October 30th, 2020
With Adam Peddicord, a Customer Success Executive, former Combat Veteran and Founder of Customer Success by Design, LLC, a consulting company based here in Seattle. Join us for a fun, in-depth, and informative conversation about creating customer success. Customer success results in a successful business if you do it right.
Adam’s focus is on customer retention and creating a win-win-win scenario: a win for clients, a win for the business, and a win for its employees. In this conversation, Adam takes us deep into the conversation of client success, how to create an exceptional client journey that creates long-lasting relationships with clients.
Adam loves the challenge of helping clients create customer success results at scale, which is an art. He walks us through the key considerations for companies on this journey: the process mapping, the costs associated with such an undertaking, and the data collection and analysis that is essential for creating a successful outcome. Join us for this powerful conversation that will provide you with numerous ideas for improving your client journey, nurturing your clients, and increasing client retention for your business.
Biggest takeaways (or quotes) you don’t want to miss:
- “The focus is on creating a win, win, win.”
- Why working at a call center is a fantastic experience.
- Why you can’t be more concerned with a new lead over nurturing the customer.
- “How far are you willing to go and how disciplined can you be?”
Check out these highlights:
4:00 What is the win, win, win scenario?
7:40 How Adam went from an onboarding roll to managing a call center.
13:50 “Be the person that the customer looks at and says, ‘I’m looking at you to make this happen for me.”
15:00 How poorly businesses do on nurturing the customer and follow up.
16:40 How and where do you invest in your customers?
18:10 The final place the customer will invest.
19:30 “It’s all about playing offense.”
22:40 Why are expectations important?
23:20 The art of designing customer success at scale.
24:40 The white glove service.
27:20 Why do people like latching on to Amazon?
27:30 What is customer obsession?
32:40 What are points of friction?
36:00 The Covid response from businesses when it’s a little too late.
44:00 Why building that feedback loop in our systems is critical.
46:00 “Feedback is good, learning how to take it is hard.”
48:50 Why you have to understand your market while you are making your strategic investments.
50:30 Businesses fall short because they try to solve everything.
50:50 How do companies get clarity around feedback?
57:00 “How do you provide an experience that continues to remind them to do the right thing all along the way?”
59:00 The importance of making an early call of what you want to have for a CRM system.
How to get in touch with Adam:
On social media:
Adam Peddicord is a dad, Customer Success executive, combat veteran, and founder of Customer Success by Design, a customer retention strategy and execution services firm.
Find more about Adam here: https://www.csbydesign.com/about-us
Imperfect Show Notes
We are happy to offer these imperfect show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who prefer reading over listening. While we would love to offer more polished show notes, we are currently offering an automated transcription (which likely includes errors, but hopefully will still deliver great value), below.
GGGB Intro 0:00
Here’s what you get today on Guts, Grit and Great Business.
Adam Peddicord 0:05
That’s been my journey. But all along the way, every role I’ve had has been this wonderful opportunity to be the person where the customer looks at says, I’m looking to you to make it happen for me, which I think is a really fun spot to be in. Because it’s totally different than the people who are actually building the product, who think that they’re building for what the customer needs, versus the seller who establishes the relationship and then is asked to move on. You know, we’re working at the back end here of a, I’m going to make this so great for you. So you’re never going to want to leave. And then to do that in a way that is profitable to your business profits to the customer, and empowering and elevating to your staff. I think that’s really where the fun is.
GGGB Intro 0:55
The adventure of entrepreneurship and building a life and business you love, preferably at the same time is not for the faint of heart. That’s why Heather Pearce Campbell is bringing you a dose of guts, grit and great business stories that will inspire and motivate you to create what you want in your business and life. Welcome to the Guts, Grit and Great Business podcast where endurance is required. Now, here’s your host, The Legal Website Warrior®, Heather Pearce Campbell.
Heather Pearce Campbell 1:28
Hello and welcome. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. I am an attorney and legal coach based here in Seattle, Washington. Welcome to another episode of Guts, Grit, and Great Business. I am super excited to have my friend Adam with me today. So Adam Peddicord has joined us and I will introduce Adam Yay, we go back we go. But Adam goes back further than any of my other guests. And so this will be a fun conversation. But Adam and I actually went to high school together. I won’t say the time, Adam, because that makes like,
Adam Peddicord 2:10
Be careful how far back you want to go here.
Heather Pearce Campbell 2:13
Right? I’ll just leave it there. But you know, anybody listening should get to know Adam, I love his mission. And Adam is a dad, he’s a customer success executive. He’s a combat veteran. Want to ask you a thing or two about that Adam, and founder of customer success by design, a customer retention strategy and an execution services firm. And Adam, I personally love the name of your business customer success by design?
Adam Peddicord 2:42
Oh, thank you.
Heather Pearce Campbell 2:43
Because, yes, I really think that, like it should be the primary focus and often is not. And so the fact that we really need to be intentional about it. I love the by design part. And I just think it speaks so well to what you do to finish your introduction, right. So Adam, his whole focus is really on customer retention consulting, execution services for b2b and b2c, SAS and SMB customer companies. And what are SMB companies?
Adam Peddicord 3:19
Small, medium businesses.
Heather Pearce Campbell 3:20
Got it. I saw that, but I just wanted to clarify, Adam has worked with companies like ADP, Alaska Airlines, and Nordstroms, just to name a few. And the part that I’m excited to dig into with Adam today so that everybody understands the power of what Adam teaches on is his focus on creating a win-win win a win for the clients and the customers first, right, a win for the businesses and the business owners, but also everybody within the business or related to the business that supports the business’s work. Is that right? Is that the way to describe the win-win scenario?
Adam Peddicord 4:01
Yeah, the way I like to think about it, Heather, is that you have a company that is out there with a need. So you, as an organization goes out to find that to present your solution, you create a partnership, and then it becomes this, okay, we want to make sure we deliver on that. So the customer wins. But then you as the business want to make sure that yes, you stay relevant, vital and healthy. So you want to win too. I think another component that can get lost in there is the employees themselves. So you got to make sure that you’re taking care of everyone along the way, and that there’s a methodology, you can have it done. It’s proven, it’s tested, and it’s a fun puzzle to put together for businesses. So that’s what I love to do.
