marketing side, you have thisloll between you know. Customers clearly want to connect with each other.So you set something up whether it's a group in something like a linked in ora facebook or whether it's a slack channel or whether it's you know one ofthese New Light weight platforms. Maybe...

...that host things you know like a reallyan MVP style, there's this gap that I've experienced between customer citeywant it. So you create it, you invite them they're all there, but they don'tstart talking to each other, and so you know you find like the first severalweeks or maybe even several months. You have to se feed this thing to createsome conversation engagement. Any A is this a thing, you've seen or heard andbe any remedies for that yeah, definitely seen and heard it and and Hohit the nail on the head. I think there's J talks about a concept, a lotwhich is being the DJ, not the talent, and so you know we're not necessarilycreating the music, but we are the ones there who are maybe figuring out howthe music fits together as part of a set right, and so thinking about how?What does that really mean, and so the way we think about that is potentiallyhaving let's say a peered peer session. Well, we're going to be there tofacilitate and we should not be talking the most on that call. We should be theone who's bringing conversations together. One way that we've tried toadapt this or get around it is we're going to bring together. I sixtyseventy of our customers. We're going to bring together hundred. Maybe whatwe're going to do is actually break them down into smaller groups, so we'regoing to have some sessions, wherewe're larger, but let's break down. Maybe asixty minute session, we're going to spend probably a bulk about forty toforty five minutes in breakout rooms of five or six people, no more than eightfrom what weve found when you think about discussion and getting people tobring their voices to the table and being able to be heard, so I thinkwe're trying to break it down in that way, and I think what we started tofind is that we're calling hem these small networking pods but buying large.What we're trying to do is answer a couple of questions which is you know?What's your name, let's get some of the basics of f the way. What's your name,you know what type of work do you do and one of the things that we alwaysask is some something along the lines of. What's something, that's on yourwhite board that has to get done over the next thirty days or you know,what's something that's been added that wasn't there thirtyty days ago, and solet's get some sort of openated question that hopes to bring some ofthe problems challenge opportunities to the table, because that's where we'veSen, the the foster of connections is oh, my Gosh ethin talked about how heand has to go drive membership engagement. So do I I wonder if, likewe're going to talk about it right now in the session, but then I wonder ifeven somebody I can follow up with down the road, we can then spark arelationship and have a conversation later, and so I think just trying toget some of those openitic questions is a way that we've Trie to develop andpioster some of those connections. That's worked out pretty well, I thinkthe other avenue to think about. As you start, bringing members to bear is evenasking them that question right, hey, you said you want to do this. What isthe way you want to do it? Do you want to do in a big group? Do you want to doit in a small group? How can I actually get the most value en engagement foryou? I think a lot of our team sometimes get scared, because I say alot of things like: Let's do things that don't scale and it's kind of backto your point earlier, because we don't even know what works yet. So why are wegoing to fail? Something like that's the whole intent behind the the saying?Let's do things that don't scale because I think buy and large when wejust kind of take a step back. I always like to say Zick when the other peopleare zagging is, do you think anyode's really been asking them how they wantto be engaged with? If we do have these sessions right generally, tha peopleare just coming to them. Saying Hey. We set up e Webonar for a hundred of ourcustomers. Do you want to come hey we're trying to jam as many customersinto a webbonor as possible right, we want all the o want a thousand peopleand what, if you went to them and zagged and said Hey, you know what wewant to set up a session for you, but we want it to be ten people. Does thatsound great? Is that something that you you would enjoy, as is connecting withnine other peers, and I think you know if you do things like that, and youactually just asked the genuine question. I think a lot of times you'reactually going to get a response. That's probably a little bit moreunique than somebody just saying: Yesi'll go into eleven hour, so thoseare a couple of things that come to mind for me really practical. I assumefor anyone listening at this point in the conversation, because we've been atit for a little while and honestly, I didn't even get to half of thequestions I had kind of tued up like I created Al Time, Tok! No! No! No! No!It's really good! Like I just you know. These are all really big categories ofconversation, you're, really smart,...

