Sponsored by Diabolical Coffee. Devilishly good coffee and diabolically awesome clothing
Evan Cummack is the CEO of Fin, a company aiming to shape the future of work, founded by former Facebook VP Sam Lessin and Venmo Co-Founder Andrew Kortina.
Prior to Fin, Evan was a General Manager at Twilio where he joined in 2011 as one of the company’s early employees and helped to shape the company’s unique “middle out” sales strategy.
Savvy Peterson is making the future less scary building communities & scaling empathy through her work at the Savvy Millennial.
We discuss the core platform and approach by Fin, how optimizing team performance has been able to reshape organizations and customer experience, plus how the community and customer engagement has proven to be fundamental to the growth of the platform and company.
Thank you Evan and Savvy for such a dynamic and informative conversation!
Hi, I’m Evan Cummack and I’m the CEO of Fin.com. I joined the company, though I’m not a founder, which is somewhat unusual. Not company really store doing that ground in December after spending time doing what I love around ten years in building Twillio with products many people will. Now we can talk a little bit. The text in my environment says good friend. When I joined in, I go over with her marketing community.
But what they’re doing at Fin, I’m actually.
As we talked with the.
Great the author behind.
All right. Now I have the community building of things in it is so much joy, so much really do go check it out.
This is a great conversation. This is like the ultimate combination of my favorite show. I just wish I had 3 hours now to be able to arrange a human right then I think it’s really important to me is the same for of work that you’re doing with an big shout out. And it’s very near and dear to me, I in product marketing better and helping out sales organization, helping out as a startup advisor and no early processes and a tea and a hold of it your new thing and commit.
It also particularly interesting. Help communal size the world and make sure that going from place to place that nurturing goes beyond the aspirin wall. Get increased retention increased, highly recommended. So try express even punishes forward. Just tell us and check it out. You know what and analytics to find in a challenge. They have one for everything we leave for your database in the house on this go to V s Forward positive platform of soul science or what you got tenuous what you need.
Load discovery and need it all.
Go check it out.
When I say in a more about human, you jump into the things that humans are going in front.
Make sure of a computer all day the most devil it confidentially to. And now let’s get into the good stuff data and this er conversation log. This is evil Mac understand workflows that are being performed. Enjoy.
Understand where the strengths and weaknesses are in the team and the technology that they’re using and the tools that they have available to them. And in the actual workflow or process definitions that they are carrying out in our early stages, we’ve had a lot of success with what I would refer to as customer operations teams, teams that do things like customer support inside sales, back office, customer contact, like accounts receivable and accounts payable. So really, teams that are working on heavily workflow driven job types and where you tend to have more than one person doing roughly the same job.
The tough part about running these teams is quite often you’re just trying to just keep up and search out the metrics that are important to measure in growth. And they’re so laser focused on getting content out and doing audience building that it’s very easy to lose track of how much inefficiencies are happening in that human workflow that can really drastically change conversions and success rates and stuff, especially I’m speaking purely on the digital marketing side, and I’ve seen this. The first thing you do is you think I need to fix this one problem.
Well, there’s a tool that does that really well. And then you add that to the toolkit and they’re like, oh, let’s connect it with Zapier to this other thing. And then we’ll connect it through 14 other workflow processes to another back end system. And then you got to tie it to Salesforce. Yeah. I feel the tool chain problem, it’s the fastest thing we run to is more bloody tools.
That’s true. It’s a good thing in the sense that there is this kind of explosion of SAS software as a service. You think back to the beginning of sort of enterprise software, I guess you could say I was in the 70s and through the 80s and 90s, in order to really sell successfully an enterprise software product, you would be selling top down for sure. You would have a sales team. The IBM sales team was very famous for their practices and rituals. If you got into a company, you could essentially sell that company, being all of your product line extension.
See, a certain company might be a Microsoft shop, and that would mean they would have SharePoint, and they would use Office, and they would use Windows, and it would be Microsoft everywhere. And with this explosion of SAS, it’s kind of cool in the sense that now you can have two people in a dorm room come up with not just a social network idea, but an enterprise software idea, which is pretty neat, and they actually can get it in the hands of sometimes people working at very large companies.
The downside of that is I think you could call it a downside as the It Department or as someone who’s leading an operations team. You may not even know the full portfolio of tools that your team is using. And you certainly almost certainly don’t know how they’re actually using those tools to achieve different business outcomes. One thing that we see a lot with our customers is they spend a lot of money on software or new software as a result of a promise from some vendor and actually find that it doesn’t change the overall efficiency or the overall outcomes at all for their team.
Now we try to focus on highlighting opportunities for improvement rather than just sort of know of changes that didn’t do anything. But we do see that a lot. I think that’s kind of testament to your point there. Yeah. Sorry.
I was just going to say to Echo that, Evan, one of the unique things that one of our community members and customers pointed out to us was everyone looks to tools to make teams work faster and to make processes faster. But that’s only one way to improve margins. If you can make the user experience for the people using those tools better and make those improvements, you can have that same impact on margin. And it’s working at the intersection of both those things. Both the tooling and the humans allow Sin to optimize both, which is pretty powerful.
The human optimization story is one that is it’s so strange that there are so few people targeting this. I mean, obviously, we have to look at integration and feeling back in systems and being data driven. But it’s like you said, the marriage of the two things of data driven, workflow driven and human integration to those things sort of a famous thing as a well known cyclist, Lance Armstrong, maybe not happily known to some people, but they created the ultimate time trial bicycle. It was the best thing ever that did in the wind tunnel test.