Heather Pearce Campbell 4:43
No, I love that. And I love that you see it as a fun puzzle. We need people who support our business growth that see those puzzles as fun because I think sometimes it can be really hard for us to figure all of that out. one additional thing I wanted to mention about Adam is that he’s currently serving as the vice president of membership for the American marketers Association, Puget Sound chapter so that I mean Congratulations, first of all on that Adam, but sounds like a perfect fit you found it sounds like a perfect fit for you. I’ll put it that way.
Adam Peddicord 5:16
Yeah, yes, I can help.
Heather Pearce Campbell 5:19
Excellent. I love that. So let’s backtrack a little bit, Adam, because I want to hear about your path leading up to where you are now. Talk to us a little bit about how you got there and the things that you’ve done along the way.
Adam Peddicord 5:34
Yeah, sure. So as a professional once I left the service, I kind of took a lay of the land and really didn’t know where to go. I think that’s an interesting thing that you should think about another podcast. Heather is transitioning there. That’d be a good one.
Heather Pearce Campbell 5:48
Yeah. Well, and let me jump in, first of all, and thank you for your service. I don’t know how long you were in the service.
Adam Peddicord 5:56
That’s great. Thank you. Yeah, I was in. I was in for four years. That was. Yeah, that was an interesting four years.
Heather Pearce Campbell 6:04
Adam Peddicord 6:05
Yeah. So I kind of took a lay of the land. And I saw that a lot of my friends had kind of jumped on the tech bandwagon. And so this was, Oh, this was 2005, 2006? So I was, you know, I had nothing but my name and a pickup truck. And so we moved back to Seattle after being on the East Coast while I was in the service. And I took a job at a fast company in early an early.com SAS company called house values, which provided CRM solutions, and essentially leads to real estate professionals. And my first job, there was just they called me a coach, which I thought was kind of funny, because how is how is the guy who had just left the military ever going to coach real estate agents, how to essentially like, sell. And so but the role if you flip it to modern times, it was really an onboarding specialist in onboarding implementation role in my goal, my quota was to make sure that customers were getting the maximum value and using the behaviors of the system appropriately. So it gave them the highest likelihood of getting a transaction out of one of the leads. And that was my first introduction, that I had no idea about, to cut what is now called customer success. And from there, you know, I grew rapidly within the organization over a five year period in the leadership roles. And on those ways. I went from this onboarding role to managing a call center, which by the way, anybody out there should, should go out there and do a call center job, and then the call center manager, it’s a fantastic experience, you know, just getting out there, hitting the phones, talking to people rapid time-solving problems rapid. It was crazy can’t.
Heather Pearce Campbell 8:02
I had to actually. So in my early career, I actually had created both my legal practice and a photography business at the same time, right, I live pretty evenly in both sides of my brain. And the funny thing is, I actually got called to the east side here. And you know, Seattle, I went to Kirkland, because there’s a call center there. And apparently, they do gangbusters business, but they needed some upper-level executives photograph like their portrait son because they were getting some big press and media attention. And I got to like peek inside the call center. And we were also taking kind of some, quote, unquote, action shots, like some live images of the folks working. And it was really fascinating to see, like people in their cubicles, and they all had, like, I don’t know, if it was like a rubber duck, there was something and I don’t know, if they won those as incentives, I have no idea. But there was so much like decoration and bling, and you know, these cubicles, it was really funny. And then there was this massive table of like candy and Red Vines. And like, I just remember being like, Oh, my gosh, these people are all just hopped up on sugar and living on the phone all day.
Adam Peddicord 9:11
Well, it’s funny, you bring that up, because and the reason why I mentioned it to people is I don’t think a lot of people realize, and hopefully now with COVID, and everything, and everybody being home, there’s a lot of empathy towards those roles. Because those roles are built, not necessarily traditionally out of the need to really serve the customer. Historically, they’ve been built out of the need for operational efficiency, which means that their quotas are typically how long have you spent on the phone with the customer. So the goal is actually to get them off as fast as you can, that you can take as many calls as you can, and then that you keep the customer happy. So it’s really, it’s safe stat score. So when you go into those environments, and you see that traditionally, it’s because of the leader in those environments. That’s, that’s like churn and burn stuff. You’re getting top every minutes. So you get, there’s usually like, and there’s always a company call around how long you want the person to wait for someone to pick up the phone. So as soon as you hang up, they’re picking right up. So what you’re witnessing there is leadership trying to create an environment that keeps people positive and motivated, and happy. And so schwag Yes, those little duckies that you saw, those are like, I guarantee you, they’re like some team motivation thing that was going on there. And the candy, I mean, that I think that’s just, I think that’s just kind of now table stakes, frankly, for what it used to be. But who actually that’s going to be that that actually be shipping it. Another good guest for you. Heather is someone who’s a futurist who’s going to predict outcomes for what corporate culture is going to be like in the future, because we just went through about 20 years of people trying to replicate college, a college type environment, so people wouldn’t want to leave the office. Yeah, now you can’t go to the office anymore. So what’s that going to look like?
Heather Pearce Campbell 11:02
That’s right, yeah, there’s gonna be a lot of shifts, a lot of shifts.
Adam Peddicord 11:07
Yeah. So I grew rapidly through that organization and then after the call center gig within that organization took a role within the org, leading up their renewals team, and the retention team. So before I hopped over to a Martech company I had, by the time I left that company, and five years, I had already gone from the customer journey, space of onboarding, to then support and now to owning the actual outcome of the relationship with the revenue quote that’s attached. So, and I kind of stayed on that path. Throughout my career. The next company was a bootstrap, tech company that did really, really well where I was the director of services there. So I owned the customer outcomes with the Manage team that had that then went to a local company called PayScale, where they do cost-benefit analysis and other SAS play. Same role, which was owning customer journey, owning customer outcomes, building and scaling that team then went to Oracle, where I got to own the because I’d never been at a big bear of a company before and I was wanting to figure out what that was like. And that was a real interesting experience because that was actually on the PnL side. So Oracle treated that group like consultancy shop. So the quotas there were around, more like a services type build around deliveries and efficiencies and quality and managing gross margin. And then the kind of the final step before I launched my entrepreneurial effort was I was the vice president of customer success for a cybersecurity company, small ones based out of Bothell, Washington. And I did that for about a year and a half. And then I decided, you know, what, my personal goal, when I got my MBA was at some point to launch my own career. Career, sorry, my own company, and I felt at this point in time, you know, I wasn’t getting any younger, and there wasn’t, there’s never a good, it’s just like kids, there’s never a good time, it’s just time. So sometimes you just got to go. So made the family decision that this is, this is as good a time as any to make it go. Now, had I known that there was a pandemic coming?
