Webcast — Digital-led, human engagement: Creating Customer Success Programs that scale

With CS Leaders & industry experts: Monica Perez of Notion and Celia Gouveia of Wisq.


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Dickey: Thank you.

Welcome to this Webcast with customer success leaders from Notion and Wisq. We are excited to bring you

Digital-led human Engagement: Creating customer success programs that scale

But first, Let me introduce myself. My name is Dickey Singh, and I'm the founder and CEO of cast.app.

Cast is an automation platform to help customer success, and revenue teams scale growth and revenue from existing customers without expanding teams.

With cast, you use an automated bot, a Virtual CSM, to share and explain customer insights to all personas and tie them to actionable recommendations and practical advice — at scale.

Today we welcome industry experts and operators Monica Perez, who leads customer success at Notion, and Celia Gouveia, who leads customer success at Wisq.

Let me hand the mic to Monica and Celia to introduce themselves and their company.


Celia: Hi, everyone. I'm Celia Gouveia; I've been in the customer success space for about 15 years. I've been building startups from the ground up, growing scaling teams, and also been on the CS operations front. I've been at companies like Glint in Employee Engagement which was acquired by LinkedIn or success factors and SAP I'm currently at a startup called Wisq where we are focused on creating a space for life at work and focusing on connection and belonging.

My personal life I have two kids under five which keep me busy and when not taking care of them I'm also a huge fan of my Peloton and over to you Monica.

Monica: Nice! uh thanks, Celia.

Hi everyone. My name is Monica Perez. I head up customer success here at Notion um I've built customer success teams across companies of all sizes, from sub 1 million dollar kind of SMB-oriented companies all the way up to Enterprise focused companies upwards of 100 million ARR, so today I'm at Notion we are an all-in-one workplace tool for your company's knowledge base project management, task management, and the list goes on and on if you've heard about Notion.

In my personal life, I wish I could say that I spent time on my Peloton but probably not as much as Celia, um, but one thing about me is that I'm trilingual, so I speak English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Dickey: Thank you so much. So when we talked about what scaling meant to different people very quickly, I realized both of you had so much to talk about that subject, so let's jump right in.

So, let's start with Monica.

Monica: Yeah so for any good presentation we learned this in college you should start with a working definition and so what we did was we actually surveyed some experts in the field in customer success to ask what term do you use for scale what are you referring to when you talk about scaling your CS offering creating programs at scale what does that mean and so these were all the responses we can see it's kind of all over the map but a lot of the terms we're hearing in the industry that's kind of a Hot Topic today so things like one to many Tech touched digital programs land and expand and so for today's talk when we were talking about scaling customer success we're really talking about scaling the way in which you deliver your outcomes and you deliver your engagement model to customers and this can take many forms as listed here and so we're really going to get into it it's not so much scaling your org in terms of head count but it's more about scaling how you service more and more customers over time

Dickey: thank you

Celia: yeah and regardless of what you call it we'll be calling it scaling for the purpose of this presentation and so what does scaling even mean we like to think of it as understanding what your customers goals and needs are based on what do they need to accomplish by which timeline and how do you deliver that in the most efficient way possible I really like to focus on success metrics when we're talking about scaling so focusing on how are your customers using the product how are they adopting it what are the outcomes that they're Desiring and what leads to retention and renewal and finally how do you automate those processes through both proactive and reactive playbooks so you can have consistent delivery based on where the customer is meeting them where they are and leading them to the next step throughout your journey which we'll talk about in just a moment.

