Hypercare: Bolt's Secret to Seamless Customer Onboarding

Shilpi Narang


Chief Customer Officer


Shilpi Narang
Shilpi Narang

Episode Summary

Today on the show we have Shilpi Narang, the Chief Customer Officer of Bolt. In this episode, Shilpi shares her insights into the innovative 'Hypercare' strategy, a cornerstone of Bolt's customer onboarding process. We delve into how Hypercare ensures a seamless transition for new clients, emphasizing the importance of the initial 90 days in a customer's journey.

Shilpi also discusses the pivotal role of customer success managers in maintaining lasting relationships and the importance of a holistic approach to customer health. Learn about Bolt's proactive methods in customer management, how they tailor support during the critical Hypercare phase, and the impact of these strategies on customer retention and satisfaction.

As usual, I'm excited to hear what you think of this episode and if you have any feedback, I would love to hear from you. You can email me directly on Andrew@churn.fm. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter.

Mentioned Resources



Introduction to Shilpi Narang and Exploring Travel Experiences00:00:57
Addressing Checkout Challenges in Online Shopping00:03:01
Customer Experience Journey at Bolt00:05:25
Implementing Hypercare for New Clients00:08:28
Measuring Success in Customer Success00:13:40
Importance of Customer Feedback Channels00:17:30
A Case Study: Customer Churn and Return to Bolt00:22:05
Reselling Your Value: The Role of Customer Success Managers00:27:25


[00:00:00] Shilpi Narang: None of us like to lose customers, right? We work hard to make sure that doesn't happen. It does happen. And when it does, we learn from it and we incorporate those learnings and into the next time for sure.

[00:00:20] Andrew Michael: This is Churn.fm, the podcast for subscription economy pros. Each week we hear how the world's fastest growing companies are tackling churn and using retention to fuel their growth.

[00:00:33] VO: How do you build a habit-forming product? We crossed over that magic threshold to negative churn.  You need to invest in customer success. It always comes down to retention and engagement. Completely bootstrapped, profitable and growing.

[00:00:47] Andrew Michael: Strategies, tactics and ideas brought together to help your business thrive in the subscription economy. I'm your host, Andrew Michael, and here's today's episode.

[00:00:57] Andrew Michael: Hey, Shilpi, welcome to the show.

[00:01:00] Shilpi Narang: Hi, Andrew. It's great to be here.

[00:01:02] Andrew Michael: It's great to have you. For the listeners, Shilpi is the chief customer officer of Bolt, a leading checkout technology company. Prior to Bolt, Shilpi worked on the strategic accounts team at workplace by Facebook and Shilpi also led customer success at SugarCRM. So my first question for you today, Shilpi is where has been your favorite place you have visited while traveling with your kids?

[00:01:24] Shilpi Narang: Oh, that's such a hard question because we've been fortunate to visit some amazing places. This summer, actually, we did Safari at, in Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. And it's a really special experience for so many reasons, least of which is you're quite disconnected when you're out in the wilderness. And as I've been telling people, it's almost otherworldly when you were there because it's so different from my day-to-day reality. But that's been really special and it was a very memorable time.

[00:02:01] Andrew Michael: It's high on my bucket list as well. I grew up in South Africa, so I was fortunate to spend a lot of time in what we call the bush, like Americans call safari. But yeah, that's in Okavango Delta is like the two places that I really want to go and actually have a really full on experience. And as you said, the thing I love about it most is that you're so disconnected from everything else.

[00:02:20] Andrew Michael: It's like you're in the middle of nowhere. A lot of times like a cell service doesn't even work. So you can't like, pull out your phone and get sucked in. It's, like, probably one of the most relaxing places to go. And at the same time, like getting back and connecting with nature. So, and then sharing that with kids, I can see like I, we took my son, and the one like last year, I think for the first time and it's just a really enjoyable experience and getting to see that.

[00:02:43] Shilpi Narang: That's right. That's right. Yeah.

[00:02:47] Andrew Michael: Nice. So yeah. Today, it's great to have you on the show. We're going to be chatting a little bit about your experience now at Bolt and the company. But before we go… going, maybe you can just give us a little bit of an overview. Obviously, what does Bolt do? How do you help your customers?

