Customer Success Leader
Customer Success Leader

Episode · 10 months ago

How to Scale Customized CX w/ Teresa Anania

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Being on the receiving end of a customized customer experience is the warm, fuzzy feeling every customer loves. But how do organizations personalize their CX at scale?

 

Can every customer get the warm fuzzies?

 

Teresa Anania, VP of Global Customer Success & Renewals at Zendesk, thinks — to some degree — every customer can have a customized experience. She shares her CX strategy with Eric, as well as… 

 

- How to develop an outcome-based approach with high-touch customers

 

- How to engage an entirely remote CS team

 

- Advice for new CS leaders

 

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

 

To hear more interviews like this one, subscribe to Customer Success Leader on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

How do we scale the experience? How dowe scale our organization drive those outcomes, but basically do it in a waythat allows us to sustain a really healthy customer success. Practice wantto create delightful customer experiences. Youare in the right place.Welcome to customer success leader where you'll learn about the successesand struggles of leaders who are passionate about their craft. Trust me.You want to stick around here's your host, Eric Crane, hey thanks for joining us this week,I'm Ar Crane, Co, founder and Co flat file, and I'm here this week withTeresa Nania she's, the VP of global customer success and renewals atZendesk, Hey Teresa. How are you doing I'm great Eric thanks for having me, Isee you're in Pittsburgh. Is that correct? That's correct the undefeatedsteeler town! I was just about to ask that because IAVE been a lifelongpackers fan and it just bugs me to know and how the sealers are undefeated andsomehow the packers have taken a couple ells this year, ell the last few gameshave been amazing, really shows some great comeback. When I was definitelywas on the edge of my seat a couple times, but we made it happen but El. U,I think that the steelers are just like a case study and how much of adifference great coaching can make in an organization where you have a coachwho's, really aligned well with the players and understands how to motivatethem and get the most out of them and Itsiquitin a grat more well. Thank youso much for joining. We could talk about footballll day, but we're here totalk about customer success, and so I love to just ask like how did you getinto customer success? Telling me a little bit more about your story. Youknow that's an interesting journey. I spent a lot of time in sales prior tothat consulting which also has a very big sales aspect. And then, when Ijoined auto desk, I really did a whole lot in the product department. You knowwith product management, building out a platform experience there and thenmarketing and finally sals again and...

...really customer success. Once wedecided at oudied us to move to a subscription base company, it reallyput all of that together. So I find customer success to be the greatestintersection of you know the importance of customer experience, but then alsothat Salles mindset and then certainly the important to be bad loved withbhoth marketing and the promuct teams. Yeah. That's a really interestingapproach, sort of like defining customer success is like thisintersection where you have growth goals for your business, but at thesame time you also want to keep customer experience and mind. So, liketell me just a little bit more about you now that you're at Zendes, likekind of what you're doing specifically in your role as the you know, FP ofGlobal Customer Success Like what is Global. First of all, I'd love to learna little bit more about that, but tell me a bit more about what she got goingon right now. Well, it's kind of cool, because Zendas is a service focus crnplatform, so actually what we build and sell is actually what we do all day,building a great customer experience. So it's really awesome because thecustomers that I interact with to learn our business ore peers of mine. Thereare people that are doing just what I'm doing building out a reallydifferentiated customer experience. So you know I say it Zand us, you knowstarting a company in February right before viandemic was a quiteinteresting time. I really didn't get that opportunity to just sit back andlisten and learn. I had to jump into the fire, so you know my strategy andsome of the vision that I have for building out the best customerexperience. Its ENUSK has been frankly informed by some of those. You know,customers and the time where they have the greatest need, and we rose to theoccasion, but also working with customers that expect digitization insome of the new outcomes from this challenge from Bolhad putting us in agreater place now than when we came in...

