30 Customers in 30 Days

sarahsandberg Member Posts: 7 Seeker
Third Anniversary Photogenic
edited October 17 in CS Org Conversations
For those of you that have done "30 customers in 30 days" (or something similar) how did you determine who you would speak to, and what questions you would ask? 

I'd love to know if you targeted end product users, or executives, or a blend, and if you adjusted the questions for each group. 

My initial thinking:
  • Kick off "30 customers in 30 days" with our most difficult segment - our mid-market customers. I think I'll likely do a second round with our Enterprise customers at a later date
  • Since I want to use what I learn to update our Customer Journey, I am thinking I'll have 50% of the customers be end-users, and 50% Managers/Execs
  • Target 50% that are still in onboarding or their first year, and 50% that are 2+ years with us
  • 50% "friendlies" and 50% known to be challenging/hard to engage

Feedback on my plan, or what you've seen work well would be most appreciated. How you organized yourself, if you included your CSM in the conversations, etc. 

Thank you!


  • Jeff Breunsbach
    Jeff Breunsbach HLAdmin, Member Posts: 277 Gain Grow Retain Staff
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments Photogenic GGR Blogger 2022
    edited January 2021
    Hey @Sarah Sandberg - we ran a 50 Customers, 50 Days initiative that was extremely beneficial. 

    Here are some notes:
    • We had 3 of our Executive Team members run this to show our customers we were "serious"
    • We spoke with a cross-section of customers and a cross-section of stakeholders -- we didn't focus on any given role, but moreso let our CSM team help us find the key stakeholders
    • We had our Executive Team fill out a 5 question survey after each call to help consolidate findings...4 of the questions were numerical on 1-5 scale about their experience, etc. The last question was open-ended for key notes or points that were prevalent in the conversation
    • It didn't help as much with the customer journey as it did with us finding gaps in the customer experience -- really showed us where to focus our time/energy in the several months. 

    Here are some questions we considered asking - @Bob London helped craft a number of these questions:

    Objective: Understand broad business context and priorities

    • On your next board update presentation, what are the bullet points you're most focused on / concerned about?
    • What do you think your board chair or owners are most concerned about?
    • What does your organization need to get better at in the next 12 months?
    • If you had a free hour with an industry leader, what would you ask them?

    Objective: Understand the role our product plays in their organization

    • If we went away tomorrow what would you lose?
    • If another competitor called you tomorrow what would you do? 1 – 5 (take the call)
    • What does your team say about *Brand* when we're not around?

    Objective: Understand our gaps and where we can improve

      • What would make you a customer for life? (Look for gaps in our offerings & delivery)
      • If I took away every tool and resource you have, which one would you beg me to have back? (Helps us understand what's truly a priority and strategic to them)
        • Why did you say what you said? Why did / didn't you say *Brand*?
      • What's the biggest surprise you had in the first six months of working with us? (Identify where misalignment exists between GTM messaging and customer outcomes)
  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 132 Expert
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited January 2021
    Hi @Sarah Sandberg -- I see that Jeff replied with more detail on their 50-in-50 initiative (thanks, @Jeff Breunsbach I do have a different perspective... doing these calls as a "one off" is very expensive, time consuming, not scalable, and fails to record the "genuine" feedback in a system of record that makes the data available to everyone in the company. We also see that feedback that isn't "straight from the horse's mouth" feedback (i.e. it's interpreted by an employee conducting the interview) can often lead to more internal questions.

    So I ask... why not make this effort a genuine voice-of-customer initiative that addresses al these gaps?  We see 80%+ participation rates from our customers, gain trustworthy feedback that is truly representative of the account segments, contact persona, and customer lifecycle stages.  We are able to strengthen customer relationships by engaging them properly to listen and not waste their time and addressing what they tell us, get to actual root-cause of why they feel that way, and collect data that is actionable around the business.  Follow-up calls and QBRs where are far more effective.  Such systems are cost-efficient, more effective, scalable, and produce an ROI...

