Episode 031: Worker Productivity and Connectivity with Brad Palmer

Posted on May 6, 2020May 17, 2020Categories The SaaS CX ShowTags , ,   Leave a comment on Episode 031: Worker Productivity and Connectivity with Brad Palmer

Our guest for this episode of the SaaS CX Show is Brad Palmer, CEO of Jostle. Brad’s company specializes in creating custom-made intranet solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes. We discuss how Jostle’s model has been so influential over the years, and how that has translated to a lower customer churn rate. He also help maximize productivity of employees.

Show Notes

Productivity seems to always be on our minds – especially as of late. Our guest for this episode of the SaaS CX Show is Brad Palmer, CEO of Jostle. Brad’s company specializes in creating custom-made intranet solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes. We discuss how Jostle’s model has been so influential over the years, and how that has translated to a lower customer churn rate. He also help maximize productivity of employees. Here are some of the highlights.

Boosting Intranet Usage – Context and Relevance

If you look at Jostle’s success, the brand regularly has five times the engagement of its intranets over the competition. However, when you look at some of the reasons why it becomes blatantly apparent.

Jostle focuses on connectivity and productivity.
Brad Palmer

All too often, companies believed that an intranet had to be a single entity for everyone within the organization. The reality, though, is that individuals want customized information. For example, why should the sales team get a notification related to engineering? Why should U.S.-based workers see details for crews in Canada?

Overall, Jostle succeeds in two ways – by making content relevant and providing the right context at all times . Data can be parceled out by department and by individual so that no one is getting extraneous information. Not only that, but as a person looks something up within the intranet (i.e., a document or video file), that item comes complete with all of the necessary context. That context can be who made it, who edited it last, and where it’s being stored.

These elements make Jostle a SaaS customer service company as well as a vital tool for any workplace. No wonder engagement is through the roof.

How Coronavirus Has Made Remote Work a Reality

Living in the age of a pandemic has revealed a lot of truths that weren’t readily apparent before. One of the most disruptive has been the need for adapting employees to a remote style of work. Almost overnight, businesses who decried the value of remote workers are discovering that it’s not as dire as they believed. Thanks to SaaS products like Jostle, more and more enterprises are seeing that communication and growth are still possible when employees are not in the same building.

According to Brian, this shift has only been a boon to his company’s bottom line. While Jostle has always had high engagement rates (usually around 85 percent), that number has gone up substantially in recent weeks. What will be interesting to see is how long-term these solutions wind up being.

Remote work
Even with distractions like kids, workers can get more done at home. Ironically, it’s because of the lack of time that employees have to focus when they are able to work.

Productivity and Remote Work – the Future of the Workplace

The ramifications of this pandemic are going to be widespread and far-reaching. In fact, it’s almost impossible to predict how everything will play out once life gets back to normal. However, for Brad, the feasibility of an intranet is likely going to become a significant component of the post-corona workplace.

Some of the reasons for this prediction include productivity, communication, and integration.

Higher Productivity

Even with distractions like kids, workers can get more done at home. Ironically, it’s because of the lack of time that employees have to focus when they are able to work. Essentially, individuals can work fewer hours while accomplishing the same workload (or more).

Better Communication

One reason why companies resist the idea of remote teams is that they believe in-person interactions are more valuable somehow. However, the reality is that being isolated forces workers and managers to communicate more often. Just as productivity per hour increases, so does communication. Because individuals can’t randomly chat around the water cooler, they have to be more deliberate about their interactions.

Smoother Integration

Programs like Jostle make it easy to have conversations with groups and one-on-one. The system is fully customizable to fit a variety of needs, all without sacrificing quality or operational efficiency. As companies begin to realize this, they will learn to embrace intranet technology as a tool, not a liability.

We talk more about Jostle and intranets in this episode, so check it out here. Brad also illustrates how his customer retention strategy is helping his business reach new heights. Sure, the coronavirus certainly helped, but they were already capable before it hit. You can find out more about Brad and his team at www.jostle.me.

Episode 027: Virtual Interviews and Hiring with Matt Baxter

Posted on May 5, 2020May 17, 2020Categories The SaaS CX ShowTags , , ,   Leave a comment on Episode 027: Virtual Interviews and Hiring with Matt Baxter

In today’s episode Matt Baxter discussed that with coronavirus turning the world upside down, everything is becoming virtual – including virtual interviews.

Show Notes

The time for virtual interviews has come. For many companies, the hiring process is still relatively antiquated. Hiring managers and HR representatives typically rely on a mixture of resumes, rounds of interviews, and assessment tests to find viable candidates. Unfortunately, without a cohesive strategy in place, the whole system can be slow and unresponsive. Considering how much of an investment hiring a new employee is, why isn’t there a better alternative? Enter virtual interviews.

Gone are the days of relying on resumes and a single in-person interview. Technology has made the hiring process easier, particularly in today’s topsy-turvy world. In this episode of the SaaS CX Show, we talk with Matt Baxter of Wedge, a video-interviewing program. Learn how Wedge is changing the game, helping their own customers succeed and thereby reducing their customer churn.

In today’s episode, I’m talking with Matt Baxter, CEO of Wedge. His SaaS product enables hiring managers to find high-quality candidates with virtual interviews. We discuss how Wedge has changed the process and how the company leverages customer success to grow through the growth of their customers. Here are some highlights.

The Dangers of a Resume

As with all software, there has to be a problem in need of a solution. For Matt and his team, he recognized that the current tools for hiring candidates were still old and inefficient. Even worse, workers these days are much better about over-preparing for both the resume and interviews.

