Customer Success Leader
Customer Success Leader

Episode · 1 year ago

Building and Measuring a Customer Success Program w/ Steve Hueber

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Customer Success Programs are popping up at companies everywhere and with good reason. If you aren’t yet familiar with what goes into developing one, or have one up and running, you’ll definitely want to check out this episode.

 

Today I talked with Steve Heuber, Customer Experience Strategist at Genesys, and he shared some valuable insights from his experience putting together successful CS Programs across the country. 

 

We talked about: 

 

- Introducing the concept of a Customer Success Program 

 

- Tailoring programs to meet needs on a project by project basis

 

- Building and earning a trusted client partnership

 

For more info, check out customersuccessleader.com or send a message to hello@flatfile.io.

Being able to account for and measurethose business outcomes is really what I see is at the heart of customer.Success want to create delightful customer experiences. Youare in theright place, welcome to customer success leader where you'll learn aboutthe successes and struggles of leaders who are passionate bout, their crafttrust me. You want to stick around here's your host, Eric Crane, Hey! This is Eric Crane Seo andcofounder here at flat file, and today on Customer Success Leader, I've gotSteve Huber from Genesis. He Steve, how are you hey eric I'm great? How are youdoing? I can't complain too much it's getting pretty hot here in Georgia,though, so the ACS are really cranked up. What about yourself? Well, I can'timagine it's any hotter in Indianapolis than it is in Atlanta Georgia, so Iwon't complain. I think we were in the here today, so nothing to complainabout on my end IC, so lo so pancer shorts or none of the above I'm more of a gorgs Guy, but no it'sshorts and flippops right now, my actually my wife little bit a go. Shesays you look really nice from like the sternum up, and so that's that's awl,I'm dressed these days for these soome calls hey. I feel yeah, I'm in the sameboat. Well, thank you so much for taking a time to join us today to sharea little bit about your perspective on customer success. Yeah absolutely happyto do it. So the first question I like to Gik off with is just how you like todefine customer success. So if you just put it in your own words yeah, I thinkthat's a that's a really good question, because, as you, you look at differentorganizations, so many organizations, I think define customer success. The sameway is kind of in the name, but where how they define the word success andand really how they prioritize that is going to you know, be the difference inhow they treat that, because I've seen organizations that are you know theirsuccess. Organizations are largely care organizations or largely salesorganizations, and so they might define that a little differently. But the waywe work in customer success within our organization is o customer success isreally understanding the business outcomes that your customers arestriving for and then having a...

...measurable way to track and worktowards Os to ensure that we are meeting and exceeding our customersexpectations, and you know, there's a lot of things I go into that, but it'sthat being able to account for and measure those business outcomes isreally what I see is at the heart of customer success got it make sense, sotell me a little bit more about genesis and then talk about some of thosemetrics that measure successful business outcomes for your customers.Yeah Yeah. Absolutely so you know, genesis are our customer successorganization I want to say, is going on Oh seven or eight years old night,maybe maybe closer to a decade. At this point you know, so it's a pretty maturein terms of a customer success practices. You know a lot of companiesare just now starting to adopt or in the early adoptor phase. But you know:We've really seen the evolution of customer success throughout Genesis andreally where we've landed, and what, where we sit on that court tendency is,is that business outcome we understand our customers are investing a lot ofmoney and you know subscribing to our service an they're looking for a returnon that investment and it's our job to really either a ask them and understandwhat that is, and certain companies that might not have as sophisticated ofa customer experience practice. They might not have those things to find yetor they might not have the specific Kpis developed yet, and so we want totalk through that with them and help them develop those and a lot ofcustomers hat that do have. That is just a matter of working with them totrack those, and so you know, you'll see everything from when you look atthe business outcomes that customers might be working towards. You know it'susually the key. You know he there's very high level. It's you know, revenuecustomer experience, employee experience and there's some of thosevery high level things, but, depending on what they're wanting to do withtheir contact under they might be our customer experience center, they mightbe looking at specific kpis a little differently. You know, for instance, aone customer might be implementing a Self Service web experience becausethey want to drive more revenue or reduce cost and another customer mightwant to be doing the same thing, but to...

