Customer Success Leader
Customer Success Leader

Episode · 1 year ago

Start Speaking Your Customer’s Language w/ Leigh Hamer

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We’ve all heard it before: Communication is key. So why are businesses still so bad at it?

 

Leigh Hamer, Director of Customer Success at Lumavate, shares her strategy for crafting communication dependent on the receiver in this episode of Customer Success Leaders.

 

Plus, she and Eric talk about… 

 

- Measuring success based on your platform’s ease-of-use

 

- Mitigating the scariness of new updates

 

- How Leigh has been accounting for a new customer profile

 

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.

We both have mutual goals, so let'sfocus on those mutual goals, not the obstacles getting there right and let'stackle those together, want to create delightful customerexperiences. Youare in the right place. Welcome to customer successfull Er,where you'll learn about the successes and struggles of leaders who arepassionate about their craft. Trust me. You want to stick around here's yourhost, Eric Cran, Hey, welcome back to the customersuccess leader Podcast, I'm your host, Aron Trane, a flat file, and I'm heretoday with Lee Hamer who's, the director of customer Successiv to MobatHayley, how you doing good. I R thanks for having me on yeah the problem wherere you calling in from today, noblepill Indiana Noblesville I'v, not reallyheard of that before we're abouts in Indiana. Are you we talking like PoniOare? We Talking Yeah Upona? No, we are just north of Indianapolis. Ireally love just driving through the Midwest, especially around that area.It's so cool, seeing all the windmills lit up at night, especially as youdrive into the cornfields. It's e gorgeous ARY noblezill is a very quaint,little town, it's actually a city now, but we have an andorable little townsquare. It's a nice homy feel that's cool, so I mean tell me how you woundup as director of customer success for a Tech Company in Pani India. So you know like any great marketer.It's been a winding path, so I started my career a little over fifteen yearsago and I actually went to school to be a journalist and went into publication.So I wouldn't work for some newspapers and then I switched into marketing andreally fell in love with communications and working with people, and that giveme the opportunity to work with vendors right and SOM marketing agencies,hiring fast companies to fill our text ack and then it just slowly envolvedinto. I really liked working for small startup companies that energy the driveof the people really just it energizes me. It makes me want to get up early inthe morning and tackle new challenges. So my good friends, Tephnie Cox, wasrunning marketing at lumivate and an opportunity came up to join the teamand I just jumped at it and have enjoyed the last two years with thecompany and we have experienced phenomenal growth and we'll get into alittle bit. But you know: lumivate is really committed to accelerating thegrowth of our product and through that really valuing our customers. So to bein that position, is I just like I said it makes me want to get up everymorning. It's a great feeling, yeah, that's an interesting path that Iimagine one. That's pretty helpful for someone in customer success, who'sconstantly thinking about communications all day. So what do youpull from your cams background to help you in the day to day of leading acustomer? Successful? Word Yeah? Absolutely it's not what I thought Iwould be doing. You know N Itas bitten in my college classroom. So you know, Ithink, good communication is the foundation of success in any rolehonestly. Think about your innerpersonal relationships with yourcolleagues, your vendors in your own...

...customers that you have to deal withclear communication just makes that relationship grow and thrive and avoidthe strife and the confusion that happens when there's miscommunication.So I draw from really my ability working with the C suite, so I used torun PR for some pretty large organizations, including Scott Trade,and with that you know you have to do executive summaries. You have to boildown the big pieces into bight size bullet points that they could digest,and I take that with me. When I write summaries to clients, you know how muchtime are they going to have to commit to that email for that power, pointpresentation or whatever it is, we have to deliver to them and how do I getthem to see what I need them to see and understand what it needs them tounderstand? So we have that mutual goal met right. The projects deliveredthey're happy they renew, we can grow their account and service them and getahead of any of their needs. So I think the communication is what ultimatelymakes those relationships so productive and successful. So I hear greatcommunication, clear communication, straightforward communication. Just sooften right and it's one of those things. That's like okay! Well, yes, Icould go, tell them the thing exactly as it is, but it's really hard tointerpret that sometimes in a business, so like what are some frameworks ortools or tips, you can share with the listeners here around crafting thatclear communication. That', that's a good question, so many things come tomy mind. The first one is how that message is delivered. So you know toyour point: Absolutely people talk about clear communication, transparentright and those are all buzz words and at the end of it, you're like what isthat all really mean for me, what it means is there is honesty, but there'sa little jujhitsu going on with it to be honest right. So how do I flip thenarrative so that way, which feels like a negative becomes a positive becomesan opportunity. It's an opportunity to grow that relationship. I talk with myclients a lot about. Do you want to be a client, or do you want to be apartner and the difference between that is trust and the ability for them tobring us into their strategic planning and trust US enough to give us thoseinsight. So then, in all of my communication, I can get a head ofanything that I can see might be impeding their growth or their successwhen they think out how we fit in with them. I think also, when you thinkabout clear communication. Sometimes you have to deliver edits or you knowwhat might feel like a negative feedback, and I often think back atsome of my best mentors and experiences, and I had the pleasure of working withone woman in particular, who taught me how to addit- and I remember we wouldhave to edit our directors press releases or whatever he felt like heneeded to draft right and instead of marking it up with a red pen, she wouldmark it up with a Dencil, and that has always stuck with me because it's justit's not as glaring it didn't feel as harsh to him right, and that was partof that delivery and I think about that often and obviously transpose it forthe newsecase. But how am I going to...