[00:03:01] Shilpi Narang: So when you look at one of the biggest challenges of shopping online is the actual checkout process. Because when checkout is time consuming or it's complicated, what shoppers will do is they will just simply abandon their cart before purchase. And so when you consider that 76% of carts are abandoned, just in the US alone, that translates to revenue losses of hundreds of millions of dollars.

[00:03:29] Shilpi Narang: So that's the problem that we're addressing. So what Bolt does is we remove the friction from the checkout process, and we work with our customers who are merchants and retailers, and we help them build a better direct relationship with their shoppers so that what would have been a one-time guest shopper actually becomes a lifetime customer.

[00:03:50] Shilpi Narang: So really we're solving for conversion, we're solving for customer lifetime value, and ultimately helping the merchant grow their top line. And so one of the things I love about leading the customer org at Bolt is we're working with our customers to help improve their customer experience or their shopper experience. So a lot of the things that we care about with our customers are the exact same things that our customers care about with their customers, which are the shoppers.

[00:04:20] Andrew Michael: Very cool. And your customers themselves, what do they typically tend to look like? What are the size of these businesses that are using your service?

[00:04:29] Shilpi Narang: Yeah. So we work with customers of all sizes. So we have, you know, SMB customers, whether they're on the small side or the mid market, and we have a growing enterprise set of customers as well. Now, of course, each set of customers comes with its unique set of opportunities and challenges, but we have been working with merchants and retailers of all sizes, and we have different product approaches, different service approaches to really align with the merchant that we're working with, and not only the segment that they're in, but which stage of their business they're in and what their business needs are.

[00:05:06] Andrew Michael: Very interesting. And I think you must as well with us have some very unique metrics and processes for this and everything, your customer success org, which would be interesting to chat a little bit about today. And I wonder if you could share just a little bit about the team, how it's currently structured, and then we can dive into maybe some of the metrics that you focus on as an organization.

[00:05:25] Shilpi Narang: Yeah, absolutely. So within customer experience or as the chief customer officer, I have responsibility for all components of the customer journey once a customer decides to sign on with Bolt. So it starts with implementation or onboarding, leading to tech support, customer support, customer success, and then our entire payments and risk operations work all the engagements that we have with our customers as well.

[00:05:53] Shilpi Narang: And so I wanted to start with that customer journey because when we look at our metrics and we look at customer health, we look at touch points with the customer regardless of who they're engaging with at Bolt. So we want a 360 view of the customer. The customers will not care whether they're, am I talking to support? Am I talking to success? Am I working with an implementation manager? Am I engaging with a risk analyst?

[00:06:19] Shilpi Narang: So we want that to be seamless to the customer. And we want to stitch that experience together in such a way that it's seamless to the customer, but when we're measuring it and we're looking at the metrics, we're very clear on which stage of the customer journey the customer is in. And we're looking at, and so we're measuring appropriately.

[00:06:41] Andrew Michael: Can you break that down and go into a little bit of granularity of how that works in practice? New customer, signs up and what are the stages? How do they experience, like a seamless experience throughout and then how are you measuring the stages themselves and who's involved in it?

[00:06:54] Shilpi Narang: Yeah. Absolutely. So we're a strong believer that customer success, and I use the phrase, generally, not customer success organization, but just generally customer success, it starts at first contact. So even when they're engaging with sales, what is the experience that they're getting? What is the level of clarity? How are they understanding the benefits that they will gain? And then especially the enterprise retailers that we work with, they tend to be complex, large. They're scaled organizations. Many of them are very legacy brands.

[00:07:29] Shilpi Narang: So we invest very early on in the process on the proper due diligence, the proper technical scoping, so that when the customer signs, and by the way, sales is incentivized not only to get the customers to sign, but the sales is also incentivized to make sure that we do proper scoping and implementation. So we work very collaboratively. My professional services organization works very collaboratively with sales to ensure that is a very seamless process.

[00:08:01] Shilpi Narang: So once a customer is in implementation, we have an implementation manager, we have technical resources, we actually introduce our customer success manager at that point, and the customer success manager manages the overall business relationship. So it's almost the engagement manager for the project until the customer is up and running. And then once the customer is live, we have a process that we called Hypercare.

[00:08:28] Shilpi Narang: Hypercare is a process in which support prioritizes this customer for the first predefined, whether it's 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days, depending on various factors. And again, we've found that a strong seamless onboarding is critical to customer success. And we've also seen that that first 90 days and how performant we can be and how collaborative that relationship is really sets the stage then for the long-term relationship.

