Today’s interview is with Todd Olson who is co-founder and CEO of Pendo, a product experience platform that helps product teams create software customers love. Todd joins me today to talk about software product experience and how it impacts both the employee and customer experience.
This interview follows on from my recent interview – Becoming more empathetic can be hard. Pega’s new AI-powered Customer Empathy Advisor aims to help – Interview with Rob Walker of Pega – and is number 307 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.
Here’s the highlights of my chat with Todd:
- There is this tendency that when people build software that they think that more is more and bigger is better.
- However, this trait has given software a bad name.
- User experience, particularly the experience of employees using software, is becoming a growing dimension in the procurement of software.
- Thus, procurement decisions are becoming more about value and a shared understanding of value.
- Pendo is the Latin for the word for value.
- Your procurement team is having both a positive and/or negative impact on both your CX and your EX with their software buying decisions.
- Todd recounts a story of when he went to buy a mattress and the assistant in the store couldn’t operate the point of sale software because it was too complicated.
- Pendo is trying to improve the experience of software users by gathering data on what they do and don’t use as well as supplying support, education and reinforcement throughout their software use journey.
- A poor software user experience could be costing you as much as 20-30% in productivity.
- This could be even higher when it comes to those that are in sales roles, especially when you think about getting someone up to speed in a new role or to start using a new tool.
- There are still organisations running business critical applications that are DOS based and running on mainframes.
- However, the risks associated with these applications will become increasingly acute as the folks that can service and fix them start to retire and that is starting to happen now.
- Todd’s advice:
- Look at the applications that are truly business critical and what you need to run your business. Then, look at the modern tools that are out there.
- Survey your users and your employees for what they like, what they dislike and what’s painful about the software they use. And, listen to them.
- Don’t be afraid. Get used to change.
- Pendo recently acquired a Sheffield based U.K. company called Receptive, which has a core capability around gathering customer feedback at scale that was missing from Pendo’s stack.
- Todd’s punk CX word is unconventional and his company/brand that, he believes, epitomises a punk ethos is Virgin.
Todd Olson is co-founder and CEO of Pendo, a product experience platform that helps product teams create software customers love. A three-time entrepreneur, Todd has experienced the highs and lows of running fast-growth technology companies. A proficient coder by age 14, he spent his teen years working as a database designer and software architect for MBNA Bank in Delaware. By graduation from Carnegie Mellon University, he’d invented a data integration product, co-founded Cerebellum Software, and raised seed capital. Cerebellum went on to raise $17 million in institutional capital and hire 65 people, only to shut down when funding dried up during the dotcom era. A role as vice president of product development at TogetherSoft brought Todd to Raleigh, where he eventually started 6th Sense Analytics, which he sold to Rally Software. The inspiration for Pendo came as Todd led the product team at Rally. With no product usage data available, he struggled to decide which of the dozens of feature requests that hit his desk each week were worth the investment of time and capital. After Rally’s IPO, he teamed up with fellow product leaders and technologists from Red Hat, Cisco and Google to launch Pendo in October 2013.
Thanks to Pixabay for the image.