...so I've been building Oll, primarilythe all the motions of hie touch, medium touch and low touch and reallythinking about. How do we scale the experience? How do we scale? Ourorganization drive those outcomes, but basically do it in a way that allows usto sustain a really healthy customer success. Practice. Yeah, so tell me alittle bit more. I want to dig into that sort of like build out of thecustomer engagement model. I know a lot of folks are going through changes,especially because of Covid as a result, and since your time its en discausentirely been during the pandemic. I'm sure you can provide some great insightfor our listeners as to how you've been able to effectively build that out andmake sure you're still serving your customers in the best way possible Yep.Well, it's been a journey in itself and I think the engagement model is reallyabout putting the customer first. So guess it is a global organization thatI run, but we each have. You know I have regional leaders in each of thecritical regions we have customers in which is obviously the globe. So reallythinking about how do we want to develop an outcom based approach withour top top customers? High touch thinking about that white glovetreatment that fast time to value during the onboarding experience? Youknow, certainly in their adoption of our solution, ensuring that they'removing along that matority code and then, ultimately, how do we maintainthe renewal or even grow the lifetime value of those Tak customers? Those areplaybooks Eric that we've developed that really help us take datan insightsabout our top customers and then use that to inform what is the actionobleplay, we're going to drive at each moment of truth and then from there,like our segmentation strategy has really been to then say: okay, if thatis the ideal customer experience at the...

...very top. How do we, you know scalethat for medium touch, even in the low or tech touch segment of our customerbase, and that has just been again an exercise of developing the right Dataninsights to inform the right action ability using that to triver outreachat the blow touch way where it's one to many. So it is proactive, but it'sreally building out this personalized experience where we're blending bothdigital and human and we're basically seeing all the outcomes we expectdoring on boarding during adoption and ultimately renewal, making a differencefrom that human engagement. So that attribution is essential because that'swhen you know if your engagement is actually driving an outcome versuswaiting for, let's say the renewal event, which is a laging indicator yeah.I love that. I mean that's right on the nose. You know like if you're waitingto renewal, to understand the value that your customer s getting out ofyour solution, you're already too late, and I also like the idea of doingthings that don't necessarily scale and then learning from those and trying toteach isem how to replicate that type of customer experience. Even when it'smore of a one to many type of motion, and so tell me a little bit more aboutlike maybe some specific areas where you were able to say. Like okay, Hey,we saw our CSTEAM doing a great job, helping our enterprise customers inthis way and e able to take that thing and turn it into the type of experiencehit could actually be automated to an extent with some other parts of yourcustomer base. Yes, for sure, so one of the things is starting with thematority curve of your solution and customer oucomes expected. So if youCEN gauge at that high touch, you know enterprise grate experience. Where isthe customer? What inspired them to buy your solutions? What are the goals theywant to have? You can then take some of...

...those goals and Roi Expectations, andbasically you know assume that other customers, like you, have similar goals.So we took a matority assessment framework. We use that in the very hightouch you know, white glove experience, we fake that right into our customersuccess plans, but then we found in the lower touch and even medium touchsedments, that if you take that same data- and you might want to validate itwith a customer to say this is where we think you are from all of theinformation we can gather about you. Let us know: If we got this wrong, thenyou could put customers on their own personalized journey and just Pailerat,based on the behavior, in the adoption that you see from there on. So some ofour uplift that we're seeing in the enterprise on that ultimate outcome ofrernewal rate is actually something we're also achieving in that longer Tal,because we're able to attribute much of what the enterprise customer expects tosome of our midmarket and even oure smaller customers and it's been a greatway to basically balance both digital and human, so that you can get thisgreat outcome, but still not just throw humans at the problem. I absolutelylove that I mean that's in line with our company mission. So, of course, Ilove that, but this idea of like hey, we can model what success looks like it.Actually, you know that little bit of personalization, where the customer cantell you whether or not that's their vision of success. I think it's reallycritical, because every customer, I think about it just slightlydifferently and the more they can feel like you're aligned with their businessobjectives, the better exactly, and so you can also learn a lot from failuresas well and so, along with learning from successis about where things went.Well, how do you learn from where things go wrong? Yeah, I think that'sgreat, so we have an entire product escalation motion when customers arenot feeling like they're getting the full value out of our solution andtheir needs and their growth trajectory...