[00:09:00] Shilpi Narang: So that Hypercare period is when support comes in, prioritizes any issues that might arise and you know everything is a P0 or P1 during that time frame with this customer. And then once the Hypercare is complete, then sort of you know then the customer goes into our regular rhythm of the business in which the customer success is their primary point of contact and then I can start talking into the metrics that we're looking at and how we bring all the teams together.

[00:09:31] Shilpi Narang: But from a customer journey perspective, that's how we work hard to make sure that we have very seamless handoffs and the orchestration is on our side and it's seamless to the customer. And then of course, once the customer success manager owns the relationship, then we have processes whether it's quarterly business reviews, we have an executive sponsorship program, we have various touch points with the customer.

[00:09:56] Shilpi Narang: And then my CSMs actually own both renewals and expansions at Bolt. So we're very focused on building a very trusted relationship with them and getting to know the customer's business. Because only with, being merchant first and understanding their business, can we then take additional valuable products and services to these customers so that they can grow their relationships with us.

[00:10:21] Andrew Michael: Very nice. It's a very interesting concept, the Hypercare, as well, it's not something I've probably heard of so far on the show. Obviously like there's different ways of splitting up support and depending on, like if you're an SMB mid-market or enterprise, you don't really get different levels of support, but this is more on a timely aspect and sort of that onboarding experience and prioritizing in that manner also.

[00:10:43] Andrew Michael: Do you also prioritize depending on the pricing plan, I guess, in terms of the support and level you provide, but during that window of Hypercare, is everyone treated equally or is there still a difference? How does that look?

[00:10:55] Shilpi Narang: So system wise, everyone is treated equally in that, because there's only a defined set of customers in Hypercare at any given time. Because customers are going in and out of Hypercare. So we look at that Hypercare queue closely to make sure that it's a manageable number and we're actually able to treat all those issues as P0s and P1s. And of course, we work very closely with products. So I always say that, if everything worked 100% correct, you wouldn't need support, you wouldn't need success.

[00:11:28] Shilpi Narang: But obviously in software and in business, we take care of our customers in multiple ways. So in working closely with our product and tech organizations, I think there's a very important feedback loop, whether it's during Hypercare or even after, because our goal is to minimize issues and minimize tickets to begin with. So that is a feedback loop.

[00:11:51] Shilpi Narang: That is very important because how much we can automate, how much we can get proactive signaling and alerting on, we wanna create fewer and fewer issues, of course. And I think that's been particularly successful during Hypercare, that feedback loop, because if there's issues that are coming up in those first 90 days, then we really need to either figure out how to productize it or how to address it in the implementation cycle, because those issues should not be coming up during that time.

[00:12:21] Andrew Michael: I love that as well, because it's another way to segment the feedback that you're getting through from support as well. It's like this feedback is coming in from new users who are having issues getting set up or at that beginning, that first initial experience. And that's what we really need to make magical as a business for our users to keep them.

[00:12:37] Andrew Michael: And we talk about this a lot in terms of like activation and customer success focused on onboarding and how to make that experience great in the beginning and product, but this is probably the first time we've said a little bit about like how support can actually give it a different experience to that stage of the user's journey.

[00:12:53] Shilpi Narang: And then if I could just add, I think the thread that you'll hopefully pick up throughout the customer journey and how we're looking at it is we're trying to be proactive. And of course, we'll be reactive when issues come up, we will address them. But all the processes that we're putting in place, we're trying to catch things before they become a big deal, and so that we can triage it, and then we can feed it back into our tech so that we can eliminate those issues in the future.

[00:13:21] Andrew Michael: Prevention is better than churn.

[00:13:23] Shilpi Narang: Yes, absolutely.

[00:13:28] Andrew Michael: So then you get to CSMs and their responsible expansion and renewal themselves. What are some of the metrics that the team has set for themselves and how do you measure success in customer success?

[00:13:40] Shilpi Narang: Yes, absolutely. So I'll start with perhaps the end and then I'll go back a little bit in terms of how we get there. So industry best in class, net revenue retention, which includes both churn and growth, is depending on who you ask, but it generally is between 110% and 120%. And I'm very pleased to say that our achievement over here is well beyond that. So I think that's a key metric that I look at because there's a lot of inputs, that's an output metric.

