How To Create A World Class Customer Success Program With Video

00:26:05 | June 30, 2015

What goes into creating a world class customer success program that gets you a seat at the executive table? Learn from Vidcaster's director of customer success, Kara Spangler as she discusses what she has done at Vidcaster and what you can do to improved your customer success strategy with a multi-channel approach that includes a lot of video.

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Today's webinar, Creating a World Class Customer Success Program with Video. I'm pleased to be joined by the director of customer success here at Vidcaster. I'll introduce her to everyone. [INAUDIBLE] I wanted to provide some context into why we're presenting today. And first, I want to make sure. Can everyone see my screen? Yes. All right. So quick housekeeping-- if you have any questions throughout the presentation, feel free to use the chat box to [AUDIO OUT] some questions [AUDIO OUT] directly to you in the chat box. And let's get started. So we started a series of webinars. Hold on. All right. How about that. So we started a series of webinars about two months ago on the topic of video training. Specifically, we introduced the idea of video first training. So we started off with a webinar from Kieran Farr, our CEO and co-founder, where he introduces the idea of video first training, why it matters, how consumers are using video first training. So think Khan Academy and So Khan Academy, for example, has over 13 million users every month. Additionally, we then went on to talk about how [AUDIO OUT] training content when we invited Gary Lipkowitz, COO of GoAnimate, to discuss what makes [AUDIO OUT] And then [INAUDIBLE] had a really fun Q&A with Eddie Sweeney, the former chief human resources officer of National Semiconductor, which was recently purchased in 2011 by Texas Instruments. He discussed key learnings about employee communications to development through his company of over 8,000 employees globally. I really had a great time on that webinar. I really highly recommend watching that one. But today, [AUDIO OUT] to talk about customer success, one of my favorite topics. But we're going to quickly go over what Vidcaster can do, what benefits it has for customer success. And I promise to keep it short, as we are here to listen to Kara, not me. After that, I'll hand it off to her, where she's going to go through how customer success sits at the center of our company. And if it's not at the center of your company, here are ways where it can. And finally, we'll discuss some of the strategies we use here at Vidcaster for our own customer experience. So what is Vidcaster? It's an online video platform designed to drive measurable action for training and marketing objectives. The platform is designed to drive measurable action through a series [AUDIO OUT] embeds, context captures, annotations and video analytics. So we have a few management tools that make it super easy for anyone in your organization to manage your video strategy. You won't need Bill or Sue from IT [AUDIO OUT] help you [INAUDIBLE] the analytics. So depending on what you want to do, we can help you turn unknown viewers into known viewers and then learn what exactly they watched, how much they've watches, what parts of the video they've watched, which quizzes, or links or annotations they've clicked on. And you can do that at a [AUDIO OUT] [INAUDIBLE] advanced analytics that can be downloaded to CSV. Or most of it can be found through some of our data connectors with pre-existing third party apps, like server POP, or [? Keto, ?] Salesforce and Mixpanel. So that's a little bit about Vidcaster. But before I put everyone to sleep, let me introduce Kara Spangler. She's awesome. And I'm super excited to hear her presentation. Awesome, great. Everybody hear me? Wonderful, wonderful. Well, thank you very much, Eric, for the introduction. I am very excited to be here. As Eric said, I am the director of customer success here at Vidcaster. I've been at Vidcaster for a little over a year, have launched lots of different video strategies for a variety of customers. And I've seen numerous ways that people want to implement our technology to launch a video strategy. From that, I've also seen all processes of that production, from the distribution, monetization, ROI. And being able to see that, I just want to speak to what I've seen as successful for launching a customer success platform and a strategy center. So before I get into that, just a quick history lesson on customer success. What does that mean? So what is that role? So in other organizations, you may have heard it called similar type things, such as account management, customer support, tech support, professional services, onboarding managers, product management. So it can be called a variety of things. But the customer success role was really [INAUDIBLE] a combination of an industry shift in the way that SaaS companies approach the customer experience, especially in the past, three years ago, when I was first called this weird title of a customer success manager. So really, what changed within those roles? So first, there was a shift from a product mindset to a customer focus. To kind of sum that up, I attended a customer success conference earlier this spring, hosted by Gainsight, a customer success platform, and noticed that there was a very general trend of how the industry reports this shift in thinking within SaaS companies in particular, that the definition of a successful company used to focus solely on the product. In the past, if you had a good product, you didn't need anything else. It would sell itself. And that's definitely [INAUDIBLE] several solution provider options to solve their business scenes and can quickly leave if the grass looks greener on the other side or if their current solution no longer fits their business objective. So now