...does not seem to be matching whatthey're able to see in our platform. This is where an escalation can happen,and that's actually that's a failure right, because we weren't proactivelyidentifying a customer that might be off track or a customer that might notbe getting that full or aly out of the solution. So I feel like you need tohave a great combination of the healthy path approach like how to keepcustomers moving along that matority curve, but then how to deal withproduct escalations and Etzendes. We built like a swarming concept, so whena customer escalates they are trioged and grantete. You know we are going tolook for some method of determining with selfserve. Can we help them inthat manner? First, when we can't, we will swarm the account. That means wewill have. You know, obviously a lot of discovery with the customer tounderstand where things went off. What are they looking for in the platformorin our solution that they feel they're not getting, and then how do we bringand see customer success to me is the quarterback bringing back our steelerexample is the quarterback of putting all the right resources and playstogether for that customer that, let's say Zendesk has to offer withoutexpecting the customer to know where to go so that swarming brings inprofessional services might bring in our product managers to show theroadmap of something. That's coming. That's an example where, yes, a failure.Yes, we didn't meet the customers needs before they even had them, if you will,but we are reacting and making sure that we're standing up as a companythat is there to serve them and get them through that rough patch yeah.It's really interesting how you see similar types of solutions, Amerge indifferent places, that at full story we called our CS folks, huggers andwhenever someone was having trouble, they get a group hug, because there'dbe a customer Hewyeur and a Huggerand Code, and all these other differenttypes of huggers, who basically are...

...saying hey wo, want to show you thelove, make sure that you understand that we care about your value her too.So I love that example. Tell me a little bit more about he, the team thatyou're kind of building and growing over there it's en desk as well. I know,especially because a it's, a global team and B were in the middle of aglobal pandemic, managing everyone's objectives and doing something like aswarming. You might be a little more difficult because it's not like youresitting, everybody on a plane and sendit them to a particular place. Sotell me just a bit more about the team and how you think through scaling theorganization. Yes, it's so true what you mentioned Eric. I think the job ofcustomer success has been in the spot light during times like this, and it'sprobably more challenging than it's ever been just to the point youmentioned. How do we get that energy and excitement from a customer meetingwhere you Cald witeboard some things? How do we bring all the right people tothe table and get them all scheduled and also engaging on a virtual remotecall? So I agree with you and I also think it's important for CS leaders torecognize how they need to care for their people, because this is inordinante times and they do have both work and personal life challenges andif you make their role that much more I'll say fun, something that they wakeup every day and realize that, with all these challenges, they're still lovingwhat they do. That to me is the job of my managers and my leader, so you know,we've been doing a lot to basically. First of all identify the jobrequirements really get the hard and the soft skills down on paper for eachrole, hiring makes you know it makes it easier for hiring, because then we knowexactly the kinds of qualities and the culture fit we're looking for, but theneven what we took that to is a is a framework in order to do aselfassessment for my entire organization, they've been able tostack rank themselves against some of these critical, hard, aned soft skills,and then from that comes an entire...

...enablement program that we're driving.I think our people have felt super excited about the investment inprofessional development. Getting them not only empowered to do the great jobthey're already signed up to do, but especially with new skills like how toengage in customer meetings using you know, zoo things like that, but alsogives them that investment for career pathways. So I think caring for themmaking sure that you're doing things in the day to give them those breaks. Insure that they're having a good worklike balance and then investing inenablement and getting them excited about being empowered for the job theyhave, but then future career advancement. I think those are some ofthe ideas that I've used it's and Dask yeah and there's oftentimes. I findthat a CS leader CSM is going to lean one way or another, which is likethey'l Lean a little bit more towards the commercial side of the business ora little bit more towards the customer relationship building side of thebusiness. So how do you leverage your previous experience, working in salesas well as building out customer success and Autodesk to really kind ofbuild up those traits where someone is baby, like not as you well versed ineach CSM at the company, so everyone feels like they're contributing notonly to customer relationship but also to the growth and sustainability ofsendes business. You know what that's such a great question: You're right. Igrew up in sales and, interestingly atzendes. The customer success functionis actually under the organization along with sales. So it's really amotto. I see about half and half of the SASS companies doing it this way versushaving more of a CCO office. If you will it's separate, I find there to bea great amount of partnership and opportunity when you are partneringsuccessfully with sales but you're right. Some customers require a littlebit more commercial mindset. What we...

