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Why you need qualitative data to improve your product with Delighted’s Caleb Elston and Charles Studt

Episode #

16

Caleb Elston is the Co-Founder and CEO of Delighted.  Charles Studt is Head of Marketing at Delighted.  Together they make a rockstar team of experts passionate about making your product better through customer feedback.  Here are just a few of the topics we’ll discuss in this episode:

- The awesome story of how Delighted started
- Why you should dog food your own product (dogfooding)
- How to build a B2B product with a B2C mindset (and the pros & cons of this strategy)
- Why you need more than NPS data The importance of qualitative data to drive your product forward
- How to increase the mindshare of your team by getting to the customer
- Why Delighted funnels customer data back into their Slack account

Resources

- Back to business from Delighted (Free resources, thanks Delighted!
- “A ton of value lies with your customer success team” - Caleb Elston

Reaching out to the Delighted team
Email the team at hello@delighted.com

Sean Boyce
Hello, and welcome back to the Customer Conversations podcast. As always I'm the host, Sean Boyce. I would like to welcome Caleb Elston and Charles Studt to the show today. Caleb and Charles are both part of Delighted. Caleb is the co-founder and CEO, and Charles is the head of marketing. Hello gentlemen, how are you? And thanks for being on the show.

Caleb Elston
Hey Sean, doing well. Thanks for having us, hope you're doing well.

Charles Studt
Likewise Sean, thanks for having me as well. Great to be here.

Sean Boyce
Excellent. Well, I'm very much looking forward to the show. I'm a big fan of Delighted. I've watched you guys as you've continued to be successful. My background in product and UX and all that kind of stuff. Huge fan of obviously collecting data from customers and trying to make products better, so that's going to be a big part of what we talk about here today. Before we jump in, I'd love to hear more about the founding story of Delighted. Caleb, I know there are some particularly interesting aspects of it. I'm going to let you kind of do your thing and then I may have a follow-up question or two based on conversation I've had with you guys before.

Caleb Elston
Sure. Yeah, no. We started Delighted and we, in this case was my co-founders Mike and Mark. The three of us had worked together for many years in previous companies and those were primarily B2C companies, so Facebook, game companies, e-commerce businesses. I used to work at Justin.tv doing product. It's turned into Twitch. In all of these companies we were always struggling with how do we get feedback from customers. We would send out surveys on an ad hoc basis. We would try and pull the feedback in and do something interesting with it, but it was never a really sort of regulated process. It was never something we did on a systematic way. It was just ad hoc as I said, and so we always felt like there had to be something better and that we knew that to make really great products, we needed to listen to our customers.

I think that's sort of uncontroversial, but what is controversial is how to actually go about doing it. We really wanted to build a complete system to pull all the different disparate pieces together into a product and that's what ultimately became Delighted where you can basically have the fastest and easiest way to gather feedback from customers to make better decisions. Ultimately we started this back in 2013 and at that time there were really two parts to the market. There was a super low-end free products like Google Forms and SurveyMonkey and then there were high-end products aimed at enterprise and traditional researchers, but there really wasn't anything there for startups or small businesses that pulled all the different pieces together.

When I talk about different pieces, it's really around things like, okay, how do I actually craft the question or questions that I want to ask someone, that's a survey. That's what a lot of people think about, but then you have to think about how do I get that to people. Am I going to email it to them? Am I going to put it into my app? How do I get it on my website? And then there's things like, okay, I have questions but I actually want to make sure I understand who is this customer? What have they bought from me before? Information about the customer or a particular order that you'd want to associate with the feedback so that you can provide greater context.

Then once you get that feedback, having it in a spreadsheet is pretty useless. You actually want to have it in a product that you can do filtering and search and graph and so you need that and then you also need some way to then integrate that with other products. How do I get this into my Slack channel? How do I get my customer support team engaged? How do I get it to my Salesforce? And so what became... a lot of people think about, oh, I'm just going to survey my customers becomes actually quite a big technology problem to solve and systems problem to solve.

When we saw that and experienced this in our previous companies, we realized that there was a pretty big gap to go fill and so that's what we decided to do in building Delighted. That was back in 2013 as I said. Now as we sit here in 2020 we've been working on this for over seven years and, yeah, excited to share more about sort of how we got started, how we got to where we are. Yeah, excited for the rest of the conversation.