It could potentially shave off about 30 seconds on a 1 hour time trial, which is the difference between getting to the Olympics and not. And they put him out there, and at the end of the hour, he was a minute longer and his hips were ravaged by a change in Ergonomics. And so the scientifically best thing, in fact, wasn’t the best. And they had to go back and say, okay, it was actually just better than the old bike. And this is the tooling problem of, like the most optimized tool chain is only as good if the human is able to use it and leverage it and get all of that value in.
So, yes, I mean, and it is interesting that we spend so much money on software and then so much money on humans. Humans are, for most companies now, the most expensive resource. One thing I want to sort of touch on before we go too much further is this idea of when you say sort of optimizing humans, I think there’s a negative connotation that comes up with that. And I just want to be clear, our goal is, let’s put it this way, our customers seem to have three goals.
One is actually employee happiness. Retaining employees or to flip it on its head. Losing employees is extremely expensive. So even taking the sort of humanistic aspect out of it. People want to keep employees happy. And then, of course, customers want to do it for reasons other than that, just because of the basic empathy and basic humanity, people want employees to be happy. The second thing is they want to achieve good outcomes. So if you’re if you’re a consumer, and I assume everyone who’s listening is in some ways a consumer, you know, there’s nothing more frustrating than when you have, let’s say, customer service interaction with a company and the company has gone out of their way to make it.
So you have all this multichannel communications and you can reach them 24/7. And they put a whole bunch of work into technology. But once you finally reach a human being, if that person isn’t actually empowered to do anything different than what you could have done yourself, it’s very frustrating. So the second major goal there is kind of improving outcomes by actually understanding the work of the humans and how it maps to outcomes. And then the third is efficiency, which is what we’ve really been talking about.
Efficiency is an interesting one, because it does actually map to happiness. Everyone wants to be good at their job. And we often find that our customers will say we had an extraneous task that we didn’t know about. So we had to find a workflow for issuing a refund or changing a flight or doing whatever it was. And there was this final step in the process that would take everyone five extra minutes or two extra minutes or 30 seconds, whatever it was. And what we now know is that it wasn’t impacting outcomes, it wasn’t changing NPS scores, promoter scores, or customer satisfaction.
And so then they’ll remove that. And that creates efficiency. It means that as a human, you can get through more work in the day. But it also means that the work that you’re doing as a human is more meaningful. It’s more meaningful to the outcome of the business. You’re spending less time on tasks that perhaps could be done by software. And so, yeah, I want to make sure we’re not just talking about this from a sort of robot perspective, essentially.
Yeah. I apologize. I probably took a right to an immediate problem that I face on an hourly basis, but it’s true. This is all of that stuff is being done in service of a metric. And unfortunately, that seems like it’s a negative connotation, even when we say that. But the truth is, is generating a positive outcome for the business and for the businesses customers. And it’s really easy to sort of, as John Dora says, not measure what matters, right? We measure sometimes the vanity metric, and then we start to build processes and optimize towards the incorrect metric.
And it takes away from the happiness and ability to be empathetic to the consumer of whatever your services and software. And it it becomes sort of snowball effect of just doing all the wrong things. And then what do we do? We look and we say, well, the people are the problem, are the tools are the problem. Not realizing that there was challenges in the way we were putting it together. And if we looked at the right measurement, then we could do that. But no one knows what that is.
Like I said, when I look at kind of the things you’re doing, not just in the technology, but also in coaching and giving the ability for people to empower employees to do more effective things. Right. This is a big gap, and people just think they’re going to throw another tool at it and solve that problem. Yeah.
Another interesting aspect of this is like measurement is not new, and especially when you think about, well, everyone’s measured in their job. Right. I’m measured in my job on sort of high level things like revenue and employee happiness and things, but everyone ultimately is measured in their job in some ways. You know, what find technology and similar technologies do is actually bring a certain level of objectiveness to that, especially when you have people working from home, for example, rather than just looking at very crude metrics, like, how many of a certain task did a person get through, you would be able to look and see what’s the complexity of the work that they’re doing, and how do they have the best training?
Are they doing things really well? A lot of times customers will say we taught everyone to do a certain work for in a certain way. What we discovered is that our employees will actually show us the best way to do it, and then we can use that to go and show others, and then that results in things like promotion and people being treated the way that they actually deserve to be based on their merits. But, yes, it’s the whole idea is basically that people spend a whole bunch of money on software, a whole bunch of money on humans.
And then when the two come together, it’s like, well, what so what happens?
They just mush them together. It’s got to work. Right.
And they do measure it. But it’s sort of a little bit old fashioned, I guess, in a sense, the way that we measure things, typically, we don’t have to do samples anymore. You can actually just measure an entire population. And that’s kind of what we’ve gotten used to, I guess, with cloud computing and how we do instrumentation of software. With a product like Data Dog, you literally understand every single thing that’s happening in your cluster of software. You don’t just sample one machine, and it’s kind of a similar thing.
And again, the idea is to figure out at a macro level how the team is working, other improvements that can be made. There adjustments to process training, so on and so forth.
And on the end product experience because I know you also do work around sort of adoption and feature successes. And how does that come into play? Because I know there’s engineering teams all over the world, and this is one of the biggest gaps is like we we write up our bloody good user stories and we think we’re good at that. And then we put it in, and then we run it, if we’re lucky, through some previews and get good feedback sessions, and then we push it out to the world.
And then six months later, you call it successful. But again, lack of a real true measurement of what success is is holding folks from building the next thing or the next capabilities with data that can help inform the decision.