Monica:  I love this image it's very cute um yeah so I think for those of you out there that are CS leaders we're always trying to figure out how can we make what we do more efficient how can we drive more impact while not necessarily sacrificing on the tried and true things that we've done today so the big question that comes up is okay I have a lot of customers the number of customers that we have is growing our tactics are getting better our learnings are stronger than ever so when is the time to kind of scale up our efforts and what we do maybe you're getting some pressure from your CEO or from leadership to really think about how can you scale CS over time and we like to say don't worry don't try to get in over your head too much at once but this is this really is a crawl walk run kind of process the first thing that you can do to figure out what is scalable is really listening in and learning do you truly know what is making your customers successful can you point to the top one two three things that if they happen in your product you know that your customer will experience value and will and is tied to let's say retention and growth over time so spend a lot of time listening and learning and kind of documenting those top two or three trends that you're seeing once you have a good learning tour going on the next thing you want to do is map out the journey that your customer goes on you've probably seen this journey now a number of times and it can take the form of a product adoption journey and what that looks like as well as a maturity Journey how how much they mature in your product over time and so as you start laying out that customer Journey you're able to kind of find Trends and create kind of buckets or phases within that journey and once you've identified the stages you pretty much at this point have an idea of the right type of customer success engagement that you want to drive at any one of these stages so mapping that out as well so now that we have a sense of what makes our customers successful what is the journey that they're going on in the desired engagement at any phase of that Journey now we can start scaling and I highly recommend you start with one thing at a time try one process that you want to automate or semi-automate see how that goes test and iterate over time and then you'll find that you're able to once you do it once it probably takes a lot more effort and then you could do it the second time or the third time much faster so take the the kind of mapping exercise and then figure out what processes from those can be automated first foreign okay so now that we've decided that we need to scale we understand when it could be a good time to scale we want to dive a little bit deeper and kind of highlight the important elements that you should really understand about your growing customer base as you think about providing more programmatic or skilled engagements to these customers so we can look at three major dimensions of your customer base the first one is segmentation and we'll talk a little bit about different ways to do segmentation the second one is customer maturity how mature are they with your product and how does that evolve over time and then what we're also going to talk about customer journey is how does a buyer Journey look different from the customer journey and how does this inform what customer success teams are doing so let's start at a high level with the buyer and customer Journey so we know that from a sales cycle to the Cs world the buyer Journey can have some overlap but tends to be quite different from our customer journey and CS can play a role in all of that as we can see from this image here the sales funnel is much broader and is much more oriented on the buyer's experience and part of that journey I would say the very end of the buyer experience is something called pre-boarding where you're prepping the customer to go through onboarding but really identifying those success elements early and onwards with the right points of contact so that onboarding is very straightforward we're seeing a world where customer success is actually getting involved in pre-boarding the customer helping them understand what the customer success program is bringing to them and helping them get peace of mind in how successful we hope to make their onboarding experience so there's a little bit of overlap in that pre-boarding and I've seen really good examples of strong Partnerships between sales teams and customer success teams maybe even bringing in the CSM a little bit early before the deal closes to start that relationship early and onwards and then finally when the customer Journey Begins that's when the Cs work tends to begin as well and so we take them through the typical stages that you've probably seen before in this flywheel things like onboarding activation adoption growth and expansion.

