Hey Mike, thanks so much for joining me today on the SaaS breakthrough podcast. It's such a pleasure to have you and user.com here today and I'm excited to talk about so many different topics. How are you doing this afternoon?
Thank you. I'm also happy to be here in your podcast and everything is fine.
Awesome. Well, I know we have a lot to talk about, but before we get into the nitty gritties, some of the stuff around customer success and onboarding and all that good stuff, why don't you give us a brief background on user.com what you guys are doing uniquely who the customers are? Just a little bit of background there.
Okay. So user.com is a marketing automation all in one platform, which integrate, insite several channels of communication. We grow as an alternative to Intercom. So we are a chat solution and chatbot solution, but, we have a different approach to the mail communication and we rather was looking on MailChimp and this kind of software like Getresponse or, MailChimp, we grow with our software. We are, we were using our software to, to grow our business and we need a CRM. So we've built also as your CRM on top of it, similar to pipe drive. But, the heard of our application is drag and drop out automation builder where you can create your whole marketing, sales and customer success path. So we are tracking users on your website and we integrate all channels of communication, also call center, a CMS, web push and many of them. So this is what we do, but what we think is unique from our perspective is that we want to be like the larger library of adjustable automation templates. So, we are not like easy plug and play with solution with our solution. So you have to configure it, but many things can be used from a template. So this, implementing our solution is as easy as possible and fully adjustable to your business case.
That's awesome. And I want to talk about some of that stuff in a little bit, kind of how you go through those walkthroughs and why you kind of created it that way. But who do you generally work with? Who's like a target customer? I know, you know, Intercom and Drift kind of each have their own segment. Do you guys have a specific ideal customer profile?
We name it as that smart online business. So, in terms of business model or industry, we mainly focus on ecommerce, like shops and SaaS applications. But several of our customers have different business models. So, like marketplaces. Each time when your website or your application is crucial on marketing or in marketing or sales processes, we might be the good fit for you. So smart online businesses, SaaS and ecommerce is mainly, in terms of that and the size of company we focus on SMB, so, rather more than five, 10 employees on board.
Is there a specific reason that you guys focus on that target market? Is that just the product market fit with the automation structures that you're talking about?
Yeah, we have very deep, tracking users on your website, each click, each scrawl, each page hit is tracked by our solution. And we, we worked with businesses which are not fully online, like, I don't know, software houses or several other companies, but we couldn't provide as much value as, as we wanted to. So, like CRM are kind of standard. Like customer relationship management. In online businesses where there are users. So you're tracking this unique users. And we want to become like user relationship management software.
That makes sense. No, that really makes sense. I love the idea that you were looking for the specific value add that your software does. That's fantastic. How long have you been a part of the team? By the way?
I've joined as a sixth employee, so I've joined in, September, 2016 so it will be, three years, from now. but at that stage, it wasn't user.com. We were called User Engaged. So, I'm the, when I was joining a company, I was, as I said, six person, but I was a, the most experienced employee. And, I'm the, technically, I'm not a co founder because I've joined a MVP of product. So I've joined the company, but our CEO, Greg is treating me as a co founder. I can also be proud of that I'm the first investor in user.com. Our CEO Greg Warzecha who founded and established the whole company. But, from the first two years on the market, we were totally bootstrapped. So we, grow only on basis of, our, money from our customers. Last November we, have taken Round A from a Polish investor. It was half a year ago. So many changes in our company from that moment. Also we branding from user engaged to user.com. So we, we've spent our invest money on a great domain.
The entire series there. No, I'm just kidding. no, that's fantastic. No, no, of course not. I'm just joking. But oh, that's fantastic. And I guess, you know, your title also includes that Chief of customer success, which is fantastic. A lot of what we'll talk about today. what are you specifically looking at as a chief of customer success? What are you doing in that role?
