ArticleBest PracticesAugust 14, 2019
Tales of Groc: Customer Success Caveman – Chapter 1 Image

Tales of Groc: Customer Success Caveman – Chapter 1

Geologists from Stanford University recently made an astounding discovery. Drilling core samples in Palo Alto, a thousand feet below Sand Hill Road, they discovered the fossils of an ancient civilization. Their excitement grew as excavation revealed a Neanderthal community with complex tools, written language, and a primitive subscription economy.

A paleo-forensic team pieced together the daily life of one adult Neanderthal that lived there 40,000 years ago. They've published his narrative below, and titled their work the Tales of Groc, the Customer Success Caveman.

Chapter 1: Blindside Churns

Groc arrived at the office bleary-eyed. His 6-month old cavebaby had been crying all night. He’d had a thin breakfast of squirrel and pine nuts and he had a mountain of EBR prep to get done. As he approached his desk, he could see a stone tablet with writing on it. Groc’s heart sank. It looked like another churn notice.

Groc was a CSM for StoneHenjj. At one point, they were the leader in the mobile platform space. They were the first to put four wheels under a plank of wood, creating the original mobile platform. They called it the “Cart.” The platform supported an endless number of Enterprise, SMB and consumer use cases, and lightning-fast growth followed. Two years ago, StoneHenjj raised Series D funding at a valuation of 100,000 rabbits.

But the technology behind the Cart was widely available and StoneHenjj soon faced fierce competition. Wood startup Carpentr had brought wood planks to the mass market and Sandr had disrupted the stone industry by grinding blocks of stone into wheels. A stronger mobile platform with six wheels was produced by BetterCart, and ZenStone designed a platform that could handle bad weather.

Instead of selling the Cart, cavemen and cavewomen could pay StoneHenjj 10 rabbits a year to use one. The cavemarkets valued these sorts of businesses higher. As competitors flooded into StoneHenjj’s space, they found they were losing customers rapidly. It turns out that Neanderthals weren’t wedded to their mobile platforms. If another hot startup had a better platform than the Cart, customers were going to switch. Groc had dealt with many churns in the past several months.

Today’s churn notice came from BoulderDash. They were the Valley’s leading on-demand boulder delivery service. Groc read the writing on the tablet:

Your Cart falls short of expectations that were set in the Sales cycle. It only carries one boulder at a time! I was promised it would carry three. Also, our boulders are shaped like pyramids and we ship them pointy-side down. How come your Carts don’t handle that use-case? BetterCart just demo’d a five boulder platform that accommodates our shapes. We are switching.

Sincerely,
Thag
Director of Rocks & Business Operations

Groc’s manager, Ook, was visibly upset. “That was a potential 5,000 rabbit account! How could we have not known about this?”

Groc was flustered. “I visited Thag from BoulderDash a few weeks ago and we seemed to be on the right track. The triangle thing was an ongoing issue, but I thought the BamBam integration would solve that.”

“The BamBam integration was only for the Enterprise edition of Cart,” replied Ook. “They have the SMB edition... didn’t you see the Support log?”

Groc hurried over to the woodpile in the corner of the office to check the Support log for BoulderDash. Sure enough, the Support team had etched a message into the birch log, stating that the BamBam integration was not compatible.

Groc threw his hands up, “I don’t have the tools to bring all this information together and understand our customers’ health!”

The CEO of StoneHenjj sent a letter by Mammoth Express to try and save the account, but to no avail. Within a couple months, BoulderDash was pushing rocks all over the Valley using BetterCart.

Picture of Will Robins
Will Robins Director of Corporate Development Director of Corporate Development
2 Comments

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  1. Ed Daly
    May 6th, 2016Reply

    This is great…very creative!

  2. Susan Nabeth
    May 16th, 2016Reply

    A great article. Thanks for a fun read:)

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