...increase an employee experience ar toincrease a customer experience, and so the way they might go about executingthose two things and how they're going to judge the success of that specificproject is going to be different, and so it really depends on the customer bycustomer project by project. You know what those success criteria or going tobe got TA. How do you keep track of all those for your customers? Yeah Yep?Absolutely what we try to use is we have each customer has a customersuccess plan that we use, and within that plan we have again. We wanted tofind what success is, how we're going to measure that and then within thateven track won. What are the activities ind, the things that we're doing tomake sure that we achieve that everything right down to you know who'sgot to schedule the next meeting, and when does it need to happen? So it'sreally almost like, like a project plan to success, is really another way tolook at it got that makes sense, so you're developing these relationshipswith customers. How do you iterate towards that a stable trustedrelationship with a client like mock me through how you guide your customers tothat point? Yeah. You know that that's been an interesting thing to do,especially these days when we're trying to build back trust and relationshipover zoom, but you know the first curnle that I'V, I noticed you cross,especially as you travel from the West Coast East Coast. Is You first have tointroduce the customer to the idea of what customer success is and who youare and what your role is, and so that's the first thing you kind ofalmost have to sell the customer on, and so I think that's you know. That'sthe initial thing is that these customers out you're on boarding and,if you're getting involved in the early stages of their life cycle, you knowthey're busy with a lot of other things, with an implementation, and so for themto give you some of that time. You know that's the first hurdle that you haveto really cross, and so it's really about being able to come to the tablewith ideas with things that you're noticing things that you're. Seeingthat really add value for that customer. You know, that's really what it boilsout to you need to prove that time spent with you is going to add valuefor that customer and that you have a...

...legitimate care and concern fortheirsuccess and for their business. If you can demonstrate those two things for acustomer they're going to give you all the time you need and you're going tohave a really solid relationship with them. So how do you effectively do thatat scale, though well a scaled? It can be a little more difficult. So, forexample, I work in the enterprise space so that scale isn't as much of aconcern when you're working you know in a much more targeted environment. Ithink at scale. The thing that you have to really do is you have to rely on alot of your systems and processes to do that with your customers. You know,there's a lot of things that you can do with automation that you know with withautomated messaging, to your customers that is valuable and viable to them andthat they see value in and so youre. No other ways that you can drive trust inyour brand, if not specifically, to a specific customer success manager, youknow is another way you would do that at scale, but it's, however, you'redelivering that value in that communication. That shows that customerthat hey genesis or hey this company is a partner to you. You know, that'sthat's going to foster that communication. So what is your favoritetool or system or process that you use in your day today? Oh Man, all right,I'm a bit of a numbers Nerd, so this is going to be a little bit differentanswer, but I actually am heavily into the the revenue forecasting side ofthings and I like using the revmy revenie forecasting exercise as the wayI kind of go through and put all of my accounts in order. If that makes sense,so I kind of do it from a revenue perspective and looking at you know, ifthe revenue is changing and that forecast is changing, then somethingelse is changing. Thatslad. You knows, I kind of use it to base that, and sothat's a tooll we use quite a bit outside of that. The gamesite is agreat tool that that we use a genesis. It's where we do things like track andcustomer sentiment. You can kind of keep a time one of your activities andso we're in there. Quite a bit updating and you know, keeping things up thedate and then that feets different automated tools with that data as welltit's great to hear yeah, we hear game...

...side is pretty popular amongst thefolks that we speak with. Yeah t is what is something? That's, maybe alittle bit less popular. I don't tosave my name, but whereis technology failedyou before as a custols ascestilator. Oh, my goodness, you know, I would sayyou know it's hard to say that technology fails you, but it's you knowhow you're using it in the way it's implemented. That usually is to blame,but I will act to say the our forecasting process early on when wehad a younger organization consisted of a probably a hundred and fifty megabiteexcel phile, full of just every type of table and pivot and reference andeverything else that you could imagine that you know you make one change andit takes twenty minutes for it to render. So that is a significantfailure of technology and an example of where it starts really well, whenyou're working at this size, but at scale to your point, you can no longerdo those things and excel and track it that way. So luckily, we have a muchmore sophisticated system now, but that is that was definitely a failure oftechnology and how we were leveraging it. What is something you've done inthe last week that you feel like a machine should have done? Instead, Ithink, updating and monitoring customer temperature E. I think its somethingthat that could be more automated with all the different data points that wehave now across different customers within our back and systems I mean wecan see if they're you know up to date on their envoicing. If they haveprofessional services, projects at are approaching deadline and aren't nearlycomplete or our past deadline. We can see how many carecases they have open.We can. You know how many opportunities are open and maybe close to closing.You know we have all these different data points and even tracking activityand things like engage you in sales force and things of that nature. Sothere's so many of those data points that you could put together to give youa better sense of what a customer's temperature is versus. You know more ofthat, relying on everyone's kind of personal feedback, which you have kindof an exercise there of making sure you're, aligning everyone's definitionsand aligning whath Theyr, calling Red...

