We’re grateful for a lot of things this season – the incredible teammates around us, the opportunities we’ve had to grow, and our warm local community – and especially our customers.
“Nothing is more gratifying than seeing our customers win – whether its landing a big deal, crushing a competitor, or achieving a growth goal,” says Jenny Campbell, our Interim Vice President of Customer Experience. “It’s so cool when that happens. It feels like we’re making a difference, and we’re so thankful for the chance to do that.
It might be as simple as a small business wanting their SDR team to line up a few more demos each month,” Campbell says. “Or they might have a big goal, like growing pipeline by 40%. No matter what growth phase our customers are in, we’re here to help. By investing in our intelligence, they’re trusting us – and we don’t take that lightly. We take the relationship seriously from day one and we don’t just ‘toss the keys’ to the car and hope they know how to drive.”
DiscoverOrg’s Director of Customer Success, Christopher Leonardo, knows that those customer relationships aren’t built overnight. He shares a screenshot of a text received from a customer (who was on his honeymoon):
“I can deal with anything when I get notes like that!” Leonardo says. “I’ll talk to ten angry people a day if I can get one text like that from a customer.”
Regional customer meet-ups and events are some of our favorite ways to get face time with our customers.. They come by, we’ll have a drink, and talk about their goals.
“During Dreamforce 2018, we spent time with our customers talking about anything and everything. We have an inherent open-door policy – which isn’t easy when you’re growing – but our customers know they have a partner in this relationship.
Leonardo points to this story in a recent email from the CEO of a technology start-up:
My company had just starting to market and sell our product. I had made two purchases of email lists from small vendors using Salesforce. I paid about $5,000 for about 7,000 contacts. I was negotiating with this vendor and made a proposal for the next 10,000 contacts. I was going to sign the deal, but the sales rep had not yet sent me the paperwork approving my discount.
Ironically, the next day, a friend gave me a demo of DiscoverOrg, and I was blown away by the quality and quantity of the information – and particularly the concept of your 90-day confirmation of data. So I researched DiscoverOrg, got a phone call after my website visit, and insisted on a demo that afternoon. I was give a quick demo and then signed up that night. I had forced your team through an abbreviated sales cycle.
On our first day of training, I found out, much to my chagrin, that I did not get all of North America, and I was getting 30 contacts per company – way more than I needed.
I was in a foul mood, although I knew it was at least partly my fault for rushing through the sales cycle. I started to give my Customer Success Rep, Maresha [Gomez], a hard time and was even rude to her a few times.
Maresha was amazing. She did not react to my barbs … but there would be this delay in her response. I wondered what was going on. After each delay, she would ask another question and think for a while again. I began to realize that Maresha was thinking through each of my answers and further narrowing down my specific requirements. Maresha restated all of my requirements based upon the exact capabilities of DiscoverOrg. I brightened up when it became clear that Maresha understood exactly what I was trying to accomplish. She said she would talk to the sales rep.
My thought, of course, was This is just going to be an ugly situation.
But Maresha got back to me – she had worked out a deal that included all of North America, limited to sales and marketing contacts only – my exact requirements.
I was very excited that Maresha was able to handle the training and rework the contract to give this customer exactly what I needed. I had been unaware of all the options due to my brief demo experience.
Maresha did a great job. I am going to use the heck out of this database, and it will be the basis for our marketing effort going forward. I am expecting great results in terms of the return on investment from DiscoverOrg.
It is not often you run into someone who can think on her feet in the middle of a training class, and then follow through to solve all of the problems. Maresha did all of this with a cheerful, professional manner.
It’s amazing what a little extra time, a little extra care, and a little extra patience can do.
Customer Success Manager Nicolas Bakker finds meaning in the little things, too:
I am ever thankful for the opportunity to share stories with our clients and learn more about them! My favorite conversations are when we talk about how we can’t believe how last night’s game ended, how they just got a new dog and going through puppy training woes, or hearing weekend plans like how they plan to drive cross country to surprise their kid with a brand new car. Getting to know each other on both a personal and professional level is my favorite part of the job!