Celia: Great so thanks so much Monica for setting the stage I'd love to dive deeper into two topics that are really near and dear to my heart customer maturity and segmentation so let's first set the stage on the segmentation I like to think of segmentation as when you're dividing your customer base based on specific factors that are important both for you as a company and for your customer so that these customers are divided into similar cohorts and you can better deliver against what makes them successful and again what makes them successful would be success metrics that you set such as things like usage adoption retention and so on so some of the models we'll cover are the ways to get started but you really want to iterate and Advance over time so one of the things that I like to start with is ARR based or annual recurring Revenue this is when you look at your customer base and you see how much they're spending overall and this is the first way most companies typically segment their customers into different cohorts typically the next part is to segment based off of how much are they spending and how much is their future potential how much could they grow over time both based off of their business or their use cases within our product and ability to use additional products or features in the future what many people don't talk about which I think is so critical is the other areas to layer on so as you start to look at your customer base there may be two customers that have the exact same spend with you but they're at different stages on the customer maturity model what does that mean that could mean that maybe one customer has a much longer tenure or a more experienced person or they are experiencing a different growth pattern a different desired outcome and so you may want to treat them differently maybe they need more Hands-On support for an objective that's coming up they're based on a certain timeline whereas that same customer has different needs as the customer who spends the same exact amount but is completely self-sufficient they don't need to talk to you as much they maybe just want to check in every now and then they have some goals they want to achieve but they're also achieving them already and so you really want to look at not only spend but layer on top where is the customer what goals are they trying to achieve what goals do we want them to achieve on the journey and how do we get there together other areas I like to layer on and which also help with your journey mapping As you move forward are things like industry there's different industries that require different types of services at different times it may be the buyer or the customer Persona that you're working with for instance if you're working with a CEO versus someone in IT, they may have different needs and different frequency of needs at times or it could be the tenure of the customer you know the first year or the first even months of a contract with a customer you may be focusing on something very different than you are in year two and three and then finally another one I like to think of is outcome and goal so what is the customer looking to achieve what's their desired outcome and what's the desired outcome we would like to deliver to get them there and how do we do that together so what we're going to talk about is the first two models but equally as important to consider starting simple start your segmentation get your cohorts of customers together in understanding what makes them similar to each other but continue to layer on the other areas that you find important to your business to be able to make your customers successful so with that said we'll talk high level about the first model so this is that basic one I was mentioning this is typically the easiest way to start doesn't matter what type of company you are there's typically different spend by customers and these are just samples of what some may look at as different spends or different ratios these are not set in stone and you'll know based on trying in your business and learning from your customers as we talked about earlier what's best for them but typically you see the starting from the top you may hear of this as your Enterprise or your high touch customers the customers that are spending the most that typically need the most at that time if you were to layer on some of the other models on top of this then you start to get to mid-tier customers or as some may call them low touch all the way down to customers that are spending the least and hopefully you can do some tech touch with them but also some tech touch across all of your customer base so that would mean that your automating processes you're automating some of the deliverables and you're creating a really personalized experience regardless of what the customer's spending but for customers who are spending more and need more on the maturity model you're also flexible enough to be able to deliver that by potentially having a CSM have a smaller customer base so they can spend more time to ensure those customers are seeing value.

We'll go into our next model.

Monica: Happy to take that so this is maybe a little bit more of a sophisticated model and this is taking what Celia teed-up but making it a little bit more nuanced and so we actually have a model that includes two Dimensions when we're trying to segment our customers one is ARR current error and the x-axis as you can see here is future potential ARR this is a dimension that the business cares about um and so therefore we actually want to understand where our customers are today but also where they can go in the future maybe for your organization there's another dimension that's important maybe you want to do ARR versus product maturity there's different ways that you can slice this but it really helps us bucket our customers not just by one blanket rule like ARR but maybe a little something that requires um let me see that can.

So this allows us to not only bucket our customers by one single blanket rule like AR but it allows you to add another layer of complexity there so that you can really get fine-tuned on what are the right types of engagements you want to have in this example we have current AR by Future potential ARR and so in the bottom uh bottom left quadrant this could be our lowest AR customers with the lowest potential we would call this the low low bucket and in this case you can see that the recommended approach is a tech Touch model by the CSM so this is something like you send them digital content you send them self-serve resources and you don't spend too much Hands-On time there and the business the Cs or has decided that if they fall into this low low bucket this is the Engagement that we want to offer this customer base on the contrary it frees up the Cs time to engage with a different bucket of customers a little bit more so if we look at the opposite end of the spectrum the top right quadrant which is high current spend and also high potential we want to make sure that we're investing our resources in our time there as much as possible um so in this case this is a world where this organization has an account manager and a customer success manager and the recommended Engagement here is they're both High touch Partners in supporting this customer so things like expanding the business from a revenue perspective and continuing to drive adoption from the customer success perspective um so this is another model where you can think about the matrices that are important for your business and then creating kind of recommended playbooks or engagement models around the buckets that come out of the matrix.