Heather Pearce Campbell 13:29
You might have thought twice.
Adam Peddicord 13:30
I would have made the same decision. Well, now, maybe we wouldn’t have bought a few things. But yeah, so that’s, that’s, that’s been my journey. But all along the way, every role I’ve had has been this wonderful opportunity to be the person where the customer looks at and says, I’m looking to you to make it happen for me, which I think is a really fun spot to be in. Because it’s totally different than the people who were actually building the product, who think that they’re building for what the customer needs, versus the seller who establishes the relationship and then is asked to move on. You know, we’re working at the back end here of an I’m going to make this so great for you. So you’re never going to want to leave and that and that and then to do that in a way that is profitable to your business profits to the customer, and empowering and elevating to your staff. I think that’s really, that’s really where the fun is.
Heather Pearce Campbell 14:34
Well, it’s interesting, because I just went through a marketing course with our mutual friend Mustafa. And yeah,
Adam Peddicord 14:40
Heather Pearce Campbell 14:42
It was a good course. Like, even for somebody who and I’m not saying I’m a marketing Pro, I’ve got tons and tons to learn in the world of marketing, but I’ve been through I’ve been around enough to know the basics and still his course was super helpful and one of the standout things that was A really powerful reminder in his course was how poorly most businesses do on nurturing the customer once they have them and customer follow up and this whole idea of customer retention, and how do you convert this initial client relationship into a long term relationship? People? I don’t know, if it’s just a product of, you know, having so many things to do, people are more concerned with a new lead than they are with nurturing the ones that they already have, for the most part, and he ran through some statistic, I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head what it is, but I love your focus, because it seems like there’s a massive deficit in the marketplace around this issue.
Adam Peddicord 15:43
Yeah, I think for me, what the interesting thing is, is that there’s a lot of data out there that shows that by you’re going to blank and before you know what the majority of the revenues that are coming from your business is coming from your actual current cohort. You know, and I think that there’s kind of, there’s kind of a posing factors at work, you know, those of us in the business community who’ve gone through, you know, graduate school for business, or has been doing this for a while, you know, there’s the old adage of you actually, you want to deliver the goods to the customer? Yes, to the best experience, you can, but frankly, at the least amount of expense to you. It’s cogs, right. So what is that, that’s an operational efficiency metric, it’s like, do it as cheap as you can, as efficient as you can. And there’s a place for that, as long as you’re delivering the bag. The flip side of that is, as your business is scaling and growing, you know, the market is going to do this, your customer expectations are only going to go like this, because they’re trying to meet their new goals, their new objectives. And so the dynamic comes in is really around. How do you invest in your customers? Where do you invest in your customers, and it’s really the customer success methodology and, and philosophy is around, you must constantly reinvest in your customers, to Mustafa’s teaching to you, it’s like, the reason businesses are struggling to nurture that relationship is because they keep they struggle with that balance of theirs, how much do we invest to new market opportunities, new product development, you know, you have to do that, then you have to do to keep the lights on. But then you also have to do this nurture thing. And it’s hard, the dynamics that companies deal with is okay, we’ll get dialed in, and these three areas will get dialed in, at getting them to initial value as quickly and expeditiously as possible, because that’s the first impression. It’s the most important impression, you know, so they’ll get super dialed in there, which is the right thing to do. And then they’re going to get super dialed in, in two other areas. One is just general support, which is okay, we got to make sure that if they call in for help, or if they reach out or engage with the product or the service that we’re there, and we’re on the spot, because that then we’re, they’re in it, we’re in it right there with them. But again, that’s a reactive position. And then, and then the final place where they’re going to invest in this is because it’s where the money is, is it’s on the renewal side. So they’re thinking, Okay, when does the contract come up for renewal? How do we make sure we process that? Who does that, but what they miss in that whole narrative, is if you’re running a subscription-based business, and it’s a 12-month subscription, let’s say your onboarding and time to initial value takes, that’s just given 60 days, okay? That 60 days, you are highly engaged, you get to initial value, you’re trained, you’re happy, and then you’re kind of gone. Right? And then let’s say the renewal contract piece comes up, and businesses all do the same thing, which is, Hey, 90 days before, we want to make sure we get ahead of it. So we’re going to reach out to you in 90 days before. But then what are you going to say? Like if you’re the person doing that renewal, and you haven’t been checking in all along, or you haven’t been adding or increasing value all along? What are you going to say? Are you happy? Great, fantastic. Are you good? Great. Yeah, fantastic. And the thing where businesses are falling down there as well, too, if you’re going to just take that approach, you might as well just automate it, right? Take the whole human cook, quote out. So then you’ve got just by that math, so we said 60 days, 90 days, how many days does that leave them in the middle to where you’re there for them, but you’re there in this reactive manner? It’s all really about playing offense. It’s about putting on the mentality and doing the diligence with the customer base and your own internal operational efficiencies and design about how can we go play offense in a way that scale?
