Helping Sells Radio reaches across the pond to speak to David Jackson, CEO of TheCustomer.co following his recent talk at Gainsight's Pulse Europe 2018 titled, How to Construct a Predictive Health Score With or Without Usage Data. David gave that talk with Charli Rogers, Vice President, Client Success at Yext. The subject alone is more than enough reason to have David on the show. But digging further, David has a unique perspective on product-led customer success, which is timely with Gainsight's acquisition of Aptrinsic, and his views on simplifying customer are music to our ears.
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We talk about the customer journey. But the term journey implies there is a path, and customers take the path. If customers are unique, and most of us think they are, then wouldn't they take their own path? And if each customer takes a unique path, then how are WE (software companies) supposed to manage that? The answer is: We aren't. That's why I like that Ellie Wu talked about moments. Ellie Wu, Senior Director of Customer Success at SAP Concur and a top 100 Customer Success Influencer, joins Helping Radio to talk about owning moments (not the customer). WE talk about a lot of other things too, including fawning over her Linkedin videos, whether to hire a customer success executive or a customer success manager first, and we even talked briefly about Olympic skeleton racer, Noelle Pikus Pace and how she overcame the possible destruction of her Olympic dreams with one statement from her doctor in her darkest moment.
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What would you do, if you could split off a small team of developers and could direct them on changes to the product that customers hound you about every day? This new team, your team, would work in parallel to the product development team, unencumbered by the restrictions of the product roadmap. No more begging the product team to listen to you. No more making the case that this customer is special and this feature is important. No more explaining to customers, "I promise, I'll pass that along to our product team." What if you could make those changes happen? What if you could be a true voice of the customer? This is what Mel Bilge, customer experience led at Learndot by ServiceRocket can do. Jealous? In disbelief? Well, we talk to her about how it works, why she did it, and why Mel thinks this could be the future of the product / customer experience mashup.
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Jay Gibb is the founder and CEO of a B2B SaaS company called CloudSponge and a partner at a distributed software engineering consulting agency called Arizona Bay. Arizona Bay builds software products for its clients, usually SaaS products. Roughly 10-20% of Arizona Bay's customers are "ideal customers." An ideal customers in this case is defined by someone who comes to Jay and already has pre-sold an unbuilt software product. Think about that. Jay's customer has sold, to their customer, a software product....then they go to Jay and ask his firm to help them build it. Jay, his customer, and the customer's customer get together and start making it happen. But this isn't even the best part of the story.
The next level of customer that Arizona Bay gets is someone who wants to build a software product, knows what they want, but they do not have pre-sales. Jay helps them get pre-sales, so they can become an ideal customers. "I'll give them a bunch of mentoring and advice, and I'll send them down the path of getting pre-orders, and I'll help them do that, at no charge, because I'm trying to be helpful," says Gibb.
Strangely enough. Some customers reject that help. They already know what they want and are perfectly happy to say, no thank you to that help. Jay tells them, "Thanks but no thanks." That is not going to create an ideal customers, and these arrangements can lead to headaches for both parties.
Some prospects love Gibb's helpful approach and very often turn into customers. "The sales process is fun for me," says Gibb. "And when the customer is ready to get started, there is no competition. There are no bids. We are do deep into this relationship that we are just going to get the project."
We talked about many more things with Jay. But that was my favorite part.
My question for you is this, "How you do help your prospects become ideal customers?"
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