Episode No:02

Leveraging Tech in CS Operations at Hunter.io

Giovanni Lepori

Head of Customer Success

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Ep#02: Leveraging Tech in CS
Operations at Hunter.io ft. Giovanni Lepori (Head of Customer Success)
Ep#02: Leveraging Tech in CS Operations at Hunter.io ft. Giovanni Lepori (Head of Customer Success)
  • Ep#02: Leveraging Tech in CS Operations at Hunter.io ft. Giovanni Lepori (Head of Customer Success)

Episode Summary

Customer success is a term that has been gaining momentum in recent years, and for a good reason. In this episode, Adil Saleh talks to Giovanni Lepori about his experience working as head of Customer Success at Hunter.io. Please tune in to the podcast to know Giovanni’s views regarding the importance of customer success in companies worldwide and what tools allow managers like himself to run operations more effectively or efficiently. He talks about his journey of transforming customer support into customer success at Hunter in the past six years and about the customer success model being used at the company. He enlightened us with many valuable insights regarding the topic; a major thing that was discussed was the proactive nature of customer success and how it should always be prioritized. He talked about using modern analytic tools to pull out data and maintain databases to facilitate the customers in the best way possible as their goal is to use simple and intuitive tools that increase efficiency.Join our email list to get notified of weekly CS learnings, new podcast episodes, and actionable insights right into your inbox: https://hyperengage.io/
  • Acute
  • Full Story
  • Customer.io
  • Close.io
  • Zapier
  • PandaDoc
  • Intercom
  • Mixpanel
  • SalesForce
Key Takeaways Time
Personalised touchpoints at Hunter.io 9:51
The data collection process of CSMs at Hunter.io 20:14
Customer goal measurement at Hunter.io 25:09
Challenges around customer engagement at Hunter and tips on how to get in touch with customers? 29:29
Growth metrics used at Hunter and where they are heading? 40:00

