How to Scale Customer Education?

In episode #7, Ruth Frantz and Rishabh discuss educating and onboarding customers successfully.
Some of the key issues with SaaS founders and Customer Success leaders is that there is poor product usage and being unable to improve feature adoption, what has been your experience?
Yeah, those are huge things. I was at Outreach for over five years and Outreach is very much a must-have, so it wasn’t like getting people to use it but it was making sure that we as customer success were connecting with the right people.

So we had people in the product daily, they were using it and making sure that we were connecting with the executives that they saw the value and were able to pull metrics.

So without reach, it was very interesting because there wasn’t as much usage, it was just making sure that we have the right relationships. And here it’s not as traditional SaaS, so it’s more about how do we make sure that customers are continuing to grow with us and add more devices to their platform. So it’s a lot less about usage and more about the value that we’re actually providing.
How do you educate customers, do you have webinars or one to one onboarding calls, how do you achieve that?
Yeah so at Outreach, it was all of the above, it was absolutely everything. We could get into some kind of format whether it was a video or a call. We’re constantly trying to tap into customers and meet them via sales meetings, SDR or executive meetings. Part of it is educating the market and outreach because they’re both really emerging markets.

So it is a lot more about education and not much like hey, use our product but hey, here’s what’s going on in the space. I think people love 1-1 because you’re able to talk specifically about your use case but in order to do that at scale, you can’t.

So how do you make customers feel like they’re your only customer and being able to talk about specifically their use case without actually spending 30 minutes with all 5000 of your customers, so webinars are great, How-to articles, how-to videos are what people like.

Our CSM is in support of Outreach which would spend time recording videos that could be sent to a bunch of different customers based on the use case. So it feels personalized but the CSM or support weren’t taking all of their time in the world to go and meet directly with these customers.
Since you’ve worked with Outreach and New Boundaries, a lot of companies are at a very early stage or mid-stage for their customer success, what would be your 2-3 pieces of advice in order to cut down customer churn?
Yeah, so one, understand who your customers are. Are you dealing with individual contributors or are you dealing with executives? Where are you finding those customers? What vertical are they in and who are they?

Create an ideal customer profile and understand what matters to them, what some of their business strategies might be for their company because that will allow you when you’re starting to reach out to these customers to provide value instantaneously. You can go find a blog article or something relevant to them based on what they’re doing with your product or what their company is doing.

Know who your customers are. Secondly, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, reach out to your customers, see if you can meet them in person, if they’re willing to meet with you, just to introduce yourself. I’ve had great conversations with customers when I’ve just cold emailed. People are always willing to talk about where they need help or what they’re doing or what they’re working on.

And then lastly, I would just make sure the customer world at your company is aligned with the business objectives. A lot of companies, their goals, and their top-line goals are no-churn. Talk to your executive team, what does that mean to them, is that including regrettable churn or is that including just to turn dollar churn.

Figure out exactly what that goal means because that will allow you to create your KPIs or objectives around that particular goal. It is a really big one as being able to break that off into small bites, starts to give you an understanding of what your customer roadmap looks like.
It’s really difficult to answer. What problems are you trying to solve today, what are your obstacles?
Yeah, at Esper specifically it’s how do we scale the company, it is an amazing culture, they have amazing leaders, it’s why I joined the company. We can’t hire one CSM for every five customers. We can’t add executives when we add customers.

We have a really technical product, so we make sure that our customers are getting what they need so that we are aligning with the right level of executive leadership at the company, still partnering with our technical team internally.

There are a lot of different stakeholders at these companies that we’re dealing with and we want to make sure not only we are really strong in that executive relationship but on the day to day, they’re getting the technical resourcing that they need.
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