companies are focusing in on the customer and are routinely asked, in every single department that they're in, everything that they do, how does this improve that customer experience? Secondly, one of the major shifts is that customer success really lies in the middle. So with that question that's being routinely asked, how does this improve the customer experience, there needed to be a defined role to meet that one touch point across so many other departments by combining that functional role into one person or one particular department. So being either the main point of contact or the central point of contact for a customer, a customer success manager is able to build a stronger relationship with the customer by knowing more of those intimate details of their customers' projects and really being with them throughout their entire life cycle within your company, starting with the introductions and being looped in from a sales team and account managers. What conversations were had? What little details were really brought out in those month long sales processes? And that really helps your customer success department and your onboarding closely tailor those first 90 days of that onboarding process based on those previously defined needs, so being more proactive on those initial conversations, getting them set up the right way, helping them be one step ahead of their strategy by knowing a lot of their needs from the get go. Additionally, they can take more action on support requests and moving issues and feature requests through to the appropriate channels, to the product engineering team, even down to the professional services. Because they're able to provide better details to their internal team on what needs to happen next within that customer interaction. And that knowledge also enables the customer success manager better upsell services and renewals and generate more revenue for your company in an organic and natural way. Because the goal of your customer success department is to see your customers succeed in their strategy. So how to be successful with your customer training program-- so all of that being said about customer success, having a customer success role may not make sense for your organization. But you still need to train your customers. Otherwise, you may be in the wrong spot today, attending this webinar. So let's move on to the real reason you're here. How can you be successful with your customer training program? So first, looking at kind of that web chart that I just showed you, onboarding is a critical part to getting your customers to adopt your product or service. And adoption metrics can vary from organization to organization. But for our team at Vidcaster, we want our customers to adopt using the Vidcaster platform within about the first 90 days of signing their contract. And that's just not OK that they're logging in. But you need to define what it means to adopt and convert to a full customer. And so some of those metrics can include-- maybe it's key usage actions. Are they logging in? Or have they gone through a number of the appropriate steps of your onboarding program that you've established to get up and running? We've found that to be most successful with getting our customers to adopt Vidcaster, we still see a lot of ROI with personal one on one onboarding sessions to really tailor how a customer can use our wide range of features to fit their specific use case for their video strategy. We call our onboarding program an acceleration course. It includes five one hour sessions that start off with a kickoff call, where we go back to the basics and align on what are the goals of their video strategy, so taking all of those key learnings, as I just mentioned, from your sales team and account managers and being able to restate what those objectives are and flesh out all those details. And there, we focus on feature specific training to adapt it to their strategy. And then additional sessions are used to continue their strategy maybe after they've launched to review areas to optimize the results. But as we've told you, with the success of our webinar post engagement and how we're able to really generate a lot of engagement, post these live webinars that you're attending today, our training sessions aren't just one and done. So we record our transactions sessions and upload those recordings to our customer's account for post training engagement. Customers are then able to focus on the live learning and strategy discussion instead of just note taking. Plus we can track that engagement of those recordings using our own technology to understand from our customers what may need to be reviewed in a future session before the customer [INAUDIBLE] our training session over and over again. So let's just be proactive and start out with, are you having trouble with this? Additionally, within our onboarding processes, we often record a lot of how to content for some of our emailed questions. So a quick screen recording is able to not only tell a customer how to do something but show how they can accomplish it. And that's really key to their success. Again, we use our own technology to track that video engagement and are able to quantify, on the ROI, of the time we take to make all of these recordings by being able to see if it's being used by our customers, and how they're adapting and how they're continuing to grow with their video strategy. So through those two mechanisms, onboarding sessions and resources, really live throughout the relationship with our customer. And they can move throughout the relationship with your customer too. Another key component to your customer strategy is setting up a support center. So [INAUDIBLE] rely on one on one onboarding, or however you onboard or customers, it's critical to have a central location, such as a support center, where customers can access information and tutorials on their own at their own