Dude and- and I've enjoyed talking withyou and so for other people. Who've enjoyed this conversation. So far, I'vegot a couple other episodes. I think you'll enjoy episode. Eighty four watsaying ravagere of TERMINIS. He also created the flip, my funnel community,the peak community, an marketing community, and that is ten rules forbuilding a category and a community actually see category community andevangelism is kind of like three legs of a stool myself. It's a theory Ihaven't walked out yet in full, but it's all there in my head. So that'sepisode. Eighty four singrinvisry or episode sixty six with Ben Smith willhe is a CX strategist, ind designer, and we called that one restoring thehuman factor to fulfill the big cxtreme, where he kind of knocks down somemisperceptions about CX and talks about it in a very operational way, which Iso enjoyed that aspect of what you're doing there, especially as a new personin a new role, bringing all of your experience and figuring out new waysdude. I love that you don't have a job description yet so, but before I let you go here, JeffI'd love to give you two opportunities. The first is to thank Hor mentione,someone who's had a positive impact on your life for your career, and thesecond is to give a mention or a shout out or a nod, to accompany your brandthat you really appreciate for the experience they deliver for you. As acustomer yeah, I'm going to give two people, I mean t. The obvious answerfor me: Is Ja Nathan he's our chief costom officer now, but I've been we'vebeen business partners for the last three years and it's been a fun. Youknow relationship and ride for us and I think we we continue to feed off eachother. Were you know typically going to be attached tat the hip, but I thinktheres somebody. You know, I think it's rare life when you meet somebody andyou're, like man we're going to we're going to be doing things for a longtime. So that's that's a big one. For me, another one is Brent Cahuda. Who isa manager for me back at at leveling, and I actually take a lot of differenttypes of baby philosophies about? How do we make our account successful? Howdo we make the actual humans, on the other end of those accounts, successfulas well et a great one liner? He used to tell us, which was, if you can getyour contact to actually get a promotion or get recognition internally.That's where really where're going to build some long term relationships, andso I've always carried that with me, which I think is a good one. I'll giveyou a brand that I've had some interaction with recently that I feltlike has been to me really positive, which is Pelaton, so my wife and I wetook the the dive right. The Co apandemic situation was happening. Wewere trying to figure out ways to stay active, and so we went down that rabbithole, but one thing that I think that they I'm taking away from what they doreally well is they're starting to, I think, learn who I like and who I don'tlike, and so the homescreen starts to be customized and tailor to myexperience and then what starts to happen as well as whenever I end asession there is the ability to go, take kind of a followup. You can do a afive minute cool down ride or you can go, do another ride, and so thoseexperiences are now starting to become personalized as well. So I thinkthey're doing a very good job of actually using the input. So you knowI'm not necessarily. I guess I'm not doing things at a vein or spite bike,as as I go, do things they're actually taking note of that and then serving meup something, that's that's relatdable and that's valuable, indthother sides.I think that's one. That's been recent for me. That's awesome. I can't believeI haven't heard that name yet, because I've asked you know now over a hundredpeople that question and I've had a couple repeats, but I haven't heardthat one, but they do fit with some of the obviously, the more probably ai, enhanced or at least basicautomation rule sets that are like were just gets more and more for you, justlike our Netflix home screen yeah. I think so, and I think one one customercentric thing that they did. We bought our bike onknow a couple of months ago,and so they just came out with a new version and and what they ended updoing was. The new version has a different screen different model,something that we we were never going to go by the new version anyways, butwhat they did is they lowered the price point for thei original bike, and sowhat happened? Is they actually just lowered our bill by the three hundredand fifty dollars? And so you know they...

...just did that proactively. It just cameinto my account and then it just said: Hey we're going to lower your paymentsdown by three hundred an fifty dollars and just gave it to us because we hadbought the bike recently and so to me. I've heard stories about how tthere aresome other practices, I think of Helton, maybe that aren't so customers centrick.But that is one that just tood out to me where I was joking, my wife for theday, because I was literally like yeah, they just sent me an email and thet. Iwent and looked and it was already applied, t three hundred n fity dollarsor whatever it was, was already off. So just so, I think a way to be customerscentric ahead of time. They already knew they were going to lower the price.They already had a strategy to address this so that people weren't calling upsaying I just ordered my bike yesterday. Do I get this right and they just had aplan which to me was just really impactful as well, so smart. We couldtalk for ten minutes about that story because it makes me think about this.You know the big silent, Mi, the big silent majority there, where, if youdon't proactively, do that you've got some customers who know that this thingcame out and you're just kind of pissed like yeah, but they get out in front ofit really good, and I wonder h w the rule sets they use to decide. There'sso many ways. Thet could have dif decided where to draw the line like howresultly a by the Mike, how I ten it you know all these things. You know ifsomeone bought it and never used it. Maybe they're like as probably Isin along term customer will ak ther three hundred bucks anyway, I could spend allday with you. This bit is Super Fun Jeff and if someone was follow up withyou, if they want to follow up with higher logic gain gow retain wer someplaces you would send people that have enjoyed this conversation. Yeah easiestplace to find me is on linkeon. I think it's Jeffrey Brunn'SBOCK, director ofcxet a hirelogic, and so I should have founder of Geing Grrotan in there aswell and that's a place, I'm generally interacting J Brunsbock at hihologiccom. If you canlearn how to Sfell my last name, you can go ahead and email me. I alwayslike to say that and then Gangrotancom so for any customer success. Leadersout there. We always love to have interactions, love to have more peoplecoming to engage and so Weud love to see there haw happy to open in freecommunitys, so come sign up, agan groteamcom awesome. I will link allthat stuff up for folks who are listening, who aren't familiar. We dowrite all these up short write up. Some video clips links to some of the thingswe talked about and you can find all of that at Bombomcom, podcast Jeff. Iappreciate your time so much. It's been a really fun conversation. I knowpeople are going to enjoy it awesome thanks so much evhen, clearcommunication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just some of thebenefits of adding video to the messages your sending every day. It'seasy to do with just a little guidance, so pick up the official book rehumanizeYour Business, how personal videos, accelerate sales and improve customerexperience learn more in order today at Bombamfcom book, that's Bo, mb, fombcomboock, thanks for listening to the customer experience. podcast rememberthe single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver abetter experience for your customers, continue learning the latest strategiesand tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visitBombomcom podcast.

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