The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten
372: Encore Episode: Tips to Generate Customer Insights
Dec 21, 2018
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This is an encore episode.

When a business grows and scales up, it’s very easy to lose touch with the lifeline of your business—the customers. Many people begin to outsource their customer support and the gap between the CEO or founder with the customer grows wider and wider. Steli and Hiten warn against the tendency to forget about the importance of retrieving those customer insights. Since customers ultimately drive our success and inform us of how we can improve, Steli and Hiten talk about the different ways we can keep the connection going strong.
Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:27 – Today’s topic: tips on how to stay close to your customer
00:38 – Customer intimacy is what Steli and his team discussed on their team retreat in Dublin
01:28 – Hiten’s tip if you’re in sales: consider getting a sales call
02:06 – “Sales calls give you one type of insight”
02:32 – Doing customer support is also useful
03:27 – For Hiten, customer support is key
04:00 – In Close.io’s first year, Steli’s team answered customer tickets the whole time
05:15 – Outsourcing your support is one thing Steli will never understand
05:46 – Visit and spend time with your customers in person
07:11 – Steli has been doing customer meetups this year and the results are powerful  
07:42 – Now, Steli and his team are thinking about having customer dinners in small groups
08:41 – Think about how many customers you want to connect with during the week
10:01 – As Close.io grew, they fell into the trap of talking to managers and high-level decision makers instead of talking to their users
11:46 – Stay in-touch with the end users
12:16 – Have parts of your company talk to end users to get feedback
13:56 – When your company grows, you get so busy internally that you forget about external factors, including your customers
14:55 – Fight forgetfulness
15:40 – Without customers, you don’t have a business!

3 Key Points:

Staying close to your customers is one way to check the pulse of your business.
Handling customer support yourself is the best way to connect with your customers.
Never forget that without your customers, you don’t have a business.

Steli Efti:

Hey, everybody. This is Steli Efti.

Hiten Shah:

This is Hiten Shah.

Steli Efti:

In today's episode of The Startup Chat, we're going to do a tips episode on  how to stay close to your customer as your business grows. We've talked about this  many times with Heaton. Whoever understands that customer best ultimately will own that relationship and  will get those customers. This was a big topic recently in our team. We just  did a team retreat in Dublin Heaton and ...

Hiten Shah:

Cool.

Steli Efti:

A big topic was customer intimacy. How can we stay close and close into our  customers to serve them better, to understand them better, to get more insights. So why  don't we just go back and forth on the tips and share ways that people  can stay close to their customers and cultivate customer intimacy as they're building, launching, and growing their business?

Hiten Shah:

Okay, I'm going to start by asking you a question.

Steli Efti:

Boom. Let's go.

Hiten Shah:

This is kind of a tip, but it's like, when's the last time you got  on a sales call yourself for Close.io?

Steli Efti:

That probably was four or five weeks ago.

Hiten Shah:

Cool, great. I think one tip I have is if you're doing sales and you  have a sales team, as executives under CEOs, even the marketer on the team, whatever,  should just consider getting on a sales call. Whether it's to listen in or actually  do the sale. That's my crazy idea to kick it off. I'm glad you said  four or five weeks ago and not a year ago.

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