Green Blue Purple Pink. You knowwhatever your colors are. What do you think would change that? I think it'sjust a matter of time. You know, as technology evolves it's becoming muchsimpler for your data to be connected. I think right now it's that data livesin such different places that it would be a serious exercise to undergo aproject, to tie them all together and to determine the algrithm and to putthat into practice. So I think it's just a matter of time. You know, evenyou know, an ours base and looking at what we're doing an enterprise software,you start to see that you need data in a central place is so that all thesedifferent systems can use it, and so I think it's just a matter of thatevolving more and become a more commonplace that you'll be able tolever. As a data, and more of that, you know, machine learning, understandingyou know even eventually turned it into like an early indicator type programgot it. So we talked a little bit before we started recording here aboutyour interesting career path and how you get to where you are tha sort of asenior enterprise customer success manager. Yo Talk a little bit aboutthat career path and how you ended up where you are today: Yeah Yeah. It wasa really interesting career path and I'll mention one part I didn't mentionthe beginning. When I started college, I was a outdoor recreation and resourcemanagement major because I didn't want to take any math classes, and so afterI ended up with business and computer science, I kind of shot that whole now.Math classer sthing right out o the window, but yeah. So I started more inan engineering role, very technicall, working on biologic and aculate cardedtilefiny systems that would fly around the country and rebuild servers. Youknow fix code, things of that nature and I really enjoyed it, and so I kindof did well there and workd my way into a management position, and I foundmyself kind of an a more customer facing role working alongside our salesteam, a lot more getting involved in presall cycles, and so I kind ofdeveloped this interest in sales. And then you know so. I started in aprofessional services sales role, so I really learned project projectmanagement. You know the methodology...

...it'so. I could speak to those things,selling our services and from there I moved into more of a software sellingrole on an inside sales role. And then, once my company, InteractiveIntelligence was acquired by Genesis inside sales became customer success,and it just turns out that customer success is a really good spot to be ifyou've kind of had experience and all the other touch points that yourcustomers might have within your organization to you can really advocateand speak intelligibly about those different things. So it was an odd path,but it has served me well. What are some traits that you would look for ina customer success manager that would want to join your team? Oh Man, theyneed to be outgoing. They need to be able to develop relationships andthings quickly, because it's there's a lot of working very cross functionallyand needing things from people that don't you know that don't report to youthat aren't on your team. So it's really about being able to work withfolks, crossfunctionally and so being able to develop relationships beingable to. You know, work with people's. You know just those soft people skillsare by far the most important skills. We've hired folks that have everythingfrom a specific customer success background to folks that were kind oflike who I would be working with at a customer and like a product owner at acustomer that have come over and the com denominator across all of them thatmake them good is you know, do they legitimately care about their customersand are they willing to kind of maybe have an awkward conversation or youknow, walk into the wrong office to get answers for them for them? So that'swhat I've seen so, the speaking of awkward conversations. I have abackgrond ind customer success as well, and I know you get some reallyinteresting stories and experiences and serving as an extension of someoneelse's organization. So tell me about an interesting experience. You had incustomer success with one of your clients named or unnamed, and sort ofwhat you learned from that experience. Oh my goodness. Okay, so I do have a agood story, and you know it's not something that you know it wasn't likea mindblowing career, revelation or anything like this, but it wassomething that helped me develop. Some...

