Customer Success: The Missing Piece Of A Startup’s Funnel (S9E7)

What you’ll see this episode:

Get ready to jump headfirst into an episode packed with unexpected twists and heated competition. Following the electrifying Blox-Off, brace yourself for the gripping behind-the-scenes battle as teams vie for the prestigious titles of Most Investable and Most Valuable. Day 5 unfolds as the contestants' ultimate shot at triumph features a deep dive into the world of customer success. The burning question: Who will rise to the occasion and secure a coveted spot in the final Blox-Off? The stakes are high, and the anticipation is palpable – don't miss a moment of the action!

A scathing, hot, searing experience

Night 4 Blox-Off may be done, but the real showdown continues late into the night, where 20 teams battle for the titles of Most Investable and Most Valuable. It’s a scathing hot, searing experience as they face a barrage of rapid-fire questions covering every inch of their business. The next morning, the pod winners are in reflective mode, reminiscing about their new Blox family. Then it’s on to our last lesson of the season: customer success, which leaves the Bloxers wondering, "Why didn't I do this earlier?" The mantra is clear – there's no post-sale because customers keep coming back. The game is tight, and the challenge of the day has the contestants laying out their customer success strategies, including time to value, onboarding, education, and the technology needed to scale it up. As the competition heads into the home stretch, consultations give them that final push, fine-tuning their customer success game and boosting confidence levels. With the final Blox-Off on the horizon, we see some new faces grace the stage for the first time. The pressure is on, and you’ll have to wait until the final episode to find out who won!

Customer Success: The Missing Piece Of A Startup’s Funnel

This lesson underscores the critical importance of Customer Success in the realm of startups, emphasizing its role as the missing piece of the entrepreneurial puzzle. In a world where customers demand a meaningful experience, statistics reveal a staggering shift in focus towards customer satisfaction. However, the problem lies in the common startup narrative – an intense focus on creating a market solution and grabbing attention, followed by neglecting the customers post-sale.

The analogy of a "One Night Stand" describes the prevalent behavior: enticing customers, making promises, but abandoning them after the sale, leading to confusion and potential churn. The lesson advocates for a paradigm shift, rejecting the notion of a post-sale phase and embracing Customer Success as an integral part of the entire business funnel. Customer Success, often considered the last third of the funnel, involves more than customer service. It's a strategic approach encompassing onboarding, habit creation, time-to-value, and engagement. The goal is not merely acquiring customers but retaining them.

The lesson delves into the importance of onboarding, emphasizing the need to swiftly deliver value to customers, ensuring a positive initial experience. Following onboarding, the focus shifts to engagement, with a proactive approach to customer education, support, and connection-building. A significant challenge highlighted is the "Presenter's Dilemma," where assumptions about customer understanding post-sale can lead to issues. The importance of early education and ongoing customer training is stressed to ensure customer satisfaction and, consequently, retention.

The incorporation of technology into Customer Success is essential, with automation suggested for repetitive tasks. The lesson concludes with a financial perspective, illustrating how high-quality retention enables increased spending on customer acquisition, ultimately contributing to long-term business success.

Key Takeaways From This Episode:

  1. Customer success needs to be baked into each stage of the funnel. We need to know where our customers have come from on their path to us so we can better help them.
  2. The better you onboard a customer and implement the new relationship, the longer you’ll see benefits in return. The customer who’s successfully onboarded will come back with fewer issues because they got the info they needed early on, not halfway through.
  3.  Improvements in the user’s first five minutes alone can increase customer lifetime value by 50%. 
  4. Find ways to connect users and excitement by inducing a critical mass. For example, have an in-person pop-up event where your community comes to the same place at the same time. Or if more online, push users or customers to all show up to the same webinar so they can all ask questions and learn alongside each other.
  5. We need to put ourselves in the shoes of the customer and make sure at every last little stage of the lifecycle are they setup for success? Do they have answers to hard questions? Are our directions clearly spelled out for them? Is their user experience as smooth post-sale as it was pre-sale?

