Another Cloud Podcast

A podcast designed to bring you stories from the smartest minds in IT, operations and business, and learn how they're using Cloud Technology to improve business and the customer experience.

Walking in the Shoes of Your Employees with Kim Riedell

with Alex McBratney and Aarde Cosseboom

Don't have time to listen? Read the full transcription.

Alex McBratney 00:01

Hello, and welcome to Another Cloud Podcast, a podcast designed to bring you stories from the smartest minds in IT, operations and business and learn how they're using cloud technology to improve business and customer experience. All right, well, welcome to another cloud podcast. We're excited today to have Kim Riedell on the podcast with us. Kim, how you doing today?

Kim Riedell (Guest) 00:26

Pretty good. Thanks for having me.

Alex McBratney 00:29

Absolutely. Well, it's Monday. So hopefully, hopefully, we've all recovered from the weekend, and ready to go for the week and thanks for jumping on Monday, no less. And Aarde good to have you on onboard again, as well, as always.

Aarde Cosseboom 00:42

Thanks, Alex. Thanks for having me on board on this episode. Looking forward to the conversation today.

Alex McBratney 00:47

Yeah, so Kim, you're the you're the VP of customer success over impact. Tell us a little bit about what you're doing over there. What impact does so the audience has understanding of what you guys do. And then we'll dive into just the whole, you know, customer success world that you're in.

Kim Riedell (Guest) 01:04

You're so I'll start off with impact. So we are a technology platform that brings partnerships together. And so I always, I always think about when I have to describe what I do, I try and describe it to my mother. And so really, what we're doing is we're taking large partnerships and bringing them together and then tracking all those transactions. So when enables a brand, you know, to do brand or brand partnerships or brand to a publisher partnership, and tracking all of those transactions, wherever those transactions may happen, as well as paying out those for those transactions. So we're really like, in a lot of ways a pay for performance platform. So we have large customers on our platform that can range from like a Walmart, all the all the way down to a very small business, or a you know, up and coming DTC brand. So that's impact. And then my responsibilities are I manage a team across the United States of CSM. And they're really responsible for ensuring adoption of the platform, driving productive partnerships, and then ensuring that our customers know how to essentially continue to build out those partnerships on the platform. So I like to think of them as, as really like product ninjas, they should know the product inside and out and be able to strategize with our customers on how they should be using the technology.

Aarde Cosseboom 02:48

Yeah, and talk to us a little bit about how you got to where you are today. You know, what did you start with? Did you go to college come out and say, you know, what, this is the field that I'm going down? Or was it just by happenstance? So tell us a little bit about the origin story?

Kim Riedell (Guest) 03:03

Yeah, no, it's, it's actually interesting. So um, I've been, you know, so I went to I did my undergrad degree, actually, in TV and radio. And, and decided that wasn't really what I wanted to do. And I really loved technology. So I started off in software. And I was actually in sales. So I did a lot of I started out on the sales side. And then I kind of fell into technology as sort of software morphed more into selling, you know, just a software, a software platform. It was born to a technology platform, and really started managing accounts and really enjoyed managing teams. So I've been in, in the, you know, I like to always say I've been in digital media for a very long time. And I've touched all different kinds of digital media. The one that I have so I've done programmatic I've done I've done social media, I've done influencer all and the tech platforms, and the only one that I really haven't done is search. I know enough to be dangerous, but you wouldn't want me running your search campaign.

Alex McBratney 04:13

Yes, that's interesting, because you know, managing a team of you know, CSM and getting them to that expert level, right where they can truly handhold the client is difficult. And then once they get there, like don't leave Don't leave like what are some of the challenges that you have with CSM and just managing a team like that? Right and getting into that level and beyond that process?

Kim Riedell (Guest) 04:37

Yeah, I mean, I would first and foremost so I've only been an impact since December. So I inherited a team of directors. And then and then I've actually in the process of hiring another director. I honestly I inherited probably the best team I've ever seen. They're just They're very complimentary of each other. So they don't all have they're not all cookie cutters, right. They're not even though they may have similar, you know, same title they're not cookie cutter by any means. One person is very highly technical, another person's super detailed another person's very commercial. And so it's actually been quite amazing and, and the culture and impact is certainly very collaborative. And, and people can grow and stay within their roles, if they want to write, there's opportunity to grow within the organization or up within the organization. But then if you really want to stay as a CSM and be an individual contributor, because you love your accounts, there's that opera, you know, there's that continuing opportunity as well. So, you know, I've been trying to hire, we've, we've, we've been growing a lot. So we've certainly been hiring a lot of CSM, but we have, we have some amazing tenure on our team, I have one CSM, who's been there for nine years, certainly have significant number of people been there for greater than three years, I have a director who has been there for six. So people come because they love the technology. And then they stay because they like the color I think because they like the collaborative nature of, of the organization. And the growth opportunities.