Gratitude means going the extra mile
Maresha Gomez, a Customer Success Manager, takes strong customer relationships very seriously. She describes another scenario with a customer:
“One of my customers lost their Salesforce administrator 6 months ago. My contact at the company – whose role is business development – had to take on the extra responsibilities of Salesforce administration. So we’ve built this relationship where she can call me any time, and I’ll jump on a call with her whenever I have 15 minutes. I’ll walk her through different Salesforce operations, because she has so much on her plate. I want to make sure she’s successful and reaches her goals.
“Sometimes there are things I don’t know the answer to – and we get others get involved. My coworker even made a video for her – so now they have a relationship as well!
“I’m grateful to work with customers where we have this open, trusting relationship. When they tell me the problems they’re facing, and I’ll do anything in my power to solve those problems with them and help them reach their goals. When I don’t know what’s going on, there’s not much I can do. But when we have that trust, we can put our heads together, and it opens opportunities to solve problems. I’m so thankful for those moments.”
For Campbell, it’s all about accountability: “Our customers invest in us because they have a goal, and they’re trusting us to help get them there. It starts there, and it’s our responsibility throughout the course of the relationship to hold up our end of the bargain. That’s so much easier when there is a relationship!”
Tough love: Classes and training
Relationships are hard work, and sometimes creating something lasting takes effort.
We love the warm and fuzzies. But we know there’s a whole lot more to customer success than a friendly relationship. Here are tutorials and demos, certifications, classes, and resources designed to get customers leveled up.
As our CEO, Henry Schuck, likes to say: “Do the hard things.” Whether that’s relentless cold calling, sleep-training your baby, or taking extra classes to gain mastery of a skill – sometimes you have to put in the work (even when you don’t want to) to get results.
Customers, we’ve got your back
Everyone talks about the importance of customer relationships. That means making time for a phone call … even when it’s not really your job. That means reaching out to check in, because you care (not just at renewal time). And that means welcoming customers into your office, even when you’re busy.
“The thing I love is that the work that we’re doing – yes it helps sales and marketing teams – but that’s not the interesting part. Let’s figure out WHY it matters. Of course every business wants to crush it, but if you have someone individually really stoked about what what they‘re doing, and we get to support that person,” says Leonardo. “That’s really the reason we come to work.”
“We give our customers access to SMEs within our own organization,” says Campbell. “If you want to chat with our sales leaders about building an SDR team, or learn from our VP of Demand Gen about marketing automation and email deliverability best practices – we’re here for that!
“We want so badly for customers to be successful that we give them all the resources we have to help. And we’re so thankful when our customers take advantage of that. Every conference call, every email thread, means that our customers have reached out, and we reached back, and the result is stronger results.
“We’re nothing if our customers don’t get value from our product. We recognize our power users – and we recognize our users who are struggling and help them try and get more value.”
Customer relationships are built on two-way trust
“We ourselves are a high-growth company,” Campbell says, “and we aim to be transparent around our own internal processes: What’s worked and what has not worked. We tell stories. We’re in this, too, and we’re very transparent about sharing what we’ve learned with our customers.
That means we have to be vulnerable as well. We’ve made mistakes too. We bring a lot of experience and insight into what customers are going through. We have had a lot of the same shared pains and vision.
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At the same time, we know that our customers are not all the same. They span the gamut: We have global enterprise companies with highly specialized departments and roles, and we have startup and SMB customers where people are wearing multiple hats. And of course, their needs are different.
“So how do we support everyone? We don’t expect to manage a large Enterprise customers the same way we manage a startup with two employees,” says Campbell. “We recognize their needs are different. We’re set up for that.
“When our customers win, the people who have stuck their neck out by making an investment in us look good! Especially for our customers in the startup and small-business space: making an investment in us is a big deal for them – and we take that seriously. We have a stake in their success. We’re really in it with you.
“DiscoverOrg is a very special place,” Campbell says, “and I feel lucky every single day that I get to work alongside some of the smartest, hardest working, and all around good people I have ever met. You really feel the passion of the entire team (and I hope our customers do too!). Together, we are fiercely dedicated to helping our customers win.”
To our amazing customers for taking us along for the ride of a lifetime: Thank you.
And Happy Thanksgiving from our DiscoverOrg family to yours.