Sean Boyce
Having done the product work that I have in my career, among the most exciting patterns I've seen before is when someone experiences a problem firsthand themselves and then ultimately builds it as a solution to the problem that they've experienced. Richard Turner turns out to be a problem that a lot of other people have as well too. That sounds like a big part of the founding story for Delighted. That's always exciting to kind of see that tool is getting built in an organic way that way based on your experience.

Caleb Elston
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the product has been pulled out of us from day one. In the very early days, it was our own need and us actually trying to build a product that we wanted to use at our e-commerce business. We were building a new brand internally at a larger e-commerce company and I was tasked with gathering feedback. We were a team of 10. My options at that point were pretty limited and I was going to have to cobble together all these different products and so I just wasn't happy with how we were going to do it. When I looked at the parent company and how they did it, it was this manual process with the customer support team doing it each week and so it just felt like there's got to be something out there, and so then I would go and spoke to friends at other startups who I thought maybe the startups are going to be doing it and have a product out there that would pull it together and just maybe I'm missing something because searching around on the internet, I couldn't find anything.

We then spoke to friends and many of them were like, hey, we don't have this either, and at that point we were really focused on a particular type of feedback called NPS, so Net Promoter Score. It was a metric that the company previously had been tracking. They wanted to keep tracking and so that was our early exposure to it, was just at this e-commerce business and so we weren't particular [Debotase 00:05:53] of NPS or anything but what we did see was that the qualitative feedback of NPS was super valuable and the score was just sort of a helpful metric to track and compare against but... I mean, I'm sure we'll get into this more.

The qualitative feedback is what excited us and so we wanted to build something to pull all that together and our friends were like, this is important to us but it wasn't the most important thing and so they weren't going to go build it themselves for their own company and so a lot of folks just had home grown solutions and they never really got to the place that Delighted has gotten to where it's super critical and super full featured. We started building it nights and weekends and started showing it to some of our friends at other companies like TaskRabbit and [Montri 00:06:38] and HotelTonight.

When we started working on it full-time, we had our first paying customer paying us 99 bucks a month and we... The last feature we built before we went live was a Stripe billing form because it didn't matter to collect money until someone said they actually wanted to pay us, and then from there we kept bringing in more and more customers and trying to solve their problems. I think it's very meta, but we use Delighted internally very heavily to drive the product forward because it's an incredible source, especially in a B2B product. Like we're solving problems that our customers need to get done. They've got a job. They're very clear about what needs to happen, what would be most valuable and most useful.

The roadmap is super clear to us around what problems and areas we can go solve and improve upon, and so yeah. For us as product folks, designers, engineers, like the three founders are a designer and engineer and a product guy. We were able to keep the team pretty small for a while and get to about break even and then we raised some money and really started to make a go of it to bring it to more folks. Yeah, and then about two, almost three years ago Charles joined us to really supercharge our marketing efforts because until that point, it was really just me doing it and doing it poorly. We've grown tremendously since Charles joined us.

Charles Studt
I like to say the product sold itself in the early days.

Caleb Elston
Yeah. Because it wasn't me doing it. We would do phone calls with customers and we had some basic Google ads, but it was really referrals and the community of marketers, growth folks, product people who used Delighted. There was just such a big void for a really great NPS product that it did sort of spider out there pretty well. [inaudible 00:08:38] really fortunate to have happened but happy to dig in more on those early days or the middle years, but yeah. It's been a really great experience for us and been great to be able to bring the product to so many more companies where you only get a handful of companies in your career that you get to work on and so for us it's really satisfying getting to help so many thousands of companies make their products and make their experiences that much better with feedback from their real customers.

Sean Boyce
Yeah. It really sounds like an incredible journey. I know I've watched from afar, I guess if you will, as Delighted has grown and I just see it popping up in different products, are all like inspect source. I'm like, I'm pretty sure I know who this is, but oh yeah. Look, it's Delighted. They're there again. It's always exciting to see it kind of grow.

