Customer success (CS) = Customer experience (CX) + Customer outcomes (CO) – Interview with Nick Mehta of Gainsight

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Today’s interview is with Nick Mehta CEO of Gainsight, a customer success technology provider that helps businesses retain customers and drive company growth. Nick joins me today to talk about his new book, The Customer Success Economy: Why Every Aspect of Your Business Model Needs A Paradigm Shift, what customer success is, why it is going to become increasingly important to organizations given the current climate and pressures that many firms are going to start to face, what are the benefits and what customer experience and success leaders need to be doing to survive and thrive.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – Experimentation is what makes Microsoft, Google, Netflix and Booking.com so successful – Interview with Harvard Business School Professor Stefan Thomke – and is number 357 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 Nick:

  • The reality is that in new business models if you’re not proactive with a customer after the sale, making sure they’re getting value, making sure that they are using your product, making sure they’re seeing the ROI then they’re not going to stay with you.
  • Nick has just written a new book: The Customer Success Economy: Why Every Aspect of Your Business Model Needs A Paradigm Shift.
  • Customer success management roles are the six fastest growing job category in the world, according to LinkedIn.
  • Customer success is not just a function, it’s a company mindset.
  • Customer support, fundamentally, is about an issue. Customer success is about driving to value.
  • Customer success (CS) = Customer experience (CX) + Customer outcomes (CO).
  • Customers will renew and stay with you if they’re getting the outcomes they are after.
  • They’re looking for business value with great experiences. If they’re just getting great experiences, but it’s not delivering value, then that’s not enough.
  • Unless you are a mortician or a funeral parlor then your relationship with a customer is never a one time thing. Therefore, the concept of customer success applies to your business.
  • The pandemic has given every CEO a wake up call about their business, which is “Wow! my whole business depends on existing customers”.
  • Gainsight’s research amongst CEOs shows that retaining customers is the number one priority for CEOs right now.
  • A quote from a friend of Nick’s who’s a CEO of ~1000 person software company: “We’re finally doing the things that we always should have done. ….We’ve never understood our customers better. We’ve never had a better connection with them”.
  • In the beginning, customer experience and customer success can feel a lot like defense, where companies focus on making sure people aren’t unhappy and are focused on preventing churn.
  • Moving to offense means focusing on keeping customers, helping them do more and get more value and through that you will get more customers.
  • Customer success is a growth engine more than ever in 2020.
  • One of the biggest criteria in deciding what to do and where to start is to understand what type of customers you have, what their expectations are, how much they pay you and how much you can afford to invest in them.
  • If your activity only kicks into gear when you get near to a renewal of a contract then you’ve probably already lost a customer.
  • Nick provided examples from box.com, Rockwell Automation and ResMed on how they take very different approaches to customer success.
  • For example, Box’s customer success efforts focus on fostering the use of their products and user collaboration, Rockwell Automation uses sensors on equipment and telemetry to help them be more proactive and ResMed is using telemetry to help them work better with their distributors.
  • Nick’s best advice for getting started with customer success is to find the champion inside your company who believes in this.
  • You can build up a huge amount of organizational social capital if you help make somebody else successful.
  • Nick’s Punk CX word(s): authentically unconventional (real).
  • Nick’s Punk CX brand: Southwest Airlines

 

About Nick

Nick Headshot V2Nick Mehta is the CEO of Gainsight, The Customer Success Company. He works with a team of nearly 700 people who together have created the customer success category that’s currently taking over the SaaS business model worldwide. Nick has been named one of the Top SaaS CEOs by the Software Report three years in a row, one of the Top CEOs by Comparably, and was a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year. On top of all that, he was recently rated the #1 CEO in the world (the award committee was just his mom, but the details are irrelevant). He is a member of the Board of Directors at F5 and has also co-authored two books on the customer success field, Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue, and The Customer Success Economy: Why Every Aspect of Your Business Model Needs A Paradigm Shift.

He is passionate about family, football, philosophy, physics, fashion, feminism, and SaaS customer success. People told him it’s impossible to combine all of those interests, but Nick has made it his life’s mission to try.

Grab a copy of Nick’s new book, find out more about Gainsight here, say Hi to Nick and the Gainsight team on Twitter @GainsightHQ and @nrmehta, check his personal site and feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn here.

 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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