...give that person that feedback in a waythat doesn't insult them or put them on their heels and in the defensiveposition? I want to engage them because we both have you know mutual goals. Solet's focus on those mutual goals, not the obstacles getting there right andlet's tackle those together yeah. I love that it's all Eboctkatorin yourcommunication to the relationship that you're in with that individual. Thatmakes a whole lot of sense to me, and I actually went through that a coupletimes already earlier today, where it's the same type of information that we'redelivering so we're delivering it in slightly different ways because of thetype of relationship we have fot. That individual totally makes sense. So tellme a little bit more we're going to dig in a little bit deeper to recentcustomer success. Push that involved a lot of communication with yourcustomers, but tell me a little bit more about lumibate just to helpeducate our listeners as e context before we dive into that situation tolumidate is a lowcode platform for marketers. It's where markares build atperiod. It's that simple. So we have been in business for about four and ahalf years lis to five now and our product has evolved over that time. Wehave evolved to very much focus on the marketing community and understand thattheyre are get it done, marketers right! These are the people who want to justtackle every opportunity. They are focused on speed right and getting tomarket first and seizing every opportunity and they're not going tolet any question of technology get in their way. They are going to solve itthemselves. There's different buzzwords that Gat thrown around Right Citizen,developer or folks like that who can do low code. You can do a little bit ofhtml or just dangerous enough all of those things and so we're catering tothem we're building a platform where they can jump in and build a mobile APPand then manage it and launch it into the world. It's really cool, so whit'some examples of the types of APPs. You see your customers building yeah, somany before the bandemic, the business was really thriving in event. So whenyou think about the investment that would have to happen to have a nativeAPP for AGN event, it's pretty high with our platform, it's significantlylower and they're able to actually deliver a progressive webop and manageit themselves. So event, marketers were using US quite frequently because theycould make you know on the spot, changes as the event changed, or amessaging change between preevent during event and then post event andall those CTAs that change with it. We do see, you know, use cases around CPGand the unboxing experience or in Isle Experience. So we've done a lot in thatspace. We also have a lot of success actually with internal calm, so withlarge corporations talking to their you know, threethousand to Thirtyzen plusemployee base. We have a solution within our platform where ADMANS andauthors can collaborate to push out articles and different pieces ofcontent to the right personnel based on...

...their role, their region or whatevertheir job. Duties are so a wide variety of huse cases that we've seen successinand seen our customers build out Sol. So you've got some really fast movingforward, adopting customers who are using your platform to build whateverthey want. So how do you define success with them? That seems like a bit of achallenge it can. It can be, but I think the best way to understandilluminate is, I think, sometimes to compare something new to something thatis pretty well established and understood right. I think CANVA hasdone an exceptional job right, ind. The fact that Theyre Unicorn is a testamentto that, but their idea was okay. A doki photoshop is too confusing andclunky right and it takes an expert. So let's make this really simple, wherepeople can build their own design right and will give them templates to do that?What is success there for you- and I is different- I might just need a atwitter banner, whereas you might want an entire presentation- and you knowdesigns for your website, so their measure of success is likely based onusers, as is our so we're building a platform where you can come in andeasily build a very light weight. APP To you know, create a Legen form and anevent information page on your APP right, very light, whereas I'm going tocome in and say, I need an internal CAM solution for my three hundred thousandemployees that are global. Those are two distinct Uicecases, so we measuresuccess by how easy is our platform and our solutions to use for our customers.But then the metrics of success on EHP is really dependent on its usecase, butwe do monitor how many people are using our platform monthly, and you knowweekly even and then my role is to gather their feeback. How happy andsatisfied are you with our solution? How easy is it for you to use and then,with that, like any good, you know customer advisory board getting theirfeedback getting their input on where we're headed and making sure that ourroadmap matches up with their desires and the market that were building yeah.So, let's talk about how you incorporated some of that feedback intothe recent platform update that you did so it sounds like youv made a majortransition. I want to hear more about it, but also hear more about it fromlike the customer success perspective, but were the ways in which you had tocommunicate with customers. How did you set a reset expectations and what wasthe ultimate to mutual benefit? There yeah great question, so I think youknow the platform needed just a refresh and a reconsideration of how fast is itto make an APP? Where were people getting hung up or where was it takingthem an inordinate amount of time to do something right, and so one very simpleexample is: When you build an apt, you likely want to have a heador or a menuor some kind of footer with icons right. So your navigation around the apt. Theway that we had it set up was you had...