Aarde Cosseboom 06:22

Yeah, and I used to work at a couple company, couple software's or service companies that had very strong CSM team, they also have like a technical support inbound team. And in those types of environments, especially when you're doing technology Software as a Service, there's lots of collaboration between you, and QA and the development team, and even marketing and sales like don't over market, the products, the new features, because it's not it's not there yet still in beta, like those types of conversations. And then also, from an onboarding perspective, there's a very hard ramp up time for software as a service, not as like, go to the store, buy it, try it on, and you're done. You kind of had to have to get them through a certain process. So talk to us a little bit about your CSM team, and what are they? What do they do? Primarily? Are they kind of a multi tool where they wear lots of different hats and have to pivot and change the way that they engage with their customers?

Kim Riedell (Guest) 07:24

Yeah, no, that's actually a really good question. So we have, we have a range of customers. So we have really, really large customers, and then we have really, really small customers. So from an from an, and what we've recently done is divided up the clients into sort of into a into those ranges. So and then coupled with that, the way our software works, and then the industry that we're in, in this partnership economy, there's actually a whole agency business that has been built out of that, right, so um, and so what usually, what typically happens is the client signs the contract with us for the technology. And then they a lot of times we'll have an agency who will help them to run the technology and to do a lot of the strategy and things like that, and some of the execution a lot, typically, a lot of our clients are doing it on their own, but a lot of them do hire agencies. So the way my team is broken out is I have enterprise clients, and that that I have a director who runs that group of accounts, and those are our largest, most complex and sophisticated clients. And then I have a group of clients that are run by our agency team. So that team, all of those clients are, they can be very, very small clients, so small SMB clients all the way up to fairly large name brand clients. But the distinction is that they're run by an agency. So an agency and we separate that out a little bit, because we figured out that the agencies also needs to be, you know, to be managed and feel like they're important because they are to us. And so we've changed up how we manage them, where we have one CSM, who manages a particular agency, and then all of the accounts that are under that agency, so that they know the nuances of the agency as well as the nuances of all those accounts. And then I have a direct book of business, which is those accounts that aren't as large as what's an enterprise and they're being managed by a team of CSM as well. And then last but not least, we have small businesses, and we're actually managing them in a customer success pool environment, which is actually very new to us. And we're doing a lot of learning and testing there. So I would say our enterprise clients are much managed much more like what would be a typical, you know, account management kind of structure. And then the direct clients in the agency clients are much more what would be CSM like today. Right, if you can kind of understand those two little nuances and then and then this, this SMB group is managed in a pooled environment, which is much newer, probably even for a lot of customers, and a lot of people you guys have probably talked to pooled environments is learn is a lot to learn as you go. And we're learning a lot. We're also, you know, that's where our biggest growth has been, as well. So…

Alex McBratney 10:27

One of the things we're seeing a lot of, and you mentioned, that you're segmenting out your, your clients, the different channels with the agencies and whatnot. And so a lot of things that we're seeing with, you know, customer success and you know, experiences in other developing, you know, community groups, and knowledge bases, right? Is that something that you have implemented now? Or like that, those certain segments can all kind of collaborate together outside of the CSM? Or how does that look as far as?

Kim Riedell (Guest) 10:53

we haven't not? You mean, specifically for our clients to close?

Alex McBratney 10:57


Kim Riedell (Guest) 10:58

yeah. So we haven't, although there are a lot of industry, what do used to be a lot of, we used to do that with a lot of industry. trade shows and things like that. So that used to be and obviously, with COVID, no one's going anywhere. Although I did just find out that there was a tradeshow that's happening in July. And I found out today and I actually said to one of my peers who messaged me about it, I want to go, I've said, I've wanted to go to a trade show more than I want to go to this one. But that's really where a lot of times our customers get together. And then we have historically had an event, similar events for all of our clients so that they can interact and get together though, but I do like that idea of having like, a forum where they can interact. That's outside of us. Right. And we, I don't think they're not that I, I've seen that there's Facebook groups and things like that. But we you know, it's been super formalized.