Heather Pearce Campbell 19:51
No, I love that. I think that we all have massive opportunities to rethink our whole system front to back how we communicate how we play offense instead of defense. And early on, I went through some training with a company called six division and their automation there, they live in the Infusionsoft land and implementing, you know, your, all of the automation for your customer experience and your email communications and CRM and all of that. And I remember going to their training. And first of all, like from square one, you’re dropped into a system that is all about, like helping you set expectations, right. But when I think of a company that does this, well, it’s like, here’s your introductory email. And attached to that is a video that you click on and says, When you come for this experience, here’s what our building looks like, right, and he’s out front like literally walking, like, like replicating. And I think the goal in the online world, I could be wrong, but I know that for me, like even my history as a photographer, my goal through portraiture, and especially people who were, you know, putting up branding photos, or you know, entrepreneurs that are creating an online website, the goal is that you replicate as much as possible, the in-person experience with you, you know, through your website through the online experience, and you can’t, you know, you can’t always make that a perfect experience. But there all are ways that you can elevate that experience. And so getting back to this other example of like, here’s our building, he walks you literally through this video of here’s what you’re going to do when you get here and X, Y and Z, but they lay it out so that your expectations are crystal clear about what is about to happen. Right. And then sure enough, you show up and there it is, you have no problem finding the building, you go inside, you go up the stairs, and you know, before you even go into the workshop, it’s like, oh, hi, have you know, they’ve got their list out, hi, Heather, blah, blah, blah, what do you want for lunch today, here’s the options and like they’re setting you up for all of these ways that they’re going to serve you that day, and not treat you like a number, right? Not just have the same experience for everybody, even though they have really automated it. They’re treating you as an individual. And I just remember repeatedly throughout that experience being like, Oh, this is the way that it’s done. Even when you combine automation with a service experience, or workshop experience or whatever, there really are ways to elevate that. And to this day, they’re one of my favorite companies just based on, you know, the single experience I had with one of their offerings.
Adam Peddicord 22:26
You know, what’s so funny about your story there is really if that company did a great job of laying the foundation of building a long-lasting relationship with you. You know, you mentioned expectations a lot. Why is that important? Well, because you want to know what you’re getting into, as you go through that, you know, they may they took the effort, they made the investment, to give you the experience of what you should expect, let’s give you a tour of the building, you’re going to walk into, let me photograph or film it with this person who you’re going to meet. And then once you get there, they follow through, you know, it’s not like, whoops, we missed this thing, they took the time to lay a roadmap or to design, you know, in air quotes, a whole customer journey aligned to you and your expectations. And the other interesting thing that you talked about there was, you know, the level of experience and did not have to be cookie-cutter, they made you feel like an individual, that is the art of designing customer success at scale. You know, there’s that old adage of, you know, in my profession, people generally break it down into three tiers. You know, there’s tier A, which is kind of your tech touch group, which is weighed based upon the level of scale that you won’t invest with us, and that we’re able to invest back to you, you know, we feel you’ll be just as successful as you need to be with the product and service just by going through these automated programs. And you don’t really need to hear for us. But if you want to talk to us, we’re here for you. And occasion we’ll reach out, then you kind of have kind of your, your middle group, right, which is kind of your bread and butter. They’re like your, your sweet spot. They are where you’re kind of doing this dance, they get some automated love, but then they’re also hearing from you, you know, you’re actually picking up the phone and calling them back in the day, which hopefully it’ll come back around and they actually would come on site and see you and they would shake hands if you really, you knew you were in good with them if they gave you a hug. So who knows. I’m hoping I’m hoping that we’ll get back to hugs one day, right. But yeah, and then and then you might hear about what we call the white glove service, which is that concierge service which is Hey, you are you’re acknowledging that you want this type of level and you’re paying for it so we are going to give it to you and then some and that is that very much that handheld We’re gonna guide you all the way through. So from as you’re talking about it, it’s funny for me to hear that because I think that company did a great job because at some point, you fall, Heather, we all fall, but every cut with every company that we send a check to, we all fall into one of those three tiers. And the fact that that company made you feel like an individual, that is success, that is the relationship that you want to have established, regardless of what tier they fall into. That’s the art. And the science behind it is the fun puzzle pieces that we were talking about earlier.
Heather Pearce Campbell 25:39
No, that’s right. And the thing I know to be true, is they probably have run 1000’s of customers through that process, same thing, same workshop, same training, and yet, like they stick in my mind as somebody who really did it right. And, you know, let’s be clear, they run a small business, I mean, they’re a machine, but they probably have if I were to guess, 15, or 20, you know, employees, people working in that business. And even once I was complete with the service, even once I had gone through everything, and you know whether or not they had more to sell me or not, I don’t know. But there was a period of time where, you know, I remember repeatedly receiving things from them in the mail. So for example, I, I had had a baby girl, maybe a year or two after I worked with them, but they somehow knew enough to keep in touch. And I don’t know, if they pulled it off of my social media profile, something. Suddenly I got a note in the mail, I almost I had a near-death experience. Proceeding with my baby girl, I got a card from them around the near death and flowers. And then when I had my baby girl, I got another card and onesie with their company logo on it.
Adam Peddicord 26:51
Heather Pearce Campbell 26:52
Right? But I was like, Who are these people? And that’s the level of like paying attention to their clients and their marketplace like, Well, after I had completed their service, I was still having this very high touch experience, which is why I rave about them. Right? And like, I hold myself to like, how can I build that level of business where everybody feels that taken care of?
Adam Peddicord 27:16
Yeah, you know, what’s fascinating to hear that story about the 800-pound gorilla in our marketplace today is Amazon. And one of the reasons that people always like latching on to Amazon. And they get I think, justifiably so a lot of credit for this is they have this term that they like to call customer obsession. You know, you are you, you over geek out on your customers, you do your homework, and you remember, and you take action through these things. So obviously, they are obsessed with you, and they did their homework on you. And they took action around that. And I think that’s why one of the things that I preach and bring to the market is around, you’ve got to be centered on the customer. It’s all about this customer-centricity. You know, it’s this mentality of Heather’s now here with us, she’s a us and we’re going to take care of Heather throughout thick and thin, and we’re always going to be there for her, it doesn’t even necessarily mean she needs to be in the building, or even right now actively engaging with us, we’re still gonna be there for Heather, we’re gonna reach out to Heather with stuff that matters to Heather because we know Heather, because we listened to Heather, while she was here. And we observed Heather while she was here. And we’re always gonna make sure that she lets she knows that we care.