Yeah, this position It's not a coincidence. So because, before I was a chief of growth and before of that I was the chief of sales. So, I was working, as a, as a sales guy for, and I was selling our solution and then I was also selling and implementing solution at those solutions. And I've discovered that if we are going long term and we are watching like our big goal. And we want to achieve that. We have to focus on successfully implementation of our software. So a chief marketing officer can be, like hired from the market but chief customer success, have to understand deeply that industry. Our main customers are marketers and sales guys. And because I have deep experience in marketing, I'm working in this industry for more than 15 years. I think that I can, (inaudible) them and help them to grow their business using our software. So, in terms of what I'm focusing, on, is to make this process of using our software, implementing those marketing automation strategies as efficient and as fluent as possible.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I really appreciate kind of your growth from sales to, from sales to growth to here. Each step you, you've learned more about your customers, you've learned more about the value add that you need to bring. And it really does make a lot of sense. So, I guess some of this is part of that onboarding process, which is talking to the right customers at the right time, providing the steps that they need to know to get the most out of the, the, the user.com product itself, right. To, to actually get the value. So what is the goal like, or what is the process look like for an onboarding, onboarding a new user?
So we, our sales guys are also. They know our product. They can use our product and canshow how you can use our product in different industries. So this onboarding process starts on that level of sales processes. Our sales guys are making demo of product and they are trying to show our software because many sales guys are just in terms of marketing automation software, just are showing some PowerPoint presentation or talking about businesses, but they don't show a solution, don't show the tool. Our sales guys always do the demo of the product and to try to understand the business needs of a customer. If the demo is successfully and sales guys know that, this deal can be wan. So this sale can be, well, a successful lead made, we are doing onboarding process after it, before payment. Yeah, mostly, after the, in most cases the sales guys do the demo product before adding your card. But onboarding is after sales. But sometimes we, we join this onboarding call, before, before actually purchasing our software. And in terms of, onboarding call, we have separate procedures for customers who are tech savvy and can use our automation templates, could use our marketing automation course or some documentation and they have only a like one hour this concierge onboarding. But some of our customers need like personal assistant and we've made this a separate product. So you can buy the 10 hours of marketing automation consultancy. So, so we called it assistant package and a marketing automation specialist is implementing our software in your business. So you're adding him as an agent and he is helping you with all technical but also business part of the implementation.
That makes sense. So let me just kind of get my, my mind traits. Are most users coming to the website, they're self-service becoming a trial, then you're reaching out to them to see if they would like to get on an onboarding call or if they want to buy the assistance program with a consultancy or are most people going to that call first then being pushed to a sale?
So right now, sales, if you are creating a trial account or you're matched I don't know, you've generated the lead this, when you've created, created a trial account, you are mostly an SQL. So you're a sales qualified lead, and you are looking for this kind of solution. And so in that moment, sales guys is contacting you and he is giving you a demo. He is showing how our tool can be implemented in your software, in, in your business. You can also leave some data to use so you can become a lead to like a, with talking with our Chat Bot and when you go to pre-qualifier and he, he's doing a first call and then he is scheduling a direct date for a demo of the product. But this is served by the sales guys. But, as I said before, you have to remember that our sales team is not like who she sales like just following with annoying emails. They are pretty good marketers also. So they know a lot of marketing automation issues, and after purchasing you are scheduling an onboarding call. Yes. So, the, if you are, as I said, savvy tech high so you don't need this personal assistant, you go this way. But if sales guys feel that, that maybe you don't know what is Google Tag Manager and you don't, you won't be able to configure all your events on your website and then they are suggesting that for the better use of our software, I recommend you should do this, buy this assistant package and marketing automation specialist will assist you in the process.
I love that. That's amazing. So a big thing that I'm hearing though is the sales team needs to be highly educated, like you said, on the market, on the users, on their use cases, not just selling the software's features, benefits, but exactly how to implement it and run it. I think that's really, really important. You mentioned before that, you know, the tool itself can be complicated, thus the 10 hour consultancy package, how do you take a complicated tool and make it easy to understand for a new customer? How do you boil that process down?