Aarde Cosseboom 12:00

Yeah. I was gonna say for, for all the listeners in July 2021, by the way, because people might think, Oh, this is recorded hoity toity. But yeah, we, Alex, you and I have potentially a conference to go to in July as well. It still sticks on the calendar. But we're excited to see people face to face. Alex, I'll turn it over to you. You had some…

Alex McBratney 12:23

Yeah, no. No, I was just gonna say that, you know, those user groups are great, right. And I think every industry is a little bit different on how much it's actually needed, though. So you know, so it's, it's just what I like. And like, I think just the overall approach of customer experience, and success is just finding those unique, unique ways to engage your clients, and engage in your lot of cases, your clients, clients, right with your agencies. So it's, it's a great way, what are some unique ways that you guys are just creating that experience for the agencies or your clients that, that maybe you didn't have at your last, your last job? Or, you know, some new things that came out that are the hot trend? 

Kim Riedell (Guest) 13:04

Yeah, I mean, I think from a hot trend perspective, you know, for us, we're all about building partnerships. And so, you know, that's what our technology enables, and trying to continue to build those partnerships. And what we're, you know, especially over the past year is really, how do we do that? Not just the, what, what used to be traditional partnerships was a publisher and an advertiser, right now we're seeing, you know, brands and brands who want to connect together and they want, you know, when in the, in the past, they would do that sort of offline, and they would build these sort of complex partnerships. And now they're looking at it as, hey, I can build, yeah, I can have sort of a complex partnership. But why would I make this easy? Now that technology, the technology is there for me to build these less complex partnerships and be able to see, you know, what, how are these transactions happening with, you know, we've seen over the past year, a huge drive towards everybody is online. I mean, I can't there's not one person that I don't know that has not shopped online, transacted online, how to video conference. I mean, I always I always use my, my mother as the sort of the example. But like, my mother's, you know, doing zoom calls, and my, you know, my grandmother's doing zoom calls. So when you get to that point, these brands and these publishers are evolving so that they've got it, they've got to do that at a much bigger scale. And we're really seeing that evolve. And so really trying to drive those partnerships where they didn't used to be before right, it used to be okay, I have a publisher who may be a coupon site and I have this brand because their ecommerce site and Yeah, that makes sense for the two of them together. But now it's like, oh, I have a huge streaming video brand and I may have another you know, retail Oh, let's put those two together or I have, like an Airbnb and a Delta Airlines. Right, right. Oh, let's see what transactions are going on there. So definitely a lot. That partnership ecosystem has certainly evolved.

Aarde Cosseboom 15:15

Now we, we were on a podcast earlier and talked a little bit about how people are communicating in the cloud, from this work from home environment, but also, like futuristic. More do everything online zoom is at the tip of everyone's finger. How are your customers communicating with you? are they calling chatting? emailing? Is it scheduled base? Are you scheduling times where it's one on one in like a zoom conference? Or is it maybe more collaborative with like a webinar style where you have multiple different people together? And so how do your customers communicate with you? And have you seen anything changed? In the last? I'll say 12 months to two years?

Kim Riedell (Guest) 15:58

Yeah, I mean, I think yes, yes, yes, we're doing all we're doing all that where I've, where I've really seen a significant change is the relationships that used to happen that a lot of people used to think, hey, I've got to be in the same room with this person to make that relationship. People are realizing I don't have to do that. So I think a lot of that travel in and that's not to say, like, you know, like I said, I'm ready, I'm ready to be in the same room and face to face, but I think a lot more transactions are able to be to happen, whether it's on zoom, or whether that's even on a phone call, we're getting, we're doing a lot more of that. So, you know, yes, we, you know, we moved our annual conference to be virtual, but we also figured out rather than, you know, we're gonna make it multi day, and we're making, we're making it global, right. And so, by multi, multi day and different time zones, we're able to get a lot more people involved, as opposed to shipping everybody to California to do that. So we've seen that interaction change, and people are actually more people are coming because they don't have to travel. We, we implemented chat, and a whole system using Freshdesk to in order to talk to our clients and to be closer to our clients. And that's actually been really helpful. So chat, typically, a lot of times, it's, it's really, you know, okay, how do I get this answer quickly, which, ultimately, that that's our goal. But it also gives us the ability to send that person a guide, or a help Doc, we also have connected in with Calendly. So if when you're chatting with that person, like a support person is chatting with them, and they say, Hey, I really like I really need this, I need more training on this portion of the of the platform, for example, they'll say, oh, okay, hey, here's the Calendly link for your CSM and set up, you know, they can set up a zoom call right then in there. So a lot of the what I would say one of the things that has been a big thing for us is the connection of all of these different types of technology, so that we can get to that client at the time that they need us to get there. And are we is it perfect at 100%? No. But it's really I've seen really a trend in in talking to clients like they're so happy, hey, I can get an answer right now, either through chat. And if I can't, I know that I can connect with my CSM leader. And I can connect via zoom if that's what makes sense. So again, like everything has sort of caught trying to combine together and using different tools to do that.

