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.

Monitoring Companies to Increase Revenue with Brendan Cahoon

with Alex McBratney and Aarde Cosseboom

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

Alex 00:00

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. Well, Brendon Cahoon, it is a pleasure to have you on the podcast today. We're definitely looking forward to having a conversation with you. We had a chance to talk before and get some information about just your career path, what you're doing at catchpoint as VP of customer success, but great to have you on the show. Welcome.

Brendan 00:34

Thanks, Alex, for having me. Already. Thanks for having me as well. shipping. Yeah,

Aarde 00:38

welcome to the podcast. And yeah, I'm really interested to know a little bit more about what you guys do like catch play, and also what you do in your role as the VP of customer success.

Brendan 00:49

Sure. So catchpoint, we provide visibility into the internet delivery chain. So we help our our clients understand what their customers are experiencing, or maybe what some of their other digital assets might be experienced, or their employees may be experiencing. Either when they're trying to get to either their content or as an employee, how am I able to access the tools I need to be able to get my job. So we essentially provide monitoring to companies to allow them to optimize costs to increase revenues to reduce downtime, reduce the time it takes to resolve issues, we try to take, really the outside in perspective and providing visibility for clients. And then As for me, I head up the customer success team, our goal is to really allow our clients to see success and value out of the investment they're making and catchpoint are focused on getting our clients to renew with us each year, and ideally expand with us into either other types of products that we provide, or other use cases that monitoring can help there.

Alex 01:52

What have you seen, so if you guys are doing you know, customer engagement, and you have this SAS platform, are you are you doing the drinking your own champagne, like using your own product to obviously expand the customer experience and improve it on your into?

Brendan 02:07

For sure. You know, I think both internally as well as just what our customers are monitoring, as well as our total network that we have, you know, we're constantly drinking our own champagne and looking to see what we can do to also educate ourselves to then be able to be out in front of our end consumers where I'd say digital experience monitoring is very nascent industry. Gartner, really just coined a year or two ago, monitoring has been around forever application performance monitoring, network monitoring. And really where we're coming from as the internet delivery chain continues to expand, become decentralized, become more distributed, our focus has really been more on that outcome. And what is what is the actual outcome of all the different hops that transactions?

Aarde 02:52

Yeah, and it sounds like a catch point, you guys are very tech forward, you guys, obviously are in the analytical KPI space, because you're not only creating experience that tool for experiencing experience monitoring, but also collecting information to be able to report back out. So for you and your individual role. What are the key KPIs that you like to track for your team? And it may not be you know, the traditional KPIs that we think of or or it may be the traditional ones like C sat and NPS and things like that. But what what do you guys monitor? And what do you look at on a regular basis?

Brendan 03:32

Yeah, we try to observe a ton. So we've got your traditional customer experience survey, stuff like NPS as well as cset, we benefit from having quite strong scores with each our sport has won several awards for the past couple of years to the stevies. We stare in the CS world, a lot of things that's coming from usage and interaction with our platform. So we leverage a tool and a good partner of ours called pendo, which sits on our platform and helps understand different user experiences, user journeys, we maintain a pretty large data lake, we've got an application development and engineering team that helps us combine that with our CRM platform Salesforce, with the usage, so that says, Yes, we can get a pretty strong sense and data of where our client is as well as understand where we need to be jumping in. So for example, client interacts with a new feature for the first time ever obvious need for enablement, maybe that's an opportunity for us to do that within an application or as a CS person that might want to be reaching out. When you sign up with catchpoint, you're also subscribing to a set amount of monitoring. And so we're also making sure you're consuming what you plan to write and so has that deviated and maybe we might have some risk with the account or from you're doing a little bit more maybe there's an opportunity for growth or as well, I want to make sure you're aware you're doing a lot more than you expected. So we pay we play pretty much Attention and have a pretty good visibility.

Aarde 05:02

And drilling into that a little bit more. It seems like you've got a lot of data, a lot of technology and integrations in place. Do you have a strong team to support that? How many people do you have, that are dedicated to customer success with regards to like analytics, and maybe integrating tool sets together and making sure that everything's flowing into that data lake?