Celia: so after segmenting your customers what comes next so we've talked about some examples of segmentation and some ways to iterate and make that more accurate over time and so once you've segmented your customers into like-minded cohorts and you know what type of service you're going to deliver them the next step is to map out what's the ideal Journey look like for them and when we think of this customer Journey here's a sample of one that you may have seen similar to in the past we like to at this group something we all had in common was start our journey with pre-boarding and as Monica mentioned earlier this could look different for different types of customers but really is an overlay to the sales function in terms of how do we make sure that we are aligning with a potential or prospective customer before they come on board to have joint expectations goals timelines to ensure that we are creating the right partnership now this can look very different depending on the type of customer so what this could mean in pre-boarding for a tech touch customer could purely be a set of questions a form online we are asking them about their goals their outcomes what they're looking to achieve by when and based on that it may trigger a series of personalized automated or digital LED emails whereas a larger customer maybe an Enterprise or a high-touch customer you may be getting on the phone with them and you may have a customer success manager or even sometimes a customer success leader get on the phone and map out a timeline you may come up with a project plan agreed upon dates deliverables some cases even an sow with specific things that may happen and you agree upon that to know that you're entering into this partnership to be set up for the Long Haul and be mutually set up for success and we like to think of that as we go throughout the journey so at every stage each task is based off of what is the most efficient way to deliver this to your customer and that's really where the whole term and philosophy of scale comes in it doesn't mean that there isn't overlap and it doesn't mean that you can't make exceptions from time to time but a common example could be something like a kickoff call a kickoff call for some customers may actually just be a kickoff email and for other customers this may be a live in person back in the day was more common or a zoom or online type meeting and then as customers are going throughout the journey you want to monitor their success so you may look at product feedback and you may determine between the onboarding and adoption phase that there's two critical things in this example maybe they haven't created Pages within your product or they haven't invited other users and you've determined that that adoption is critical and that usage of the product to get them to the next stage of adoption and retention and so what you've determined is based off of the certain type of customer there are touch points that are coming out of a system they're coming out to be emails one email may come where you can reply to a support team only and not a direct human whereas another one may come where you are replying and you're getting a CSM and you're getting some subject matter expertise or others you may be calling the customer live or sending them a link to schedule time with you and so the real goal here is that you're you're delivering what we think makes the customer have the highest likelihood for seeing value in your product and meeting their desired outcomes but you're doing it in different ways and you're doing it based off of what's most effective to deliver at your company and for them as that being said when we think of this we don't think of the customer Journey as the end-all be-all you renew you grow we know there's a great great Milestones but we also think this ends with advocacy and it's obviously a constant Loop and sometimes there's additional features or products and you're going back to maybe an onboarding or adoption phase but advocacy is so critical here because we like to think of yes a customer can renew or grow but are they Advocates of your product are they talking about your business when we think of advocacy what we like to think of is overall Not only would this person recommend you but we've all had great experiences in our life where no one asked us to be a reference no one asked us to talk to another customer we just felt that from within so we knew that we wanted to post on LinkedIn or we wanted to write a Yelp review and no one prompted us or promised us a gift card or anything of that nature we just felt so strongly about the service and the product and the partnership that we did that usually when you say that most people think of an example that comes to mind I always think of retail examples which tend to be um you know very specific to my buyer needs but when you think of how do we create those Advocates it really does start from the pre-boarding and setting those expectations aligning throughout delivering the right content and service through the right method at the right time and creating those natural Advocates to continue the process of growth throughout your company and theirs that being said I'll go to Monica to talk more about how do we do this without just a customer success management team.

Monica: Thanks Cecilia we've covered a lot today we've covered how to think about the customer Journey how to think about within that Journey what are those segments that exist in terms of the behaviors that we want to drive we also thought about within that Journey what are the various levels of maturity and so once we've come up with a really good way to bucket and group our customers by like you mentioned similar minded cohorts we have then decided what the ideal program looks like and what those touch points look like so thanks for touching on that Celia one thing you mentioned was that those touch points can be delivered through different methods it can be delivered through a live call they can be delivered through a pre-recorded virtual CSM they can be delivered through a resource or document and so I really want to emphasize that customer success is going through an evolution where where we don't just think about the enablement and the education as driven by one single human but we really think about the ecosystem of resources that are helping our customers move along this maturity journey and this customer Journey throughout their entire life cycle so alongside your CSM I recommend investing in these areas just as much I'm triangulating all of the ways in which your customers can get support things like investing in CS operations we couldn't do anything without them things like investing in one-to-many webcasts just like this one or on-demand webinars that your customers can access at different times of course your support and help center that is oftentimes a first stop resource for a CSM any sort of self-guided resources courses or certifications that you can begin to offer about your platform and the list goes on and on a big one at notion is community we love investing in community and we actually put our users in touch with one another because we figured out that they're actually each other's most helpful advisor even beyond the CSM so just emphasizing here that we're seeing customer success as a much larger scale framework that is built around enablement and driving towards outcomes not just based off of a single human or a single team.