Alex McBratney 18:43

Yeah, and everyone's at a different phase. Right? We've talked to a lot of people on the podcast and some, some companies that have big, huge budgets are way down the road, and others are just thinking about a, you know, platform like fresh desk when you so you've been there about six months now, did you already have fresh desk in the works? Or is it something you implemented after you got there?

Kim Riedell (Guest) 19:05

So they already had it? They already had it in the works. And so that was not that was not my decision. So I can't take credit for it. All I but I do think it was one of the best decisions. It's, um, you know, just having a system. The thing I like the most about it, and it doesn't matter whether it's Freshdesk I'm not, you know, here to promote Freshdesk it could be any sort of texting or chatting system is the ability for everyone to be able to see what's going on. And that to me has moved our client success forward. So in the past what you know, what would typically happen is the client would have a problem they would reach out to the CSM, they would email the CSM, and then the CSM would have to triage what that problem is. They may get support involved because and then support would look at it. That would be another email It may be a ticket in our, you know, in our JIRA ticketing system, but it what ultimately ended up happening, it would be series of emails that would be going on. And now, you know, I had an issue a client, you know, I got an email from a client and about an issue. And I literally went into Freshdesk. And I searched for the client. And I came up and I read through all of the, you know, this one issue. And yeah, it took me a couple minutes. But rather than having to go back to all those emails, and it was collaborated on by our technical support team, by our fraud team, by our support team, by our product team, by our CS team, and by our by our regular support team, so everybody was in that those that ticket, and I could see how everybody contributed. Whereas you can never do that in email. I mean, you could but you lose your mind. So that has been a huge, huge benefit just in in overall managing clients.

Aarde Cosseboom 21:00

Yeah. And without a ticketing system, things fall through the cracks, and like maybe it hits my inbox, and I'm a CSM and I forget to respond, or I, you know, it gets deleted, or spam or whatever. And that paper trail kind of goes out the door. But with the ticketing system, you could see the history, you can see when I came in, you can see the time the first response and all those really important metrics.

Kim Riedell (Guest) 21:24

You know, we have a globe, we have a global team, right? So I have I have folks, majority of my CSMs are in us, but we have supporting people all across the globe, right? They could be in Cape Town, South Africa, or they could be on the west coast, or they could be in somewhere in APAC. And so you if you're relying on somebody to answer, especially if it's an email and they get delayed, but if they if they have a ticket, and they're answering in the ticket, then everybody can see that happening at that at the same time. And that That, to me has been just enormously helpful. And it also gives us the ability to, to push it out to add people, when instead of adding them to an email chain, right, you're adding them to like, Hey, can you can you provide your input here? Because I don't know the answer. And that that's, that's been enormously helpful.

Alex McBratney 22:19

How have you seen the evolution of the data from that, right? Because you're getting so much more these, you know, SAS platforms, such as in just like yours, are able to grab so much information. Have you guys been trying to dig into that to learn more about why customers are doing things? Or how things are being responded to? Because you have this great access? Now this data?