Heather Pearce Campbell 28:46
Well, and I love I mean, first of all, we all need people like you to be helping us map this process for our customers. How do you go about doing that? I mean, I assume that this could look very different from business to business. Right. So talk to us a little bit about how you walk your clients through this journey?
Adam Peddicord 29:06
That’s a great question, you know, and again, it kind of all starts with the customer, and what problems they are expecting you to solve. So that’s the first layer. And then the interesting layer that I think comes after that is you need to talk to the staff who’s responsible for delivering that. I think what I’ve observed happening is, companies are missing one of those two components. They’re either talking to the customers, but then they never talk to their own internal staff who’s responsible for delivering it, which just creates chaos for the staff. Or they just talk internally to the staff, and they never talk to the customers and they end up building something that they think the customer needs and the customer goes, why did you waste your time on this? I had a bad day and I griped about it once, but that’s not the bigger problem. So phase one If just start there at any company can do that. Talk to your customers, just ask them, you know, Hey, take me through your experience with us, you know, start with this, why did you choose us, you know, and then walk me through, here’s the milestones that we’ve had along the way. Talk to me about how this went through, and then what you thought your goals were each step of the way. And then how we did very open ended. Just keep it and just listen, just listen, and write it down, or recorder now better, even more so. And then repeat the process with your team. But the interesting stuff with your team is then you get to dive into how you’re actually going about delivering it. And then you just do what you would normally do you do a process map, you do a process map of what are the customers saying? What does that flow look like through their eyes? What’s the operational journey looked like for us? And then you link in the points of friction along the way. And then the final component that you have to ask yourself is okay, there are the financial side, get attached to it. You know, so you do those three layers, and then you step back and you ask yourself, okay, number one is, is this acceptable to us? Number two, is it even acceptable to the customers? Okay, and then number three, all right, what are we going to go tackle? Because the interesting thing is that, and this is where it’s okay for businesses to acknowledge they have to have a reality check on where they’re at. I had a great conversation the other day on my live stream. And we really spent a good chunk of time on like this, where do we invest conversation, and I think that’s, that becomes the hard part for companies, especially at the exact level. And that’s why you have to do these deep dives into data. And you can’t, you can’t just go with the usage data, you know, or other usage metrics, you have to get out there and talk to people because you’re trying to bring the empathy into the room at those levels. So they can sit back and go, okay. Yes, we realize if we invest in customer success over here, that means we don’t get to invest in this over here for sales, marketing it whatever product, but it’s the right thing to do, because it will eliminate A, B and C for our customers, which will mean they’ll be happier, they’ll be healthier, they will stick with us longer, which is again, at this stage of the game, where the majority of the revenue is coming from for your business.
Heather Pearce Campbell 32:32
That’s right. Well, and you you mentioned in there, like looking at the process, designing what you think it could look like identifying points of friction, give us some examples of what the points of friction look like.
Adam Peddicord 32:46
So I think that their classic case, in a SaaS company is just in going back to integrations and onboarding, you know, we’re, there’s still a lot of companies out there, where you have to just you have to align the data, you’re just, it’s not as easy as a lot of the BDC. Great tools that are out there where you can just start from scratch, you plug it in, you’re working within their data mark, you’re really like spending initial time mapping, it’s really just data mapping at the end. So that can take time. And any way that you can chip away at that on that integration speed is a huge value. Because what happens in those instances is, you know, companies do their best, but most customers probably don’t know their own internal data challenges and data Mart’s well enough to be able to articulate it to the vendor, and then the vendor stepping in. And if they haven’t done the diligence upfront and saying, here’s how our format works, here’s how you have to expect things to do if they don’t get ahead of it, then they start this conversation, it can blow your implementation timeline out months, if you’re not careful. So you have to help your customers through understanding their own data Mark first, and you have a command of what are the core data points they need to have in that initial phase. And everybody needs to know that it doesn’t have to be the full SWAT. There’s a lot of great tools out there that you can do tons of data integrations with. But that might not be what the customer needs to get quickly. So have plans in places to where just get them to initial value first. And if you need to then roll out to the next phase great. But again, you got to get ahead of it. You got to talk to your customers ahead of time to say we’ll phase in, or you can choose to do it all in one swap. But here’s the timelines that we’re looking at. This is what you’re accountable to and we need you to hit this is what we’re accountable to and we will hit so that’s typically a friction point. Another friction point frankly for Early Stage fast-growth businesses, they just they just can’t keep up with the volume. So things just slip. You know, they don’t quite have the tracking tools yet in place to make sure that, hey, there’s a ticket in here that’s been around for, what five days? as anybody responded, or things that a there’s they’re sitting in people’s inboxes Yes, we all make mistakes, but are you going to go back and get to that? Or, like we talked to earlier around just, we never hear from you, you know, this bright now. Every brand and company is being monitored heavily for what they’re saying and what they’re doing. And I think what you’ve seen is a lot of brands came out and came out a little flat with the COVID-19 responses. Because, you know, yes, we’ve done business before, but I never heard from you before, unless you wanted to sell me something. And not even to like your point, like, just send me like a happy birthday, if you have my birthday in your database, or send me an anniversary note, the first time that we met, you know, something like that. And all of a sudden, you, you come to my doorstep, proclaiming your, your where you’ve got your tape on and everything. Great, you’re here, it’s kind of like a little bit too late. So I think, and now, especially with the social justice movements that are going out there and a lot of companies making some pretty bold statements, a lot of murder, they are getting called out because if you look at how many of them signed up to publicly proclaim their diversity record, they don’t have to proclaim it only Intel does it. Who else does it? There was one other I forget. But, you know, accountability is huge. So as you think about these things, you know, everybody right now is getting measured, not just on what you say, but it’s the walk the walk great. You talk, walk the walk?