So this is actually really good opportunity to, especially for the more technical folks in the audience, kind of break down the distinction between in and every other product analytics product out there. If you are the creator of a software, as a service application, or really any website or web application, you have pretty powerful tools available to you in order to understand your users. So there’s tools like Heap analytics, which we use ourselves and is a phenomenal product that will as a product maker, you can really understand how people interact with your product.
What find that’s different is we are a cross product. So by using the web browser itself, we are able to understand not just how a user interacts with one piece of software, but actually how they interact with multiple pieces of software to get a job done. So maybe they’re using a ticketing system and a knowledge base and a CRM and an ERP system, and they may consult all of those systems every time there’s a request to issue a refund. Let’s say that’s always an easy example.
And what it does is it will actually tell you how that user interacts across all of those pieces of software and not just that user, actually, but how the entire team interacts across all those pieces of software. And so our customer is actually in that scenario, not the product in disk or the Salesforce or the knowledge based product company. It’s the enterprise that is paying for all four of those pieces of software. So it’s kind of an interesting thing where if you are an enterprise and you’re buying a piece of software like a SAS application, is a good chance that the SAS vendor actually knows more about your users than you do.
And sometimes they will expose, like an analytics offering. But by definition, just due to the way that the security model and other things work on the web, they can really only tell you about how people interact with that one product. And there are very few sort of complex workflows in an enterprise setting that exists entirely in one product, despite the fact that Salesforce and these other vendors would love it if we used all of their full suite of things, it tends to be. And I think it’s a good thing that as an enterprise today, you can buy best and breed across the Bolt.
So you can say, I want the best and breed ticketing system, I want the best and breed CRM, I want the best and breed outreach system. And with then we’ll actually be able to show you how those are being used together. The sort of technology paradigm that enables that is because we assume and it’s fairly accurate to what we see in the wild that 99% of enterprises are doing all of this stuff in the browser now. And so you have a standard declarative syntax and sort of unencrypted.
It’s sort of a semantic structured way of introspecting user interfaces. People tried this in the past with computer vision and various other things, never really took off. Lots of very high integration costs, unreliable data, lots of other challenges. But by just looking in the browser and asking our customers up front, what things are you interested in? We’re actually able to track cross application, and that’s kind of the defining paradigm of and this is why this is near and dear to most people that are listing.
Because this is part of the problem. As you said, evidence like, we’ve got trusted vendors and amazing partners with folks, but they are obviously going to be opinionated in the way that they’re able to deliver data, insight and different ways to interact with their data. And they could never be as good as interacting with the adjacent system. And look, companies get acquired, we buy new products. It’s very easy to get outside. We’d love to say that I’m going to use one cloud and one Sass and one CRM.
And life is fantastic, but too old to believe that that going to happen again. I’ve made a career out of proving that that’s not the case, but happy to let people just believe it as I coach them through the pain.
I think to the earlier discussion, oftentimes it leaders won’t even know the full suite of applications that’s being used or how it’s being used. One thing we see really often from customers is they discover how products like Gmail and Google Docs are being used in their workflows, which they didn’t understand before. And sometimes products like that could present a risk of data leakage. But sometimes they’ll be like, oh, actually, that just means we’re not providing if everyone’s building their own knowledge base in a Google Doc, we should probably figure out why.
We should probably figure out why our knowledge base isn’t good enough. And yeah, I think the notion that you have this discrete, fixed set of tools that your employees will use is people even go online to use Calculators and Google Translate and all of this kind of stuff. So I think those days are probably, for the most part, over it’s.
Also, like, what I really appreciate is that you lead. And when we look at in analytics as a site like those big stories are there, and you see what the ultimate goals are, and then you get into and this is how we do it, right. And this is how we’re differentiated, and we’ve come to that one. Savvy, I know this is one that will be near and dear to you of very easy to approach this as a fantastic technology solution. But if we don’t glue it to a story that actually matters to both the buyer and the user, because the other thing, too, is that we’re selling to the top still, ultimately.
But the day to day consumer that can easily become the problem for you as a vendor, they’ve got to get how you’re not wrecking their lives as well. How do we really pull all that together?
We conversation like every day, by the way, we talk about it.
Yes, it’s a very hot topic. It’s in and a very important topic because it all comes from transparency and communication. And the reality is there are a lot more customer service agents and frontline workers using our products. Then there are executives using our products, and that’s the nature of how teams are distributed. So if we’re not effectively communicating with our largest user base, we’re really missing an opportunity for community building. It’s been super enlightening and quite honestly, delightful interviewing many of our customers for voice of customer work and actually getting to see fin video capture from users around the world and seeing not just how they learn how to work smarter and more efficiently from a process perspective together, but also learning from each other and quite literally, how they handle challenging cases.
And when you have a video and you’re able to go back and annotate moments of crisis, for example, or moments of confusion, an anecdote becomes an actionable objective across the company, and you’re able to improve things and pass that message up to the product team to improve the overall user experience or whatever that is. And it’s so beautiful to see how literally team members will compile highlight reels of their fin clips to help comentor their other teams, both when they do great and also when they goof up so that other people can learn from a mistake and not make it when they move forward.
We also have customers who take fin clips and edit them down together from longer, more constructive meetings for board updates and anecdotes like that. And there are ways to use the product not only to capture and measure overall efficiency, but to actually make the team itself more efficient. And man, when you see a community educating themselves on how best to use your product, it’s a pretty good feeling as someone a part of the team.