Caleb Elston
Yeah. It's fun for us. I mean, one of our favorite things is opening up our inbox or opening up an app and seeing that that company uses Delighted and not having interacted with them personally. In the early days I was doing all the customer support, doing all the sales and so I had a really close understanding of every single customer we had when they were going live, all these things and as you grow we grow the team and we grow the sales team and grow the marketing team and customer support team and so I'm not interacting with every single customer every day anymore. It's fun to get an email from someone and see that they're actually using Delighted or be on the website and get asked for feedback. It's definitely a really fun thing as a product person to see it out in the wild for sure.

Sean Boyce
For sure. Why can't I watch it come to life? Part of our previous conversation, Charles, I know we talked about this. You had mentioned something which I thought was really unique to the founding story for Delighted, and that was taking this business to consumer mindset and applying it to building a business to business, well, business like Delighted has become. I'd love to hear both of you talk a little bit more about that and the unique aspect of that ensuring that you create an outstanding or a superior user experience which we've seen a lot of other products do particularly well as they've excelled, but also perhaps any other background you can provide as far as why you felt that was so important and how it meant success for Delighted.

Caleb Elston
Yes.

Charles Studt
Yeah, I think... Oh, sorry, go ahead, Caleb.

Caleb Elston
Yeah, I'll just start a little bit on the early days and then [inaudible 00:10:55] to Charles on how that affects us as we grow now. In the early days it was partly just due to our own background's loving building consumer products and really thinking about it as how do we build a product that is going to attract people on their own that they can get through on their own. We always wanted to have thousands and thousands of companies using Delighted not just sort of a handful of enterprise customers. I think also a big piece of it was realizing that as you become an enterprise company you start to get concentration in certain customers and as a result for very good reasons those companies tend to have a lot of influence over what you build.

Oftentimes that can be great because it can perfectly drive you forward but if you want to sort of figure out what the problem is for a wider group of customers, being self-serve is a really great way to do that and so we always felt like if we treat it more like a consumer service where you can't just call someone on the phone, you can't just talk to your sales rep, you can't wait for implementation. You have to be able to do it on your own, it both sets a really high bar for the product quality being really good. It also means that the product has to be super clear because otherwise people aren't going to be able to figure it out and they're going to bounce and abandon your funnel and it also really makes you think through like what value are we providing at different stages of adoption?

For instance, as a... I was alluding to billing. It doesn't make sense to build a billing system on day one, because you have no customers. You have no one using your product and so what [inaudible 00:12:31] for us, it really made a lot of sense to figure out how do we build an engaging survey experience first off, how do we build an engaging dashboard experience? And what were those really critical things that you needed to get some value out of the product first and then starting to think about secondary order. You don't need like an all time or yearly graph when you just started. Like no one has any data from a year ago, so things like that. We were just very, very particular and very ruthless about cutting out features and being super particular about that.

I think what that's done is it just made it really obvious and clear in people's mind what Delighted does and how they can get value out of it, and to the earlier point, a lot of companies who were using Delighted in the early days knew they wanted to gather NPS feedback but it was too high of a hurdle implement another product or pull together all the products required and so for us, we had customers who join us and start getting real feedback within like 10 minutes of signing up and I think that magic moment as fast as possible makes a huge difference. Now seven years later, there's lots of great companies that have this ethos of taking a consumer-oriented product but at that point it was really folks like Stripe and Optimizely that I think were sort of... and Mailchimp to a degree were sort of taking that mantle on.

Now there's so many more great examples, so it's really great to see so many more consumer-oriented minds and great design thinkers coming to business software because ultimately that's the software we use day in, day out for hours and hours and hours and the consumer stuff is more for fun and entertainment. I love seeing so many more people putting this energy on the self-serve really, really high design business products because people want to use the same high quality stuff at work as they use in their personal life. There's really no reason or excuse for it anymore.

Charles Studt
I think one of the things that I've learned throughout my career is that being focused is incredibly important, more so if you're a startup because you can't be everything to everybody. As a marketer too, like understanding who you're marketing to and sort of having that... I don't want to say that narrow, but certainly like focused approach to like who's going to be your target audience and who isn't is really important. That's one of the things I think at Delighted that we really tried to stay true to in terms of how we design the product and the customer experience of using Delighted and ultimately who we go and market Delighted to and who our customer base is.

In our case, our customer base are frankly other Delighteds or other startups and growth companies who care about customer experience and are looking for a solution that enables them to gather that pretty easily. Our customers are usually not market researchers or statisticians or very specialized people. They're founders of companies and heads of marketing and product managers. Customer experience is not their forte, but they obviously care about it the way that any business should care about customer experience.