Kim Riedell (Guest) 22:42

Yeah, it's, it's actually been interesting. So there's, so there's a couple different data sources that that we use. So I, you know, obviously talking about Freshdesk. You know, I work very closely with the woman, today, Hall, who runs our support and tech support group, she's a VP of engineering. And she has been really tracking what our What's our, you know, our time to respond our response times are we hitting certain SLA is and all that, and then looking at it as, how many more people does she need to add? Right? And so one of the things that has been that, that, you know, she has been tracking and coming back to us is like, Okay, so in the beginning, we you know, it took us X number of days to respond or X number of hours respond, and trying to get that down to a, you know, of an SLA that we're comfortable with, right, especially by different groups. So that data we are certainly using, and then we're trying to use it also in customer success, because especially in that that's, you know, success pool that I was talking about. With that team, we're also managing and talking to clients, because it's a pooled environment, we're doing that through Freshdesk. So we have the ability to push responses back and forth between us and support, and then measuring our you know, what is our timeframe there? And are we are we you know, are we responding in the right time? And then what are the what looking at the data of what is being asked, and we're just on the tip of that iceberg? Like what are the problems that are that are typically being asked and do we could we manage that proactively instead of reactively? Right, that's where that's one set of data. We also because of the way impact is designed, we have a ton of data within our platform. And we use we actually have an internal data, I'd say like a day internal data warehouse. That's just exclusive for us. And what we really started to do is look at the data there, right? So we're looking at things of how much is the clients using the platform. How many prints Partnerships do they have? Are they driving those productive partnerships? And then what I ultimately want to do is, okay, if we start doing some sort of activity, does that drive an outcome? And so that's what we've started to track. So I'm a huge fan of data and pulling in the data, tracking it to see does that whatever we're doing, does it change the outcome or not? I always say, Hey, we can track data to track data. But unless there's an outcome, that's changed, it doesn't really matter. So we're really at that beginning in both of those scenarios at that sort of beginning point of like, okay, we'll start tracking this, we're going to do this activity, does it? Does it make a change? Right? Do we change a process? Do we change something within the product? So it's been, it's actually really kind of, for me, it's super exciting. But I'm a little bit of a data geek. So…

Aarde Cosseboom 26:03

that's good, I love it. And so drilling a little bit more into customer experience. So we've had a couple of cx professionals on the podcast and they have, you know, the technology and they have the process and the people but Brielle in reality, you also need some sort of strategy, some, you know, some customer experience or customer journey mapping goal for the team to go towards. Is there something that you guys have there? Is there a secret sauce, there's any tips and tricks, or is there anything that you have done in the past, to create kind of a better experience for your customers?

Kim Riedell (Guest) 26:41

So I would, so I'm going to do a huge plug for my, my colleague, Ashley party ci, who we She recently was just promoted into a totally new role that we did not have an impact, which is VP of customer experience. So a lot of what I'm working that that Ashley and I work on together is to ensure that from onboarding all the way through that experience is consistent. We've done you know, that is probably all for a whole another podcast of what we've done because we used to be very siloed we used to have onboarding, and then there was customer success, and then then support was separate. And, actually is certainly of the believer that we need to, we need to make sure that customer experience is consistent. I sort of joke that a lot of times what we used to do is we we'd have you know, we bring them through onboarding and then we drop them off the conveyor belt and then we try and pick them back up and you know, certainly that is not the experience we want to have. And so we are we have been changing that and she has been key in that but it is it is working across all departments, right customer experience certainly is from you know, making that sale, to onboarding, to marketing to continuing in that with customer success to support to technical support. So we really know one of her biggest things is trying to make sure that message and the way we're bringing customers through the entire experience is consistent you know, so she's probably the next one you should have on our on your…

Alex McBratney 28:27

we should have had her on today.

Aarde Cosseboom 28:32

I love the conveyor belt analogy the one that I've heard before is your tour guide and you're walking them into a forest and then just leave them right before the start like alright see you later…

Alex McBratney 28:42

And that's like sales that sales does a great job and then they're like here you go here all the promises be promise go make it happen.

Kim Riedell (Guest) 28:52

Yeah, I think our sales department does do I think they do a really good job of demonstrating the pros and you know, of our platform and I think that I don't feel like we have that experience is bad by any means. I think we actually do a pretty good job there. I just think we want to be a lot more consistent and again, we're bringing on our large clients understand it because they've been in this partnership economy for a long time. It's our smaller clients for this is new that we think we have in consistencies on how we're working with them. So we want to make that you know, that experience much better.

Alex McBratney 29:33

So then I can imagine the challenge that even that Ashley will face too is like you have these different segments right if your enterprise, maybe they need a different experience than what the SMB is gonna have. And so you have does that something where you create multiple experiences, I mean, consistency, maybe a foundation, but then you have different experiences throughout based off of who they like the client.