Brendan 05:26

Yeah, so we've got a team of about three engineers that really are just focused on that data lake for us really focused on making sure that it does make sense we put in a lot of ad hoc requests for new reports, or new types of solutions, at least as CS team, to speak a bit more just about the greater CS team that we have here at catchpoint, we get a full team of CSM as well as Customer Success engineers. So we really take a white glove approach with with our clients. We also provide 24, seven channel support, provide professional services, and then have also tried to get a bit more operational and strategic with some of our functions. So we've got Customer Success operations. So someone who I partner with tightly who really manages our whole tool stack and is very close with the data that we're leveraging for usage, customer marketing, which has been a recent hire for us to actually attack whitespace that we get from a lot of this data, you know, what, what, what what parts of the software should they be using based off of their persona, as well as customer training. So we've really started to develop more programmatic on demand training programs, and hired a few folks to get that moving for us.

Alex 06:38

For for the people that are, you know, listening to the podcast that might not be at your level yet, with customer success, support, you know, service. Take us, let's take a step back. And just, you know, how did you get to where you are today? Like, what's the experience at your previous company, and just how you landed into this customer support role? And you know, what that journey look like?

Brendan 07:00

Sure. So my previous company was a company called factset, where I held a number of roles, both pre as well as post sale, great company, I gravitated towards leading post sale teams, as it combined it a lot of different passions for me, you know, certainly there's the sales side. And I really believe in the compounding factor of subscription based sales and the impact that can be had there from your customer base. I'm a problem solver at heart, it's my passion. It's just what I've always loved to do. And, and my dad instilled in me that you can solve problems a few ways, but there's the right way to do it. And the best way to do it. And so I have a bit of that, and he as well, which I think blends nicely into to CS. So that was an organization that sold to the largest asset managers in the world, they had acquired all of those large asset managers. So it was really about growth, through adoption, through cross sell through upsell through more of the product that was at 90% of where the growth was coming from at the time. So intense focus on customer success, unique in the sense that actually the entry role for everything outside of engineering was their CS like associate role. So everybody grows up with a CS mindset and mentality, trait pretty really awesome. Culture. So that's really what got me started and continue down the CSS.

Alex 08:28

Yeah, it's always it's always interesting, you know, whether it be a father or a mentor to kind of help guide you into like, well, there's a right and wrong way to solve problems, how, digging a little deeper into that, because I love the mentor stories, right? Like, how have has your father or other people help get you to where you are, and like, but what or maybe even some of the methodologies or key takeaways that you that you still use today that you learn from before that help in this problem solving fixing these challenges, you know, mode that you're in?

Brendan 09:00

Um, yeah, so I from my dad was it was all about math, I guess from from the from the get go and, and solving math problems on log long car rides. So I've always just been attuned to math, I would say, and that's sort of the core of it, right? And then I've always sort out a passion for solving problems. Other than so I've also just had a sort of looking for a big appetite, I guess, just for data, right? And affinity towards data, be it for I guess that's math driven, but my past role was very data based. And it was it was all about bringing in different data sets to glean insights from it right. And so I sort of look that now and and we think about segmenting as well, and creating different buckets of clients or use cases or personas overlaying on top of that. Data and streams of data, not just point in time data, how has data changed over time taking a look at things Like percentiles, and our and our long tails and understanding a bit more on how we can act. So I'm heavy, heavy data driven. My mom also will stick with Yeah, with who raised me, I suppose, right? My mom is extremely selfless, maybe to a fault apologize for things. She doesn't have to apologize type person. But I think that just also has increased. For me a heightened sense for empathy, as well as wanting to make sure experience are as optimized as possible, I guess. So. Certainly a lot from my folks, a lot that I gained from leaders at my previous company and four leaders from this company as well. Those are sort of something and then I guess maybe another thing I'll point to, and especially since catchpoint, that I've really adopted has been the challenger sale mindset, more and more of a sales focus. But in a nascent industry that we have here, it's a lot about teaching. And it's a lot about being confident and looking to change minds with the problems that we solve and why touchpoints the right way to do things, monitoring from where your end users are is the right way to do things. And so I've really adopted that mentality a lot in terms of how we should be going about CS and being successful, it's Yes.