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Giovanni: Like different onboarding spins on why you want to use other. And if after two days we see that you are not doing anything so like no searches, no modifications like no actions, we are sending a personalized email and you go out from the onboarding workflow because we want to understand what’s happening.
Adil: Hey, welcome to the hyper engage podcast. It’s a weekly interview style podcast series, we will pick the brains of some of the best customer success leaders across the globe, and try to unearth customer engagement beyond onboarding, expansion and churn. So let’s get right in. This is Adil, your host, I’ll go ahead and introduce myself. I’ve been in the Customer Relationship space for more than 10 years now ever since 2009. Nine have been working with different businesses, such as at&t, Comcast have done CEOs, account management, customer support, and all sorts of hats have been wearing these years. Okay, so why living so closer to the customers, I’ve realized that I should start this podcast series where we’ll record some high level conversations, and bring on some CS leaders from all across the world. And we will try to help SAS businesses incorporate customer success into all of their operations and stress more on the relationship building and start making a customer first approach throughout, like whether it’s the CEO or CS rep. You got to live closer to your customer goals at all times. Hey, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got givani from hunter.io. He’s leading the customer success team there for quite some time. Thank you very much for sharing the stage with us. It’s it’s our entirely the pleasure to have you around. And thanks for taking the time.
Giovanni: Yeah, thanks for having me. I’m really happy to be here. And we can we can really start and I’m super excited to share a bit more of how we handle customer success and support at Hunter. And hopefully, we’ll come up with some good insights and feedback.
Adil: Okay, so Giovanni will be better start off with how actually you started the customer success individual, with with Hunter and briefly also explained about your customer success model over there and how you guys transform over the over the over the last few years within the customer success team and processes and how Where are you at right now?
Giovanni: Yeah, so I, I basically discovered customer success when I joined Hunter 2016. As before, I was working as a customer support rep at big companies, I worked for Amazon, and Motorola when I was in the UK. So I liked the fact that I could support users. But I also wanted to have a bit more engagement not only like find the user was just joining or having a problem, but it was a one to 12 like the company was working for to also be a bit more proactive. I always say also to my colleagues that customer support is reactive. Customer Success, success is bracket. So based also on the data. You know, for every customer that contacts customer support that are maybe you know, 30 customers with a problem that don’t reach out. So we really want to tackle that. And Hunter when I started it was just me on customer support. So it was a bit hard to find time. And this is like one of the men the majority, like the main struggles that are users doing customer support that but now that we have our team is still like this small, but it really helps like to them focus on customer success. So Atlanta like we have a different projects. Of course, like customer support is one of the main task that we do on a daily basis. But we have like rock projects that we develop on a three month cycle. So for example, like during this cycle that goes like from January until April, I am currently are working on the onboarding. And to do that we also based on different types of data as with our users, and one of them was to focus on the personas that we have at Hunter. So as you as you know, because he is under, we have like different types of customers. We have marketing agencies, we have freelancers, and we wanted to understand a bit more, who is using Hunter and what we can do to help. So there are different workflows, and we wanted to intersect that. So that we are always pulling data and maybe we can also Like think about like how we can intercept these before a customer is having a problem.
Adil: Oh, that’s interesting. That’s interesting. So briefly touching on how at Hunter, what kind of CS process you currently have and how successful it is for you like the way you have Built, like, every business has their own CS model, like based on their playbooks based on their, you know, of course, like you said customer base that you know, the range of customers that they have, they are so much comfortable with their own customer success process. And also please touch on on the kind of technology that you have incorporated to serve those customers to, to your best abilities.
Giovanni: Yeah, sure. So, in terms of like monitoring and understanding what our users are doing on our product, we use like different tools. And the main goal for us as we are a small team, it’s we want to use like simple and intuitive tools that are not really wasting too much time, but they are giving us data and also like insights, for example, like we based our customers support on intercom. And due to that, we want to also integrate tools that can talk like with intercom and also like customer do, this is the tool that we use to send in our store users that gets more insights. For example, like one thing is to ensure that we have guidelines on the NPS, like user satisfaction for the product. So the satisfaction is not just the number. But we also want to know if users are leaving comments, for example, like you can be satisfied with under you leave like an eight, but you say okay, but maybe I guess like the data can be improved. So it’s not only like a feedback, but we want to reach out to the stuff so So the data that we have an integration and the only with verbal feedback are triggering intercom conversations. So we can directly reach out to discuss, right, so this is just an example. But I’m okay, we also want to understand a bit more about like cancellations. So we have different cancellation reasons. And based on that, I prepare like an collision cancellation workflow to understand why a user is canceling and try to be as personal as possible. So it doesn’t really feel like an automated email. Due to that I’m really removing any layouts that you can think of like on an email. And I’m just saying like a few lines based on the cancellation reason. So due to that we can interact. And we really see that users are more epi like to also dedicate some time like to discussions and also to jump on a call. And it looks like two different conversations. And it also really helps like poor retention. Because like, you know, like you can also pose a plan, come back also to do some research. So it’s really, really are like them, to understand when and at what time a customer will maybe stop and then rejoin. So we really want to have like this