Celia: Thanks so much Monica I love that and you know we all say customer success is a team sport but really it's not just one team so it's really critical to make sure that you're investing at the right point in time in the right resources to scale efficiently we'd love to leave you with some takeaways today hopefully you found helpful talking about the maturity the segmentation and the next steps what we say is our three top takeaways are one make sure that you start simple understand what you're solving for understand the customer goals use the early pre-boarding stages to align with them and understand how you're going to accomplish them together. Second segment but segment with action in mind don't segment just for the sake of it segment based off of the desired outcome how we're going to deliver it so the method could be digital it could be live Etc and at what frequency when you do it with real action in mind it's much easier to implement measure and iterate. Finally focus on automation once you've learned what your customers are looking for and how you can jointly deliver that leverage digital approaches this could be everything from we've talked about automated emails but this can actually go further to some of the resources we're referring to earlier self-education guided resources one-to-one personalized digital interactions okay or finally automate and leverage digital approaches looking for those one-to-one personalized digital interactions when I say one to one we've typically thought of an actual person to person there's so much technology nowadays we use it in our personal lives why not leverage it in the customer success industry focus on platforms that allow you to deliver what feels like a personalized experience but is really one-to-many and is on a digital lead level one example is casts which allows you to deliver 1 to many personalized experience so it actually feels like it's one CSM we're working with you as your customer but it's done on a more scalable and efficient way so we leave you with these takeaways and hopes you'll be able to implement some of these on your own and start to scale and see the success that it delivers

Dickey: thank you so much Celia and Monica that was exciting and so informative uh I did ask uh or LinkedIn and over email to send me some questions so if you received a whole bunch of questions I feel we have covered quite a few of them uh that but I'm gonna still ask a few questions and some of them are like very specific to how you are doing it at Notion or at Wisq so uh anyone can take this so um I think you've covered this first question the question is is there a right time or stage in your business to start consider scaling.

Monica: um just having been a notion which has been in hyper growth mode for the last two years um what I've seen as a CS leader is just like we want to take our customers through maturity model our own organizations and departments go through a maturity model and so what I've seen is typically when you're early stage at a company trying to find product Market fit you probably hire your first CSM or your first CSM lead and their role is really listen to all of the customers we have do whatever it takes spend time with them document those learnings because you're still early days and you have your first initial customers um as this evolves you reach product Market fit you have more and more customers signing up you might hire two or three more csms but eventually you get to a point where you have enough of a customer base where you realize that you can see Trends happening and so typically once you see those major Trends or those major kind of aha moments or success moments then you can kind of start standardizing that experience and so your csms are able to follow more or less of a Playbook and help those customers along that journey and then as you get more and more customers then you kind of hit the mark that we talked about in this presentation where now you realize not all customers are created equal there are probably a few segments here a few buckets here and then you identify those buckets and then change up your engagement model depending on those buckets at this point you might start investing in tooling you might realize that your csm's time is not being invested in the most proportional ways so you say okay we want to automate more and spend more actual human hours here and spend our human hours elsewhere and you begin to build up that intuition as you see what these buckets of customers look like and how they perform over time so we all go through that maturity internally and I would say like when you start identif when you start seeing Trends and you start realizing that your csms have certain elements that are quite repetitive and not necessarily the best way to spend their time then you can think about how do we scale this out

Dickey: thank you so another question is how do you transition a low ARR customer who's used to high Touch model to a low or Tech Touch model