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Meet The Judges

Brittany Hays
Brittany Hays
South Sound Staffing

As the owner and founder of South Sound Staffing, Brittany is driven by a genuine desire to make a profound difference in the staffing industry. Being a family-owned agency, Brittany and her team go above and beyond to deliver exceptional service and unmatched dedication to their clients. With a customer-centric focus, they strive to provide the best staff, ensuring that employers find the perfect match for their organizations. Brittany’s extensive experience of over 10 years in the industry has honed her expertise, making her a true authority in the field. As a thought leader, Brittany is passionate about bridging the gap between employers and employees. She actively engages in discussions surrounding hiring, careers, staffing, leadership, and recruiting. By sharing her insights and expertise, she empowers both job seekers and employers to navigate the ever-evolving job market with confidence.

Chase Curtiss
Chase Curtiss
Sway Medical

Chase Curtiss is an innovative digital health expert and clinical exercise physiologist with a strong expertise in developing mobile software solutions within the medical, sports and fitness markets. Chase has an academic and research background in biomechanics, exercise physiology and neuroscience with published research in each field. Chase has been recognized as a pioneer in the mobile health space with the first ever FDA clearance for a software only mobile medical device. He has been highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg TV, Forbes, Pando Daily, Mobihealthnews, the Grey Sheet and many other mainstream and medically focused publications. YouTube has also named Chase NextUP for his work in video instruction content reaching 30 million viewers. As an expert in the field of digital healthcare, Chase is also a regular speaker having presented for events put on by Blue Cross Blue Shield, AARP and Chase was the 2014 commencement speaker for Wichita State University.

Clay Slaton
Clay Slaton
LIFEguide

Clay Slaton is a leader coach with a passion for helping individuals succeed in both their personal and professional lives. Clay's journey began many years ago when he recognized the profound impact of personal development on professional engagement within his own team. Fueled by a desire to empower others, he embarked on a coaching journey, sharing insights with fellow business leaders through workshops, forums, and mentorship. The vision for LIFEguide took shape in the process, driven by Clay's commitment to facilitating personal and professional growth. In 2017, after successfully exiting a company he founded, Clay directed his focus towards LIFEguide. With intentional coaching for CEOs in both business and life, Clay drew upon his extensive experience as a career CEO, believing in the transformative power of wisdom and experience to elevate leadership and businesses. As a coach, Clay's mission is to guide CEOs to fully engage in life.

Lily Mockerman
Lily Mockerman
Founder & CEO, Total Customized Revenue Management - Austin, TX

President and CEO of Total Customized Revenue Management (TCRM), Lily is a passionate and devoted leader and practitioner in the revenue management field. Lily earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Management from Johnson & Wales University. Following graduation, Lily’s career encompassed a variety of roles and responsibilities, including positions with independent full-service, boutique and resort hotels, and work with major brands including Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels, and Hyatt, and various management companies. With 13 years of diverse hospitality experience under her belt, Lily founded TCRM in 2012 leveraging her vision to become the premier provider of revenue management services for the hospitality community. In recognition of these efforts, she was named 2015 Revenue Management Professional of the Year by HSMAI’s Arizona Chapter. TCRM continues to grow under Lily’s leadership and has recently begun to expand into international markets.

Luke Wade
Luke Wade
Owner, KC Crew and MediaAlly - Kansas City, MO

Luke, an energetic and adventurous individual who’s always on the lookout for exciting new experiences in his city, started his business when he was frustrated by the lack of engaging activities and quality events. What began as a small initiative has blossomed into an incredible success story, with over 51,000 participants engaged in diverse activities like Sand Volleyball, Basketball, Pickleball, Cornhole, kickball, softball, and more, spanning the entire city. He also orchestrated one-of-a-kind events such as a Grilled Cheese Festival, an Underachiever’s Run, and a Zombie Crawl, attracting a staggering 16,000 attendees. These endeavors not only allowed Luke to leave his conventional job five years ago but also enabled him to foster a thriving, interconnected community. His once-small initiative now boasts four full-time employees, 40 part-time officials, and an office that has transformed into a bustling arena. Driven by his desire to make a positive impact, Luke is committed to helping others cultivate vibrant in-person and virtual communities. His dedication has earned him numerous accolades, including the 2018 25 under 25 Award from Thinking Bigger Business Media, the 2017 Innovation Partnership Program award, the 2017 Social Sports Industry Association Product Innovation Award, the 2016 Social Media Club Trailblazer of the Year Award, the 2014 Mayor Sly James’ Challenge Cabinet recognition, the 2014 Rising Star Award from NonProfit Connect, and the 2013 Urban Hero Award from the Downtown Council.