type of conversation with our users. And it’s also something that with an account manager, that helps us with customer success, we are doing like for enterprise users, as those are the ones that maybe bring also some additional value. And they’re a bit different in terms of usage compared from normal users. So we also want to not to ignore like feedback from users, because I think this is really what helps like to understand where the product is going and also to intercept like possible frictions that some users have, in terms of like features, or maybe something that is not really working seamlessly together. So due to that, we also integrate a tool that it’s called in, it’s called, sorry, acute. So with like, from, from other tool. Yeah, and we just get like the feedback from from users. So once the feedback is recorded, we have like sessions on a monthly basis with our product team. So I communicate with the head of product. And we just review the most recent feedback and the most updated ones, to better understand if those are in line also with the product vision. And if we can put also development on on the product pipeline,
Adil: I’m glad that you brought this point up the personalization part, like, you know, taking on just an automated sequences for people that are cancelling and you know, just on the departure, it’s not the best way to have a low touch model. So you are kind of your customer success transition out immediately. For the people that are actually leaving the platform to to some sort of personalized or high touch model right there. And then to basically engage with them on a deeper level, to you know, get some connection and get the conversation building, at least the goal is to just get them connected to one of your representative and then they can you can actually talk about the problems that they had, that actually became the reason they left. So I really appreciate that you brought that apart because a lot of you know SaaS businesses if we just talk about SaaS, I mean, they are so much you know, so much into this tech savvy processes and they have incorporated all bunch of tools and all but again, they are not investing so much on the personalization part when engaging with the with their with their customers and the customer that are actually leaving.
Giovanni: Yeah, I think it’s also like a matter of balancing like the cancellation pool for the user because you you want to make it easier like you You don’t really want to request like a phone call to cancel a plan, that is really a bad sign. Like for a Pro user, you want them to be able like to cancel or like to pause the subscription. But then also like to leave feedback. And if the feedback is negative, then I want to understand what we can do better. Because if you can accumulate like the feedback, and it’s just a number, then you’re just like focusing on the data. And maybe you know, at some point, after three months, you will say, Okay, we could have done like something better, but we don’t really have like, additional feedback from the user. And if a user cancels, he or she wants rededicate you like out of time. So you want to really find the best words like to interact and engage. And it’s just like a matter of timing, because if you send an email, two minutes after, like the cancellation, the email feels too automated. So in my case, I noticed that like sending email after two hours, and it’s like automated, but it really is perceived as something that a person sent. And I also want to send the email when it’s like my office hours. So I don’t really want the person like to reply and then receive a response, like 12, or 24 hours later. So that’s why I really want to have like a streak connection with this type of users as in many cases, maybe they want to come back. But in most of them, they also like users that want to come back, we provide some good feedback.
Adil: I like that part. I like that part. So how big is your customer success team, you’re, of course leading the entire CS team, you’re the VP of Customer Success, Head of Customer Success there at Hunter. So how many team members do you have?
Giovanni: So we have a, we are for at the moment. At Hunter, we are a small team, and we are all working remotely at the moment, we are 12. But we are expanding mainly lead productive, because we have a lot of ideas. And we also want to develop it for the product. But yeah, we are we are for at the moment. And we recently added like two team members, like one year ago, we had electric team members in in support. Before it was just me and Juliette, my colleague that works in Canada. So we work in different with different time zones as well. But I have to say we have reached out to get greater coordination to help users.
Adil: Okay, so I mean, how challenging is it for set up 14 members and, you know, catering, you know, monitoring, actually, customer success is just like, proactive monitoring the data, you know, you know, seeing all the stats and numbers, that how your customer is actually, you know, in the adoption phase or in in the initial onboarding phase, or is just like this not actively using the platform. So, How challenging is it for the few bunch of people managing this big customer base, like monitoring all these tests are using technology, like what kind of technology are using, let’s say, using Mixpanel segment, you know, to get all the, you know, data in one place Salesforce to get all the data in one place, and then customer.io, in integrated, and then you, you know, when when, when your data indicates that you try to personalize or try to engage the best times or the best touchpoints and off. So can you touch briefly on what is that process is with it with a scenario? Like any case?
Giovanni: Yeah, sure. Yeah, so first of all, like we have a business model that is like premium. So we have like for users that maybe will continue using Hunter on our free accounts, which is totally fine for us. But we also have like paid user, so we have to differentiate between them. And we also support those users, like with premium and paid users in the same way, in terms of like Customer Success segmentations. We also use like different tools based on what we need to do, for example, for paying users that want to have like an enterprise plan, which is like a customized plan. For them. We use like a simple CRM, which is like close to do so we can also like monitor, the type of like deal that we are an opportunity that we are creating. And that’s also something that are dedicated person in the team. So my colleague genetics work works from Spain, to Excel. So she’s basically created a pipeline for creating also the quote, maybe for the plan. And also trying to understand which is the best way to follow up and also try to understand if a custom plan user is happy, like throughout the lifecycle, so we also have insights on when a user is supposed to turn so for example, like we are pulling data from AD we’re using modern analytics to do that. So, we are basically story like all the data regarding our user center, we are we are pulling like reports