Celia: I'm happy to start this one off this is such a great one because you see it so often as Monica mentioned especially in the early days of product Market fit and establishing yourselves a lot of customers are treated as very high touch you may have CEOs or executive sponsors on calls with even your smallest customers because it's all about the learnings creating that advocacy for your continued growth and you eventually get to a point where you have enough customers you have that product Market fit and although you appreciate so much those early customers it just doesn't scale to treat them all the same way and so I believe in setting expectations but also making sure that someone is not losing something what I mean by that is what's in it for the customer and the customer used to email your first CSM or one of your top csms for every single question likely now that person has a larger book of business and the answers are going to be delayed and they may be posted in a community or in a self-serve Wiki they may be answered better by a support team so I like to reposition to the customer why it's of their benefit that they're actually getting more resources at their own time versus potentially depending on one or a few people for their questions and that's typically helped and you know we really don't want to change the experience they're getting we're just giving them more resources which in turn is putting them at a different level of our segmentation because they're not directly talking to a one-to-one person anymore I don't know if either of you have anything else to add on that.

Dickey: I was going to actually add and I totally agree uh you have so many resources one thing you could do is like bring the right resource at the right time and you could do that digitally as well right you can curate like what resources are important depending on where they are in their Journey how mature they are and what segment they belong to so

Dickey: The next question I think you have covered very broadly but I think they're asking in particular what involvement do you and your CS teams have in pre-boarding or pre-sales

Celia: I'm happy to kick it off and maybe you can add in as well but I I've been a huge fan of of pre-boarding and so I I mentioned a little bit but to dive deeper in specifics I believe for any customer over our a certain spend threshold that we've determined to be our high touch or potentially Enterprise customer that there is someone live joining a call with sales and the customer there's a set script we're talking about timelines we're setting expectations we are aligning on what's to come so I strongly believe in that and have done that to date for smaller customers sometimes it may be okay to join or have a CSM join but otherwise I feel like having a very strong slide deck or a strong community and wikis of information allows a customer to see exactly what to expect an d when even sharing a journey you know what we'll be delivering and how and what do we expect from them and what do they expect from us that can also be done through documentation for a lower Tech touch customer but I'd love to hear how Notion has done this

Monica: yeah um I was gonna say the same thing we we typically like to be a little bit protective of the CS time pre-sales but if there's good signals it's at the end of the deal or it's a strategic customer for whatever reason we have found that bringing in the CSM actually accelerates the deal closure time and it instills kind of Peace of Mind for the customer that they are in fact going to get this level of support that they're buying into I found that a lot of times sometimes the CS offering at other companies is more lip service than anything and they might never even hear from their CSM and so treating that as a differentiator and introducing them and saying look they're real here they are they actually understand your needs and your use case and they're ready to get started with you actually makes a huge difference um in starting off that customer relationship on the right foot

Dickey: that's interesting yes um another question what team adjustments do you have to make as you focus more and more on automation?

Monica:  oh I can start on this one it's my favorite topic um so I think this is particularly relevant for plg companies but as we're seeing the rise of scaling CS digital first models the CSM profile is looking quite different than it maybe did a decade ago back in the day you would have a super high touch like Enterprises CSM who would go on site and host a qbr I mean we've really evolved to be able to to scale our efforts cover a lot more customers at once do a lot more higher volume work um so I'm actually looking for csms that maybe have prior experience as an SDR or even a background in sort of like marketing automation because we found that the the majority of the value that the CSM is bringing is those aha moments is that product enablement and education so how can you deliver that education at scale but still make it feel tailored to the customer's point in time and so I found folks that are good with kind of large-scale tooling one-to-many mindsets the ability to build something that doesn't just work for that one customer that one time but they can think of like how will this work for 100 customers that look the same um that's kind of the skills that we're looking for today

Celia: yeah and I'll also add on that not only do I love that it opens up the industry to so many more types of backgrounds and people and allows them to learn and grow I love the career pathing that it creates internally so it allows for people to move in all sorts of different roles and as you continue to segment your customers and as you continue to deliver in different ways there may be paths that didn't exist before that allow to retain your employees it used to traditionally be you moved up into a high level CSM and then a manager and there weren't many other options even from the slide earlier there's so many new options that allows people to move into different functions and stay with your company longer which which is always a great asset