I think having this consumer orientation at Delighted and sort of making that part of the ethos of the products really makes it easy and accessible for these types of personas to be able to use Delighted and see value from it immediately, and so really staying close to that is like how... that informs a lot of decisions about how like the user interface works, about what sort of things people see, about how they purchase Delighted, about the whole onboarding process and that kind of flows throughout the entire experience of using Delighted and I think that's like one of the really... The key things for us is really staying, always thinking about that idea of simplicity and who we're building Delighted for and staying true to that.

Sean Boyce
I think that's super well put, especially the component which you mentioned a couple of times with examples of getting and staying focused on your target market customer. Who they are, who they aren't. You both made good points about that. Charles, what you had just said and then Caleb, you also mentioned it kind of on the product side, be ruthless about ripping features out of the product, right? It's almost counterintuitive to what you hear most of the time, which might be conventional wisdom but can actually detract from the value that you're offering to your customers. You're trying to chew too much with too many people.

Totally agree with that, and in fact, I'd love to hear more from you Charles, because what Caleb had said, you've helped supercharge their efforts. When you joined the team, right? After you had performed your assessment, perhaps maybe a little bit about what that looked like, but what was high priority for you, learning from where the team had been as far as helping them level up their efforts, take them to the next level. What did that process look like for you?

Charles Studt
Well, I guess in one hand it was nice and the fact that there wasn't a lot of team there yet, so good and bad. The bad news is there's no team there. The good news is there's no team there, so you can build it in your image. There's a lot of good things to work with. Obviously we had a great product. It already has like well-established product market fit. A huge base of customers to work with, like a strong inbound funnel that was already working and there wasn't a lot of like baggage in terms of things that weren't necessarily working that had to get ripped out. It was really a matter of like, all right, how do we take what we have and grow on top of that and expand out.

I think, once I kind of got... in the chair and kind of comfortable with what was working and what was not working and where were the greatest levers to drive more value, there were a couple of areas but it kind of broke down to like which channels were... we leveraging or not leveraging and which channels have the most potential to sort of exponentially grow and that's where we made investments in the team in sort of building out people in the team, the marketing team and growth team who could own those different functional areas. It was around infrastructure and being able to kind of like scale up marketing as opposed to the way it had been sort of... in fairness to Delighted, they operated in scrappy mode for a long time and so you had kind of like the traditional startup tools and startup infrastructure and so it was time to kind of migrate onto more scalable marketing systems and tools and doing some things on the architecture or the products so that marketers essentially could do more faster, like the way sort of modern marketers operate.

That's where like some of the big wins were and then specific channels for us that were working well and that we could add to were in the areas of things like organic search and paid search where there's some small investments, but we definitely could increase them and get more out of them. The other nice thing too is that when I joined it was certainly after Delighted being acquired by Qualtrics. At that point we had a lot more marketing budget and resources to work with with a partner who had deep pockets and was willing to invest more in the business as well.

Caleb Elston
Yeah, and just to be super clear. When Charles joined, he was our first marketing hire and so we didn't have marketing interns. We didn't have someone doing email. We were very focused on... and our team at that point was maybe 10 people or something, really small and serving thousands of customers. We've always run extremely lean on the team side and have just been really big believers that small teams can accomplish way more than people expect, but you do have to make trade offs for what types of things you take on. When Charles joined a big part of it was also, let's go build out the team around Charles to actually be able to run email campaigns because sending an email once a month is fine but it's not going to move the needle. If you want to do email well, you really have to be sending emails to the right cohorts and creating enough sequences to make a difference and experimenting on those and so it doesn't make sense to like try that and then pull back, like you really have to make that investment.

When we joined Qualtrics, we were able to make that investment in the long range for marketing, and the other thing I'll just point out too is, we were running ad words and that was working but we were running it really conservatively and by that, I mean, we were looking for payback within like the first six months when many SAS companies will run three years out and so you can do that, but you also have to make sure that you have the reporting metrics and someone watching it closely to make sure that you don't get it upside down on your marketing spend. We really wanted to make sure we had someone who had that like really rigorous sensibilities and that's what we found in Charles.