Aarde 11:18

drilling a little bit more into maybe user journeys and customer journey mapping for a lot of the people on that are listening to this podcast, they may not have a toolset like pendo, or the ability to really map these things together. What were some of the things that you have found, you know, after implementing these tools, that were very insightful things like maybe churn for customers or users happens, if they're inactive for 30 days, or, you know, the the week after the contract, renews, they're heavily using it, and they're, that's the best time to re engage with them and make sure that they're gonna carry through for the rest of the year, like, what are the kind of key insights that you guys have found, having those tool sets that you can kind of give us tidbits to people who maybe don't have those today? Sure.

Brendan 12:10

onboarding is by far the most important stage of any renewal cycle. If you don't get up and running, especially with a consumption based tool like ours, you're going to be in a world of hurt 1224, or whatever the contract length is, and you're coming up for new renewal certainly is one well, outside of the three months before the contract is set to expire. And onboarding, by far is that most critical? I think engaging actually even before then, pre sale and setting expectations of what's to come and building urgency as well, looking to bring in more than maybe just the end user or even that first line buyer and bringing in a higher up the business owner who's making this decision that's leading to this purchase, so that they have skin in the game so that they have an understanding of the importance of getting up and running with the catch pointelle bus driving that a obvious one, but a simple one as well as users. So we flag any accounts that have less than three users and some of our bigger ones that pay us a good amount of money, or actually just relying on us for API, you mentioned something earlier, we are a data company to start with, right. And so they could not be entering or coming into our platform at all. And that's actually a problem for us. Even though there may be plenty of end consumers because they're not experiencing what's new. It's hard to push out new things to just an API consumer for them to see that there's new things within the tool. But if we have less than three people, we're clearly single threaded. In today's enterprise software game, you've really got to be integrated in a number of different levels, not just multiple.

Alex 13:54

I like that idea of making sure you're not single threaded, right, especially as you're working with enterprises. And the deep, the deeper you go. And this goes in the pre sales and sales side too, is bringing is collaborating with all these different business units to get to get the problem solved on their end to as far as collaborating on your end with your colleagues. How does that look when you're coming together and someone has an idea? You're trying to get a certain project push, like how does collaboration look for you guys to get certain things solved for?


Brendan 14:23

Yeah, so we're still a relatively smaller organization. I think we're now about 275 employees. We're a very flat organization and I think it starts there. Just we've got leadership that is on the front lines with us often that are on recurring regular calls with middle and frontline employees. So I think the culture that set is it brings that in, right. We also are a organization that always is consistently looking to bring people in to bring change. I was looking for organization that would allow me more more latitude more ability to enact change. I was I was almost overwhelmed with like the expectation that I was going to be enacting change, you know, looking for that transparency, but also recognizing, there's a flip side to that. There's also the transparency, what you're not doing or not are not getting done. So I think it's an organization that really pulls people in and wants to get good ideas, recognizes one of our values is humility, we recognize we don't, we don't believe we always have the right the right solution. We're looking for ideas to constantly.

Aarde 15:36

And with a team that size, it's really important to make sure that your employees are just as happy as your customers and end users. So what are you guys doing from a employee engagement standpoint? Do you guys have you know, leadership or pipelines to help people grow in their in their space or in their product knowledge? But what are you guys doing to keep your your employees happy? Sure,

Brendan 16:01

we've got an outstanding chief people officer that I partner with a lot. We've been doing a lot of things focused around wellness. So the organization got a bunch of apps for folks from aptiv, to headspace, and running a bunch of just also just different corporate challenges to get people moving, get people focused on on their wellness. We do a lot of just different virtual events via a weekly or bi weekly, all hands with the whole organization. There's usually trivia on Thursdays, there's yoga on Wednesdays, there's a simple just meet and greet, where a half an hour each week, we jump in, and they break us out into different groups. So those are some things just from employee morale, what we're trying to do in light of the pandemic, and then from having a brain fart here. The second part of that question was in terms of career growth, we also have a great individual in our sales enablement team. So we've got constant education going out to the whole field, or we meet once a week for about an hour to review recent content over some wind stories refresh the field. In terms of career paths within our organization, certainly within CS, we've had folks start in SDR roles and BDR roles move into a CS function, we have a few different levels of growth within our CS team, working with some of our smallest customers and an Associates roll all the way up to an enterprise type role working with our biggest customers. And certainly also through management or back into sales as well. We're we also pivoted people back that way as well. So our opportunity, though, is we're a very small organization, and there's all sorts of different place for you to grow with.