Dickey: thank you; so there are three questions that are very similar so I'm going to just put one question and just mention what the others asked uh so how do you measure the success of scaled or programmatic initiatives and the other was like uh what metrics do you work on and what do you report so very similar how do you measure uh the success of skilled and  programmatic initiatives

Celia:  yeah I'm happy to kick that one off so you know it's very important to first identify what are you measuring overall for your customers you hear a lot about you know net revenue retention but that's typically coming after so how are you measuring early on starting from that pre-boarding stage throughout the adoption throughout the advocacy to know what's going to make a customer successful to know how you're going to get to that retention and growth so what if you have that Baseline overall things like product usage number of features adopted number of new users invited um it could be whether they're referenceable or they're being Advocates it could be um you know how many sponsors on their side how engaged are they in joining calls and so once you have those metrics I like to use the same exact metrics for different programs so I like to as I'm segmenting my customers and trying something new I'm trying instead of a call an automated email or a one-to-one digital approach look look at the success metric look at what it was before and look at what it is going forward and you obviously need enough data for it to be meaningful and it does take some time it's not just based off of one or two customers and changing the model but I really do like to compare the same success metrics regardless of the delivery type

Monica: couldn't agree more our success metrics don't look too different whether it's a high Touch model or a low to Touch model because the hypothesis is that whether they're high touch or low touched we've decided that that's the right size of Engagement for that customer which is going to give us the same outcomes either way so they're not too different I'm at Notion we use the deer framework or dream framework some companies call it and so we have a couple of measures of success D so we do deployment relationship engagement adoption and maturity so use dream and that really helps us break down the customer Journey as we mentioned so a customer might be really high on deployment and that phase was completed successfully but maybe they're low on adoption or maturity so it helps us figure out where we should be investing our time and then once we know that we can deliver that either through a digital method or through a human touch method

Dickey:  awesome we have two more questions.
Do you guys have time?

Celia: absolutely

Dickey: okay all right the first one is: how do you determine what stage of the customer maturity Model A buyer or user is on

Does anyone want to take that?

Monica: a buyer or user yeah um I think this is one that is custom to your product your product complexity and what you're trying to drive um and so you actually have to come up with those definitions yourself if your product is highly complex it has a lot of use cases then maybe you know a customer who's still in their level one infancy looks very different from a customer who's in a level three maturity let's say um an example for Notion is you know if you're using our basic features so just basic note taking and documentation then that is uh less kind of maturity points than using a higher more advanced use case like databases or project and task management so that's how we've defined it for our product and so we have more or less of an idea of what it looks like to adopt more sophisticated uses uh use cases over time and we correlate that with how mature the customer is or is not

Dickey: yeah because you know we at at gas still use Notion as a CRM just so that you know.  

Monica: So yeah that's pretty Advanced yeah

Dickey: okay so the last question so how do you create and measure customer advocacy and referrals?

Celia: Yeah I think this is a great one happy to start here so when we think of customer advocacy and referrals I like to think of this as a manual and a natural process so if in an Ideal World you've done all of the things you said you would have done in your shared Expectations by when you said you've done them and you've exceeded the customers expectations you'd like to think that you created a natural Advocate and I feel like that's the most uh probable way to get a customer to feel like they are an advocate of your company and you know there are ways where you can encourage people at different stages or your csms to ask are you willing to be a reference and customers you know may say yes or they may say no for various reasons and that's a good time to reset and say you know what would it take to be a reference so it's really asking them but I like to think of a reference as a customer that's willing to talk to others about you if you ask them an advocate is someone who on their own Goodwill is just so impressed by the service and the product that they are telling other people in their free time and waiting in line somewhere about what they've heard and I'm an advocate of many products out there and there's no one that it's going to ask me to be an advocate it's just naturally going to come out of me and that's what I strive to deliver throughout the whole journey

Monica: And Peloton is one of them?

Dickey: Which Peloton do you have? the bike, or the treadmill, or the Bike plus?