It's been incredible because we're able to make longer range investments and track and understand on different cohorts of customers, how they're performing and so what that enables is us to get out there more and bring Delighted to more customers and even bring it to customers at $0 price point to the customer and still have it make sense for the business, which is everyone's dream as a SAS company, is to be able to get the product out to everyone who could make sense for and do it in a cost effective way that you can grow with sustainability in mind.

Sean Boyce
Yeah. Certainly exciting to always be on that rocket ship. Take it and replicated at scale, so that's super exciting. Also big fan of the way that you built the process out and then enabled that to scale as well also. What I'd like to do now is I'd like to shift gears a little bit and talk more about kind of the core value proposition for which Delighted offers its customers, and that's really capturing this data from customers and providing it back to them so that they can learn more from it.

In particular, and we've talked about this before, is that split back and forth between qualitative data and quantitative data, right? Caleb, you talked about NPS and a few other metrics as well, too. I'd love to hear more from both realistically in terms of... from the Delighted value proposition component, how it handles that split. What the customers ultimately come in looking for in terms of qualitative, quantitative data. How they wind up using the tool, perhaps even a little bit more about the split between your customer base on the B2B side and the B2C side, and then ultimately how they use the tool differently. I'd love to hear... Talk a little bit more about the data, breaking down between qualitative and quantitative, the value add there, and then how the different types of customers that you have leverage that data.

Caleb Elston
Sure. I think the important thing here is that our customers certainly want to get a metric to track. NPS back in 2013 from [Bain 00:23:18] was really starting to cement itself in people's brains because both large public companies like Netflix and Apple and growth companies like Warby Parker and others were starting to really evangelize NPS as a metric that was sort of around how do we make sure that what we're doing is driving loyalty and referrals and so that people like our product so much that they'd be willing to refer it to a friend because the Net Promoter Score question is really as simple as how likely are you to recommend us to a friend, and you rate on a scale of zero to 10, and the people who rate you a nine or 10 are considered promoters, which is what you want. People who rate you a seven or eight are considered passive, which is okay, but they're not likely to go out and you mention you to friends unpromptedly. Maybe if someone's already talking about the category, they might say something positive.

It's kind of neutral. Like it's good, and then people who rate you six or below are what they are categorized as detractors and so they're likely people who have enough problem with your service or your product that given the opportunity they might discourage someone from using your product and people who rate very lowly may actively be detracting from you either in online reviews or in conferences or actively selling against you. That simple classification embodies a lot of interest in taking this very complex concept of how do we know if people like us and are going to refer us and tries to stratified it into something that's much more comprehensible and repeatable.

However, knowing that score is useful over time to understand if you're getting better or worse, but getting better or worse is fine but ultimately you want to continually improve. Knowing that your score is going down doesn't tell you anything about how you could actually improve. Like what you want to know is why. Why are you a detractor or why are you a promoter? And so the second component of NPS is that very question, tell us why you rated us seven or eight and it's an open end verbatim.

Delighted combines both of those on NPS of the core rating question as well as the open end, and because our platform is just so focused on these core experiences of NPS, and CSAT, [5 Star 00:25:42]. We get really, really high response rates and really, really high common rates and so the qualitative aspect is how you know what can we do to improve from real customers? That's the goal. That's the piece where people on the team can actually use that to go make improvements either into the core product, make improvements to their customer service experience, make improvements to their policies, make big sweeping changes around what product categories that are even going to enter or what product categories they should exit.

I think you have to have both and you have to understand the benefits of both. Your board of directors or your investors may want to understand your NPS score and track that over time and see that improve the same way you want to track revenue growth or other top line metrics, but having a revenue go up doesn't say anything about what product they bought or why they bought or how they got to you, and so the same way you would dig into web metrics I think... and financial metrics, you'd want to take that same approach in feedback where yes, you want to have a top line metric for benchmarking purposes against internal targets but the qualitative is the only way you actually are going to know what to do to improve. [inaudible 00:26:57] thing I always encourage people to think about is how many people in your company have spoken to or heard from a customer today.

Usually it's only salespeople and customer support people and yet those teams usually are not the ones setting the product strategy or corporate strategy. What we try and do at Delighted is increase the percentage of mindshare in the company, spending time thinking about things that customers actually care about and not just guest about like, oh, pontificating about what customers care about, have heard directly in their own words, unprompted what matters to them, and that can lead to incredible improvements and change in your business. I think that's how we see those two things fitting together.