[00:14:13] Shilpi Narang: So there's a lot of leading indicators, there's a lot of inputs that goes into that, ultimately, is the customer staying with us and are they growing with us? That's a key metric that I look at. Another metric that I look at that perhaps is not as easy to quantify as NRR but is equally important metric, and it goes back to our relationship with sales, is all around customer advocacy. We look at customer advocacy from whether it's case studies, whether it's referrals, whether it's sales reference calls.

[00:14:45] Shilpi Narang: And I even consider customer advocacy and sort of feedback to sales. When you think about… our customers will try new innovations, beta features. We will kick the tires on, you know, certain offerings with their existing customers, and then we will take it to the market. And then, and again, that feedback loop in terms of, because we're hearing the need from our customers, so we're innovating on our product.

[00:15:13] Shilpi Narang: They're working with us. They know it's beta. So just that entire sort of area of customer advocacy. I mean, there's, you know, so we do a lot of measurement there and we break that down and we look at that pretty seriously. And then finally, I would say, well, there's a lot of metrics and, you know, so I'll talk a little bit more about, sort of CSAT, NPS and all of those other ones. But one I really wanted to highlight in the activation or the implementation is time to value. Cause that's a key metric that we look at also.

[00:15:42] Shilpi Narang: Because again, especially when you're working with enterprise retailers, the sales cycles could be a few weeks to a couple of months or more, but we want to make sure that we're being very clear in the sales cycles so that we're shortening the sales cycle, but not only shortening the sales cycle, we want to shorten the time to value. Like once they decide they've come on with Bolt, when do they actually start seeing the benefit? So there's a lot that, you know, there's a lot of inputs that go into, that reducing the time to value in terms of the activation excellence.

[00:16:12] Andrew Michael:: And then everyone sort of can measure those different stages. The one I love as well sort of is the advocacy because a lot of times companies will look at things like NPS or CSAT, which is very biased in terms of who's actually giving the feedback and the time they invest, but actually going a little bit more deep and measuring the advocacy itself. And as you mentioned in different elements, like case studies and referrals and these sorts of things are actually the action and it's not just saying something they were doing.

[00:16:44] Andrew Michael: It's not just asking a few small segments, who cares enough about the product anywhere already to do it. So, and we were recently chatting about NPS and in some cases, like, I think it was with Tatyana Mamut who had talked and said, okay, like if somebody is negative on your NPS as well, that's a sign of commitment, like they care enough because 99% of people don't care enough to do it, so.

[00:17:08] Shilpi Narang: Yeah, you're absolutely right. So again, I tend to think of metrics as what are the leading indicators and what are the outcomes or the lagging indicators, right? Inputs and outputs. So when I look at NPS, I look at Merchant, you know, CSAT, which comes from support. We do implementation feedback surveys. We do, you know, Merchant Health, which I'll talk a little bit more about.

[00:17:30] Shilpi Narang: All of this is in our internal company Slack channel. We have open Slack channels, open to everyone in the company. These Slack channels are integrated to the various tools. And whatever the feedback is, whether it's positive or negative, it's available in that Slack channel. For us to see, for us to action. And, I mean, it's more than just customer experience, that are in those Slack channels.

[00:17:56] Shilpi Narang: We have truly cross-functional representation there. Because again, like you said, some of it might not be that actionable, but we want to see what that feedback is. And again, that feedback loop is very important to us.

[00:18:08] Andrew Michael: Yeah. And you mentioned merchant health and it's something you talked a little bit more about. So what is that? How are you measuring it?

[00:18:14] Shilpi Narang: Yeah, absolutely. So this topic is definitely close to my heart because we were previously again, just being more reactive, right? Like an issue would come up and everyone would jump in and everyone has great intentions and we're committed to solving the customer problem. But typically what would happen is that the customer was like, in what I would consider in red state at that time.

[00:18:35] Shilpi Narang: And we all know that customers typically don't go into Red State overnight. There's usually a series of events. So there are things that are happening in terms of how they're engaging with your company that gets them there. And so we took a step back. And one of the standing meetings that we have, and this is a sort of a cornerstone, this is the meeting that, you know, like I will not miss on a weekly basis is the Merchant Health Review.

