Opentalk 2017 was packed with thought leadership from some of the most customer-centric leaders and companies of our time. The Opentalk 2017 Video Library is your team’s chance to re-experience those speaking sessions. Here’s more information on one of the videos available in this library.

Creating Customers For Life

Session Host / Moderator:

  • Ryan Lawler, Writer, TechCrunch

Panelists (from Left to Right):

  • Scott Bajtos, Chief Customer Officer, VMware
  • Mike Zinne, VP of Customer Experience, Zendesk
  • Alex Miller, VP and General Manager, Stack Overflow Enterprise
  • Andy Mowat, Director of Customer Success Operations, Box

Session Questions and Highlights

1. With Enterprise Sales, historically someone tests out a product, sign a sales contract and then they are stuck with that solution for however many years. Let’s talk about how things have evolved over time? And, where they are going in the next 5 years? – Ryan, TechCrunch

  • “For us at Zendesk, we started with a drive-by model. For a long time we never talked to a vast majority of our customers during the sales cycle. They came online, tried our software, purchased with a credit card and went on their way. Then, some of them grew very, very large. So that has been an interesting model for us to evolve. We’ve chosen to focus on creating a great experience through the trial period, instead of take it away. We focus on making it easy for customers to work with and get up and running very quickly and easily so that they don’t need a lot of help initially to get great value out of the software.”  – Mike, Zendesk
  • At VMware we strive to create options for our customers. We want them to always have options based on what we hear from them. We focus on feedback from our customers and giving them the flexibility that they share they want.” – Scott, VMware
  • “Adaption is incredibly important. Customers have always cared about it and now more than ever customers want to know how you can integrate across all areas of the customer experience – especially as you go back and work to help long term customers grow.” – Andy, Box
  • “One of the interesting challenges for us is that the most vocal and engaged and happiest customers of our product tend to be individual level contributors within companies so we focus on trying to channel that and use it to drive interest and adoption of our products with the folks who don’t necessarily use us everyday on our public website but could benefit from the tools we’ve really built around that community.” – Alex, Stack

2. Regarding Box’s Adoption Strategy, is adoption the ony metric that you’re really paying attention to? How do you know that a customer is actually satisfied and a true evangelist for you? – Scott, VMware

  • “Adoption at it’s core is where we look at how many seats have been sold and then how many have been deployed which is a high level metric. But, I believe it’s important to go much deeper. We’ve also spent a lot of time on what we call the ‘Customer Sophistication Index’ meaning how sophisticated is the customer’s use case. For example, which features are they using? Are they integrating deeply with third party products? Are they using security features? Are they looking at it as a more complex use case? So it’s a combination of the raw numbers on adoption and then how deeply integrated they are within the product. ” — Andy, Box

To see more from this panel, and to catch more videos like this one, visit the Opentalk 2017 video library by clicking the button below.