Yeah, I missed that. Actually. You’re talking about Eric, like the user, like the in use experience, let’s say. So the individual people, the team members that whose computer this is writing on, they are empowered to centred on and off and that type of thing, but they’re also empowered to annotate their workflows to. So maybe there’s a particular page or a particular web form or a particular piece of the process that’s super cumbersome, like where there’s a lot of copying and pasting involved or whatever it is. They can actually say to the administrators of the It team, this part of the process sucks.
So they can kind of do that from within the software. And then you’ll see that aggregated and find out where the major pain points are. So I guess you could say and I realize that Savvy was talking we sort of didn’t really talk about, like, the the product functionality, but there’s kind of really three pillars. There one would be the aggregated data, and it really is like structured data. It allows you to see process execution at a structured data level. The second is clips which have been mentioned, which is the ability to Zoom in on any process execution and actually see what happened on screen.
That’s something where there’s a lot of Privacy involved. And so there’s kind of tight controls around when that may not be used. And then the third is kind of what I mentioned, which is, well, actually there’s a fourth and a third 36. But the third would be that sort of that ability for the users to take part in the process of continuous improvement by actually human annotating their work and saying commenting on what works and what doesn’t.
Basically, it’s funny. When I heard Fin clips and you described it, Savvy, I was like, alright, we’re going to tap on to this one a little bit. This is neat. And you immediately jumped into something that’s an interesting I say it was a couple of years ago. I think we fought a lot harder when we heard of a thing like this going on. Like, my behavior is being recorded and it sort of throws to that very Big Brother ish fee. But I think we’ve reached an understanding that if it’s being done for the purpose of improving my life through my function in my work, people are are good with like they know where the boundaries are.
They know where the edges are. They understand there’s always going to be folks that will be a little bit worried about anything that they’re being monitored on. But at the same time, if you’re going on Facebook to complain about something monitoring you, I’ve got bad news.
That’s a whole entirely different story. I’ll actually use a customer quote to answer this because I think one of the CEOs that we work with, Scott Moran, go to sums it up really well. And the way that he introduced Fin to his team was, I want us all to get on the same page and I want us to turn that page together. And so his analytics as CEO are also available. The company can see how he spends his time. He doesn’t record his video, because that is a bit of a Privacy issue in this particular circumstance.
But anyone can log in to Fin and see exactly how much time he’s been spending on Slack or an email or in their CRM or whatever API that we’re pulling from and gathering data from. For them, it is really about that transparency and also emphasizing catching someone in the act of doing something good. And I think that this is just a cultural thing in general. When we look at measurement, often the tone around it is always I don’t want to get caught, but we need to reframe that and talk about replicating top performers and showing ways where you could have really gone above and beyond.
And people across the organization can see that, even without you having to be your own advocate for that. So I think there’s a level of equality and democratization that happens through leveraging a tool like this when it’s done in a consensual, non creepy for the greater good.
To me, the bigger the biggest, I don’t know, maybe thing to note here is this is an employee interaction. And so this has been happening for hundreds of years, and to a certain extent, it’s I think, at least better to have this type of thing be objective, to have it be based on the truth rather than based on who’s the loudest, who’s the best advocate for themselves. As Savvy mentioned, who’s having a bear with the boss on a Friday afternoon. It’s like, okay, well, we know that like I said, employees have been or their work at least, has been observed and measured for many, many years, going back to time and motion studies and the Industrial Revolution.
This is just sort of a way of making things more objective. And, you know, arguably, I think if you start looking at people’s real output and what they deliver, it actually gives people sometimes more freedom to with how they can spend their time. So that would be one thought.
The audience of folks that are doing this, they’re already way close to the hard part is that we may have some folks that are listing that are not specifically in process driven work, and they aren’t close to teams that are doing this. And so it may seem a little bit foreign to them that this kind of work goes on. But like you said, even like this has been going on for far more than just decades. This is stuff that’s been going on, and it’s part of like you said, I worked with folks that did scanning of documents for a large financial services company, and it was boxes come in, it goes in, they’ve got SLAs, they’ve got all these things.
And the favorite thing you can do was go down and say, oh, hey, How’s it going, Sarah, what’s up? She’s like, they want to complain about what’s going on. I don’t get it. I’ve got to put the box here, and I got to put the paper here, and I do this thing, and then I click here, and then I’ve got to exit the system, download this file, put it up here. And you’re like, why do you have to do that? And that requires me going down and having a chat with Sarah to understand that that’s what she’s doing.
And I say this. I know the names because I literally sat down all I’m like, hey, Sarah, what’s up?
Oh, Eric, you wouldn’t believe this, right? And then in taking that back to the systems team, they’re like, why does she shut down the application? And it now opens up the opportunity to think about how are they using the system that the designer maybe didn’t have? Or the designer didn’t understand the impact of the total workflow. And then in the end, she’s measured by an SLA. She understands that that’s just part of the deal. If we could close the gap a little further to what you’re talking about, Evan, massive improvement for Sarah’s life, much more so than anybody else.
And she’d be pretty pleased about knowing that things would get better.
Yeah. I also think it’s just in terms of macro trends and sort of societal trends, the notion of using data to improve ourselves, as obviously come a lot more into the fold in the seven last ten years with the Apple Watch and wearables. And I think I’m a big tennis player. I code through videos, me, and we examine it. And it’s very hard for you better at anything without sort of collecting data I think we use for net in. Obviously, the investments that that I would like to make over time would be one where people working on more creative, less process driven work also can get a lot of value out of a product like this.
I would love to know, for example, how my day to day behaviors compared to the highest performing series a CEO startups. And are there things that I’m doing better or worse and sort of benchmarking against industry? I don’t see any reason that they can’t be done. And in fact, we sort of do that every day with our wearables and whatever else where we are. We have a thin Woop team. If you’re familiar with Woop wearable, what do you look at each other and say, who’s doing the most, who worked out the most yesterday or whatever it is?