...try to do is actually used an approachof what I Calle Dynamic sementation. So, instead of just all customers spendinga certain amount get a certain type of engagement. We actually use like a twoby two box Quadran, where it's really, where aure high growth customers, wherethere is still a lot of potential, spend that we haven't yet capitalizedon and where are those customers that, frankly, are spending a lot or maybenot, but they're just not going to be expanding that much and Eric. I thinkit's really important to align the right person to the right account. Soone of the ways we do that is really for our higher growth potentialcustomers, aligning them to some of the CSMS that really came in from sales orreally desire, not so much an upsed motion, but really taking the customeralong that matority curve to have more unlocking of the offering, maybe notjust what they bought, but what they could be getting from. Zendesk, that'sthe kind of person I want on that account and there's others, like yousaid it's more protect and maintain. It's like this is a great account. Wewant to give them a great relationship, but it isn't really about gevting themmore because maybe they already have all that we offer. So it's a greatconcept- and I agree with you- it is not one size fits all yeah totally, andI remember even myself, struggling in the early days as a CSM that was moreoriented towards a relationship building and getting in conversationswith. You know: Large Customers whod like for great expansion, opportunitiesand just saying hey. I don't really have the tool set to be able to servethese folks, particularly well, right now and you'll see. Organizations likeyours have adapted insaid yeah. Actually, it does make sense to allowpeople to play to their strengths in the relationship, but the customer aswell as you know that does require understanding what the customersobjective is to, and so I think you marry those two things up. Weunderstand this person and what they're excited about and gabable of, and whatthe customers excited about and capable of, and I feel like that really doeshelp speed your path to Barq. It path...

...to adoption path, to engagement, allthose things that help drive a CS organization forward. Exactly so reallyappreciate you sharing all these insights with our listeners today onthe podcast. I do have like a final question for you, I like to ask it ofevery single guest, but it's what is the best piece of advice that you'vegotten that you like to pass along to someone who is either a currentcustomer success leader, just someone who's aspiring to grow in the area ofcustomer success? I would say it's probably three things one. I mentionedthe importance of dating insights in building out a scalable customersuccess practice. I wouldn't wait for perfect. Okay, I've come from companieslike autodesk that had a legacy of thirty years where we were not assasscompany I came and to Zendusk. You know the data isn't perfect. There eitherstart with what you have use basic information about, maybe usage orutilization, or the customer experienced, really inform how youbuild out those engagement models. I think the second thing is theimportance of caring for your people and really thinking about what is thatbest balance of not only the job they're doing and matching them up withthe right customer. But how do I make their jobs more fun? How do I create anexperience that makes them love what they do? Then they pass that contagiousexcitement to the customer, and I think the third thing is measure measuremeasure. I find that building out some of the digital and the human types ofengagements those are levers and determining what is attributing tothose outcomes that you want. The leading indicators, like fast time tovalue or adoption you know extensive use of certain capabilities within aproduct that will help you determine what's working and what's not and thenultimately, the business goal of renewal rate, attributing yourengagement to that outcome is the way...

...in the cesueit you're, probably goingto be able to get some additional investment and cout. So those would bemy three takeaways. I love that and just the idea that, like there's reallyno such thing as a perfect cs organization, and I think once yourealize that and say like there's, always areas for improvement, you canget away from this like okay, I have this wellcrafted perfect model, AFengageent, my customers and said, say: Hey I'm going to sell this problem overhere that I'm noticing and then this problem and this problem in thisproblem and when you're measuring those results and you're actually engagingthe team around being creative about solving these problems and testingthose methods with your customers. Hin. That's when you coul really starthuming together as an org. Well, thank you so much theresa again that wasTeresa Ndnania she's, the VP of global customer success and renewals atZendusk Im Eric Crane, cofounder and co O flatfile. Thank you for joining us onthis week's episode of customer successluer. You depend on the fastesttime to value for your customers. So why let Datea onboard and sell you downstop emailing spreadsheets, creating CSB templates for setting up ftttransfers, create collaborative secure workspaces with your customers andtheir data saving you time, while providing a memorable, onboardingexperience. Oh and there's no code required, you can go to flat file, OtIo, Lash, CS leader to learn more and 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. U Share these conversations withothers. Leave us a rating on Appe podcast, just tap the number of stars.You think the show deserves. That's it for today catch you in the next one.

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