Kim Riedell (Guest) 29:54

Yeah I mean, I think I think today, the problem today, they definitely have I would say they definitely have different types of experiences. But some of it just has to do with the seat, the sheer vastness of a large enterprise client who's using our technology in a very complex way. And so that, yeah, they do have a, they, they will have a different experience, but they also have a different type of team they have typically have large teams. And no, I always sort of equate that those types of clients is, is there, they're almost buying a complex integration, where it's not really, but that's kind of what they're a little bit of what their experiences, whereas in our smaller clients, what we want to make sure is that they're feeling like they can use our technology without having to have a ton of, you know, they don't, they don't need, they don't want that complexity at all, they want it to be an easy. So I think the experiences are different, but that but the activities that they need to do are not that much different, it's just that a different sort of at a different scale. And so I think that's really what we want to make, we want to make the experience of those smaller, you know, small to midsize clients, we want that experience to be easy. And we want it to be we want to be talking to them in the same voice that we talk across all of our clients. And I think that's the other thing we find out is that these, a lot of our smaller clients, this is new to them, right? So we were doing that experience is different, too, because we're teaching them about how does this all work? So yeah, it's, it's, it's fun.

Aarde Cosseboom 31:41

Yeah. And I can imagine also, people moving from one segment to another niche, just naturally, just with their own company growth, or, you know, maybe they have a seasonality where it's like, you know, their enterprise for three months out of the year, and then after retail, you know, November is over, then they just dropped back down to like, less, less needed and then kind of ramped back up. So I could see there's lots of complexities there.

Kim Riedell (Guest) 32:08

Boats are guarded. Oh, no, go ahead. I was gonna say we typically what typically, what we typically have is more likely a small client, who starts off small, they end up moving, you know, sort of up into more into sophistication. It's not as often that we have them come from enterprise down, it's mostly that we, we bring on a small client that maybe a DTC brand, that's not very well known. And then all of a sudden, they, you know, because of what they're doing, and that they become a lot bigger. And so then they sort of move up in complexity.

Aarde Cosseboom 32:41

Very common, and also it shows how much value and worth that you're bringing to them, if you could help them grow their business, naturally and organically. That's, that's really amazing. I had a question about the transition to work from home. I know it's obviously impactful on the employee side having to work from home and there'll be a CSM. Although you guys it sounds like your team probably already was there. So that's kind of my first question is, was there a big transition that enabled them? But then the second question is, were there any trends that your customers cuz your customers are now working from home? Or, you know, not going into the office? So are people contacting you across different channels? Are they interacting with you in different ways that you didn't forecast because none of us could predict that everyone would be in this work from home environment?

Kim Riedell (Guest) 33:31

Yeah, so we, so we weren't really we had more clusters of employees in different locations. So we had, you know, a significant number of CSM in Santa Barbara, California, we had folks in the New York office in New York office. We had other offices scattered a small Seattle office, a small Columbus office, and then we have folks in Cape Town, South Africa. So a lot of people were sort of clustered to one office or another. But what I would say that I noticed because I although I came on full time in December, I was helping out earlier than that, is that I think the it actually brought the team when they moved out into their houses. It brought them sort of together because it forced it force. What I saw is two things. One is it helped out some of those offices that felt like they were on an island or like remote, right, like I think it helped out our Cape Town office because we had to create processes. And it wasn't about Hey, just go ask someone so who sits next to you it was Hey, you're either gonna have to slack someone or we're gonna have to create a process for that. And that is one thing that I'm a true believer on is like, Okay, if someone if we have to, if you have to slack multiple times, we've got to create a process and let's put that on Confluence. So everybody can access it. So I think there was that. And then there was what I call the that there were a lot managers who were used to sort of that management by walking around like, oh, okay, well, they're at their desk and they're doing, you know, they're doing good job, or they'll all notice that they're struggling. And now a lot of those managers I've seen, I've seen huge strides out of these managers who are like, okay, now I'm reaching out more often to people, I'm having one on ones with these people who are all remote. And it's actually building up their management skills, and they're able to see things that they probably didn't see before, even though the person was right next to them, right, because they're asking the right question. So what I really felt like that, that sort of, you know, grew out of out of COVID. From our clients perspective. Now, I'm still always, it's always interesting to me on zoom calls, like, you know, when we used to do QB, ours, and we would, you know, we fly to wherever, right, you know, we fly to Seattle, and we've got five people in the room, and we're all there. And we're all having, you know, we're, you know, like, we go out to dinner and all these kinds of things. And we, you know, we've engaged in these QB ours, and, and now, you know, I see, I'm seeing, I think there's, we, you know, we transition to zoom in early on, people were really engaged, I'm finding now that, you know, sometimes you do keep yards, and people don't turn the cameras on anymore. So I think that sort of, to me is sort of the negative that is sort of come out of it is I think there's so much of that, but I but the positive of it, is that you are able to do bring in more people into some of those calls, when you wouldn't, you know, you wouldn't fly six people across the country. Or they wouldn't either, right? Like, they wouldn't necessarily bring all those people. So, you know, that's kind of the pros and cons. I do find out find that people reaching out more in email, I get a lot of clients who are not reaching out to me on LinkedIn, which never used to happen in the past, I think it's like, Okay, I gotta find someone to help me. And so I'm going to reach out on LinkedIn, I found that has been highly increased. I don't know if you guys see that. But I, it seems to be a lot more than I ever, you know, ever have in the past. So,