Celia: the Peloton bike I'm a huge advocate all of my Instagram groups are about them I'm part of the community. I share with others. I talk about it in my intro. no one's ever asked me to do that it's just something I believe in

Monica: you would say your NPS is at a 10.

Dickey: last time I checked they were coming up with a row machine right yeah I have to buy that because I have room for that because I had a day bed over here which I just moved

Monica: so oh nice yeah it needs to be replaced by a rowing machine

Dickey: there you go

Dickey: any parting advice for uh you know most of our audience is actually like CS leaders uh who are who not necessarily are just managing the CSMs but they're also managing uh you know upsells cross-sells advocacy they're managing uh you know driving usage adoption retention renewals right so those are the kind of folks we listen to cast presentations any parting advice

Monica: yeah I can start I think we're in a particularly interesting time right now given the macro economy and CS leaders we're being told to do more with less um and there's pros and cons of that but I think we can do kind of the same with less in the sense of um getting smarter about where the time is going and so although scaling might seem like becoming leaner or more efficient it's actually a really strategic initiative that's going to help you get to the next level over time so as a CS leader we're actually spending a lot of our time thinking about how to scale things and how to build it for the future I think we're going to thank ourselves later but this is a very very kind of strategic initiative that you can ladder up to leadership and say hey like we actually made it so that we've right-sized all of our engagement and we're still seeing Stellar outcomes from the team wonderful

I couldn't agree more measure measure iterate start simple and again don't think of this as just Monica said it really well but don't think of this as not needing as many people or not needing as many resources think of it as delivering a great experience that leads to an advocate in a in a more efficient and Better Way um and it's not necessarily always about less resources it's about what the customer needs and what's most convenient for them so start simple measure often and you know continue to iterate and look at other ways in the future to deliver to customers

Thank you so much both of you. This concludes this Webcast we will send it out to you like shortly. Thank you so much again

Monica: thank you

Celia: thank you

Webcast Panelist Bios

Monica Perez, Notion

Monica Perez

Monica is passionate about building high-performing Customer Success teams at product-led-growth (PLG) companies. As the Head of Customer Success at Notion, her team takes on an extremely customer-centric focus in helping businesses leverage Notion to increase their teams’ productivity and collaboration. Previously, Monica was at Signeasy - an eSignature platform, where she helped implement digital transformation strategies at growing companies.
As a non-technical woman in tech, Monica is passionate about sharing her experiences and advocating for increased accessibility to all backgrounds in tech. She is trilingual (English, Spanish, and Portuguese) and spends her free time doing yoga, adding books to her Kindle library, and scouring online for the best last-minute flight deals to anywhere. She is a graduate of Brown University (B.A) and Georgetown University (M.A).

Celia Gouveia, Wisq

Celia Gouveia    

Celia Gouveia has been building, leading, and scaling Customer Success teams for over 10 years. She's currently building a team from the ground up at Wisq, a platform focused on connection and belonging in the workplace. Wisq was created by the founders of Glint (acquired by LinkedIn) where Celia built and grew the Customer Success, Technical Support, and Operations functions throughout North America, EMEA, and APAC. Prior to Glint, Celia led a Platinum Customer Success team at SuccessFactors through the acquisition by SAP.

Celia also advises early-stage startups on their end-end Customer Success processes, and go-to-market strategy and mentors CS professionals on growth, hiring, and scaling.

Dickey Singh, Cast.app

Dickey Singh

Founder and CEO @cast.app

Dickey Singh is the CEO and Founder of cast.app, an automation company that drives growth and revenue from existing customers.

Cast Virtual CSMs generate personalized presentations and deliver and explain them to your customers, tying insights to actionable recommendations and advice.

Dickey was the founder and CEO of Pyze Analytics and Encounters before cast.app. Earlier, he was SVP of product, CTO, or a VP creating customer-facing products at several silicon valley venture-backed companies, including CustomerSat, MarketTools, and Vivotech, serving customers ranging from Apple, Google, Salesforce, SAP, MasterCard, Oracle, and more.

He has ten patents and lives in the SF Bay area with his wife, twins, and a 92-pound English Lab Elektra.

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