E650: Jam Session! Startup founders share best practices for customer management, satisfaction & success

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about this episode

Jason “jams out” a number of tips and tricks with founders in this special “Jam Session” episode of This Week in Startups. Jill Bourque of RushTix talks Net Promoter Score, while David Hassell of 15Five shares the importance of customer success. Then, Craig Zingerline of Votion explains customer-driven development, and Mei Siauw of LeadIQ gives examples on how to increase customer satisfaction.

Five Key Takeaways

Bringing value to the portfolio companies

Jason wanted to give his viewers an inside look at one of the core benefits within his incubator. 26 Jam Sessions a year bring founders together around a table to share their favorite, most successful strategies. Each session is focused around a single topic, such as growth, design, or marketing practices. Each company, coming from all types of different backgrounds and verticals has something new and important to offer. Each company comes away from each Jam Session with new and exciting tricks, offered from their fellow classmates in the LAUNCH Incubator.

Jill talks NPS

NPS, Net Promoter Score, is an important analytic in figuring out user satisfaction with your product. Defined as a simple equation, NPS is calculated by the percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors rated on a scale of one to ten. Jill explains the difference between promoters (9s & 10s), passives (7s & 8s), and detractors (0s to 6s), and shares her reasons for focusing on feedback from the promoters more than anything, and why she finds it so difficult to get feedback from passives. Your company’s NPS score can range anywhere from 100 (perfect score) all the way down to -100. You’ll never get a perfect 100, but generally if you are in the 70s range that is considered very positive.

“Commit to Customer Success & Delight”

David Hassell of 15Five, a management platform designed specifically for CEOs, shares the reasons for making customer success a top priority within his startup. He explains the types of people he looks for to join his customer success team and why he asks that they all read the book “Getting Naked,” by Patrick Lencioni. He then gives a number of examples of some quick and easy techniques for “delighting your customers,” and to get honest feedback to make your product stronger.

“Our golden rules for managing customers”

Mei goes through each of her three simple rules for anyone in her company who faces customers. Rule #1: “Wow customers with unexpected surprises.” She uses Zappos as a perfect example in upgrading customers’ accounts without telling them. Going above and beyond, especially when they don’t see it coming, will help retain users. Rule #2: “Give customers your time.” As an example, Mei offers personal online walk-through demos, creating a one-on-one experience for her customers. Rule #3: “Share your skills.” Showing your customers that you are willing to help, even with things that have nothing to do with your product, will create an unprecedented level of customer satisfaction.

Prioritizing items based on feedback

In the onboarding process, Craig asks his users “what a successful trial would look like for them,” which opens up a dialogue right from the start. His company makes it a priority to respond to any and all queries or complaints. Not only that, they promise to respond within fifteen minutes! He explains that it is OK to apologize, and that a timely response, even if it doesn’t immediately solve the customer’s issue, affirms in their minds that you care about the problem they are facing.


0:20-1:33: Jason explains what a Jam Session is and why they do it.

1:33-7:22: Jill Bourque of RushTix is first up with a slide deck on NPS.

7:22-12:20: Jason follows up with a few questions for Jill on what she does with certain categories of her users.

14:26-17:23: David Hassell talks about making customer success a core value within your organization.

17:23-21:13: David gives some real life examples of what 15FIve does to go above and beyond for their customers.

21:13-26:50: The group goes around the table and asks some questions of their own on David’s topic.

26:56-37:44: Mei Siauw of LeadIQ shares her three “Golden Rules” for customer success.

37:44-39:07: Jason asks Mei how she decides to respond to customers’ queries.

39:07-42:05: Craig Zingerline shows how Votion “prioritizes items based on feedback and use that for growth.”

42:05-45:40: Jason pipes in to add to a point of Craig’s that he really liked, then lets Craig get back to explaining why getting feedback is so important.

45:40-48:10: “How do you know they are serious, and would actually use the product?”

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See more in: 2016, launch incubator, Startups
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