Aarde Cosseboom 37:27

yeah, that's a good call out. Um, I've actually seen that with a couple of my customers that I support, lots of escalations are now going through LinkedIn. So it used to be, you know, call in or the traditional escalation path, you know, email and asked to speak to a manager or have this escalated to the highest level priority. But in recent times, it's just a lot easier for us to jump on LinkedIn, it's turning more into, like a social media platform. But for business, if you guys haven't seen it recently, the app has the like LinkedIn stories and people like, most I don't know, videos and talk about things for a little bit, which it's, it's, it's creating more adoption of that. And that is just another outlet. and rightfully so it's an appropriate outlet to voice frustration and reach out to specific people that you know, that are of a certain level of the company that you interact with, so that you can get the right attention to it. So definitely interesting as a support channel. New and merged and emerging. For sure. So Alex, and I like to ask a question at the end, because I know we're coming close to the end. Alex, I'll let you ask it. Oh, you, you always frame it better than I do.

Alex McBratney 38:43

So let's head over and be and before I ask, I will say you know, I think there is definitely zoom fatigue for people. At first I was like, Oh, this is cool. This is different. working from home is comfortable. I have a you know, business on top part in the bottom kind of thing. pajamas on the bottom. But it's I think people are craving the humaneness to write getting back out to an event to meet people face to face and have that interaction over dinner where you can see like how your kids doing like how's this? How's that that doesn't really happen as much on the zoom calls. I think we're all looking forward to you know that as a hybrid model, I think that's ultimately going to come down to hybrid work from home hybrid, going to the office events, all that kind of stuff. But anyways to ask the question, so the question we love to ask is about your own experience with the brand. And we like to focus on the positive because we all have our negative experiences with brands that we are very frustrated with but in this case, is brands that you love and maybe a time where you are just wowed by something that they did the process, whatever it might be. If you aren't you're know you're on the spot. It's hard to think of the good ones, but is there something that you can remember that was just a great experience and what did they do to make it great?

Aarde Cosseboom 39:59

Oh, gosh, this is You should have given this to me before so I could be on your toes. I know it is. It is tough. I'm trying to think. I know I can't think of one, we'll try to fill it with one that we have Alex, I don't know if you have one on the top of your head, but I could. Maybe it'll make it'll spark something for me. Yeah, so um, we were, my wife just had her 30th birthday. And she's going through Instagram, and you know how there's ads to buy things on Instagram. And she and I have never really shopped through Instagram, we've never like, fell for the bait, or whatever that is. But she, she did hire, she didn't hire she, she bought something through Instagram and it got shipped and delivered within, you know, a day or two. It's one of those at home boxes that you get all the food and then the recipes and all that stuff. And the good experience was that it showed up extremely quickly. There was no issues with billing or anything like that straight toward door right before her birthday, she got a birthday code off and got a message through Instagram saying congratulations for being a new member, happy birthday, you know, all that stuff. So it's just that extra level of I don't know, I would say support or, you know, they paid attention to why we were purchasing. And it was targeted marketing to begin with, but then turned into targeted support, which, you know, I don't think a lot of companies are doing successfully. They're doing targeted marketing, which is, you know, I know your demographic will want this. So here it is. But after they purchase or confirm, there's not a lot of follow through. But we really enjoyed that experience, of course, came in the mail and got, you know, a little note that said Happy birthday and all that good stuff. That was pretty cool. Never, I've never gotten the Happy birthday.

