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Pulse 2018 Recap: Why Winning in Business Depends on Customer Success

This article was published on October 27, 2022

For Gainsight CEO Nick “Block Chainz” Mehta, Customer Success isn’t just business; it’s personal.

This philosophy provided the inspriation for his opening keynote – and rap performance – at Pulse 2018, Gainsight’s annual conference for Customer Success professionals to share best practices, learn about new developments and network with peers in the industry. This year’s conference welcomed more than 5,000 attendees from 1,000+ companies for 240+ sessions. And, thanks to the opening number, it had the distinction of being the largest (though likely last) Customer Success/rap event in history. The music festival theme set the stage for Nick’s motivational keynote about finding purpose in your work.

“In business, we’re often told to leave our emotions at the door,” he told the audience. “But I think it’s important to lean into the [emotions that drive the work we do], that define a purpose for your team as well as your own personal why.”

As Nick went on to explain, Gainsight’s “why” is “to be living proof that you can win in business by being human first.” The mission statement played well to the room of fired up Customer Success professionals, and it’s one that NewVoiceMedia embraces in our approach to business as well. NVM CEO Dennis Fois talked about this during his own Pulse keynote and fireside chat with Nick.

Businesses are increasingly being challenged to adapt to the changes in technology and customer expectations that are being driven by digital transformation, and many brands are struggling to understand where their contact centers – their human sales and service agents – fit in. But, as Dennis pointed out during his keynote, “You can do everything right with your processes, but if you don’t get the human element of customer experience right, you’re going to fail.”

NewVoiceMedia’s mission – our “why”– is to put the contact center at the heart of the customer experience. We want to help businesses add value to the conversations that their sales and service agents are having with customers, so that they can make the emotive connections that are so key to customer loyalty. This purpose also informs our approach to Customer Success.

Dennis explained that NVM’s sales and Customer Success teams are hyperaware that our solutions will work best for businesses that understand the human impact on customer experience, and companies that want to invest in their contact center rather than driving costs out. This inherent understanding allows us to go to market in areas where we know our customers can achieve success, as well as identify areas where we don’t want to play. With that in mind, our sales teams' main responsibility is not to sell,  but rather to establish whether a prospective customer is a fit — to determine if our solutions can provide the ability for that customer to be successful. Our Customer Success team helps us define and refine our market fit by what they are learning from our customers. This is a vital role that all CSMs can play in their organizations. But Dennis was quick to emphasize during his keynote that Customer Success is a team sport.  

There are many other parallels between NewVoiceMedia’s philosophies on CX and the trends and takeaways that came out of the Pulse 2018 keynotes and sessions. Among these is the idea that brands will no longer be successful unless their customers are, and so leaders must find ways to rally their entire companies around that mission. This new mindset requires businesses to question how they measure success. The trend is moving toward more outcome-based metrics –  adoption of the product or solution versus recurring revenue, for example. As a result, many organizations are re-evaluating where they want to focus their Customer Success resources and how they want to compensate teams based on those new priorities.

Asking these types of questions is an important thought exercise that recalls Nick’s challenge to think about the “why” of what we do. For most businesses, the answer to that why is, or should be, our customers. Perhaps in keeping that focus, we can all be the living proof that winning in business means being human first.

For more on this topic, watch a video interview on Customer Success with Dennis and Nick. 

Written by Vonage Staff

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