Alex 17:52

Yeah, I think that's an advantage, too, right? Being able to be nimble, being able to say maybe a BDR doesn't work out for that specific role, but they're good talent. There's another spot, they might be a little bit, maybe it's a CSM role that's a little less sales oriented, like pressure sales oriented, right. I think it's great having that that nimble nimbleness, that's even a word sometimes, but you know, being able to have that flexibility, what have you. So when you came on board, they give you, I wouldn't say carte blanche, but you're coming in there to make change or disrupt a little bit, bring in some new processes, potentially new technologies, what would you say? Was the challenge of coming in there and making changes, the change management seems to be a big, a big red flag or a big, you know, sticking point for people where it's hard to get changed on? It's hard to do it effectively? How did you manage that?

Brendan 18:42

Yeah, I mean, as much as we're open to change, we also want to make the business cases too, right. And so having sound and solid business case, you know, it's just isn't the challenge. It's, it's, I guess, the work that goes really into any investment. And I think that was certainly what was what was up front. One thing that has aided it is we also rely heavily on third party analysis. So we partner with a great firm called iceberg IQ. And they conduct a ton of just interviews for us both on the wind law side as well as on for the existing client side or churn clients. And we're able to glean a lot of analysis. And certainly getting that validation from a third party has enabled a lot of the change that we've brought on via some of the controls around consumption within the tool and making sure clients aren't running away with how much they're monitoring with catchpoint. And they're, they're in control of the platform. Two things that we're starting to get going with community and hearing from customers, they want more learning from each other, and really starting to get programs and bringing customer marketing as part of that. And so a lot of it has also been role based which which certainly adds an element and see us we touch everything Right. And so a lot of these roles aren't even in, in our department. It's convincing marketing, we need to invest here, right? Hey, training we need to invest here. So you know, it's also working with individuals. And I need you to take on this individuals are managing for the overall customer success portion.


Aarde 20:17

We just got off the podcast, recording with someone who is also in the similar industry software as a service and helping with efficiencies. And she talked a lot about creating a sense of community, not only with like community forums, but also the ability for your end users or customers to interact with each other and solve problems in a collaborative way. are you guys doing that today? If so, how are you doing it? And how do you foster that community? Is it? Is it a gamification where the more posts you do on a community forum, the more points you get things like that. So talk to us a little bit about how you leverage community in your users?

Brendan 20:59

Sure. So a few different things that we've done just in terms of having regular sort of conferences, some focused on specific personas. One one particular in the monitoring industry, Site Reliability Engineering, or SRS is a big persona that we work with, we've really tried to build up that community with different events, slack channels, etc. We're starting to evaluate and full disclosure, a community platform to to bring on to sort of foster a lot more of this thinking about gamification. We also are about to launch some user groups, which are going to be use case specific, really just bringing people in as one person from catchpoint religious moderates that, hey, talk about this and go go have at it. We do a lot though, just with connecting clients, really, as part of the whole journey is sort of a focus on unity, as well as advocacy. And, hey, we work with someone over here who has the same role. I think it makes sense for you guys to talk about it. Or, hey, Brennan, we're looking to jump into this, do you guys have anybody who's doing this and really looking to make a lot of personal connections you don't want to buy from a vendor they want to buy from, from someone who wants to appear really from who's in there. So try to focus not just on our product, but also craft and career and I think community is a big catalyst for that. Yeah, Alex, I

Aarde 22:18

think that's the second time or maybe third time, we've heard of slack being a great tool to pull people together, you know, like an open Slack channel with all of your customers. First, it's very low tech. But it also can create a really instant customer experience, as opposed to it being more formal, where you have to log into a community forum or some sort of suite or back end toolset, and then you bookmark it on your, you know, Google Chrome, and then you forget about it and never go back. Or you only go back when when you need something. And instead of it being the other way around where you want to go in there and help other people too. So I feel like slack is a good collaborative tool for the people listening, if they want to create just a low touch sense of community.