Okay, so, so, so we created the kind of framework to work on. We started with the, funny thing, but we are starting with technical implementation and I know that all businesses are implemented in that way. But you should start with the goals and then define the technology. But we are starting with implementing our tracking code on your website. And it's done mostly during the trial, mostly during the demo product because, when our tracking code is on your website, you see the value of our software. So, so, this can be the done very easy with a ready plugin for Magento Prestashop or through Google tag manager. So we are starting with technical, implementation, but very small technical implementation, not going into details of data, structure of attributes, events, et cetera. Then we are defining goals and the scope of the implementation. I'm talking about, this assistant package. Yes. So if you defined goals when during the this demo process, our sales guys show, that you can do this email follow ups, you can create automatically some deals in your CRM, you can do the onboarding process, like automatic drip campaigns. You can this chatbots and you can do, like NPS surveys, et Cetera, et cetera. And defining goals when our customer, because marketers are, as I say, very greedy. They want it all. So we want to automate for sales processes, varied marketing processes for customer support processes. So they are defining too many goals. So first thing while defining goal is to like not eating an elephant at once. So very, very such a technique that if you want to eat an elephant you, we're looking, it's too big. So you cut it into half, it's the half of elephant is too big to eat at once. So you're cutting this half to a half and you, you, you're like doing, cutting this elephant to the chunks where with our eatable and when we've defined what we want to generate leads from our content on blog posts. This can be our marketing goals. So this is like first step, technical implementation, second step, defining the goals and the scope of implementation. But, trying to make it as specific, as possible. But also general, I know that it sounds complicated but it's true because, if you can't do it like into a goal can be very detailed, but it have to be on some, general, level. So second step is defining goals. First step is like defining user stories. So we are writing down the scenarios we want to achieve. So for example, if user will scroll down on a blog post, half of the blog posts are 50% of the webpage, and you don't know his email, show him a pop up with some lead generated lead generator like download this ebook to get, pen tips, how to do something in terms of, connected to your business. So first step, technical implementation, second step, defining goals, first step, defining user stories. And after defining user stories, we know what assets, so what kind of content we need and what the data we have to structure. So, so we know that we have to fire some event each time user scrolls down to the 50% of content. So, so this is like, our goal is to generate leads from content. Our user story is as I said and we are defining this, data structures, so events and attributes of events. And then on the fifth, the fifth stage, we are implementing this automation. So, I've talked about particular case in the terms of lead generation. But, if user, if our customers, for example SaaS business with the scenario can be like, I want to make our onboarding more efficient. So this is a goal, defining user stories sent an email a one hour after registration, some email, personal email from CEO. Yeah. And the events structure and the data structure will be that we need this event of creating an account, a trial account for signing up to your app as an event. So those five steps makes our work we think that as fluent as possible. We are starting with rather small optimizations, but then, getting instantly working with clients, it's getting more complicated.
That makes sense. And I really liked the process that you do. Especially you talked about, cutting down the elephant size. So simplifying these processes to the core levels and then adding the complexity on top of it. Right? Like I think you said marketers want to create these very complicated processes. You have to get them down to the base goal level and on top of it. So I love it. It's a really well kind of sad explanation there. Now that is customer success. When a customer is first coming in, let's say you get them up and running, the second piece is now getting them to continue to get value out of it. Maybe continue adding on the complexity or just making sure that they're still getting value out of the platform. That's a big, big chunk. Especially as you said with the SaaS customers who were, you know, retention is everything. So what are the ongoing things or maybe even ongoing metrics that you guys have to look for to stay ahead of the customers who may be looking at possibly getting overwhelmed or possibly leaving and churning out of software?
So we are running two kind of activities. One kind is a NPS survey. So, one time for six weeks out chat is asking this question in terms of how you would recommend, how, what is the, I don't remember this particular questions, but point 1 to 10 if you will recommend our software to your friend.
Is that every six weeks to all customers?