You can't take one out and have it work. You need both and you really ultimately need as many people in the company if you want to deliver a great experience. If you're a monopoly, maybe you don't care, but for everyone else you really should care because every business is an experience business. You have a commodity player, which is the commodity experience and everything else has to deliver some experience that's differentiated, and now that you're competing with every single other business in the world due to the internet you have to worry about experiences otherwise you won't be able to win just because you're the local business and no one has a choice, which is the fact of a monopoly.

As monopolies go away in every sense of the word, experiences continue to become a more and more important and so that's why I think just generally Delighted has also had a really positive tailwind because everyone is starting to realize that, they are an experienced business whether or not they thought it at the outset.

Charles Studt
I'll give you a real sort of tactical example of how that works. At Delighted as Caleb mentioned earlier, we use our own product to sort of measure what our customers are feeling and thinking about Delighted. We also have an integration to Slack, so we use Slack internally. Every day we actually are pumping that NPS and feedback data into a general Slack channel that everyone in Delighted, the company has access to, sort of in the spirit of being transparent and getting that information to everyone in the company you can take some action against it. Everyone is able to view that information real time as it comes in because it goes into a Slack channel that they can see.

In the case this morning, I was looking at it and we had a customer who graded us as a 10. They were a strong promoter but they also had some feedback of like, I'd really like to see some additional filtering options on this one report that you don't support today. If we had just looked at the quantitative score, it would have said it was 10. They're great. Let's move on. We've got another promoter, but at the same time we got some really meaningful and informative product feedback from that verbatim comment, which we can now add to our backlog and potentially prioritize if other people are saying the same thing.

It's really like a... There's definitely a mix between quantitative and qualitative data and ultimately I think most successful customer experience programs leverage both, and I'll say even in the case of Delighted, you can get started for free on Delighted with an NPS survey and literally the NPS survey has an NPS question and that free form question to capture verbatim text, qualitative feedback as well. Even the simplest scenario on Delighted that we can deliver for free for any customer has both those data components.

Sean Boyce
That example is super helpful. Thank you Charles, and I agree. I think that Caleb, back to your point that you mentioned as well too, in terms of asking a customer perhaps who has spoken to our customer today, it always blows my mind as well too. About how little interaction there is through the different functional areas of an organization with an actual customer. So much work is going on but outside the context of what may be relevant to what the customer's actual needs are, I think that's where there's so much power there. I love, Charles, the example you gave where you're sharing... you're [inaudible 00:31:03] back into the Slack channel that the entire team has access to, which is so great for so many reasons we can collaborate.

You can make sure that the work that you're focusing on is more well-aligned with the customer's ultimately are looking for. No, I think that's awesome and a great way to articulate the value and the power behind the qualitative data complemented with the quantitative, right? As in it's not like all are one for either, intermixing a little bit of both and finding that right balance is super powerful because just having that metric, like you mentioned previously, Caleb, it's great but I wonder under the... like what we can do to ultimately make that better, and that's where my next question comes from for you both is, how do you either build this into the product or essentially how do you make the data actionable for your customers? They're getting all this qualitative data, how does it get organized? How do I interpret it and how do I take action from it?

Caleb Elston
Yeah. There's a few pieces to this. The first one is getting the feedback in the first place. Many companies and many groups are coming from not having this at all. They are coming from doing an annual survey or a quarterly survey where they've crafted all the questions. Many of them are leading questions with a limited set of options and so even before they get the results, they've already primed the pump for a certain set of types of feedback that they're going to get and they often... It's funny. It's very often that the last question is the, hey, is there anything else random open end. By the time people actually through that process, they're exhausted.

People generally have this misconception that... oh, and people don't want to share feedback with you about their company. It couldn't be further from the truth. What they don't want to do is answer irrelevant questions to them for you and have you waste their time. A big piece of getting actionable feedback from customers is making sure that what you ask them is relevant and respectful of their time. That's why at Delighted we've always focused on a very, very short survey and designing it for the consumer, the end consumer, and trying to protect the brand from accidentally asking too many questions because many people probably have had the experience where you tell people in your company you're doing a survey and you start with three or four questions and it turns into 15 question survey because everyone hops on and wants to ask lots of questions.

