Allison Pickens is VP of Customer Success & Business Operations at Gainsight.
At Gainsight, our brand is quite important to us. You probably know this already if you’ve attended our annual Pulse conference — which has featured a Taylor Swift impersonator, choreographed Disney song rip-offs, and a cappella groups. This past May, I was accompanied on stage for my keynote address by a panther and a bear – not real ones, though, for better or worse.
Our Marketing team is definitely our “brand steward” – a terrific term I learned recently from a CMO who attended our Gainsight breakfast in Boston. The term steward conveys Marketing’s role in laying out the vision for the brand, so that other employees can help bring that brand to fruition through their myriad of communication channels, ranging from social media to customer calls. Given our Customer Success team’s constant interactions with customers, we have numerous opportunities to convey Gainsight’s personality – with the goal of cultivating a top-notch customer experience.
Here are 5 ways that our Customer Success team members serve as brand ambassadors.
Our latest release showcased a new feature that we’re incredibly excited about. (This is my personal favorite.) Gsnap allows you to record short videos of yourself and send them to customers. In just a couple of minutes, you can send your smiling face to a customer that needs a big welcome, a suggestion, or a pick-me-up. One of our values at Gainsight is Childlike Joy – meaning that we aspire to make “work” and “play” the same thing. We don’t want to take ourselves too seriously and we want to enjoy the journey with our customers. Gsnap helps us convey Childlike Joy to them.
Here are some examples for how we use Gsnap internally:
- I’ve used Gsnap to congratulate customers on launching Gainsight to their end users during Onboarding.
- I’ve also used Gsnap to reach out to prospective customers who are in the later stages of evaluating our product. I want them to know they’ll be welcomed with open arms once they buy our product.
- Our CSM team uses Gsnap to send out follow-ups to NPS surveys.
- Our CSM team uses Gsnap to congratulate sponsors on a promotion.
2. CoPilot Outreaches
We’re avid users of CoPilot for our 1:many program. We incorporate Childlike Joy wherever possible. Some examples:
- Competitions for Gainsight Swag: Keep an eye out for chances to win Gainsight swag in our customer communications! Some recent examples include a Vault Asset download competition and T-shirt give-away.
- Success Express Emails: We admit that these used to be a bit dry and long. We recently revamped the emails that go out to attendees of our Express onboarding workshop to be more playful and succinct.
- Fun Vault Templates: We’ve gotten creative with some of the Email Templates in Gainsight Vault. Check out the “Meet Your Executive Team” example below.
If you haven’t yet read Tales of Groc, check it out. This was the creation of one of our Business Operations team members, Will Robins, who loves to write. I mentioned that I wanted to do more “Childlike Joy things” for our customers, so he came up with the story of a caveman named Groc who lived in the “Stone Age” of Customer Success but gradually learns best practices. Puns include:
- The first “mobile platform”, which is a wood plank that moves on wheels.
- A pile of support “logs”, a collection of birch logs where Groc’s support team scribbles their updates.
- Groc attending a session titled “How to Set Fire to Product Adoption”, hosted by wood subscription service Splintr.
4. This Blog
If you’ve read some of our blog posts, you’ll know that we’re an active participant in the thought leadership and evangelism of Customer Success. This is partly because we want to live up to one of our values at Gainsight: Success for All, which encourages an open sharing of knowledge. We are frequently inspired by how our customers tackle their business challenges, so we want to give back and share some of our own ideas and solutions.
We’ve blogged about a range of topics, including our Post-Sales Organizational Charter, the Value of CS Ops, Renewals & Expansion, the ROI of Customer Success and How to be a Manager of CSMs. As best practices and thought leadership continue to develop in Customer Success, we’re eager to be part of the discussion.
We host weekly webinars on topics ranging from Survey Strategy to Organizational Structure. There’s no way I personally could host all of those webinars – and there are certainly benefits to me not doing it. It opens up the opportunity for our team members, including individual contributors and managers, to rotate the responsibility of hosting.
In allowing lots of folks to take ownership, we’re sharing with our customers our third company value, Success for All – meaning, we want all stakeholders (customers, employees, and investors) to benefit from every action we take. The team members who host webinars have the opportunity to share their expertise publicly, furthering their careers, and our customers have the benefit of hearing perspectives from lots of different folks.
If you’d like to hear how other Customer Success teams are serving as brand ambassadors, comment on this post on our Community.
If you’d like to learn more about how to implement Business Processes in your organization, check the Business Processes section of Gainsight Go, check out the Community, or contact your CSM. Follow Allison’s blog posts on Twitter at @PickensAllison.