Right now we are doing it in eight weeks. If you answered in six weeks we are getting back to you. So this is like in our automation our Chat Bot is triggering this message. You can answer or not answer it. If you want to answer it, he will ask you on the second day, when you will log in into our application, he does three attempts. And if you answer the question, we are waiting two months. So we are waiting eight weeks and then we are asking you a second time and first time. So, so yeah, each, eight weeks, but if you don't answer, we are waiting like six weeks. And then we are trying this free attempts to, to make your, answering this chat bot message with NPS survey. So this is, one of our activity and we, we act on the basis of, the, when customer have an answer. So, so have, submitted, on a weekly meetings we are showing the average NPS score. And after this submission you are reasoning that. So, so you have to write down the answer why you've gave five or why you gave eight or nine or 10. And, we on weekly meetings, we are analyzing all NPS surveys from last week, but if customer have, then, have marked lower than seven, that account manager responsible for that company is reaching out to him via email. Sometimes. It's not fully automated. It's a rather half automated. So the consultant is calling him manually, like we're getting deep into the issue why he scored us on such low levels. So, NPS survey is one of our activity and a forum. Sometime we are [inaudible] for a couple, I don't know know two months. We are trying a health check calls. So each month you have each, because our, in our software, each company like each license have an account manager responsible for, for this particular client you have to do a health check call. We were trying to do it by phone, but our customers don't like to speak via phone. So we are trying to rather to schedule a quick Google hangout 15 minutes or do a quick conversation on the chat. Consultants know that, usage of application so they can, they don't have access to data of your users because of GDPR, et cetera.
But our consultants know this particular user have, I don't know, 20 automations ongoing or sent 20 campaigns last month or sent 300,000 emails. And he can check what is the usage of application and he can suggest how to use it in a better way. So for example, if you are using, our software for newsletters, he can suggest some triggered communication, like an automation, automated follow ups after registration. If you're using, triggered communication, he can suggest you, newsletter communication. So, those consultants are like account managers are checking the health of this customer also via personal call and suggest how our software can be used in more efficient way. So if you are a SaaS company, they can suggest you that maybe you can try our CRM software. Our account managers know the businesses of our customers and they are like, I don't want to use this term, consultants because it's not that, we are not a consulting company but a, and we operate with partners. So, so there are a lot of marketing automation agencies and we don't want to take their job, but we want to help to use our software in more efficient ways.
That makes sense. Do you have a baseline metric that you use to see the health? Like are they have to send x amount of emails or they have to log x amount of times or is it just based on each individual account and their goals?
We, we are, we were trying to set up this metric, but currently we can't do, it's hard for us to do it because as I said before we are focusing on two main industries. So ecommerce and SaaS, companies. But they have different goals. But even if in ecommerce there are some standard automation like rescuing abandoning cart, but depending of the specific, the of, of the industry or kind of customers, our software is used in a different way. So for example, we have such a ecommerce shop with who sells cosmetics. And, his main goal is to do that, make the lifetime value of customer as high as possible because the basket isn't, like high. So they are basing on returning customers. So, so they are using our software to segment their customer base properly and they are want to do this, not a recurring a payment, but a recurring process getting back to, to this shop. Because, for example, if you buy a shampoo and it will last for either like 90 days or 60 days, you will get, after 60 days, offering, or if we have an average shampoo. But to do different, kind of customers is when our, we have a great company, a great ecommerce shop with lamps. You don't buy a lamp each six weeks. So, so, they use our software rather to do this. Concierge is selling via our chat. So, so those chat support clients is doing like the same job, like in actual real, shop that they are suggesting what kind of lamp should be fit into your interior design? The same with SaaS. The different business goals have sauces on the beginning of their journey. So, so they want to talk with customers very deeply to understand the insights, understand their business needs. So, so the CEO is on the chat talking with as many customers as possible, but different business goals have established SaaS companies where they want to automate their customer support processes. They want to automate everything and make this support and sales processes more automated. So because of this different business goals, we can't find the one metric, which, which define the health of customer. It's not so, customizable.