time. We really focus on a multi-channel approach to resources with a combination of video, screen shots, and written instructions. Because not everybody learns the same way. And not everything can be told the same way. So having that mixture is really beneficial. Then from that support center documentation across all of those different learning mechanisms, corporate links to the documentation throughout the Vidcaster platform. So when setting up your own support center, there's a lot of questions to ask yourself. Do you want the portal to be public or private for customers only? How does your audience want to consume the information they need to get started? Is it more technical write up of explanations of code? Or is it tutorial videos on how to accomplish a specific thing within your platform? And another question is what's the most important information to share? Where do you get started with setting up this documentation? We really found success was starting off actually being kind of reactive to what are my customers asking during this onboarding process. So you walk them through a tutorial. And they come back and ask a question. Well you kind of covered it. But obviously, you need to further the support by creating more documentation that they can go and self serve that question in the [INAUDIBLE]. So it takes a lot of time to set up all of that documentation. And so one big consideration and another question to ask yourself is how can all of this information benefit other departments in your organization, such as the marketing team can link to [INAUDIBLE] in blog posts or webinars, such as one about video strategy. The sales team can use this to help them sell. So not only can they send documents to prospective customers, but it can also be used as an internal training mechanism for your sales team or other departments within your organization. How does everything work? And then additionally, as we've mentioned, with the sales team using this, with the marketing team using this, there's always that opportunity to upsell and gain new revenue. And all of these efforts really lead to building additional revenue for your organization, which helps you justify the cost and the ROI, time on technology and recordings used for your support center. Again, getting back that ROI metric, data is your gateway to success with a customer success center and onboarding programs. Whatever methods you can use to onboard and support your customers, you have to have measurable ways to know if your customers are using your resources. And this will enable you to have better visibility into the likelihood of churn and if you're going to be losing customers. So among those data points, we use several different tools to measure how our customers are engaging with us. And all of the tools that the customer success department uses here at Vidcaster require very little assistance from our IT teams. It's all things that really anyone in the organization can log into and have visibility into how our customers are doing. So we use a tool to monitor support tickets and customer engagement touch points, tools to monitor what our admins and what our customers are doing within their Vidcaster site to determine engagement and account health, such as actions. Are they logging into their account? Are they uploading content? Are they generating new contacts, whether that be leads, or subscribers are private site users, et cetera? And finally, of course, we used Vidcaster to monitor the engagement with the support center and our onboarding and resource videos. One of the biggest key learnings that I personally had to learn is that my videos didn't need to win an [AUDIO OUT] I over thought them. I kind of freaked out, like these videos have to be the best thing ever. And really, they just need to communicate the information your customer needs to know. So we use a very cost effective strategy of using a program called Screenflow to record the screen as you walk through [AUDIO OUT] a lot of videos as well. And from there, we used Screenflow to do quick edits. You can zoom in to [AUDIO OUT] different parts of your application. Those videos not needing to be super fancy. Make sure that they address your customers' questions, they're clear, and concise and direct. You don't want to waste anyone's time. And with those recordings, it's easy to record and share a video in as little time as it takes to record it. The fancy editions of the zoom ins and focusing on those areas of the product aren't always necessary. Just get the information out there. And you can continue to reiterate based on what additional questions your customers are asking after they watch that video. So with all of these efforts for a customer success team, really your goal [AUDIO OUT]. Sorry if we had an audio issue. So just to reiterate what I just said, as you can see, there's a common theme with this presentation that customer success programs need to and has to work across different departments of your organizations. You're like the IV pumping blood, and emotions and energy from your customers to your team to make your business succeed and continue to move forward. So you can win a seat at the executive table if you're effective on clearly aligning what are the right goals and right metrics on how the customer success department can help the internal department succeed in meeting the needs of your customers. So for example, with product, you can share your customer insights and help define the product roadmap. Where are there hangups to getting started? What features would make it easier to accomplish a simple task? You are on the front line of defense. And you're in the trenches with the customers every day. And you really have that product IQ that you can share with that team. For sharing and aligning on goals with your sales team, share that information on how sales can better prepare a customer to launch. Is