Heather Pearce Campbell 37:15
That’s right. And I think yes, I think a lot of businesses are learning some hard lessons right now in the midst of COVID. I mean, both around messaging around, like, Where were they before? COVID. Right. And it’s really interesting to watch companies that have been responsive or being responsive and those that aren’t. But I think it does just underline whether it’s crisis mode or not, it underlines the importance of regular contact of you know, however, you’re nurturing your clients to have a plan so that you don’t find yourself stuck in a weird spot of suddenly needing to show up and not having been communicating with them. Yeah. And I think to your friction points for the folks that I serve, most of them are going to fall into the second spot, being overwhelmed, not like just not stay on top of it, and having a way to have, you know, covered things or mapped it from the beginning. And so they’re playing catch up, they’re trying to fill in the gaps and do things after the fact because of the way that they’re growing. Right. So I think most people that and probably most that are listening to this podcast are in that zone of like, needing to create systems on the fly and do this as they grow and develop and finding that to be a challenge.
Adam Peddicord 38:36
Yeah, into that group. I would say, It’s okay, you’re not alone. But that’s actually where tech can help and should be your Savior. Because it is tough. You know, if you’re lean and mean. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t create automated systems of love. And you can’t work on thinking dynamically like your example around the letter that you got. That’s great. There are companies out there for a very reasonable fee. That will even do thank you letters for you. Like mail, thank you letters, you know, it. You know, emails always good. You can never go wrong with email. And social just opens up a whole new world. I mean, just the fact that, you know, you and I are both doing podcasts. Now. I’ve got my live stream going but the entry to the barrier to these things. Really, yes, there’s a there’s an investment, but it’s not that much. And it’s really about how far you willing to go and how to discipline Can you be. And it can just be something as simple as creating a community Facebook page. You know, a lot of I think people do that really well. There are other channels where you can bring people together. You can just you can host social webinars and events right now lunch and learns. You, it really, you can find ways to create events that will draw your customers into you by gifting them something of just, and that in itself is creating value to them. Even something as simple as every month, I’ll be hosting this, this gathering of Mike for my community, everybody joined. And we’ll just check in QA, we’ll all get better, something as simple as that. And that’s scalable because that’s maybe one-month commitment, let’s say, let’s say two to eight hour days to put it together. That’s, that’s scalable,
Heather Pearce Campbell 40:51
Totally well, and I like even just your examples of breaking down simple ways that people can nurture because I think often people feel overwhelmed by the process of even mapping what they think they should do, or trying to dig into that. And I was having a conversation with a friend the other day who he just wants to get this one simple thing off the ground, right, he’s kind of headed in a new direction in his business. And he’s like, I don’t even have a landing page. I don’t have a way to enroll people, but I have people that are ready to enroll. And I was like, you don’t need a landing page. You don’t need an online payment form, like, and I said this, create a Facebook group, if they’re on Facebook, you know, now have a way that you can communicate with everybody at the same time, but you don’t have to have all this back end technology, if you’re ready to do something right now, which he was, and he was like, Oh, I hadn’t even thought of that. But I think we also need to be creative around like, how we can do you know how we can engage in progress over perfection, to begin nurturing people and supporting people right now? Well, we figure out what the rest of our system might look like.
Adam Peddicord 41:56
I totally agree. And I think the, the mentality that I would have people take is, it’s okay, to let your customers know, this is my work, we’re giving this a go. You know, I’ve never done this before, you know, like, what a very real example for myself was, you know, when I started my live stream was like, I feel terribly uncomfortable doing things like this, but hey, here we go. You know, so it’s just level with people, I think more than anything, right now. Everybody is looking for that level of intimacy with whomever they work with. And because we’re all going through have been through quite a bit. Recently, I think businesses are waking up to seeing that people are expecting a level of social accountability and social etiquette that goes along with it, but they’re also being very forgiving. You know, so just, I think what people are asking for really is just authenticity. You know, it’s okay. You know, I think just hit on what you’re supposed to hit on to help the customer grow. And then from the nurturing component, be you be bold. Be quick. And measure, obviously, to make sure it’s effective for both parties. And if it isn’t, that’s okay. Got it and move on and keep trying.
Heather Pearce Campbell 43:22
No, I love the I mean, especially the authenticity piece, I think people often feel like they have to have already achieved the great thing or designed the perfect process or whatever. And I so appreciate it. And I’ve been through a couple of these recently, where, you know, I think one of the greatest traits that can serve us as we build our businesses is humility, right? Which overlaps with outside about saying, Hey, guys, here’s what I’m at. And I even at the end of Mustafa’s course, one thing that I love that he did, where I was like, Man, that took real guts to do that in the like the very end of this delivery of what was a fantastic week-long course. But he literally saved the last 10 or 15 minutes for himself and just said, Look, I want you guys to be brutally honest. How did I do? Where did I fall down? He in he’d given a pitch partway through so that people had the option to enroll in the next thing if they wanted to support, actually implementing the marketing plan that he’d helped them design. And he was like, what didn’t work about that? Like, if you didn’t sign up, tell me why I want to know, so that I can figure it out and do better the next time. But he was just so open and honest. And I loved that I remember thinking like, Oh my gosh, building that feedback loop into our systems is critical. And I think it’s hard to do, I think I think, you know, trying to figure out how to do it in a way that will allow people to open up and give honest feedback. And to be willing to receive it really, it really does take some guts.