Patrick Culpillari
Patrick Culpillari
E-Commerice/Amazon Guru

Meet Patrick Culpillari, a seasoned e-commerce expert whose leadership style is a powerful force of inspiration. Patrick believes that effective leadership should naturally energize people, infusing the soul with enthusiasm to the point that the contagion of his vision becomes unstoppable. Guided by four fundamental principles—Customer Obsession, Brand Passion, Excellence, and Creativity—Patrick brings a unique blend of strategic thinking and passion to the e-commerce landscape. Customer obsession is at the forefront of his approach, ensuring that every decision made is centered around providing exceptional value and satisfaction to customers. Patrick's brand passion is infectious, driving him to cultivate a genuine connection between consumers and the products or services he champions. He believes in excellence as a non-negotiable standard, consistently pushing boundaries to deliver top-tier solutions and experiences. Creativity is the cornerstone of his approach, infusing innovation into every aspect of the e-commerce journey. As a leader, Patrick's goal is not only to achieve success but to inspire and motivate those around him to aspire for more than they thought possible. His leadership philosophy encourages individuals to strive for success not merely because it is expected, but because they have been genuinely inspired to do so. Patrick's magnetic enthusiasm and commitment to these principles create an environment where personal and professional growth are not just encouraged but become inevitable.

Todd Kinzle
Todd Kinzle
Serial Entrepreneur

Todd Kinzle is a seasoned entrepreneur with a distinct penchant for technology and an unwavering passion for creating meaningful impact. With a wealth of experience, Todd has become a driving force in the business world, adept at leading teams and fostering a winning culture that thrives on individual excellence. For Todd, the thrill lies in leveraging technology to create efficiency and solve real-world problems. His entrepreneurial journey has been marked by a keen focus on start-ups, strategic relationships, and a commitment to excellence in leadership. Todd excels in business development, product development, sales, marketing, and strategy, showcasing a versatile skill set that spans the entire spectrum of entrepreneurial endeavors. At the core of Todd's leadership philosophy is the belief in the power of great individuals coming together to form exceptional teams. He finds joy in inspiring and highlighting the unique strengths of each team member, creating an environment where collective greatness is not just encouraged but celebrated. With a track record of successfully navigating the dynamic landscape of start-ups, Todd Kinzle is not just an entrepreneur; he's a visionary leader who understands the intricacies of building impactful businesses. His passion for cultivating strategic relationships, combined with a focus on innovation and efficiency, positions Todd at the forefront of the entrepreneurial landscape, ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.

Tyler Young
Tyler Young
Owner, VersiTech

With 16 years of experience in the payment processing industry, Tyler brings a wealth of expertise and insight to help businesses navigate the ever-changing payments landscape. In 2009, Tyler founded PPSW, which quickly grew into a successful merchant processing ISO. In 2017, Tyler acquired the POS company VersiTouch and transformed it into VersiTech, a restaurant technology company focused on delivering cutting-edge point-of-sale technology through a local partner network. At VersiTech, Tyler and the team believe that every business deserves personalized support, which is why they work closely with local partners to offer a unique customer experience. The focus is on making technology work seamlessly for businesses with as little hassle as possible. VersiTech is known for its adaptability and going the extra mile for customers, taking pride in serving as a calming presence and a source of relief for partners. As a visionary leader, Tyler is passionate about helping businesses grow through technology. His goal is to make VersiTech a major competitor in the POS industry, offering innovative solutions and smooth processes for customers. Tyler leads by example, valuing his employees as family and striving to help them thrive both personally and professionally.

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