Brendan 23:04

There's a rabid following, too, by any any slack user, we also integrate with slack. So not just from a community standpoint, we send alerts, right, because that's just the native platform that a lot of people like to work out of. So

Aarde 23:16

we, we we have a customer that we support, and they have slack and teams, Ms teams, and the greater organization uses ms teams, the developers use slack. And there was a something from the higher ups saying that they're gonna decommission Slack, and everyone's gonna have to use teams. And there was an there was an uprising like, literally, like, there was a virtual burning of trash cans in the street of because people loved Slack, so much so. So they didn't go that that route, they still have slack and Ms teams, they're trying to figure out how to integrate the two together so that it's a little bit more collaborative across the whole organization. But there's a cult following. Behind slack.

Brendan 24:00

We're not as severe we are team shop. A lot of us have Slack, just because a lot of our clients are on and we communicate, right. That's their preferred means of communicating, so, and a lot of those people would probably want to start that uprising. Send any of those community leaders over here. Yeah,

Alex 24:18

well speaking. So speaking of technology, right, and slack being a big piece for community and just project management and developers getting to communicate with each other. How do you see the technology that you use to help enhance the cut, you know, customer experience, and, you know, customer support just on your side, like tools that you love tools that you're looking to possibly implement in the future? What does that look like for you, and how do you see technology playing that role?

Brendan 24:45

Yeah, so we have a lot of great data, right, and we've got a lot of great visibility. What we're starting to evaluate would be a more formal Customer Success platform, that would really be a good workflow. container on top of that do a lot more from an accountability standpoint, better clear recognition of what we need to be doing for our clients, where they're at in their journey, just a better hub, I would say for the customer success team, rather than sort of an amalgamation that we have now of things within Salesforce email alerts are just different dashboards just kind of got a few different places a little bit strange. So we're looking to really just clean up but then optimize that workflow. And then it's not just what do I have to do as a CSM, I can then do a lot more to automate with technology, maybe some email notifications, some check in reminders, or some type of in app notification or something along those lines. So we're starting to evaluate that one tool, which we've been getting immense value out of is Gong. There are other tools like for Sai really call recording software, for the watch, transcribe. So simple use case, I don't need to take notes while I'm talking with with my client, I can focus on my client, as leaders, we're able to jump in and listen in on exponentially more calls, way more understanding of the customer's voice opportunities for enablement. Hey, everybody needs to repeat this and do it this way, coaching opportunities with that call, but also just reference to and I think from a customer's perspective, you have some turnover on the account from the account manager, CS person, you're able to pull this account this up and just hear the customer talking about their needs, rather than what someone else has entered. Hopefully, okay, within Salesforce, it's just been a really great tool for us and continues to pump up different use cases for us. So I think for us, it's continued to get more intelligence, that intelligence more usable, and sort of the name of the game.

Alex 26:40

I think that brings up a good a good point, especially with Gong or the chorus AI, is that now it gets in the realm of well, how much AI literally, literally, like is put into the, into the process where it's, you're tracking sentiment, and a customer, you know, kind of parlays over to the customer effort score and, and being able to use that data to really automatically say, Okay, here are all these transcripts that we have done or which whichever now is running through the machine to say, okay, what's the sentiment where, you know, the tonality, things like that, are you guys looking towards more AI in the future, and just kind of continuing to snowball that? That technology?

Brendan 27:21

Yeah, I don't think we've thought about it yet with Gong and sentiment, but certainly love a lot of just the indicators and things that can be gleaned there. I mean, I think every organization is thinking about AI or automation. And we're thinking about that, where you sit on a ton of data, right. And we also sit on a ton of internet health data, not just our customers via just because of that we're aware of key internet and internet infrastructure. If there's cloud services that are down content delivery networks that are having issues that a lot of services rely upon, we can then probably enact a lot more for our customers, right? So thinking about, alright, we know all these customers are leveraging this provider, we know it's down, being able to be a bit more proactive with our helping appliance is the big thing that works. So so things are well along around that those ideas, and then just continue to ways for us with our own CSS data, we optimize for and create action.