[00:19:00] Shilpi Narang: And the Merchant Health Review is I have my leaders from Customer Success, from support, even from professional services, because you have existing customers who are adding modules or doing some implementation with us. So we have professional services and we have product in that meeting. And then we have a dashboard of, we use the red, yellow, green, pretty standard methodology. The red, yellow, green statuses are driven by, we have signals, whether it's usage signals, we have various instrumentation that provides us some signals.

[00:19:34] Shilpi Narang: And then it's also, there's some qualitative inputs. It's the CSM knowledge of what's going on with that customer. Are there, you know, the reason support is there because we look at our support, looks at, shows us the reports of aging tickets, which customers might have, you know, what we consider more than the acceptable level of tickets open.

[00:19:56] Shilpi Narang: And so what we're doing is, again, it's a very customer-centric meeting. It's not a… function centric, it's not like, it's a support meeting where it's a customer success. It's, we're there to solve for the customer. And so we're looking at all the inputs and all the different ways that they're engaging with Bolt.

[00:20:14] Andrew Michael: Interesting. And this is a whole team effort then as well. Yeah.

[00:20:19] Shilpi Narang: It is, it is. And it's, you know, again, the leaders, they see the value in this meeting because we've uncovered things that are going on with customers when they are just turning yellow. And so what we can do is we can be proactive, we can put the right resources on it. Sometimes it's an executive escalation, sometimes it's, you know, sometimes they just need to hear from someone from Bolt and like we just need to walk them through what's going on.

[00:20:45] Shilpi Narang: Sometimes it's actually a technical issue that we need to address. So whatever it is, we try to catch it early in that meeting and then we have the cross-functional support to address it. And then coming out of that meeting, we have a weekly executive leadership meeting.

[00:21:03] Shilpi Narang: In other words, it wouldn't be my customer leaders in that meeting, but it would be my peers. So, coming out of that meeting, if there are things that I need to highlight to the executive leaders, I can do so. Then, coming out of that meeting, we also have a deep dive with tech. Depending on what comes out of that meeting, then we have other avenues to then make sure that we go and solve these issues because we know a week later, we're going to be back. And we're going to say, okay, what have we done about this?

[00:21:33] Andrew Michael: Yeah, that's nice. And it's a great way as well to get everyone on the same page and put the customer front and center as well. And it's not just like a roadmap and what are we shipping, but actually these are some of the concerns and risks. And talking about that as well, though, when the team, when we're chatting to your team as well, a couple of topics that came up and one of those was discussing how some of your mid-market Bolt merchants previously churned and return back to Bolt, what went wrong and how did you rectify this to make them come back as happy customers.

[00:22:05] Andrew Michael: So I think it'd be interesting to touch on that now. It's always great to hear a firsthand story of churn and then ultimately sort of figuring out a way to bring them back and win them back as happy customers. So.

[00:22:15] Shilpi Narang: Absolutely. None of us like to lose customers. Right. We work hard to make sure that doesn't happen. It does happen. And when it does, we learn from it and we incorporate those learnings into the next time for sure. The story that I want to share is indeed one of our mid-market customers who, it was early last year, they decided to move to a competitor. The backdrop was that there was new leadership in the retailer.

[00:22:45] Shilpi Narang: The new leadership came in and the advice that they got from the developer and the system integrator was, you know what, let's go a different direction with our tech stack. We want a little more control of some of these elements. And they made the decision to move away from Bolt. And at the time, we met the new leadership. Now, I talked, earlier, we have an executive sponsorship program. We try to keep those executive relationships with our customers as much as we can. Of course, it gets harder to do at scale, but you try to keep those touchpoints the best you can.

[00:23:20] Shilpi Narang: And we understood, again, their business reasons and why they were making that move. And we said, look, we've enjoyed working with you. And one of the hallmarks was that they had an excellent relationship with their customer success manager. Right. So sometimes you have a customer who churns and they're almost apologizing for churning, but they're like, this is what our business needs. And we respect that. We said, look, this is your business decision. Here are the things that we can do for you, but we understand if you need to go in different direction.

[00:23:47] Shilpi Narang: And also in our business, it's very important how we off board a customer. Because like I said, we're deeply integrated with our retailers. And we want to make sure that we're disconnecting Bolt in a way that doesn't impact the shop, negatively impact their shoppers in any way. So just how we, off board and how we maintain that relationship is I think really important. So the customer left and then ended up coming back to Bolt just six months later.