Adam Peddicord 44:53
It does and the thing that I would say too Is it can take people a while to get Get there. And that’s okay. You know, part of the interesting component of being in customer success is, you know, I would typically own we would typically own the surveys and the feedback that would come in. And the surveys are typically always directed at experiences that my staff or my customer staff were the frontlines on. And you get into this job because you want to help people when you want people to grow. And when they come in, and they come at you and stuff happens, everyone, but you get that negative, and you’re just like, you know, and then you’re sitting there, you’ve got your manager over here, and their job is to help grow you and develop you. And I would find that most of the time is just spent on helping people understand it. Feedback is good. Learning how to take it is the trick, you know, you have, you have to find that internal confidence almost to understand, this is what I can command and control. And this is what’s kind of out of my sphere. And yes, I own this component, and I accept my ownership of this component. And I accept that these are things that I might be able to influence, but you know, I can’t. And I think that’s the mental space, you have to be able to help people get to in order for them to get to that just bold outcome that I think it’s great to hear Mustafa’s do it because I think you know, the deal, any entrepreneur just has to be that direct, like, tell me if I suck the hit? No, it’s not like, it’s not like airy. Yes, we’re all great, and unicorns that are owned by but really, like, I need to get better. If you’re addicted to getting better, you understand that perfection is always the goal, but it’s never quite attained. So you keep hitting it, you want that constant feedback loop. And I think that for me, that just kind of goes back into that cultural component, how do you get that into part of the DNA of you as an organization, and then down to the employee level, because they’re the ones who are going to be transmitting that out. And then you at the leadership level, being able to absorb that back in from the customer. So then you take action, the other interesting thing is, like, you then have to decide what you’re going to take action to, you do have to decide, okay, who is speaking a language that makes sense. And then you have to do something with it. And then tell them that you did something with it, you know, close the loop with them, don’t just let it like, hang out there. Like I say, Heather, I heard you, you are awesome, thank you keep speaking up, here we go. Or better yet, involve that person who’s giving you the feedback, and part of the salt. You know, I think that it’s a wonderful opportunity for people who are invested in certain products and certain companies to get them even deeper into the relationship and help them feel even more valued by helping them be part of the process of making your company better for their benefit.
Heather Pearce Campbell 48:11
Well, and how do you help clients filter out the feedback that essentially should be ignored from that which should really change their company culture or their approach to things right, their systems maybe.
Adam Peddicord 48:25
So I think for me, it kind of comes down to a couple of components, you really have to be dialed in and listening to what the customer market is saying, everybody’s going to have that customer too, that whose value is so important to the business. It’s kind of like the suck it up and do it. You just, you just you find a way to make it happen. Okay. But you do have to understand your market, as you’re making your strategic investments as far as what customers are saying to you and I, and it kind of goes back to almost a mathematical equation, which is okay. who’s saying what categorize it, try and condense it into really like detailed not well just kind of summarize components that you can stack rank, you do have to provide a monetary value of outcomes for your customers and for your company. You do have to look at that. And you have to look at the ROI analysis. You do. And I think this is the heart test of any great business. It’s okay, which are the investments that we hear from customers they want to make and which are the ones that we’re going to say no to. And I think that’s the hardest thing to do. Because if you’re in my seat, in my role, you want to get everything you can to everybody, you just, you want them to win, you’re going to get them there. You’re going to make them happy. They’re going to love you and we’re going to love each other it’s going to be everybody’s going to dance off over the hills in the sunset, right but but But that’s really not real, we have to make tough decisions. And it’s almost like you’ve put on a little bit of a product managers hat, which is where you have to learn how to say, No, you have to learn how to triage and say no. And then as you articulate that back out to your customer community, you have to give them an explanation and a continual saw, which is, okay, we’ve, we’ve made the decision that we’re not going to invest in that in this time, however, I have found these other things that I believe can work for you that I recommend that you explore because I think where businesses can fall short, if they try to solve everything, when instead they should be solving what they really are trying to solve for, for the customers. Yeah.
Heather Pearce Campbell 50:42
There’s not really a values-based conversation around, like, what the company values as an outcome. I mean, how, how do companies get clarity around, you know, I’m still trying to figure out especially for somebody that is a smaller business that doesn’t have the ability, the ability maybe to engage in as in-depth analysis is probably what you do for companies that are either growing quickly or have the budget to do this kind of work. Like how you value one type of feedback over another, as you’re sorting your way through this path of figuring out what matters as a business and to your clients and trying to figure out that overlap.
Adam Peddicord 51:24
So here’s my recommendation to any smaller team. And I’ll just, I’ll strike it from it brass tacks just straight business perspective, go to your customer revenue sheet, sorted by who’s paying you the most, versus who’s paying you the least. Okay? Just look at the top core tile. All right, top 25%. And just go, okay, and just go through them and go, are these companies that align still, with, I vision for this product to go or Where, where, why I’m here in the first place, you know, and then talk to them, Go talk to them, keep it simple, and then sprinkle in others through the rest of your list. So think the easy for is just, if you’ve got, let’s say you have 100 clients, go talk to 25. Go talk to 25. Ask them the same questions, your questions should be entirely open-ended. But they should be targeted enough that you’ll glean the data that you want out of them. And then just and then go back, and then just kind of summarize it and look, and I think that’s where you’ll find a couple of things you’ll find. How are we doing? You know, you’ll find where’s the market going in? Am I still aligned with that. And you’ll find is, if this is actually the customer profile, I should be going for,
Heather Pearce Campbell 53:04
I think being able to distinguish, and I like the simplicity of that for a smaller business, just looking at where your revenues coming from going to the top, whatever percentage makes a lot of sense, because I feel like a lot of folks in the world that I serve, they’re going to get some of their biggest and most repetitive complaints from people that they actually shouldn’t be working with.
Adam Peddicord 53:26
Yeah, if we live in this world, where because of the channels, you know, people have a way to raise their voice at a level that can be distracting, rather than empowering and informative. You want it you want to try and weed through that as best you can. I’m not saying turn a blind eye to those who are training, but you have to wait it, you know, you have to wait that I’m going to spend the majority of my time looking at this. Yes, I will always establish a cadence and make sure that everybody’s getting the attention that they deserve. And that I am setting as this is my brand for the experience that I’m going to give everyone. But yeah, you can’t be everyone to everything. If you try to be you’re gonna fail.
Heather Pearce Campbell 54:14
Right? Well, and I just have found that there are, I mean, obviously, everybody should be aspiring to create a business model and systems within their business that really support the ideal experience support their ideal customer. And yet, I still find that even businesses who are doing that, well, you take their the 10% of essentially their lowest paying clients that will make the majority of the noise, right. And so that’s where, you know, sometimes it’s just an issue of like, who you’re working with and being able to filter out some of the complaints that really are not relevant to the bulk of who you serve. But I find that some people try to respond to those and change their model in a way that really doesn’t need to be changed. Across the board if 90% of their clients are having the kind of experience they want.