So I don’t see this as being remarkably different to that in the long run. It’s really just using data to get better.
Yeah. Something that we almost should encourage that very thing. Here’s another example of and make a fun part of a real lifestyle thing that people do. It’s good to bring it together. Say what’s some of the biggest challenges that you kind of very rapidly see fall down as a result of early adoption of fine. I’m curious, what are the quick wins that you find that people really, really dig about what you’re doing?
So I think there’s kind of two things, and the actual sales team wouldn’t like either of these examples. But I think one is there’s a level of operating confidence, and for anyone who’s ever run a team before, you know that there’s a really horrible feeling of not knowing what’s going on. And it appears, I think your ability as a leader to make good decisions and even just to feel confident. So I think the first thing that tends to happen is leadership all of a sudden can know what’s going on.
Feel confident, know that if they make changes, if they pull the various levers that are available to them as an operator, that they will know what the impact of those changes are. And again, that’s one the sales seem probably won’t like because it’s hard to fall on that feeling of safety. But I do think it’s actually really important, I think, as an extension to that, being able to demonstrate return on investment. So one thing that we hear all the time from what you might call shared service teams or staff teams or back office teams, is it’s very difficult for them to actually demonstrate their value to the business and how they’re spending money.
And so the actual specific problems that customers set out to solve can be very different from one another. But one thing that does sort of come through a lot is the example that I used earlier of I had this conversation with a customer yesterday where they said we provide prewritten sample text to or it wasn’t a customer support team, but it was like some sort of inside sales team, and we provide them with these pre written macros essentially, that they will put into emails with customers.
They’re running an experiment to see what would happen if they changed the macro. They’re like, oh, will the macro start performing better? What they actually found is that less than 1% of people use them before the changes, a less than one people use, and less than one was going to people use them after the changes. And everyone actually have all their own macros written out that they were copying and pasting from other places. And so there’s typically just one big thing like that that someone finds out in the first few days where it’s like they’ve been, you know, optimizing and sort of trying to squeeze the most out of sub tool that they’re providing.
And it turns out that the team’s not even using it. So there’s always something like that that comes up very quickly. And then you have customers that have used the product for years, and the types of problems that they set out to solve can be extremely detailed to the point of sort of thinking about what the impact is of having to use additional key strokes and things like that where you get into real optimization stuff.
Yeah. You can really tighten the measurement once you understand where the opportunities are to be able to both measure and ultimately, hopefully to improve it goes. I tell you that story of sales cadences and communication cadences is hilarious because I’ve run into that exact thing of feeding the system. And then you say how you take a look, and none of the sales teams are using the workflows that we’ve defined. And then somebody said, well, that’s because they’re using it because in Salesforce you can do it natively.
Like nobody’s using the Salesforce email at all. They just take it from Outlook and they drag it over, if you’re lucky, and plug it into their thing is.
Right. And I think one of the things that you would use Pen for there is to find out, okay, what is everyone doing on average? And then what are our highest performers doing? Maybe this notion that we are maybe there’s box that we’re trying to squeeze you run into is actually not the right one. And, you know, maybe we should give people more degrees of freedom here, or we should encourage people to do it a specific way, but a different, specific way.
Yeah. I worked with one organization and their top performing advisor basically ran his own the group like a start up within the organization. And he was constantly at odds with a lot of the process, folks, because they say, you can’t do this. You’ve got to use this tool in this product and use these workflows. And he’s like, you understand, we have the largest amount of assets under management. As a team, we have the highest customers per rep of any other team in the organization. I don’t think you want to real us in.
I think you want to let other people see how we’re doing it. And it was so funny that the greater good wasn’t actually the greater good in that case. And but if you don’t measure, if you don’t look for that opportunity, we fall into the unfortunate trap of let’s just make it generic. And then it’s easy to map out.
So you can imagine how hard that has become now with people being distributed as well. It’s like you can’t even take those one or two super top performers and kind of look over their shoulder. So that’s been a big tail on for us as we’ve grown, but really perfect.
Yeah. Perfect example. It comes down to Granularity. I think the thing that we hear most from customers early on is our Granularity provided some sort of insight they didn’t have before that’s immediately. Actionable that has positive impact on the team or the bottom line or both, or their tooling, the ability to really pull out the magnifying glass and understand exactly what actions drive the best performance on the team, and also customer satisfaction on the outside, if your team is happy, or if those people are getting a great experience, even if the handle time is a couple seconds longer, maybe that’s a process we need to adapt and see how it affects everything else.
So what are some of your favorite moments that have come as a result to some of those the first time people like, oh, I just realized something they can do.
We were just talking about this yesterday. There’s two types there’s. That one I mentioned, which happens all the time, which is there’s some tool that we didn’t even know about. And people are wasting a huge amount of time on it, actually. And maybe this is the sort of technologist didn’t knee a little bit, that the more Granular stuff is much more interesting. So going back to the macros example, right. A lot of CRMs and ticket management systems support systems and disk, so on and so forth will tell you how often macros are being used and how they’re being used on certain certain types of tickets.
But within you. And this is again, it’s not sort of out of the box, but because everything is HTML, we kind of just provide a syntax by which we can define any rule that you want, anything that you’re trying to figure out. And so we’re able to work with customers, for example, on the macro thing, to say, how often are these being edited after they’re inserted? And that’s something where classically like a CRM or a ticket management system won’t go down to that level of detail.
