Lessons In Customer Success – What I Learned At Pulse 2016

By Diane Nagel

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I attended Gainsight’s 4th annual customer success conference, Pulse 2016, and this is what I learned.

Pulse 2016 was attended by approximately 3,200 customer success leaders from across the country and the world. Keynote speakers included Billy Beane, GM of the Oakland Athletics, Bob Myers, GM of the Golden State Warriors, Sal Khan, Founder of the Khan Academy, and many others.

In addition to the laughs and insights shared with the audience, there were four key lessons that highlight the importance of managing the customer experience that I think really apply to how we work with customers here at hc1. This first post will cover the first one, and the others will follow in the series.

Lesson One: Guard your company culture with your life.

“At Gainsight, we strive to create a sense of child-like joy in our culture, and this is critical to our success,” said Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight.

Your company culture is your lifeblood and your front line to ensuring a positive customer experience.

At first it may seem corny, or maybe you’re thinking, “hc1 is a tech company. That’s fine and dandy for you guys, but aliquots (shout out to all my lab peeps!) and needles (hey caregivers!) don’t inspire joy!” But think about it for a minute. Do your customers smile when they think about what you’ve done for them? Does your team look forward to each day with energy and enthusiasm? Does your leadership team support and espouse not just their own success, but the success of their customers and their industry? How are your front-line team members engaging with your customers?

“We treat our people better and that translates to our customers.” – David Baga, Lyft

Engagement and stickiness are as much about the experience your customers have with you as with your product or service. Of course the product or service must function well, but the customer experience is the other half of the equation, and it’s not completely logical. It’s the sales process, the onboarding, the joke the CSM tells on the kickoff call that sets the project team at ease, the open door (or phone line) to the VP of Customer Success or even the CEO, the ROI (no, I haven’t forgotten the holy grail), or even your response to the inevitable roadblock (more on that in my next post) that people remember. It’s emotional. Yes, it’s really all about how you made the customer feel.

Bob Myers summed it up well; “It boils down to how do you treat people.” So I leave you with this question. What is your organization doing to make your customer feel like there is no one else out there that can do what you can do for them?

Stay tuned for Diane’s next post on lesson 2 from Pulse 2016, and follow Diane on Twitter for all things client success!

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