The very first step is making sure that you have a survey experience that is really tight, really well-designed, really thoughtful on mobile and desktop so that you can get high response rate and is respectful of your customer. That's like first thing, because if you don't get that, everything downstream is irrelevant. The second piece I'd say is really around making sure that you have people in the company actually looking at the feedback.

Yes, you can have a great survey, but if it ends up on a spreadsheet on one person's laptop and you only look at it in a one week review where you're trying to still it all down because you sent it out once and you got million responses, that distillation process that happens on most survey responses and the concentration of power on one person to do all that analysis, leads to a lot of data loss in sort of the compression concept where it's just being compressed too much and it's not getting the mindshare like we were just speaking about where everyone in the company really understands and is sort of floating around and osmotic kind of understanding of what's going on.

In Delighted the way that we handle this is, we make it really easy to set it up so that you can survey people on an ongoing basis. Instead of doing an annual survey, most of our customers are serving one month after and somebody becomes a subscriber for every single subscriber or seven days after their product has been shipped so that you receive your new garment and you have a few days to launder it or wear it and then you actually get a feedback survey from Delighted. Super timely, super relevant and super short so we can get way higher response rates.

That's an important piece, is that you then actually are doing it in a way that you can get a drip of feedback because a drip of feedback is much more manageable because on a weekly basis you might only have a 100 or 200 pieces of feedback if you're a large business and a small business might only get a handful a week instead of a couple hundred for the whole year. When you make it more human scale and get a smaller amount of feedback each day and each week, each month, you can actually read it. It's crazy to say, but if you just build a system so that you can actually have the right person in the company who's responsible for improving that thing, read every piece of feedback about that thing, it works. That's the hard thing to do in really big companies, but that's a huge advantage for small businesses, is you can read every piece of feedback you get from Delighted up to a certain scale as the owner.

You'd be amazed at how like transformative this is for the founders and CEOs of many of our customers who I get personal notes from who say it's transformed their business and the primary reason is they're just hearing from their customers, and then they can prioritize and get the rest of the team to take action. In slightly larger companies, then what we do is we have ways to route the feedback to the correct person based on keywords, based on metadata around the product line that the customer had ordered, or the geography and so Delighted takes on a lot of that work of help routing it to the right person but that same core loop of make sure every piece of feedback gets read by someone in the company who can take action is what we do.

Then to Charles' point, we integrate with lots of services that you already use so that it's definitely going to be in your field of view, because ultimately not everyone wants to sign into Delighted every day or open our app on their phone. We need to be respectful of that. Like everyone has their own workflow so we integrate with Salesforce and we integrate with HubSpot and we integrate with Zendesk and lots of different types of companies and products so that the feedback is where you want it.

With all of that, then you actually have a chance to improve. We don't provide like a task management or a Gantt chart planning because people already have ways to run projects. What we feel is that there's the missing pieces, how do I know what I should be even doing? When you don't have that feedback from customers, to your point Sean, people and companies start doing... make work that they think as an internal organization they should be doing, and they started creating reasons to do work that maybe isn't going to have a meaningful impact on customers. Once you hear from customers that like a thousand of their packages were late on Christmas for delivery like then you can say, let's go get to the root cause of this issue and then you spawn work streams of actual work to be done across the company.

If you don't feel that emotional pain from your customer or feel that need from them, it's very hard to actually go make that change happen. That's sort of how we think about it and there's lots of details and cool features inside Delighted to make that really easy but the fundamentals of it are as I described.

Sean Boyce
Thank you, Caleb. Yeah. It's super helpful. Great examples, and this has been a fantastic episode. I want to thank you both for taking the time to join me, tell me more and our listeners more about the Delighted story, the value add, types of customers you guys work with. The way they think about collecting this data and the different ways in which they can use it. Obviously we're a huge fan of it. I think that was super helpful. I have two questions for you both before I let you guys go and the first of which is what resources would you like to share with our audience.

Charles Studt
The one I will share is specifically delighted.com/back-to-business. It's back-to-business, or you can just go to delighted.com and click the purple banner, it'll take you there as well. We've actually built a series of solutions for businesses that are thinking about essentially reopening physical retail, bringing employees back to the office as well as checking in on the health of our employees who are working remotely.