Yeah. And that makes sense. And I think we struggle with that too and try to figure that out because we have so many users too. So we're just trying to figure are so many different types of users, users I should say, and just trying to figure out where we can find that. What about hard lessons that you and the team have learned going through and building this customer success kind of process? Any lessons that you can comment on that other SaaS companies would benefit from?
Yeah, of course. Don't go with big clients. So everybody in this online business industry is saying talk with customers and understand their needs and build your software on the pains and gains that your customers actually have. But if you are thinking to the big clients, so I'm not, I'm talking about clients who are ready to pay for your software more than one, maybe $2,000, they will need some custom solutions. And from our experience we build too much features for a couple of clients. And, we were in, our focus was determined by few clients and they were defining our main, feature requests and how we've developed our software but not on mass scale. So this is a hard lesson, is that we've built a very, very complicated and large software because we were, listening to our customers and making them happy. If you want to be a fully scalable SaaS companies, you have to count not maybe MRR of course you, you, you should check a monthly recurring revenue but number of customers, so, and depending on how many customers want some feature or need some, some improvement, then you should decide to develop it or not. Because if you will focus on few clients, even if they will pay a lot for that feature, you might become a very, very big and complicated tool as we have become and we are right now struggling to make it as simple as possible.
Yeah, that's such a great lesson to learn. Unfortunately we made similar mistakes. I mean we kind of learned similarly, but I think, you know, you have to, as you were saying, look at your product roadmap and put priority on certain items that fit where you want to take the product, who that perfect customer is. And that changes over time. It's so difficult to make those decisions. But I think that's a really, really great lesson. And looking forward in 2019, are there new challenges or new opportunities that you're looking forward to, getting to?
Yeah. Yeah. We, we've decided a couple months ago, that we will go with a freemium package. It's a, it's a big change in our approach because we didn't have this freemium package. We always was a paid application, but, we've decided that some parts of our software, so CRM, chat, calendar like Calendly, this is a built in feature of our op, knowledge base and web push notification, web push push like campaigns will be offered as a freemium package. It will be without any automation. So heart of our software and without this very precise tracking of a users on your website. So you in user profile you will have this user attributes like their time zone or browser, et Cetera, IP address, et Cetera. But you won't have the full history of which exactly page, pages they visit, what kind of events they have perform, et Cetera, et cetera. And we want to launch right now it's called a Starter package for businesses, just like Hubspot is offering their CRMsoftware for free. We want to go this path. So offering real good solution for free just to make it a more scale. I don't, I know that conversion from freemium users to paid users are not so high and we are not counting on that, but we are counting on that, that if users will use our chat when users will use our web push notification, they're are trending from our site and this can be our, source of a good traffic.
Yeah, definitely. So it becomes a lead generation, a possibility for you guys, increase your lead flow and those freemium plans, those freemium plans become word of mouth referrals or branding referrals, awareness, increase your market awareness. And of course we'll have some conversion that goes to paid. And you still have this good customer success process to help those paid customers go through.
Yeah, exactly. We want to improve a lot our automatic onboarding process because with freemium pricing, you can't offer this personal system. We hope to do this process well. So, so make our own, automatic onboarding, like in-app onboarding as fluent as possible. Qualified, at least scored leads. And some of them may be converted into paid ones, but even if not convert from freemium users to the paid one, this will be a good way of generating traffic into our application.
And I think having a really good survey for those freemium users that come in so you can automatically segment your best customer base. That could be really good to actually do spend some people time with them. Some you just bring those consultants over cause those would be your best ones that you know would probably upgrade the best. But I love that. I think that's a really good initiative and look forward to seeing how that, that works for you guys in the second half of this year.
We are very thinking about such solution, that when you are a freemium user after I don't know two months of using our application, this consultant, this account manager will turn on our app, into this paid one. So you will see the possibilities of automations. You will see the possibilities, what kind of value is deeply tracking of users you have and you see in your application. And after two weeks time, like this trial process, but after using a software. So, so we are thinking that, because of implementation process and with marketing automation software is so crucial. We try to do it not on the first days, but after some using of our software, even in a free freemium mode and after two weeks you decide if the paid version provides you value and you stay with this paid version ,or if you are okay with a freemium version and then you are as the not paying for our software.