Alex McBratney 41:57

No, that's not a bad on my, I guess my experience would be recently just Mickey is with Delta, just the, they're, they made it simple, right? I know, I'm calling Delta, as a some, a lot of like moving fights back and forth, it was a complicated request, because I'm buying flights for the kids too. So that's just harder to manage. But you know, it's a four hour wait time, two hours, three, whatever might be, which I know it's going to be but it's just all about skip the callback, right? And they haven't they make it simple say, hey, like, Well hold your spot in line. And at first, I was always skeptical of that, until I started doing it more and actually letting companies call me back. And it was great, they call you back. And there's an agent on the line within 30 seconds, and you just take care of it. And it just for me, it was just about simplicity. You know, there's I, you know, it'd be horrible to have to sit and wait on the phone for four hours, you know, and then your phone dies, you lose the call. And you have to start all over again. Those days. So for me it was delta and just making this this experience simple.

Aarde Cosseboom 43:01

I think the travel industry is really stepping up their game, this is like their time to hit the reset button and say, you know, let's let's lean into the customer experience, let's really lean in, because that's where they're gonna win. Cuz everything the prices have dropped to next to nothing like you get a cruise for like 100 couple $100, like, which is ridiculous. Used to be 1000s of dollars for seven days. And so they can't compete there. And they need to win business to be able to against the competitors to stay relevant. So I think a lot of them are really leaning into what's the customer experience? How do we make this better? We have less customers now. We have a full employee staff that are sitting idle, how do we utilize that brainpower to create a process for better customer experience in the future? And then once they start to get that volume, they could now ramp up and scale and make those sales? But yeah, I think that's, that's really good.

Kim Riedell (Guest) 43:58

Yeah, I would so I would say, you know, one of the experiences that I've had, I actually have had it with two different companies and it's actually related to returns. So one, one of the companies probably hates me, but I bought a bunch of I'm not a very tall person, I'm only five foot three and I needed ski pants and I bought a significant number of ski pants back country and they were great. I mean, I might buy them on a Saturday and they'd come by Tuesday and then I try them on and ship them back. Right so and just that whole experience and then trying to get me to a pair of ski pants that would fit me and in the ease of being able to buy and then ship back. The other one that I have had, I would say for years had a very consistent great experience with his Road Runner sports. So I like to think I'm a runner and so I, they have, they actually have a wait for you to go online and to find out what kind of shoe you should buy if you don't already know what kind of shoe. And so if you are a runner and you get to you know, you buy a certain brand. So for a long time, I brought about a certain brand of asecs. And then they got to the end where they never made that brand anymore, right? They never made that style. Um, and so then I had to move, I had to try and find another brand based on my foot and the type of running I do and everything. And so I went on to what they call shoe dog and I went through the online process of like, what kind of foot in a runner Do you are what kind of, you know, what's your foot look like? What's the size? How much do you weigh all that. And they give you a couple different shoes, and I ended up buying a pair of those shoes, and they worked out great. But I also I bought two pairs at the time I bought from both pairs that they showed me They showed me. One was a Mizuno. And then one was a different brand and I got to try them. I ran in them and then I was able to return the ones that that weren't, didn't fit for me, like they just didn't work out. And I just think that that ability to be able to make sounds like I'm bad returner, I am a returner. But um, you know, if I don't like it, I felt fine with returning it, they give me my money back. And I just felt so satisfied that they were able to get me a new shoe. And I was able to buy it. And then it was able to return the other ones that were not something that I was going to be using. So they're a no, it's funny, I didn't even think about it. Because I just think that's the way it should be.

Alex McBratney 46:40

I mean, normal, I can relate my wife order six pairs of ski pants before we found the one, she found the one that fit her best and was the right color. And it was I felt I felt kind of awkward going back to Rei with five pairs of pants to the return line. And I was just like, it's all good, though. But that makes it simple, right? You get it all. You have your own private dressing room at home. You get me you make it work. But yeah, but cam has been an absolute pleasure having you on and it was fun talking with you and learning more about what you guys are doing over there and your whole career path and how you view customer success and experience growing. So Absolutely. Thank you for coming on. All right. Thank you for having me. Thanks, Kim. Well, that wraps up the show for today. Thanks for joining. And don't forget to join us next week as we bring another guest in to talk about the trends around cloud contact center and customer experience. Also, you can find us at, LinkedIn, or your favorite podcast platform. We'll see you next week on Another Cloud Podcast.