But for a certain customer, that may be really important, let’s say that you have some sort of regulatory burden. And so it’s really important that you don’t say the wrong thing. So it’s really important that especially when we have a lot of find customers, it’s really important you don’t say the wrong thing is really important. You do say a very specific thing. And so being able to say, okay, how many times does this paragraph actually make its way out of this response or something like that?
I tend to get more of a kick out of those more mature use cases, but I also understand that they’re less impressive. On the surface. I understand you have some other examples that she likes here as well.
I think I’m really delighted by the super simple fixes, because they affirm that it’s often not the human that’s doing a bad job. In any case, it’s the process or the flow or the tool that’s failing them or their internet connection is bad or whatever it is. And one of my favorites was so it was actually a customer of one of our customers, and they were acting as a remote sales team for them. And they discovered the CEO of the company that they were supporting had asked the team to copy and paste the company logo into every single customer service email, because then desk doesn’t support logos in their emails.
And this act was costing the team 20% of their overall team utilization, so they were able to identify this and stop doing it immediately next day. Increase team utilization by 20%, which is just an incredible light switch where oh, my goodness, why wouldn’t we want to fix that? Also, I’m sure everyone hated copying and pasting those logos. And this goes back a little bit to what we were talking about earlier, where nobody wants to do busy work, nobody wants to do the most boring part of their job.
And if there’s a way to identify that and make it easier and better for everyone, including the end customer, who probably doesn’t care if there’s a logo in the bottom of the Zen desk email the wind for we all can work better.
But it’s rot for opportunity for errors and individualization of those workflows. It’s very, very easy to fall like I used to do even just like a server builds. And I got into automation one because I’m lazy and I hate doing things over and over again. And also because I’ve got real problems. I would write the build Doc, I would write the 42 steps to do it, and then I would skip nine of them every. I would always end up just blasting by them because I thought I knew better.
And there’s nobody doing a check on me because they’re like, oh, Eric wrote the document, so obviously he’s doing it right. And then if you did go back and check, you realize I missed a bunch of things. And then when I did process design, it was the first thing I did. I said, I need someone to watch me while I do this because I’m going to do the thing that I do, and I’m going to skip steps. I need you to tell me when I’m skipping them.
And it was a fantastic move for me to be able to have. In that case, it was really almost like pair programming for process building. And this is why I like what you’re doing. You can systematize some of those capabilities now to make sure we capture it.
We actually haven’t really thought about that a lot in the sense of using the process definition to then ensure that someone is actually following it in a certain way. There’s definitely interesting use cases for that. Yeah. I myself being part of teams that like hopefully not every day, but sometimes and especially maybe like in an incident scenario or see something with the pressures on, you have to perform a series of steps from a run book in a certain order. We haven’t thought too much about that, but that is interesting.
One thing, though, that is very similar, which is a big market for us or something that a lot of our customers do is figuring out which processes to automate and how to automate them. Rpa robotic process automation is a big industry now very suddenly, but it can actually be quite hard to know what exactly to tell those systems to do. And so folks do use find for that. My perception of that, I guess, is that it’s actually a good thing to Savage point that you have these.
I do not believe that RPA, for example, is going to result in massive layoffs of knowledge workers. It just doesn’t make sense. We will find more useful things for those people to do. Companies are not going to massively increase their margin and expect no additional competition or anything like that. So I do think that we will just find, like, more human, more interesting, more competitively advantageous work for those folks to do. But if there are aspects of their job that they’re doing today that are so predictable, so repetitive that they can be moved to RPA, I think that’s interesting.
And something worth at least looking at. And with thin it’s like you’re not thinking about necessarily replacing an entire person. Maybe it’s just like that one part of their job, which is just incredibly repetitive. Maybe it’s very important that it gets done uniformly, as you mentioned, and we will actually give you like, here is the process, here’s how it gets done, and you can then go ahead and use one of the many RPA tools out there to make it happen.
And this also comes to the idea of the I mean, I work in a tech vendor, and we have we have two personas, the buyer and the user, which we hope to begin the champion. But the important thing is you have to make sure there’s this feedback loop, both from you to each of those communities as well as between them. And it’s a huge empowering thing when you can do that. So this is also savvy. You probably have a lot to pull into this one of where do you really see organizational improvement?
Because you’ve introduced a way in which they can feedback to you, and they say, hey, we’re using Fin. We’re doing this thing. And now I’m actually going to care about what my boss says. They interact differently now because they know they have a chance to feedback to improve the system or just to be involved in the process.
I love that you just brought that up. And it touches on a little bit what I was mentioning earlier. Considering that we do, in most cases, provide video recording for our community and our customers, we actually quite literally get to see how they do this, which is pretty sweet. And these teams. I mean, I’m happy to share in the comments of this podcast. One of the links. If anyone’s curious, there are some really fun short clips that illustrate exactly how this happens. But because people know that a great moment or a big save is going to be captured or their goof is going to be captured, they really disassociate from the super emotional part of it.
And it’s like players on a sports team rather than an individual getting scolded by their mom. If that makes sense. And the idea is we want the whole team to work better together. And everyone knows that if they goof up, it’s not something to brush under the rug. It’s get in front of it. This is a learning moment and a teaching moment, and this is an opportunity for us to play around with it. It’s also an opportunity for us to learn how to improve the product because they will capture that feedback.
And the customers do bug reporting for themselves. They help us find ways to improve our product offering and interesting pieces, too. I mean, to your point, yes, we’re directly selling to the buyers. But Fin becomes a part of the onboarding process for new employees that most of our customers. So there is a lot of championing that needs to happen and a lot of communication around the transparency that’s provided and how the tool is for good and not for menace. So, yeah, it’s a big part of how we think about our messaging.