Adam Peddicord 55:06
Yeah, I agree the, the one cautionary tale I would advise anyone with that is, as you’re looking at that 10% make sure that 10% isn’t going to be your 90% in like, three to five years. Because, you know, I think I think a lot of businesses are able to hit that growth in that scale, because they’re able to land those couple of first really big fish that allow them to reinvest. And then they focus a lot of time continue to head upmarket, and then they find that they actually maybe cap mountain faster than they expected. And they have a lot of numbers that are below that, where maybe they’re not spending as much attention to. So you just got to be mindful and keep an eye on that is all I’m saying. Because you guys, you may find hidden gold down there. If you’re not careful.
Heather Pearce Campbell 56:01
That’s a really good point. That’s an excellent point is thinking about also the longevity of any client and also their progress. This is what happened, but I think she never went to sleep. I heard talking, talking, talking, talking. But I like that I mean, really considering, you know, because for example, in my business, I really have two levels of clients, I’ve got ones that will hire me in the earlier part of their journey. And then I end up working with clients later on in their journey, but it’s actually the same client. Right? It’s just that the consistency is that they are I mean, the consistent theme for my clients are that they’re serious about their business. They just intersect with me at different points in their journey.
Adam Peddicord 56:52
Well, I think that is such a self-aware thing for you to say, I think that’s great, because I think you can I’ve seen a lot of businesses over-index on why aren’t they? Why are they engaging with this? Now, why aren’t they doing this? Well, if you’re a provider of, you know, if you’re if your solution provides, you know, tax information or taxes, you know, a lot of people think that’s just a, that’s a once in a year thing you have to understand a little bit of the general lifecycle of what’s going on there. for your business, you know, like, for example, when I was at the cybersecurity company, you know, people only thought about it when either they were hacked, or, which is after the fact, which is what you don’t want to have, or if they were needing to do something to maintain compliance with a government regulation, which was typically annually done, or every other year done, depending upon the size and scale of the business. So how do you provide an experience that continues to remind them to do the right things all along the way? Or else you’re gonna get sloppy, and something’s going to happen. So I think that’s where you can kind of come in with those experiences, let’s call just experiences of scale, where you’re providing value, you’re always there, you can go above and beyond if you so choose. But it it still keeps you there in front of their face.
Heather Pearce Campbell 58:21
Yeah, no, I think it’s just the importance of the client nurture experience just cannot be overstated. I mean, from so many angles, like people forgetting that the clients they already have is the future lifeblood of their business.
Adam Peddicord 58:40
Yeah, and I think especially for you for your listeners and audience. Heather, I understand that with the lean teams, you know, you’re kind of focused mainly on, got to get new business, everybody’s got to eat. And then you got to deliver to those who you have. And then you got to go back and get new business because then yeah, and then you’ve got this. And I think that’s where if I were to coach, anybody who’s got a smaller business, and they’re very lean, even if they’re a solopreneur, I think it’s really important to just make an early call on what you want to have for a CRM system. Because that will allow you the freedom to start tying into these other experiences that we’ve talked about, whether they be email, social, whatever, it gives you the database to work from. If you do that, then you can just start building all the other things. So then it’s just you’re there like Mike. I hired a plumber a couple of weeks ago to help fix our bathtub that was leaking and they have a great, they have a great automated email marketing cadence, you know, I went into the database, it’s great, you know, it’s a bummer. You know, they’re their stuffs out there that exists that you can do So if I were to coach, anybody who’s living in that world, I would say just don’t, don’t take too long do your research and just pick a CRM system. Give yourself away, pick it, and either hire a virtual assistant or second up and do it yourself, get your data in there. And then let that thing and then be disciplined about using it and grow.
Heather Pearce Campbell 1:00:23
No, I think that’s great advice, another friend of mine, and in the business, he calls it pick and stick. He’s like, I really don’t care what you pick, make sure that it for the most part, meet your needs, although also understand there’s no one perfect solution out there. But pick and stick and use the tool that you have and just learn to use it well. So I think it’s really, really good advice. So Adam, where can people for anybody that wants to follow up and learn more either about how they do this better in their own business? Maybe they have a referral for you? What is the best way for them to get in touch?
Adam Peddicord 1:00:57
Yeah, you can either just hit me up on my website, there’s an easy registration page, just get a hold of me on cfbydesign.com. Or you can just shoot me an email.
Heather Pearce Campbell 1:01:10
I will share your links and your contact information on my show notes. So for anybody listening, make sure you visit legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast for the show notes to Adams episode. Adm, any final thoughts for the listeners, anything that you want to leave off with?
Adam Peddicord 1:01:29
Leave off with? We got this!
Heather Pearce Campbell 1:01:32
Yes, that’s a good one, we got this. And, you know, we were all in it. There’s no escaping it for any one of us. But I think that, for me, what I find really, really helps is connection, listening to stories that other people are willing to share about how they’re making their way through, right, it’s all really important, especially right now. And the other thing I’m encouraging people to do is if they do find that they’re in a bit of a law, or they have slowed down a little bit during this time to, to not waste it to use it to improve upon systems like what you’re talking about, right really building on business fundamentals. So that I think is a huge opportunity for a lot of us.
Adam Peddicord 1:02:18
I agree and I would also encourage people to this is a wonderful opportunity to just be bold and experiment. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s a great time to just try love that.
Heather Pearce Campbell 1:02:31
Yep. I love that. Well, thank you so much. I so appreciate you hanging out with me today and talking about your expertise and sharing it with people. So if you’re listening, get in touch with Adam and make sure that you have got your own system in place for your own customer journey and customer success by design built into your business. All right. Thank you, Adam.
Adam Peddicord 1:02:52
Thanks, Heather! Great seeing you again, bye.
GGGB Intro 1:02:59
Thank you for joining us today on the Guts Grit and Great Business podcast. We hope that we’ve added a little fuel to your tank, some coffee to your cup, and pep in your step to keep you moving forward in your own great adventures. For key takeaways links to any resources mentioned in today’s show and more, visit the shownotes at www.legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and if you enjoyed today’s conversation, please give us some stars and a review on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast so others will find us to keep up the great work you are doing in the world and we’ll see you next week.