[00:24:15] Shilpi Narang: And there were a few learnings and things that caused this. One was one of the products that we offer, one of the solutions that we offer for our merchants is fraud services. And so in online shopping, you can imagine that retailers run their businesses on very thin margins. So when there's an uptick of fraud, it quickly eats into their revenue. And so this particular customer, they went with one of our competitors for the fraud product and they just realized how much more robust and how much they just preferred Bolt's.

[00:24:48] Shilpi Narang: Our fraud product is AI powered and we have very good, not only automated support, but then we also have our risk operations, again, who have good relationships with their customer service people. And so that was one of the key things that brought them back was that, wow, Bolt's fraud model was actually really good and we really need that for our business. The other thing was, I think they realized that...

[00:25:12] Shilpi Narang: Initially, they thought they wanted to go a different tech direction. But the way mid-market retailers work with Bolt, it's a little different than enterprise retailers, but the way mid-market retailers work with Bolt is that they almost outsource their entire checkout technology to Bolt. So they don't have to worry about shopper registration. They don't have to worry about shopper checkout. They don't have to, you know, we do that all with one click and we make it super easy and we take care of all the tech.

[00:25:42] Shilpi Narang: And what they realized is actually they don't want to focus on that. They want to focus on growing their business. And they were like, you know what, we want Bolt to focus on that because not only do you take care of the tech for us, but then you give us accelerated performance. So I think it was really a combination of this, first of all, this great relationship with the customer success manager and the customer team. And the fact that they'd had a great experience with us. And then it was the draw of the product, whether it was the fraud product or our checkout product.

[00:26:13] Shilpi Narang: And so we continue to enjoy working with them. And there's definitely, learnings from that process that we've taken forward.

[00:26:22] Andrew Michael: Yeah. One of those ones, as soon as you said it, just triggered was like, it sounds like you had an issue with the Customer Champion leaving, which we talk a lot about on the show. And interested to hear, like how that team and how your team now approaches Customer Champions themselves. ‘Cause obviously you lost the sponsor and then nobody understood the value of Bolt’s effectively in the company. They had to realize it's the hard way. So what does the team now do when it comes to Customer Champions? How do you work, to, with organizations?

[00:26:50] Shilpi Narang: Yeah, such a great question. And it's so important. I think one of the things I would say, and you know, it might seem obvious, but I think it's worth sort of being intentional about, is helping CSMs, whether they're responsible for renewals or expansions or not, like regardless, helping CSMs understand when they have to sell. Because when your Customer Champion leaves and a new leadership team or a new leader comes in, you are really reselling your value proposition.

[00:27:25] Shilpi Narang: And you're starting from ground zero. And I think most CSMs will understand that, but to be very intentional in your CSM management and in the situational management and coaching, in terms of you really have to put your sales hat on and you have to look at this as a... And you're in a good position because if Bolt has been performant with this customer, you already have a good platform.

[00:27:51] Shilpi Narang: Now, on the other hand, this new leader might have worked with other vendors in the past. They might be coming in with some preconceived notions. So of course, there are challenges as well. So I think starting from that is critical. Secondly, I think, really a culture of we don't win alone and we don't lose alone. Right? The customer success manager is responsible for that relationship, but they have the power of the company behind them.

[00:28:23] Shilpi Narang: Whether it's bringing their manager in, bringing me in, leveraging one of our product leaders, leveraging somebody else in our executive team. Like this is really, it's a team sport. And so often what we will do is, so we have a playbook for when your Customer Champion leaves. What are the things that you should be doing? What are the things you should be thinking about? So I won't go into the details on the playbook, but you know, things like. There might be, you know, in the retail industry, we all have pretty strong networks, there might be someone in the company who has worked with this leader in the past.

[00:28:58] Shilpi Narang: So let, you know, let, again, I think back to this theme of you don't have to go at it alone, let's use the power of Bolt, let's use the power of our network to put our best foot forward. And then finally, I would say it comes down to the data. We went on data, right? We have performance metrics and numbers. Retail is very data-driven. Conversion is a very data-driven process. And we lead with the data. I think you have to have the anecdotes, you have to have the success stories. But we lead with the data. I think that's very critical.