I love it. That makes a ton of sense. Awesome. Well, what I want to do is I want to transfer over to our lightning round questions. Just five quick questions that you can answer with the first best thought that comes to mind. You want to get started?
All right, let's do this thing. What advice would you give to early stage SaaS companies starting marketing today?
Talk with your customers. Talk with customers. Don't use surveys or like Google forms type form, but make eac call with customer to understand, them in a better way. So do hangouts, do have phone calls just to better understand your customer and then, modify your software.
I love it. Such good advice. What skill do you think is vital for marketing teams to improve and build on today?
Okay. Everybody is data driven and big data analytics is the buzz word of old marketers and yeah, all algorithms and AI issues are really important. But I think that, this human empathy and understanding that on the other side of the screen are real people who have feelings is also very, very needed right now.
Absolutely. More than ever. Exactly right. You're totally right. What about a best educational resource you'd recommend for learning about marketing or growth?
I think our competitors, so Hubspot is a half of this inbound marketing so they are providing a lot of good marketing knowledge. We hope we will someday, be able to provide so much knowledge as they currently. I would recommend, Facebook groups for a great example I saw that Aaron Krall was your guest on the podcast and he has this great, Facebook group, like the Saa for growth hacks. And it's not like direct knowledge, but discussions in this grout group is, I think, very valuable for marketers, especially in SaaS companies.
Such a good group. Yeah, absolutely. I recommended all the time and actually in the most recent podcasts, Aaron talked about how he built that group and why it's so valuable. That's great. What about a favorite tool you can't live without?
I can't use, I can't live without user.com, but in terms of, because I'm working on my tool on a daily basis, so, so we are like (inaudible) but in terms of, this tool, I think that Gmail, Gmail and Google docs are maybe not so fancy tool, but yeah, real tool. I couldn't live without it.
I agree. No, it's so built into my workflow. I wake up every day, am right in Gmail, all my information is in Google docs. It's, it's crazy when those applications become part of our processes so fast.
Yeah. Especially we, we've turned, we are not using for internal communication Slack, we go to this Google hangout or Google chat, similar to Slack and we are really pretty satisfied with that. So, so we use Google Meet for meeting each other, because our team is in different cities. so, so yeah, G-suite packages is really great.
DA: 49:42 I love it. Yeah. Super Great. All right, last one, and it may be Google, but what about a brand business or a team that you admire today?
Right now it would be Brand24, so this is also, because user.com is, I didn't say it, a Polish company, so we are from eastern Europe and we have also such very popular in Poland, but also really good tool for online brand monitoring. Brand 24. And, I know that team, I know the founder, Mike Sadosky and he is the person and they are the team which I really admire what they are doing with. Of course I'm looking for, I'm really admiring what's doing the biggest the players on the market like Salesforce or Hubspot, but Brand 24 is like my, my favorite company except of course user.com, but...
Of course that one, that one goes, goes already said. But that's fantastic. Mike, I just want to say thank you so much for coming on the show. It's been fascinating. It's been a great episode. You guys are doing some great work out there in Poland. I know you're all over. But it's a great company and I think there's a lot of really amazing things to be said about the customer success process in SaaS and you guys are doing it a really good way for, you know, bigger, more robust product. We're kind of revamping some of our customer success. So this is perfectly timed. I took a lot of notes, so I appreciate your time today, Mike.
Thank you for that. I'm happy to be your guest.
Awesome. Well we'll talk to you soon. Have a great day.
MK: 51:35 Have a great day. Bye Bye.
DA: 51:37 Well that's a wrap on today's episode, Episode Number 70 with Mike Korba from user.com really appreciate and a big thank you to the user.com team and to Mike for coming on and being so transparent and open. (…)