One of the interesting things we've found is that as COVID started to impact our customer base, people started using Delighted in creative ways. Some of the ways they were starting to use Delighted was not just to do sort of your standard NPS survey, but to really become more tactical right now as they're impacted by COVID and figure out, are our employees happy working at home? Are there things they need to feel better supported? Are our employees feeling confident about coming back to the office? If not, what do they need in place in terms of equipment and protection to feel safe?

Are customers wanting to come back to a store and if so, what would make them feel comfortable? Even as tactical as... If I want to have an appointment with you, do you have any COVID symptoms? And so if you do, we should probably reschedule that appointment. All these different ways, we've actually packaged solutions in Delighted, and we've made them free so you can actually sign up and start using Delighted for free specifically to get through this challenging time and really adapt your business to the new normal.

Sean Boyce
Yeah. That's outstanding and that's commendable of the organization as well too, especially in such a difficult time right now. A lot of companies are trying to figure these things out. I imagine a fair bit of your customers as well, everything they could do to help take the edge off of them in a challenge at times such as this is a... every little bit helps, right?

Charles Studt
I think, yeah. Absolutely. I think how you treat customers in these challenging times, people will remember for a long time to come. We've been trying to treat our customers, Delighted's customers the best way we can and we think Delighted customers also want to be able to reciprocate that to their customers also in these challenging times.

Sean Boyce
That's excellent. Thank you, and last question I have for you both is who should reach out to you and how can they get in touch?

Caleb Elston
Yeah. I would say anyone who has questions about how they could run their own customer experience program if they have questions about NPS, if they want to learn more about Delighted, the best way to reach us is hello@delighted.com and that will get routed to Charles or myself if you mention us. Otherwise that will get routed to the right person in the company to help you but we read every single email that comes to that address, and yeah. So hello@delighted.com is the fastest and easiest way to get in touch with us.

Sean Boyce
That's great qualitative data, right?

Caleb Elston
Yes, exactly. Yeah. Just as a separate point, I would say one kind of hack that I would encourage every small business or large business too, but it's trickier when you're bigger, is to realize how valuable your customer support team is to the success of your company. I think many product folks... I had this challenge as well was I sort of thought a customer support is just like just deal with the customers and get the issues done and ultimately when I got much closer to our customer support teams in previous companies, I realized that they were... They had to deal with so many challenging questions and make up for and fill gaps that the rest of the company was falling down on in policies or in the product and they knew everything that was wrong with the company.

If you provide a path for that team to interface with everyone else in the company and give them much more power to be involved in setting direction, that's something we've done at Delighted from day one and we don't even call our customer support people, customer support people. We call them concierge, and the concept there is really around the idea that from the hospitality industry, which is obviously an incredible experience oriented industry, where if you are a guest at a hotel you know that it's... if it's like a four or five star hotel, they have a concierge. You can go to the concierge and they can do anything for you. They can restock your minibar. They can get you a better pillow. They can help you figure out what trip you should go on. They can help you with transportation. They can help with mechanical issues in your room, like anything you need, you call the concierge and they will route to the internal function at the hotel to solve that problem for you, but they are your interface.

For us, the human interface for Delighted is our concierge and we think about it and try and design it the same way with as much care as we design our digital interface, which is our product. I think if more companies spend time thinking about it that way, where you have a digital interface and a human interface, and that human interface needs to have just as much care and respect as their digital team does. I think people would have a lot better experiences and I think Zappos has done a really incredible job with this and certainly the hospitality industry. That's really where we were inspired by that concept and it's been wildly instrumental in I think our success and our ability to help customers because they have a single point of contact and that person is very empowered to solve problems and can get me to do stuff as the founder and the CEO.

Sean Boyce
Yeah. Thank you for sharing that Caleb. I'm often reminded as well too just how much valuable information exists within your customer success team. Managing those customer accounts, working with customers on a daily basis. Everyone needs to leverage that more. I'll include that as some bonus coverage for the show, and I can certainly see why Delighted has been so successful.

I want to thank you both for joining me on the show and sharing your knowledge and the Delighted story with both myself and our audience.

Caleb Elston
Thanks, Sean. Really appreciate it.

Charles Studt
Of course, it's been a pleasure.

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