there a new angle on selling a particular feature set? Maybe there's better product education that can happen on the sales side for a prospective customer before they sign to make sure that it's going to fit their exact use case and what they're looking to accomplish. Aligning with the customers-- really the customer should have a seat at your executive table-- not all of the intimate details. But they're a big part there, even if it's just an invisible little body there, but confirming what you are doing to help your customers be successful and having those metrics to demonstrate that you're generating customer adoption. You're reducing the churn rate. Customers are happy with your product, are huge to have those right metrics to share with your exec team. And last but not least, your boss-- if you don't have alignment from your boss on what success looks like, how are you going to know what to focus on? You could make up metrics all day long. And you could think that this is really important. But if your boss doesn't care, it doesn't matter. So to kind of wrap this up, how do I use Vidcaster? The quick recap of some of the things that I touched-- you can upload your recorded onboarding sessions to share directly with a customer to extend the [INAUDIBLE] of your live training sessions and better provide tailored customer support. You can use videos in your support center to take a multi-channel approach to address the questions your customers need answers to. And you can use that engagement with the video content for monitoring customer help. The funny pictures there is I heard a great phrase at the conference that I attended. And it's something that I kind of live by. Because you really need to celebrate everything that you do within your customer success department, and how you engage with your customers and how we engage with our own technology. We now say, we don't eat our own dog food. We drink our own champagne. And we celebrate the wins that we get with our own technology and really celebrate making our customers succeed with using that technology. So how I envision Vidcaster in the future and how I want to continue to drink my own champagne-- and trust me, I'll save it for after the 5 o'clock hour. You can always do more videos. Everyone can, plain and simple. And we can also create more detailed self serving training tracks. So we want to have focus a lot more on specific strategy use cases and not just the how to upload a video. That's pretty basic. But how to upload the right videos for the right strategy, and so focusing on more video content like that. And then additionally, having full onboard courses through self serve video, and maybe someday just using our [? payroll ?] form to get people onboarded and get them to that track. So I really appreciate everybody taking the time to listen to what I had to say. So I'll turn it back over to Eric. And we'll answer any questions you guys have. Great. Thank you so much, Kara. You did a wonderful job. It looks like we have time for just about two questions. Feel free to ask any more questions while we answer the other ones. We can follow up via email directly after this presentation. But the first question I had-- I was reading the question before I said anything-- is how does this method go beyond SaaS products? Kara? To help your customers, think you've got a physical product. Your customers are going to have questions. And likely in this day and age, they're going to go online to ask those questions. So having a support center even for a physical product or anything that you do, you need to have resources and places that they can be proactive to ask questions. Otherwise, you're going to get things flooded on your Facebook and Twitter. And nobody wants that. You really want to be able to have a proactive place that you can point people to give them the right information. For example, internally in our own office, we were buying a lot of individually bottled fizzy water. And the company's like, hey, how about we get a SodaStream? But I wanted to make sure that it was the right thing for us. So what did I do? I went onto the SodaStream website and looked at some of their commonly asked questions. Hey, how do I clean the SodaStream? How do I buy more cartridges? And so from learning there and learning from their own documentations and resources, I was able to make an educated decision. And now we have SodaStream. And everyone's happy. Great. The last question we have time for-- what metrics do you use specifically? I think we went over a little bit. But maybe we can just go over it again and talk a little bit more about some of the metrics that you use internally and maybe some of the metrics that you care most about over some. Awesome. Well, metrics-- there are so many different ways to measure customer success and how your customers are doing, some of those looking at how are customers engaging with your product or SaaS solution directly. So metrics we specifically use is are they logging into their Vidcaster dashboard? Are they uploading videos? Are they generating new contacts? Specifically does our customer have customers, whether it's employees that are internally training, or they're generating leads for their marketing initiatives, or they're generating new subscribers for their paid content? Are they getting other people to engage with their content? Otherwise, it's not going to be of value to them. Additionally, we look at different metrics for our support documentation. Are people looking at the documents? Are they watching the videos? With every new document and new sets of documents and videos that we add to our support center, are we seeing a reduction in support requests? So what is that correlation, as well as we're helping to provide the product team with new suggestions on building new features, are we seeing a reduction in support requests? Great. So that should wrap it up.