We talk with Matt Baxter of Wedge, about virtual interviews.
Matt Baxter

You may have seen the meme already, about how to write down “I changed a lightbulb” on a resume. If you’re clever, you can use terms like “increase energy output by 50-percent while maintaining high-efficiency standards.” Resume padding is a real problem, which means that businesses have to find an alternative.

Streamlining with Virtual Interviews

Wedge is the perfect tool for weeding out unqualified candidates. First, those who aren’t interested in filming responses and submitting them won’t move forward. Second, it allows candidates to provide answers to a variety of questions without the pressure of being in an interview. Finally, it’s collaborative, meaning that hiring managers can share responses and give feedback without having to align schedules or conference rooms.

However, as useful as Wedge is, Matt and his team had a hard time reducing customer churn at first. The main problem was that Wedge was its own entity, so users had yet another account to log into and manage. Once the development team made Wedge able to integrate, the company’s success skyrocketed.

Matt’s story is indicative of SaaS products as a whole. The more accessible and more streamlined the process can be, the more likely that clients will use and love the software. And we love to talk about customer retention.

Interviewing vs. Assessments

New Customer Service
Video responses from candidates help whittle the talent pool faster.

One of the significant trends coming around these days is the assessment test. Rather than relying on resumes and interviews, companies are forcing candidates to perform various tasks related to the position. Wedge exists in the middle-ground between a person applying and then getting assessed. There are two reasons for this.

First, Wedge enables hiring managers to ask any questions they like, including those that get to a person’s personality, not just his or her skills. Second, because the software allows for multiple takes and refined answers, hiring managers can get a much better idea of who a person is before moving him or her to the next phase.

We talk a lot more about Wedge and how virtual interviews are changing the hiring process, both with the current pandemic and as AI hits the scene. Be sure to check out the rest of the episode here. You can also find out more about Matt and Wedge at www.competitivewedge.com.

Episode 028: Mission Critical Support for Customer Retention with Igor Seletsky

Posted on April 30, 2020May 1, 2020Categories The SaaS CX ShowTags , ,   Leave a comment on Episode 028: Mission Critical Support for Customer Retention with Igor Seletsky

One of the best customer retention strategies by far is to know what your customers need and sustain it.

Show Notes

Within some industries, the better you are at your job, the less you get recognized. Case in point is server maintenance and customer retention. No matter how hard you work behind the scenes, no one pays attention unless something goes wrong. It’s a relatively thankless position, but one that is crucial in today’s cloud-based world.

In this episode of the SaaS CX Show, I’m talking with Igor Seletskiy, CEO of KernelCare. If you’re familiar with Linux at all, you know that Linux Kernels can be somewhat complex, particularly for large organizations. Fortunately, KernelCare can install patches and upgrades to the system, all without having to reboot. Although KernelCare isn’t the only game in town, Igor and his team have found incredible success, even against major players like Oracle and KSplice.

I picked his brain for a little while to see how he developed his B2B SaaS customer retention strategies. Here are some highlights from the episode.

Building a SaaS Product Because of Customer Demand

Critical support for customer retention
Igor Seletsky

Because of the complexity of Linux Kernels, Igor didn’t really want to get into Kernel maintenance. However, because he was already working with clients and service providers that used Linux, they kept asking him and his team if they could assist with Kernels as well. Based on the sheer volume of requests, Igor realized that his company had to meet demand.

Essentially, he was dragged into the business by his clientele, which is sometimes a good problem to have. Once you know that your customers need your services, growth and sustainability are almost guaranteed. This is one of the best customer retention strategies by far.

Fortunately, Igor and his team were also thrown a life preserver in the form of open-source Kernel software. Part of the reason for his initial reluctance was that they would have to use Oracle’s program, which could lead to lawsuits. However, with an open-source platform, the company could get into Kernel management without the looming specter of legal action.

Service Provider vs. Enterprise Server Management

When KernelCare first came on the market, most of its clients were service providers. However, in recent years, thanks to Igor’s SaaS customer service panache, the company is getting more enterprise-level clients. This created a host of challenges that Igor and his team had to meet.

First of all, the size and scale of an enterprise business are far above any service provider. When handling thousands of servers, one problem can create a deluge of others, which leads to downtime and potentially massive losses for the company.

Customer Retention
One of the best customer retention strategies by far is to know what your customers need and sustain it.

Secondly, enterprise businesses have their own IT departments, so KernelCare is more of a facilitator than a manager. Igor and his team create patches and deploy them, but operationally, the client handles everything else. Most enterprises have specific rules and codes regarding chains of command, so KernelCare has to let them take over.

Finally, working for enterprise-level companies means that Igor cannot make any mistakes. He recalls one instance where over 500 servers went down, which was a huge disaster. Fortunately, the team was able to get them back up relatively fast, but even a short period of downtime can be costly. Since then, KernelCare has adapted its rollout strategy to ensure no mistakes happen. Overall, that mentality just leads to a more labor-intensive workflow, but the results speak for themselves.

A Growing Need for Rebootless Security

When it comes to customer retention strategies, KernelCare is in an excellent position for growth. As the internet of things (IoT) becomes more and more prevalent, companies and end-users are going to have to require updates and patches more consistently. As printers and fridges and washing machines become vulnerable to hacks, software like KernelCare will only be more valuable.

We talk a lot more about server management and mission-critical customer support, so check out the rest of the episode here. You can also find out more about Igor and his company at www.kernelcare.com.