...to manage that on each individual pageof yeah right so that Wa, you could have something ounique per page if youwanted, but that takes a lot of time and we actually had one customer whohad over sixty pages in their APP right so different pages that you're buildingon that's a lot to change. If you want to make one change to your menu listright, you have to go to sixty one plus pages. So what we did is we rolled allof that up and really talked about? Well, what is the branding? Let's starttalking the way that marketers talk branding okay, what falls underbranding well, this is going to be my pallate of colors that I want to beable to access throughout the APP here's. What I want in my menu and I'mgoing to manage it in one place, and then I can just turn that menu on foreach one of my pages. If I want it there so little nuanced things that wejust thought that's going to save somebody like hours of management timewhen their APP is big, but then beyond that it was also incorporating healthcontent and so having contextual health content throughout our platform wasjust something we know is a good practice in something that we reallylacked in a lot of depth. We had some in there, but not to the extent that wewanted. So we went through a major effort to document all of those changes.So at every step, our customers, coan click on the little. You know, questionmark and get that contextual information to help them keep buildingand keep moving through their process. Yeah and this you, someone who's beenin customer success as well as product. I can understand that sometimes less ismore right like giving people fewer options actually helps improve theexperience, but then you have a set of folks who already used to doing themore and they don't necessarily like that. There is now less Lo. Can youtalk me through how you communicate that type of change to your customerbase? Yeah I mean it starts internally right, and so those were some internaldebates for sure and conversations around our customers can make that apts,like therthey're, going to have the freedom to put green and red togetherright and not adhere to Uxi best practices and we're going to allow thatbecause we're putting the power in their hand. So I think internally usreally accepting those factors and saying okay, how do we relinquishcontrol right? We are not going to be their agency and we're not going tolimit what they can create. Just like. We don't see that limitation in otherdesign Studios S, you can build whatever you want, so that comesthrough. I think in our messaging, both with our website redesign, so weoverhauled all the messaging there, so it starts to sound very consistent toboth are existing and our new customers and then, in the you know, maskcommunication that we had to our customers, as well as the one on onecommunication, whether it was through meetings and phone calls or emails toour customers. We explain to them that the fundamental building box that theywere accustomed to and had become very acquainted with in the platform we'restill there. They just were in different places. So you could still dowhat you had been doing. But here are the ways that hat's been improved right.So I think we allayed any concerns about new is scary by justcommunicating all the things. Are there...

