ArticleBest PracticesNovember 20, 2017
How the Best Customer Success Pros Set the Tone for Next Year Image

How the Best Customer Success Pros Set the Tone for Next Year

By Dan Steinman

Conferences are hard. Let me say that differently. Conferences are hard to do really well (it’s not actually that difficult to do a lame one). There are so many details. And the bigger they get, the more details there are. With our expectation of at least 1,000 Customer Success professionals gathering for two days in London at the end of November, Pulse Europe has definitely reached that “big” stage.

Adding to the challenge (which we love and embrace) are the expectations set by the previous seven Pulses. There’s a good reason that Pulse has become the must-attend Customer Success event of the year both in the U.S. and in Europe. Every single Pulse has brought a unique combination of the elements the community wants, and this third edition of Pulse Europe will be no different:

  1. Education
  2. Networking
  3. Fun

For those of you reading this who have never been to Pulse, I should make sure you know this: Pulse is an industry conference designed to stimulate the discussion about Customer Success as a philosophy, an organization, and a discipline. This is not a Gainsight sales conference nor is it a Gainsight customer conference. You won’t have to look far to find a Gainsight customer, but that’s not why they will be there. They’ll be looking to expand their networks and their expertise—just like you.

Having attended all seven previous Pulses, I’ve learned that there are three takeaways that I hear from almost every attendee even as we grew to over 4,000 people at our most recent event in May. The underlying theme for most is reassurance:

  • I’m not alone
  • I’m not stupid
  • I’m not five years behind everyone else

Pulse is the culmination and leading indicator of one of our most important challenges as a company: nurturing and educating the Customer Success Community. It’s a unique calling for us as a software company, but one we fully embrace. It’s why we do Pulse. It’s why we wrote the book. It’s why we spend just as much time and money talking about Customer Success as we do about our products. And we find that everyone—including us—benefits from the growth and skill of the community. I personally feel privileged to be part of the Movement, and am constantly amazed at the energy and enthusiasm that are part of every single Customer Success event, whether attended by four or 4,000.

I’ve been lucky enough to be part of hundreds of these events, big and small. And I’ve had the chance to speak at many of them. I’ve come to chuckle when I’m preparing for one and thinking about topics or questions that will help guarantee participation (as if the Customer Success Community needs me to stimulate conversation; I find it’s much harder to stop the conversation than it is to start it).

Pulse Europe 2017 will be no different. I suspect that my biggest challenge will be getting the crowd to stop talking to each other in order to listen to me! Good thing I’ll have a microphone. I’ve often said about Pulse events in the past that we could have done the event without putting a single person on stage and everyone would have still left saying it was great and well worth their while. Trust me, we won’t be testing that theory anytime soon, but the networking and bonding over shared challenges (and pain) is a real and relevant and (perhaps) primary aspect of Pulse. You’ll walk away with new colleagues and friends with whom you’ll stay in frequent touch. If that doesn’t happen, it’s your fault, not ours. 😉

This year, Pulse Europe will have a very European flair. That shouldn’t be a surprise as we’ve made great friends in Europe since we moved over, and the local Customer Success expertise is amazing. And we’ll put those people on stage, both from European companies like Typeform, Misys, Sage, and New Voice Media as well as from Europeans working at US-based companies like Cisco, Slack, Oracle, Box, and many more. This is truly your conference—attended and instructed by your peers: people you can talk to again the next day and the next week. People in your job and your time zone and your nearby Starbucks Nero.

We’ll reconvene some of our most popular sessions from every previous Pulse such as:

  • CEO panel
  • Investor panel

And we’ll also reprise “Success Unplugged,” which are workshops on some of the most relevant topics where you can roll up your sleeves and walk away with something you can take back to your office and start working on immediately, like:

  • Customer Journey map
  • Health Scoring model
  • Managing the Sales handoff
  • Developing the ROI of Customer Success

Instead of me pointing out every single session, check out the full agenda here.

We will also have select special guests from the US, including Geoffrey Moore and Nick Mehta, and maybe a couple of others who see the whole industry across geographies and can discuss macro trends. We believe here in London that we have our finger pretty squarely on the “pulse” of European Customer Success and have built an agenda that caters to you where you are as a company and as an individual in your career. I guarantee that you’ll find it time and money well spent when you come and join us.

I look forward to seeing all of you there. It’s a busy few days, but I hope to meet you face-to-face. I love to talk shop and will enjoy doing just that with you during Pulse and after. It’s a conversation that will never end as best I can tell. I’ll close with a sincere comment and a tease into one of our themes for this year:

Oh I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm gonna try with a little help from my friends

Picture of Dan Steinman
Dan Steinman GM, Gainsight EMEA

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