We were in the midst of a very exciting rebrand at Sam dot com maybe live by the time this goes live. Hopefully I live if it looks sexy when you go to find com we succeed in if it doesn’t. Well, it’s coming. That said, we’ve really been talking about this messaging a lot because we want to make sure that that user knows that a we’re thinking of them, that we don’t just see them as a transactional piece of data. And that also that we’re communicating to them about the true benefits of fin so that they even know how to interface with their manager or with those executives to learn how to contribute and how to make the team more successful across the board.
I could see it right now like TikTok, but for process automation, fine. You got a I love that.
And you’re talking to the right marketing minds to make that happen. Evans, Grimacing, Right now.
And Meanwhile, I the GNZ release.
It’s coming to this. It also goes to have very strong technical background. Evan, So as a CEO, you’re a technical CEO. Obviously, there’s more than just tech is not your entirety of your skill set, but you’re very product aware. And so when you’re looking at these sort of feedback loops and then building the business as well as the platform, how does your technical background influence how you kind of gauge the future of the organization?
It’s an interesting question. I was sort of a self taught engineer as a kid, and I actually have never worked as a software engineer in a professional setting. I’ve always been sort of an an flurry roles, mostly product management, lots of sales engineering and solution architecture, customer facing stuff. You know, I think there’s probably a couple of things there that are interesting, and actually it’s almost like more product management, I guess. But we talk a lot about this internally, just sort of how do you distinguish between listening to what customers are asking for and sort of actually interpreting what customers problems are?
And there’s a real difference. Obviously, people will tell you they want a faster horse is sort of the old example. And I think that’s probably the biggest part of it is just sort of being able to comprehend, okay, someone has a certain problem that they’re trying to solve. How how timely is this problem? Is this actually a fundamental technological or business issue, or is this just something that is a side effect of some crappy broken way that we do things right now due to the technology right there’s, technologies that come and go, and they have various limitations to them.
But some of those limitations aren’t fundamental. They’re just sort of, you know, that they will go away eventually. A good example there. We get a lot of customers that talk to us today about, like, hey, can we do desktop application support? And our approach to this day is being not really. I mean, we’ve played with it. We’ve toyed with the idea of maybe doing SDKs for Dotnet and maybe letting people pump in sort of complex analytics from their own applications. But at a certain point, you have to make a bit and just say, HTML is everywhere.
It’s going to be increasingly everywhere. You have progressive web applications coming on various platforms. You have even on iOS with Swift UI. It’s not HTML. But at least Apple has embraced this idea of kind of declarative user interface specification rather than building things programmatically with oriented programming. So it seems as though, like, okay, this is a bit that we’re making, and it’s smarter for us just to focus here. And if there’s ten of the largest enterprise customers that we’re not going to be able to service for the next five years, that’s fine.
Five years from now will be way ahead of everyone else in this area in which we are focused.
So given the choice between should I rate for Salesforce or should I rate for cable?
Exactly. But it’s really easy, though, especially when you start hiring sales people. This is an interesting topic that I feel quite strongly about which they do actually believe. Sales people should be the advocate for the customer in an almost direct proxy manner. So if the customer is asking for CEBL, the sales person should be asking for CEBL. They should be, like banging on the desk and demanding CEBL support. I think actually a healthy way for sales team to operate. It then comes down to, how does the product team and the engineering team actually take all of that feedback in turn it into a road map?
And how do you message back to the sales team to help them sell around those types of limitations? But I think trying to train your sales team to go into a customer and say, don’t worry about SB. That’s the wrong approach. The sales person should be the unequivocal advocate for the customer, whatever language it is that the customer is using. And then the product team should be the one that’s really turning that around and making decisions from it.
Yeah, it’s a really great point, and one that we often lose that the salesperson is selling in both directions, and it’s tough for people to get that. It’s not sure if it’s purely transactional and certain things are, but I really do appreciate that that’s how you approach it, because I believe that’s the way it should be. Like you said, you should be have people saying, look, we need this feature, and then you get to ask why, and then you get to get involved in the process of customer interviews, and then you say, okay, maybe through that additional discovery, you find an opportunity, or you find that the opportunity wasn’t there.
Hey, maybe a faster horse would be just fine for some people. We can give them a faster horse while we develop the car.
That’s true, too. But I think in general, you lose Fidelity if you discourage your salespeople from just bringing you complete transparent information. Now, of course, you want as a product leader to be talking directly to the customers and more importantly, like listening directly to the customers. But it’s not going to scale as well as there’s always going to be some respect of bringing in feedback from sales, too. And I just think if you discourage or shame or judge the requests that are coming in to the point where they get pre processed into a voice that the sales people assume you might be more willing to hear that you lose Fidelity.
You make worse decisions, basically.
And as the last point I’ll hit, because I know we’re coming up on time, and I could go for hours chatting with both of you on a lot of different things. How do you embrace challenge in that, especially when there’s feedback? That may not be as a five star review, but how do you take that through the community and then bring it back to the product and ultimately make this idea of, like, be a better company, be a better, you know, provider to your team and to your customers, and then, you know, ultimately embrace the customer experience to allow them to feel that they can make those comments.
One thing is very important to just tell the truth. So if you don’t have a feature, just tell the truth. And I think a lot of problem start when you don’t do that. I think, you know, product market fit is a really interesting phenomenon when it happens. And I think that a strong indicator of product market fit is actually that customers are telling you the product doesn’t do what you want. And what I mean by that is it means that you have the best product for them, even though it doesn’t do what they want.