...they're just better, but also, I think,Eric keep in mind. We have been focusing on working with marketers whoembrace risk, who are forward, leaning, who want to be at that cusp of thenewest technology, and so I think that's really helped us, because wehaven't had a lot of pushback on those changes. People are excited by it. Ourdesigner and our DEAV team Ar Topnotge, and I think that our new platform isjust sexy- it's seemless, it's very clean. It's easy to navigate thatexcites people. I think the visual appeal of your platform cannot beoverlooked, and so once people see it, it feels welcoming and not intimidatingyeah hearken back to an earlier point you made as well, which is just likeyou know these folks, who are early adopters, who are just like out theretrying the the bleeding edge of everything oftentimes expect thattechnology to change right. They expect the product to change, but, as yougather more and more profiules AF customers, you start to move up thatadoption curve. All of a sudden, you get folks who aren't as used to thatpace of change, and so I'm sure now, with this new solution, you're startingto see that a bit more now that it's accessible to those further along theCURV. So talk to me about how you've adjusted your specifically processesand practices instead of customer success to account for that new profileof customer. What a great question! So I think, first of all, just we haveallaid some fears or any concerns by saying you know what there is stillthere just I new way, but we are engaging our customers, especiallythose that have been most loyal and we're with us in those early years. Weare a close knit team and we very much appreciate those customers. So I,personally, with my team, have met one on one with our customers just to makesure we continue to build that personal relationship, but as we grow like anygrowing BATF company, you know you evolved, who you're targeting and youevolved into a much larger user race like you're saying, so we certainlywelcome that feedback. I think we have a very strong roadmap that keeps inmind what our core users need. So what are our pillars of truth? What are thethings that we're never going to get rid of, because if we did, we wouldalienate our base so we're very conscious of those things like I said.I think one of them is: Let's just give people that freedom, but also give themthat support of well. Where do they get template right? How can they workwithin a boundary if that's where they feel safe? So I think what we're goingto try to do as you watch liminator the coming years, we're going to give youthat freedom, but we're going to give you a safe space as well, where youhave a temple to work off of, or you have things that are very familiar toyou, so I'm excited to see where we go and all the feedback that we've beengetting from our current customers and all the new ones that have beenonboarding over the last couple of weeks. It's all been very positive yeahand it's interesting to hear a different. Take on this talk with JakeDunlab from scale done an episode...

...recently, and what of t things hementioned was like the job of customer success is to make ever user a poweruser right, regardless of how indance they are on n. any particulartechnology curve, like your prodect, should be able to let them be a poweruser if they so desire. Absolutely, and so everything that my team is drivingfor right now is exactly that. How can we make it? So the answers are at theirfingertips right, so that contextual help being in there. That is owned bymy team, so with every new version, release or new component that getspushed to our library, whatever it might be, our team is going to be atthe ready, creating that content to just help them through knowing how touse it and manage it beyond that we are evolving. Our training to include bothlive and on demand. So more and more trainings are coming out. Obviously, asmore functionality is released with our platform, those trainings willaccelerate, but one of the things we're focusing on is it's funny to say thatis the power user, and so who is that person who does want to get into lowcode, so limivates platform is actually no code. If you want it to be, youdon't have to write anything, have you have all the components and front endproperties, so you can just input it as you want it to appear, but if you didlike a low code, ability to get in and kind of, you know tweak things we dogive you that access like, I said we're going to give you the playground. Ifyou want it, and so one of the properties in each at is an advancedtab where you can actually access the jabascript for the APP and startcoading away to make other actions possible. So that's one of the tracksthat I'm actually writing now is how do we train people to know how to use thatand feel empowered enough if they're bold enough to feel like they want totake that route with their AP o? You just got to add my space pages to yourmarketing qualification check list and see you had the the jazziest mice pace,bases, hey, yeah rag on it, but I think my pace still has about five millionusers. There you got a current customer base,ready to start using your platform. Thank you so much for our conversationday. This has been really awesome just to hear about how you managed a majororganizational shift pretty seamlessly. I do like to ask my guest one finalquestion as well, which is just what's the best piece of advice related tocustomer success, you've ever gotten, then you want to just impart upon ourlistener base. The first thing that comes to mind is just be kind right,and that goes for both the customer success Rep and the customer. I thinkremembering that you know life has come full circle for me so many times whereI have started working with somebody who was a vendor and don't take thatfor granted, and you get so much further when you're just kind tosomebody else and forgiving don't reatones and emails. Those types ofthings ask and seek clarity, because again, remember that you both havemutual goals, and once you focus on that, you can have a really seamlessrelationship, hello, Yoall, be kind all...

...right. Thank you. So much Le That's LeeHammer is a director of customer success that limibate culling in fromNoboeville noblevell Novlesville Indiana. Thank you so much your timetoday, I'm Ari trane from flatfile. Thank you for listening to this ixepisode of Customer Success Leader. You depend on the fastest time to value foryour customers. So why let Datea onboard and sell you down? Stopemailing spreadsheets, creating CSB templates, forsetting up CTT transfers,create collaborative secure work spaces with your customers and their datasaving you time, while providing a memorable, onboarding experience. Ohand there's no code required, you can go to flat file, dot, IO, Lash thsleader 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 us share these conversations withothers. Leave us a rating on Apple Podcast, just HAP, the number of stars.You think the show deserves. That's it for today catch you in the next one.

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