Falcon.io is an innovative all-in-one platform that helps companies ensure their customer experience across social media. Falcon’s software opens up a world of customer data to digital marketers at Toyota, Coca-Cola, Warner Bros. Records, and many more.
As Customer Experience Manager, Dino Kuckovic has taken a lead role in driving a customer-centric culture and operational strategy at Falcon. He’s a true advocate for clients, and has built out processes and campaigns to proactively drive consistent outcomes across the lifecycle. Here are his unfiltered answers to our questionnaire.
Name: Dino Kuckovic
Title: Customer Experience Manager
Location: New York, NY
How did you get into Customer Success?
With Falcon actually. I was employee #1 in our NY office back in 2015.
How is your team structured at Falcon?
Within Customer Engagement we have CS, Support, Account Management, and Strategy. The CSMs own the customer relationship.
What factors make up your customer health score?
We evaluate a combination of subjective and objective factors. On the one hand, we have subjective components like customer sentiment and the commercial relationship to help guide all customer-facing stakeholders. Meaning, we easily know where we're at with a client (sentiment) and the company to target potential growth (commercial relationship). On the other hand, we look at product and user specific metrics to check on the customer heartbeat (the number of active users/user intensity in our platform). Paired with the number of submitted on-hold support tickets which in translation is mostly an issue with the platform (categorized differently depending on nature). We look at all of the named components together to get an overall health score, which CSMs (and other stakeholders) use for health checks or audits.
How do you segment your customers?
By vertical, by product (contract).
What’s one word that describes Customer Success at Falcon and why?
Heart. At Falcon.io we have a passionate and sincere commitment to ensure that customers are at the heart of everything we do. We build lasting partnerships and create value for our customers, with a product as invested in their success as we are. We aspire to always educate and inspire our customers, so they can connect with theirs. Because we like to be 'human' in a tech-driven world we put heart in everything we do.
What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?
It's okay to say "I don't know," but be sure to follow up with "but I can find out!"
What are you reading right now? How are you applying it to your org?
"And the Mountains Echoed" by Khaled Hosseini. This story is about love and memory between a brother and sister separated in Afghanistan. This is a great question and one that really had me thinking. My key takeaway from this novel is that intense relationships can form under unexpected circumstances. In my professional world that could be between myself and customers, who I manage to bond with over a crisis they experience with social.
What’s your wildest, diving-catch, last-second customer save story?
Don't really have a wild one. Going old school with your tactics helps though. When something is wrong, e.g. an unusual amount of support tickets clients should not have to work harder to sort through the "mess." I like the back-to-basics approach in such scenarios. What we normally do is provide a simple doc outlining the issues, the status quo, and keep this updated daily. No emails, no threads back and forth—a simple notebook entry. This has worked to win back customers in the toughest of times—because of the transparency and motivation. The irony is that the more passionate and urgent the reaction to a problem or problems is an indication of how important our product is to customers. So conversations in this case went from "we are canceling" to "let's give this another try."
What does your tech stack look like?
So our tech stack includes:
- Salesforce: Used by Sales & Account Managers for prospect and client portfolio management; also used by Support to inform AMs of issues identified by clients via our support channels
- Gainsight: Used by Customer Success Managers for client portfolio management
- Zendesk/Intercom: Our support tools used to answer emails and chats respectively. Our average response times are way above average, e.g. chat less than 5 minutes.
- Jira: Issue tracking
What’s one time-saving workflow hack you couldn’t live without?
Setting up the tools to serve as my secretary. Sounds weird but this is one of the reasons why I enjoy using Gainsight. I use a combination of Gmail calendar + GS to take note of crucial agenda for customer calls that I am very often entering with 10 seconds on the countdown. With little-to-none prepping time the tooling saves my life. ;)
How do you manage your customer touch points and action items?
Gainsight is key here. We have built an internal infrastructure that replicates how CS should be working. Whatever the touchpoint we build CTAs and Tasks within Gainsight. Each activity is expected to be completed in a suggested time range which, however, is customizable. This actually takes me back to the answer I gave to the question above. Every morning when CSMs open Gainsight we are greeted by tasks or a list of action items to take care of throughout the day. Most of them reflect customer activities that have been laid out on that day. And it's with great pleasure that we close the laptop at the end of the day after having completed every single task that day while also seeing a preview of the next seven days.
What’s one thing your Customer Success org does better than anybody else?
Excelling at fast, qualitative, and personal trainings and support.
Who owns upsell and renewal at Falcon—Success or Sales?
Who owns Customer Marketing? Success or Marketing?
A combination. In Customer Engagement that would be myself as the Customer Experience Manager and members of Marketing.
What Gainsight features do you use the most?
The cockpit, the health scores, the dashboards.
Why did you choose Gainsight in your Customer Success Software evaluation over building internally or working with a different vendor?
Gainsight gives us the flexibility and accountability to ensure efficiency gains. It was also important to us to have a log of customer behavioral triggers and a tool that will support scalability. All-in-all also a tool that grants visibility of portfolio management and upsell opportunities to the various stakeholders within the Customer Engagement department. Other departments in our company are using Salesforce so it was a natural step to work within the same infrastructure.