So when you go from especially when you change technology paradigms, let’s say you mentioned CBE and Salesforce. I’m sure the first version of Salesforce had 120th or less of the features. That the most mature version of CB Head, but it had something different, which was it ran in the browser, and that was a huge ran in the cloud. And that was a huge thing. I’m sure all those early customers, all they did was like, I need that feature. I need that feature. I need that feature.
I need that feature. But the only reason they bought even bother to have that conversation with you is because the thing you’ve done is so important to them. So you actually do have product market fair. And the way, you know, is because they’re willing to use your products, even though it doesn’t do all of those things. And so it’s kind of counterintuitive. But one of the ways to recognize the product market fair is because all these feature requests are so relentless. And so it may feel discouraging, and it may feel like, oh, man, we can’t do anything for anyone but what it’s actually signifying.
Because if you were, you know, some new desktop CRM, you would never get those questions. People would just be like, it doesn’t do what I want, and people already does. So screw it. I’m not going to bother having that conversation. Right? Yeah, it feels discouraging. And you can feel like you’re getting beaten up. I can feel like we can’t solve any problems for anyone sometimes. But there’s a reason that people are asking, which is that they like something that you’re doing a lot. And so they’re willing to figure out how to make collective sacrifices and how to fit the roadmap together with their roadmap.
And I think it is that it’s just like I said, be honest, it doesn’t do that today. Here’s what we would need to sort of figure out in order to make it do that, or we don’t see that as being something that really fits into our plan. Here’s why. Here’s how we plan to solve the same problem using different techniques and just be very transparent as a cherry on top of that.
To me, it’s a little bit like PR and Piers compare any feedback is good feedback depending on the ones that you filter it through. And not that every piece of feedback can be actionable immediately and shouldn’t necessarily deter the product roadmap. But we keep an open line of communication with all of our customers. And since we have the unique advantage of having thin clips, we do have customers regularly send in moments that their frontline team have experienced, where the products could use improvement or where something maybe wasn’t working as expected or discussing something that they wish it did in that moment.
And it provides us context. It’s similar to bug reporting when you can see exactly how in the flow of something would be advantageous. It’s not just hypothetically how old this improvement or this release change our product trajectory and the clients that were able to serve better. You can really experience what that’s like for the user and watch what that was like for them. And we have a very fluid process. If I receive that feedback from one of our community members goes straight to our product team, and that gets thought about for whatever’s coming down in the pipeline, and we’re usually able to turn around to the customer and return the favor and say, hey, this is where we’re at with us.
This is actually coming up really soon. And right on point, or this is a feature that’s a little bit farther down the line for us. Thanks so much for keeping the lines of communication open and keep it coming. And it’s kind of like when you can have a one instructive conversation with your manager and feel heard it’s the exact same thing with a community member. The second they feel heard, they feel a sense of loyalty to the company, because not every company is going to sit there and listen to you and actually take the time to process and apply your feedback to their trajectory.
So I think it really fosters a relationship as well.
Something that we should all strive to do both in our jobs and our platforms and in our homes.
The same thing is when your partner doesn’t tell you that things are problematic and they just suddenly just don’t show up one day, you’d much rather have them say, I think we need to talk about something. I this is a customer experience. It’s really no different. It’s just that there’s a commercial relationship wrapped around it. And as you said, it’s empowering when they feel that they can come to you with that. And then if you listen and then bring that through, and that’s one of my favorite things is to come to a customer or even do sometimes even an analyst or different people and say, like, check this out.
Remember that thing that you said was a real problem, like a weird thing, like three months ago? Watch this and it’s a wonderful moment for them, because then they know they actually influenced, you know, something, and they feel like their voice was heard, and it makes them put a smile on the face for a moment.
At least you’re bringing them on the journey. I think that different people the way that I define community versus customers. The customer is a transactional relationship. That someone who gives you money for a product or service. A community member is someone who cares about more than that transaction. And by empowering advice like that and hearing that feedback, you foster that type of relationship.
It’s my favorite thing. So I came from the customer side for years and even feels weird saying that phrase. But I would talk to the event and I’d see somebody come and they’d say, So I was talking to a prospect the other day, and just after they were doing, like, do me a favor. Never, ever say that again. There’s no such thing as a prospect. I was speaking to somebody else in the community. I never say they’re a prospect or a customer. Say they’re somebody that uses your platform.
Take the transaction out of it. Make it a human engagement, for goodness sake. But anyways, I’m stealing extra time from you. So, Evan Savi, this has been really, really fun. Thank you very much for folks that do want to get connected with either you. Sorry we didn’t talk about the Savini. Go to a millennial com. Make sure you spell it with two LS and two ends. Like, I didn’t do the right time the first time. But Evan Savi, what’s the best way that folks can reach out to you if they want to interact?
Feel free to email me. My email address is just EC Echo Charlie at fin com. Fin com is just Fin com. Fantastic domain name. We’re very fortunate.
How did you tell that one of you must have friends on the other side?
That story is never to be told. But if you’re interested in the product again, just find com. Fin com. Our handle on almost all social media is better with Fin. But if you’re interested in the product, come check directly. Let’s figure it out.
Absolutely. And by all means, the show is about find com anyway. But you’re welcome to visit Savvy millennial com. My name is Savannah Peterson. I’m a highly Googleable person, and you can find me at Sav. Is Savvy on all of your favorite social channels? Eric, thank you so much for having us today. It’s been a joy.
Leave a Reply