Aarde 28:24

I'm switching gears a little bit and going back to technology slightly, how do customers communicate with you? Is it mainly inbound? Is it outbound? Is it scheduled appointments, you know, training sessions or user group sessions? What's the kind of mix? And then Have you seen any change due to the pandemic or people you know, now working from home more so, you know, I'm physically at the computer, more than if I was in office at an office I'm, you know, walking to get some water going out to lunch. But today, I am like plugged in. So there's so much more data and actually, I've seen my behavior change in the way that I communicate with the the companies that I work with, it's I've been more apt to contact them via live chat versus you know, picking up my physical phone because I'm just strapped to the computer. So how do you communicate with customers? How do they prefer to communicate with you and then also hasn't changed in recent months and years,

Brendan 29:31

I now become uncomfortable when I get an invite. And there's like a number to call of like, on some seats to zoom. So we provide I would say most of most of the interactions from our customers to us as with our support team. The predominant method for that has been our chat. voice has certainly gone down as well as email is used pretty heavily. From a CSM standpoint, our interactions with our customers. Whereas I'd say have also skyrocketed, there's been just a lot more desire to interact with us, which is a positive. And certainly, so we often are doing some type of a regular cadence meeting with our clients, bigger clients, a lot more business a lot more going on use case is getting developed, maybe a little bit of support mixed in there with these sessions. We do regular business reviews with our clients, as well that we try to get onto the calendar at least every six months, ideally a bit more frequent. But we're also noticing like the the appetite that has to sit in and and learn is less as more of I want this, give me this right, I think people, clients are a bit more aware of what they want to get and don't want to hear. I'd say anything else. But certainly zoom has kicked up. I think demand for a synchronous on demand learning is continuing to increases. They're distributed, it's a lot, it's actually been a bit more challenging to get our clients all together to get on a call with us as they're distributed than it is really just for us. We're flexible. So I think the law, there's just a lot more desire for video and on demand. stuff. That's that's definitely been enough.

Aarde 31:16

How about for those inbound contacts? Do you do anything? With regards to routing based off of persona or maybe customer segments or lifetime value? Absolutely getting the right agent or team member to the right person? Maybe it's a CSM, or maybe it's just a net new contact you guys, how do you guys triage and help with routing? Yep, so

Brendan 31:39

we're a Zendesk shop. And we've got a number of just different filters built in there as well. We heighten our sense of urgency around accounts that have a low health score with us. So we have our own proprietary health score that we do for our accounts that falls into the one the lower two it flags as a hot client, potentially something that you know, all the CSM is going to get that ticket immediately. We also will flag those who are coming up for renewal, as we we just want to have a heightened sense of where based off of what the question might be, right, it could impact real, you just want to get flagged on that. We incorporate those all of our sales for segmentation information as well, which makes it makes it really clean and have a bunch of widgets that we've programmed in there to easily escalate. our support team also has different smees on it based off of the different products that we have. So with certainly with with Im, it's pretty easy to change. Again, phone hasn't been too much. And our clients are usually pretty fine. If we say, hey, let's let me get an expert. They'll give you a call. And then yeah.

Alex 32:42

It's interesting, you know, we talked about zoom a second ago, and just everyone's getting, I guess, no degrees, some zoom fatigue, right, with all these meetings. I like it because it's a way to see people that you don't get to see all the time, because events have shut down. How was it for your organization? You know, last March, everyone gets this notification? We're all working from home? Was it? Oh, no problem. We had everything set up? How was it for you guys as a company and how you handled it? And then what did you see from your clients on as far as like their preparedness and how they handled the whole, you know, work from home change that we've all gone through?