    I sincerely don't understand and would like to be better informed... could you help connect the dots on the "manual" approach?

  • Matt Myszkowski
    Matt Myszkowski Member Posts: 143 Expert
    100 Comments Second Anniversary Photogenic
    edited January 2021
    Hi Sarah,

    As part of my new role at Cision, I delivered (20 in 20) a similar project during December.

    For this situation, it was for me to understand our customer's expereince of doing business with us so I wanted as wide a variety of customers as possible - from enterprise to SME, from different industry types, different contact levels from end users to C-level.

    However, my question to you is - what is the purpose of this, what is your desired outcome? This I think should influence how you tackle the project. I know you want to update the customer journey but I am unsure if this works as a 1-2-1 question & answer style interview. My expereince is customer journey mapping either creation or validation is best delivered in a workshop style format. I appreciate this is challenging with current travel restrictions. What is the specific issue with the journey map today?

    YOu men
  • sarahsandberg
    sarahsandberg Member Posts: 7 Seeker
    Third Anniversary Photogenic
    edited January 2021
    Hi Matt, 

    Starting with end goal in mind is key, I agree. There's a few things I am looking to tackle, and this "30 in 30" is one part of it. 

    In a nutshell, we need to begin to scale and add in automation with our mid-market customers. We grew this segment exponentially in 2020, and it's pushed the need to re-think how we are servicing them. They are far too high-touch today.

    In addition to the "30 in 30" I am also joining the next several MM customer launches so I can experience how the journey is working today and where the gaps are. Then layering both of those with a workshop with the mid-market CS team to lay out how we enhance the customer journey. 

    Main questions I am trying to answer:
    • Where do we need to be hands on?
    • Where can we automate and limit the decrease in value?
    • How do we train them better/faster?
    • How do we empower them to be more self-service? What tools do we need to provide?
    I am hoping between shadowing the launches, workshopping with the team, and speaking to customers (30 in 30) I can have a pretty good idea of the answers to these questions. 

    Any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated.
  • sarahsandberg
    sarahsandberg Member Posts: 7 Seeker
    Third Anniversary Photogenic
    edited January 2021
    Thank you Jeff, this is immensely helpful. I can "hear" Bob London in these questions.

    Thank you again - very useful as we craft our own questions.
  • Bob London
    Bob London Member Posts: 50 Expert
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Insightfuls
    edited January 2021
    Hey, Steve.

    When it comes to doing interviews vs. investing in a platform/solution, I don't think it's an either/or situation.  The approach you refer to as "manual" and unscalable can often be the most insightful and useful. Going deep vs. broad. The ability to ask follow up questions - "What do you mean by that?" "Why do you say that?" "How does that work today?"

    Then there are times when a more quantitative solution is in order, such as Waypoint's platform.

    I recommend executives get their goals and requirements in order first, then decide which approach will get them the results they need - or if both are required.

    Hope this helps.

    - Bob
  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 132 Expert
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited January 2021
    Hi @Bob London, sorry I wasn't clear and have no intention of this being either/or.  My experience is that a deep and wide engagement strategy provides the opportunity to know where to focus in those follow-up calls. A normal interview might take 30 minutes -- a tall requirement if you're trying to get a cross section of customers across persona and segments. But if you start with a simple ask, "To most effectively help you, I need your assessment of your experiences and outcomes achieved with our products and services...  would you take ~2 minutes to complete a brief assessment so I can follow-up with you to dive into the areas that need better understanding?"  The result is trustworthy data from the customer, plus deep dives that are far easier to set up, drive the right discussions based on the high-level assessment, and easy root-cause discussion to understand gaps.  Hope this helps clarify,
  • sarahsandberg
    sarahsandberg Member Posts: 7 Seeker
    Third Anniversary Photogenic
    edited January 2021
    @Jeff Breunsbach Would you mind sharing the email you used to ask customers to participate in this?