#19: From the founder of Skilljar on CEd to the CEO of Gainshight on the changing role of CS teams

In this edition of #NewThingsInCustomerEducation, we discuss what Sandi Lin thinks about customer education and Nick Mehta's view of CS at subscription-based business models.

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Best Reads of the week

#1. Sandi Lin, CEO and Co-Founder at SkillJar, shares her views on the need for a customer education program. (Source: Sandi’s Linkedin)

What is it about: The post aims to draw disctinction between product usability and adoption. While you might think your product is super easy to use, to truly drive adoption one needs a customer education program period.

What we learned: Apart from the post itself, the comments are laden with gold. Among the plethora of opinions, we find quite a bit of them at loggerheads and these are C-suite people mind you. So this is a great insight into how leaders think about CEd strategically. While someone points out that customer education programs are a crutch for bad products, someone else one points out to how the creators of the product might be suffering from the “curse of knowledge”.

Here’s another post by Sandi to give you more insights on CEd.

Our thoughts: The title of our newsletter makes it evident which side we are on and being a featured vendor on SkillJar makes us biased towards Sandi even more.

But on a serious note, we believe a customer education program signals that you put customers first, you are invested in their growth, you are willing to shell out some serious green for it and you are not even looking at the immediate gains.

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Best Listens of the week

#1. Nick Mehta, CEO at Gainsight, shares his views on how to navigate customer success when it comes to subscription-based businesses (Source: Decoding Digital)

What is it about: Nick shares that companies have adopted a whole new strategy which is not about sales and marketing but making sure their customers are successful. That’s one of the reasons why a CSM role is the sixth most promising job in the world according to Linkedin. Nick also shared his journey from Symantec to launching Gainsight in 2013, what are the various CS models being used in the industry and how to enable CSMs to get max value.

What we learned: All strong subscription model companies look at 6 key indicators.

  • Three lagging indicators: Gross retention rate, net retention rate and net promoter score

  • Three leading indicators: Adoption, health score and cost of retention.

Our thoughts: Every one of our own customer follows a subscription model and since they are our clients they are serious about their customers getting the most value. So believe me when I tell you that providing value to your customers is the only way to keep them.

You can tie them up in multi-year contracts but when it comes to renewal the only metric that will matter is “How much value did i get out of your product as compared to my cost?”

That’s it !


Hope you enjoyed reading this edition of #NewThingsInCustomerEducation

Until next time,

Rishabh