[00:29:35] Andrew Michael: Yeah. It's interesting as well. So sort of the approach, I like the angle of CS really, really need to realize that these moments that they become the sales team and they need, and they actually need to resell the service from their side there as well. And it's a different perspective as well. It's like, okay, one obviously like in the beginning, the best way to resolve it is to try and expand the number of champions within the organization.

[00:29:56] Andrew Michael: But when you do do it, when you do do leadership, you're now in sales mode and you need to be selling your products and service so that they understand the value again. Very nice.

[00:30:06] Shilpi Narang: Absolutely. And actually, in the mid-market, I think one of the challenges we've found is that, yes, you want to have multiple points of contact in every relationship. Sometimes, in the mid-market, there might not be that. So then you want to have, there's your customer champion, but then who else is your influencer or who else could feed you information about the new person?

[00:30:28] Shilpi Narang: And I think that's another part of our playbook is that if you don't feel you can expand and sort of, you know, get to know multiple leaders, you still have other points of contact who can help you in the account.

[00:30:39] Andrew Michael: And influence. Yeah. Very nice. Well, I think we could continue chatting for hours on these topics, but I see we're short on time. So, last question for the day is, what's one thing that you know today about churn and retention that you wish… in you when you got started with your career?

[00:30:53] Shilpi Narang: Oh. Love it. Well, I've learned so much along the way. Thank you. Thanks to so many of the customers I've worked with, thanks to so many of the amazing colleagues and people in the industry. I would say it's really this concept of looking at customer health from a holistic perspective. I know the value of that today, and I really look at that as the leading indicators.

[00:31:20] Shilpi Narang: I would say when I first started, I would have a more siloed view on customer health. And I would look at customer health from a particular lens. And I think when I was doing that, I was being more company-centric. And I wasn't being customer-centric because the way the customer is engaging with the company is not in silos. And I think that has made a real change in how I view managing the customer's experience.

[00:31:47] Shilpi Narang: And again, there's the importance of net revenue retention and the importance of some of those metrics. But again, those are output metrics. And I think managing customer health in a more holistic way as an input metric has really been key for me.

[00:32:02] Andrew Michael: Yeah, absolutely. I think in the early days, you start focusing on the output metrics, but then as soon as you realize that it's really the inputs that influence the final output, that's when you can actually make a meaningful difference and change, to the output.

[00:32:13] Shilpi Narang: Absolutely.

[00:32:14] Andrew Michael: Well, Shilpi, it's been an absolute pleasure hosting on the show today. Is there any other final thoughts you want to leave the listeners with, anything they should be aware of before we close off today? We'll obviously be including everything we've discussed in the show notes for the listeners to be able to pick up on that. But any final thoughts?

[00:32:29] Shilpi Narang: Yeah, you know, maybe I'll just reiterate what I said at the top of the show is that when we work with customers at Bolt, we're helping them solve, for their customers. And I think, again, just having that very customer centric mindset and point of view in terms of what good looks like for your customer and then solving for that. And I think all the rest of the goodness will just automatically follow.

[00:32:53] Andrew Michael: Well, it's a great way to end the show today. So thank you so much, Shilpi, for joining. I really, really appreciate the time and wish you best of luck now going forward.

[00:33:00] Shilpi Narang: My pleasure, Andrew. Good chatting with you. Bye bye.

[00:33:04] Andrew Michael: Cheers.

[00:33:11] Andrew Michael: And that's a wrap for the show today with me, Andrew Michael. I really hope you enjoyed it and you were able to pull out something valuable for your business. To keep up to date with churn.fm and be notified about new episodes, blog posts and more, subscribe to our mailing list by visiting churn.fm. Also don't forget to subscribe to our show on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

[00:33:37] Andrew Michael: If you have any feedback, good or bad, I would love to hear from you and you can provide your blunt, direct feedback by sending it to andrew@churn.fm. Lastly, but most importantly, if you enjoyed this episode, please share it and leave a review, as it really helps get the word out and grow the community. Thanks again for listening. See you again next week.


Shilpi Narang
Shilpi Narang

The show

My name is Andrew Michael and I started CHURN.FM, as I was tired of hearing stories about some magical silver bullet that solved churn for company X.

In this podcast, you will hear from founders and subscription economy pros working in product, marketing, customer success, support, and operations roles across different stages of company growth, who are taking a systematic approach to increase retention and engagement within their organizations.


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