...empathy for the folks that I'm that I'mserving and hen the folks that are using our platform, one of our clientsthat I was working with thereare large, very large trucking company, h Il leaveit at that, and I was doing some actually sitting with their contaxtcenter agents. It was the first time I was meeting these folks wanted to getan idea of their operation, so want to sit with their agiens and just get theagent experience whatis their screen. What are they clicking? Hat O the andone of these agents got a phone call from someone. If Youan remind you, ththese, this company just rents trucks out to people right, and this is anagent just sitting in the contact center. Someone calls in- and they juststart barading this agent, because someone was driving one of thiscompanies- trucks like kind of crazy. You know the agens like. Well, you knowman. If, if you have an issue, you know please call the local authoritiesthere's really not much we can do here is like what you saying you don't care.Well, no ma'am! It's not that it's just! We don't have the authority to do it,you know, and so just the way that that for agent wishes attacked by this, thisperson calling in was just an eyeopening experience and you realize,like Bah, T, there's people that are dealing with some really tough stuff on,like the front lines of the software that we're selling and in what we'redoing- and it was just a reminder of you know, no matter where you're atwhere you sit along the chain of the customer experience you're going tohave those days where you're going to get that call and you're going to getyelled at for something that you had nothing and nothing to do with an nocontrol over and you just got to shake it off and keep going. Yeah emphathy isreally important in the space right. You have to understand that these arereal humans and a lot of times. The systems that we build and share withthem are a major part of what they do for a living. So you can expect peopleto get happy, but also very upset about different types of experiences andoftentimes customer success. Servs is that bridge between the idealexperience and where someone is today, yeah yeah, exactly it's really wantingto understand, and you know I'll, even ask customers sometimes like how areyou measured? You know like what are the Kpis that you and your job arebeing measured on. Let's work on those,...

...if you don't have your metrics ondunderstanding, what success is, at least, let's understand we know atsuccess is for you, let's focus on that, but really carring about it at apersonal level like that and wanting the individuals to succeed the moresuccessful I am an my job and helping these customers the more successfulthat everyone working on that product is going to be. If I'm doing my jobwell, everybody wins. So what is your favorite part customer success? I wouldsay my favorite part is the diversity of activity, the differentconversations, an different things. You get to be involved in the kinds ofconversations and the variety of customers. I've been able to work with,and the amount I've learned through. That is by far my favorite part ofworking. It customer success, love it yeah. I can't have every day be thesame thing. You know you got to have some diversity in variety in your dayand dn gussoers excess is a great way to get that yeah thit's a guarantee.It's I'll, put my money out of it's aguarantee. So I'd like to wrap all these at the same question. I'd lovefor you to impart the best piece of advice, you've ever received fromsomeone else related to customer success. Yeah. You know, I think thebest advice I've received round customer success is you know s as acustomer success professional our job is to define and measure success forour customers, but we need to be doing that ourselves as an organization as aCustomer Success Organization and ourselves as as individuals as well.You know we need to be in the same way we're tracking and understanding whatthose things are for our customers. We want to make sure that we have welldefined success, crateria for our own internal organization, for our owncareer trajectory and that we're measuring those things and we'reworking towards those things and then, once those things are achieved, youknow look for that if Youve wead the Taota Cada book, you know you look forthat next target condition. Okay, let's look for that next milestone of success.What are we going to do to get there? How are we going to measure it know,but really take that model of measuring and achieving success that we do withour customers, and you can really apply...

...that across the board. You know it'sjust a good way to almost like you know, journaling, you know Ike, here's what Iwant to get down here, like you know, having o Gowot a vision board of sortsyeah. It's great advice, leveling up yourself as well as your team has aneffect across everyone. You work with yeah all ships rise with the tide.Great well. Thank you so much your time today, Steve that Steve Huber fromGenesis, I'm Ari Crane from platfile, and thank you for listening to thisepisode of Gussom successlater. You depend on the fastest time to valuefor your customers. So why let Datea onboard and sell you down stop emailingspreadsheets, creating CSB templates for setting up xtt transfers, createcollaborative secure workspaces with your customers and their data savingyou time, while providing a memorable, onboarding experience. Oh and there'sno code required, you can go to flatfile. Do Io, slash CS leader tolearn more. I GET STARTED FOR FREE! Thank you so much for joining us forthis episode. Customer Success leader is brought to you by flat file ifyou're a fan of the show and want to help o share these conversations withothers. Leave us a rating on Apple Podcast, just tap the number of stars.You think the show deserves. That's it for tyday catch you in the next one.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (28)