Brendan 33:18

Yeah, so prior to March 17, we were largely distributed amongst Boston, New York, as well as Bangalore, we have a really large campus and a small office as well in London. And we've had, but we've had remote folks forever, especially on the sales side, my team's been distributed. So we've been heavy zoom consumers for a long time. I just used to sit with most of them in Boston, I'd look this way. And then I'd look back at the screen a few times. So for me, I think we've been able to pivot pretty easily as we were sort of zoom based. And for me, at least as a leader, it's been a lot. I'm used to speaking with them anyways. But also as a team, I feel it's made the team more of a team rather than we've got our Boston team which Brendan's working with and you know, everybody else, so I think just cohesion on our team is only gone up as part of it. You certainly lose a lot of the cross functional though, culture and vibe that you have just from seeing people humans in different departments. And so that's definitely been a challenge for us. And we're doing a lot of those other things that I talked about to try to bridge those. bridge that gap. But then there's also I have so many meetings and so much data to look at how do I fit that in as well, which I think is a challenge for all organizations. You know, certainly, I think you see folks that are in the city, or we're in an apartment, my chair with a couple of people. I think that's where the pandemics been the biggest challenge for employees at least just in terms of working space, having a quiet spot. You know, some of us may be going mad just being in our homes, but Being in a tiny apartment, yeah, amplifies that. For our customers, you know, we largely deal with devs engineers, folks who are more comfortable working, you know, behind the computer remotely anyways, so it I think for them, it hasn't been too much of a an issue, you know that they usually have better setups than we do. But, you know, again, they're distributed. So I think just the, what, especially folks who were more focused and like a network operation center, or knock that that are used to working together, staring at dashboards, getting on their phone lines, learning how to manage that distributed, I think, has been a challenge.

Aarde 35:44

Yeah, I think, post pandemic, when we start to get back to whatever the new normal is, yeah, it's gonna be a nice blend of both. But it's gonna feel really weird. having to go back into an office, if you do have to, for your role requires you to do that. And just sitting there at the office and doing the exact same thing that you would have could have been doing at home seems like a little bit more effort to just, you know, get up, get dressed, like the proper way for the, for the office commute in especially going to big city, and then get there and really be just as productive as if you're at home. But I do, I can't wait to have lunches again, with people. And, you know, there's something to be said about seeing someone face to face versus over zoom. And, you know, give them a handshake at the end of a meeting or closing a deal like that it is much easier and better. So we're coming up a little bit on time. And we always like the tend to end our show, and sometimes lasts a little bit longer, because we get into kind of a cool story mode. But we like to end our show asking you as a customer of lots of different companies and brands. You have customer experiences as well with those brands. And it's really easy for us to identify and remember the bad experiences. And it's, it's a lot harder for us to remember the good experiences. So when was the last time you had a good experience with a brand as a customer or consumer? You don't necessarily have to say the brand, but you can if you want and then also, you know, why was it a good experience? What what caused it to be, you know, turn it from a neutral or negative experience to a good one.

Brendan 37:27

I like the positive spin. I guess just quickly for me, like my expectations now as consumer is that there's a digital experience available for me and it's gonna work right. And so like that's like my standard. So like, I'm a huge Amazon person, it works amazing. And so I guess that's just a good background there. Great cx experience for me recently. It was actually with one of the vendors that were looking at for a CMS platform. And I'd seen a bit of the tool already was actually relatively impressed with the the app as well as the rep just hearing them previously and we're just there was a quick sidebar and it was just like a personal conversation get a hat on I was trying to figure out what they had said few other people on the call had hats on and I didn't have add on so there was a bit of just sidebar commentary after that. And you know, the the conversation wrapped up but following that call maybe the next day, I got a message from him saying that he had sent me a Red Sox hat based off that little part of that conversation. And I was the only one without a hat. And I just thought it was extremely smart and empathetic to just think and connect with me on some that nothing nothing to do with the compensation but shows me this person's listening and it just it had a bit I'm not a baseball fan anymore, which may be sacrilege being in Boston, but just super appreciative right? It didn't matter You know? So the tool they are using for that as sindo so get familiar with any of those we just took on a tool called banks send out some personalized and I think as we're all now strapped to our homes and talked about getting back together already with humans like these human elements I think are what people are valuing you really stuck out

Alex 39:15

yeah that that's a great story and I love it when you get those little like out of the blue oh that was nice you weren't expecting it but they they do listen right the good sales reps and people that are really trying to like their to listen to what you're saying and you know make it fun and and not make it so transactional right they're making right let's still human to human but and even though you're not a baseball fan of Boston that's okay. We probably have to be a tom brady fan though although he left for sure. I don't know. But Brenda knows absolute pleasure having you on this podcast. We are we were excited to have you on and we had a good conversation last to talk about and like already said we could spend hours just talking about bad experiences. But thank you for sharing sharing a good one. Thank you guys. Appreciate the opportunity.

Aarde 40:00

Absolutely. Thanks, Brendan.

Alex 40:01

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 Adler, LinkedIn, or your favorite podcast platform. We'll see you next week on another cloud podcast.