What’s a surefire strategy to solidify your reputation for offering a superior customer experience?
I’ll give you a hint. It involves burritos … and delight.
Jordan Olivero is the Director of Customer Success at Swimlane, a software platform that empowers security operations teams with machine-speed decision making throughout the entire incident response process.
He joined me for a podcast conversation to discuss the power of moments, doing things that don’t scale (but doing them anyway), giftology, being your own PR firm, delighting customers, personalizing with video, and much more.
Create Delight to Keep Customers for Life
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Hear the entire conversation with Jordan Olivero right here …
Transforming the Customer Journey
A year ago, Jordan read Chip and Dan Heath’s book The Power of Moments and it transformed the way he looked at the customer journey. They broke down the things that are common to any memorable lasting impression.
Those are the places where you have an opportunity to create a moment that really lasts. In customer experience, the moments that are particularly powerful or memorable often have one of these three traits:
- Pits in the journey.
- Peaks in the journey.
- Transitions in the beginning and the end.
Here, he explains his experience with The Power of Moments …
Jordan looked carefully across his customers’ total journey, from the decision points to buy, right up until they renewed or expanded. He considered all the touch points and asked questions like:
- Where are we?
- Who owns that touch at this moment?
- How can we avoid those pits, make things a little more pleasant, reduce friction, or reduce customer fatigue?
Delight Your Customers
Most of all, you want to ask yourself, what can we do to delight the customer? Swimlane wanted to increase their customers’ peaks.
Jordan explains what his team did to map the journey and identify important moments …
One of the things that is most important is personalized care – making customers feel like they’re in good hands. So Olivero asked his CEO to record a quick video, personalized to each customer, mentioning specific parts of the deal that were important to them. It is included in the kickoff call they do with each customer.
Olivero figured that if he could reduce the time to first value in the customer’s mind, they would immediately increase the perceived value and the realized value during their contract.
They also wanted to decrease the pits. There were parts of the process that were contributing to customer anxiety. That’s a red flag. So they made it easier for customers to ask questions and get the answers they needed.
You need to ask your customers, what’s your goal, when do you think we’re going to get there, and how will we know we’ve arrived? And then deliver.
Learning from Mistakes
Olivero does transition work with the sales team to help everyone understand the reasons why they may have lost an account. They talk about it out loud, not just for the record, but so everyone can learn.
It’s important to keep the whole team moving in the same direction. You need to clarify the objectives and the plan to get there.
Here, Jordan explains the importance and value of alignment of all stakeholders at the time of sale and how he achieves it …
The sales to customer success transition is often filled with tension and Jordan can understand why. Each department wonders if the other is going to treat this customer the way they should be treated.
He starts by asking sales team members: What is it that you need to see us do to feel really confident that you can hand over the customer? And then he delivers on that.
He calls it a transfer of trust. You need to work with each other on the handoff so the customer doesn’t feel like they have to repeat the same thing to different departments. Communicate, communicate, communicate. And don’t waste their time.
Here are Jordan’s observations and recommendations about the important customer transition from sales to CS …
Don’t try to fool anyone. We all know when a machine versus a person sends a message. Olivero tries to scale personalized messages, like those around a new release, a known issue, or a workaround. The recipient needs to know that it’s a highly relevant message.
He takes care to use video frequently for reasons he explains in this video clip …
The personalized approach has spread to other parts of Swimlane. They pay close attention to their customers’ peaks and celebrate them. The company tries to send people occasional meaningful gifts, just not at winter-holiday time or contract renewal time. They do it at surprising moments because those are the peaks that stick.
Hire Your Own Customer Advisory Board
Swimlane recently invited about a dozen senior-level clients for a visit to Denver to get their thoughts and ask them questions. For example:
- Where are you making bets in your business?
- Why did you buy our products to solve your problem?
- Are you getting return on the investment you’ve made?
- Where are some problems you think we need to address and find solutions to?
Jordan explains this process and reasoning here …
He’s careful to point out that they don’t ask the board to rank features and solutions, only to rank problems. It’s not the customers’ responsibility to take on the heavy lifting of finding and creating solutions. That’s Swimline’s job.
They want their biggest and most influential customers to be their advocates and guides.
The Swimlane customer advisory board is something that a lot of companies are trying to initiate from a product management perspective.
Be the Best in Brand
Olivero likes to ask people to share their good, bad, and ugly experiences with brands. He’s acutely aware that it’s five to seven times more cost effective to sell to your current customers, than it is to find and acquire new ones.
So what’s the best way Olivero has ever seen this done?
His favorite taco truck, without notice, would randomly give free burritos to customers just because they felt like it. “I thought that was a unique way to create delight through surprise. It wasn’t expected. It wasn’t a punch card. It was just this delightful, unexpected encounter that you’d have with them.”
So delightful, he’s still fondly musing over it years later. That’s a memorable customer experience.
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Hear Smart People with Valuable Ideas on The Customer Experience Podcast
- Customer success manager Nick Hart (Outreach)
- Customer experience author and advisor Joey Coleman (Never Lose a Customer Again)
- Client success leader Ed Powers (IntelliSecure)
- See them all by clicking here
- 5-time founder and 2-time CEO David Cancel (Drift)
- Company founders Paula Hayes (Hue Noir) and Michael McCarthy (InkIt)
- Product marketing expert Brian Gilman (Vonage)
With podcast questions or guest recommendations, please email me: Ethan at BombBomb dot com
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