Always be proactive about your onboarding timetables
Prep mitigation strategies in advance to increase odds of success
Schedule customer debriefs and act on lessons learned
Can you tell me about what you do and what services Hopin provides?
I’m Rosie, Chief Customer Officer at Hopin. On the Customer Success side, we work very closely with our customers to ensure that they’re wildly successful in bringing their events and shared experiences to life on Hopin. Today, CSMs work very closely with some of our largest customers.
Many of our users have never run virtual events in the past or have done virtual components of events, but not to the extent that Hopin enables you to really connect with an audience. And so, we’ve implemented a multi-step onboarding process, which actually was part of our first approach to supporting events for these customers.
Does the advice your CSM team offer more of the technical side on using Hopin, or do you offer advice on actually running programs as well?
We try to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations. We often advise on how customers should think about how to run an event within the platform and use the features that we’ve created. It ends up being a combination. On the one hand, you’re giving technical advice. But it’s also grounded on best practices of how to transform their business and their vision into a tangible experience that we can bring to fruition.
What does your customer success process look like?
Generally speaking, our model is to enable our customers to become experts, and to be able to level up in a variety of use cases. For example, we’re very well known for large conferences and events, but we have a number of customers that also use us for smaller sessions where you would’ve traditionally used a different webinar tool.
On Hopin, you can create an entire experience, share that content, and add the component of networking and engagement for real-time connection. There’s a variety of use cases that we also talk through, but really that first set of engagements around onboarding, thinking about those best practices, and thinking about the technical capabilities that they’re looking for. Our goal is to better understand their vision, and how we might be able to serve their needs.
And then, because that first event is so important, we’ve created a system where we assist and teach them through that process. For example, we’ll have a speaker run or a technical run so that they know how to run those in the future as well. That involves actually talking to a moderator or a speaker that’s participating in the event and supporting them through trying the platform for the first time.
Should there be any technical questions, they have the support that they need right then and there. And then for the events themselves, depending on the package they’ve purchased, they’ll have support from the CSM and Support organizations throughout.
Now, they also have support throughout their entire Hopin experience, but the neat thing about being able to partner with our customers in that first event, and seeing their vision come to life is that we can see those results. With our insights-driven platform, we can see and track the engagement. We can see that the audience “oohs” and “aahs” on some of the ideas that our customers have been able to come up with and really learn with each customer through that process, too.
For us, that first event is truly the first, big spike in terms of ROI.
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What unique challenges does your CSM team encounter as a result of your business model?
Event planners or event managers are among the top 10 most stressful professions that exist. That’s not surprising. So much of the work that you’re doing is live, and it’s being consumed by a very active audience. We’re finding that our customers really care about the quality and depth of the experiences that they’re bringing to their audiences. Often, when we start working with them, they have a specific set of dates in mind and want to ensure that they’re creating a specific set of experiences.
There’s a big opportunity for us to partner with those customers and help map out the timeline. What are the things they absolutely need to get done on our platform to ensure success? At Hopin, there’s a stronger need to be proactive about timetables than CSMs in other companies. The deadlines, from a live events perspective, are just that much more meaningful because the full experience has to work for all parties.
We have to make every interaction value-driven. We need to make sure that everything we’re advising our customers to do has that big picture in mind; whether it’s solving some of the technical or design-related questions or just recommending best practices. We have to bring it all to fruition with the event dates they’ve set.
It’s quite different from rolling out a CRM platform, which is obviously super important, but it often doesn’t have that kind of urgency and adrenaline.
How are you able to provide adequate levels of services across different time zones and regions?
Hopin is a remote-first company, which means that we’ve hired teammates all over the world across every function within customer success. We have a team that’s based in Europe supporting our European customers. We have teams located across all time zones in the US, and we’re starting to invest in other territories to make sure we’re supporting customers wherever they are.
We have a wide variety of skill sets that we’ve been able to hire into the team, which I’m super excited about. I can honestly say that the leadership has done a great job of hiring that team. We’ve got folks with lots of experience in events, and those with experience with tech, and also SaaS. Through the combination of those skill sets, we’ve been able to come up with processes and systems that support all of the use cases for customers interacting with our platform.
Are there any best practices you can offer to CS leaders who want to support their customers in a timely fashion?
As CSMs, we’re often looked to as problem-solvers. Oftent, we work with customers that have very unique needs and goals. What we’ve learned, especially in an industry where urgency is really important, is to do all the prep work ahead of each of those engagements. You have to be incredibly prescriptive about the frameworks by which you’re going to evaluate success, the key goals you want to accomplish, and most importantly, the fallbacks.
Put in place mitigation strategies. As an advisor to your accounts, whether you’re in events or in some other industry, it’s important to think about rainy days. Customers are looking to us to help them prepare for the wide variety of things that can go wrong. We are the experts in our platform, and have run thousands of events over the last 18 months. That’s the expertise we bring to the table, and that’s what customers are looking for when they talk to their CSMs from other vendors, too.
If you’re going live with a product, they want to understand how to be successful. How do you get people super excited about it? How do you measure success? And more importantly, how do you adjust when something doesn’t go the way you expect? This deviation could be in the moment, or it could be over a period of time. You have to have mitigation plans in place.
Another key thing to do is have ongoing debriefs. We schedule debriefs with our customers that are supported directly by CSMs after their first event. It’s an opportunity for us to go back to them and explicitly ask whether we accomplished those goals, what worked, and what didn’t. I can take that feedback in real time, which we correlate with Net Promoter Score responses to really understand what we have to do to improve as a company. And of course it’s an opportunity for the CSM to also build rapport with these customers and plan for the future now that the first big milestone is done.
In my experience, when you’re a CSM you’re just thrown into the fray. You’re managing lots of things coming at you at once. It’s beneficial to all parties to reflect on what happened and learn together. I’m super proud that our team does this internally. We go through the entire process together. It’s one of the ways we ensure we’re actively partnering with our customers to make them successful for the future. I credit a lot of our team for spreading the knowledge so that we can accelerate our customer’s growth and build even better products for them.
Hopin supports virtual, hybrid, and in-person events all on one easy-to-use platform. Built for you to build any event, Hopin makes planning, producing, and reliving event experiences easier than ever.