based on what we want to do. For example, I want to know when our many customers are using the campaign’s features that is easiest like to send cold email campaigns. So based on that and based on the growth, we can also understand, okay, maybe we can suggest also this type of tool like to some someone else. So, in terms of tools, like we try to use as less as possible if it’s not really super necessary. And as you mentioned, like we are a small team. So we need to optimize this as best as possible. And to do that, we really want to make sure that the data is pulled. And we are generating those reports that we see and review on, on a weekly basis. Every Monday, like we have a scorecard. So based on the user, for example, like satisfaction, and also like the issues, the feedback and so on, that both the support team and the customer success team, these are being together. So I think like making sure that the data doesn’t really mean on the platform is the main thing as you can like build a lot of reports. But then if the data is not really valuable for you, it just like stays there. So we really want to ensure that the data is presented.
Adil: Basically, you need insights out of date. You need insights to do so as per my understanding that you’re using Close.io, I have used it back in 2019, when our sales team and our success to the user content studio. So what we did, actually, we used to create opportunities for every customer that like we came from the demo had a conversation, we record the conversation in a closed, I’m not sure what point are they at this point? Like have they added any integration or something back then it was like we used to pull information from Salesforce from our support channels and get back into the clothes.io for our for all of our customer facing teams. And we have allocated store like opportunities to different individuals for them to make action based on the data and then connect with customers. So how does that sound to you like how does CSM day to day look like?
Giovanni: Yeah, so yeah, we integrated like Close.io with intercom. So we’ll serve like the conversation like proof from intercom in case like they’re so select something interesting or relevant like to be added like to be to the opportunity. And we also created an integration through Zapier with PandaDoc, which is the tool that we use to create quotes. So basically, like we don’t really have like to check like the inbox every time. But like every time that a code is signed, then we get a message like on a dedicated channel in Slack. So we know that the code has been signed. And we can apply, of course, like we want to make it easy like to subscribe to the plan. So this is just like the workflow that we have for custom plan users that want to have a personalized plan with over 30,000 searches and verifications. But like for all the others, everything is like simpler as you can upgrade your plan directly from from your dashboard. So you don’t really need to perform an interaction with us. Although if a user stays like on the subscription page, for example, and he’s looking at the options, we have like a dedicated message that pops up thanks for intercom that asked like if the user needs help selecting the plan. So in many cases like this is also happening because if a user stays on the page for maybe 30 seconds, one minute, it really shows that there’s something that he or she is not really convinced of or maybe there’s something that is not clear. So we really need to intercept this. And I think it’s really shows the the purpose of having like customer success in place. So being proactive, and not really trying to then get back to the user that maybe was also considering alternatives or he’s not really happy with the pricing.
Adil: Great, great. So like, in a simplified way, I can say that your CSM is using a few tools like intercom like, which is integrated with with Slack and you know, via Zapier, and that all the conversations that are worth an opportunity, they actually got flagged, and that CSM individuals is trying to be actually mapping all those in closer IO for the new opportunities and all those for people like do they have any centralized place of insights, not just data? Of course, you have the you know, CRM you have, you’re also using the other tool that you spoke about acute, where you take all the you know, customer feedback and everything in one place. How does that is there any way that they get a centralized like a 360 view of a pool of customers? Like most of the CS models that I’ve observed, it’s just a question. And I’m just trying to get an answer in a way that how it actually replicates in your business model like your customer success model. So how that aligns like, does your CSM have a 360 view of set of customers that let’s say enterprise customers that have the customers custom solution with you, and you care for them the most? Do they have any centralized place where they can? They can get all the insights not just the raw data insights where they can that can have them make an action on different touch points. And of course, the goal is going to be renewal and expansion, you know, making sure that it’s that we are reaching KPIs like NPS and all that. So how does that, you know, play out at Hunter.io as for a CSM?
Giovanni: Yeah, so, actually yeah, in, we are synchronizing the data like from different platforms like and we want to really provide for custom plans, like all the information for the person that he’s dealing like with opportunities. So we want to have like, for example, the LTD and you know, everything that is related to the history of this person, you know, in order like also to understand what we can do in terms of making sure that for example, a user, there isn’t a custom plan is using the plan, and maybe there’s no decreasing in usage, this is not really something that we have like on 360. But we wanted to understand what we can do in terms of preventing that our user that maybe as a lowering usage can be supported from us. So as you can imagine, like having something like manual, so going through like the customers is not great. So we define like with our product team, our way to get a sort of we call it like CS todos customer success todos. And we have a spreadsheet that basically is populated on a daily basis based on the customer that are performing an action that maybe can be
Adil: Who does that? Who fills the spreadsheet? Is that the product team?
Giovanni: So actually, it’s automated. We automated everything and we are getting? Yeah, correct. We are we are getting data like from from our customers. So save like a database. And then if we see, for example, a user that is reaching 80% of the quota, you know, it’s an maybe there are like 20 days, remaining in his in his plan. Maybe in that case, we could provide like an upsell, this is like more for sales. But for example, like if a user that he’s usually using 80% of these data on a daily on a monthly basis, this month is just like 30%, that is an indication that maybe something is changing in his behavior. So we want to know, what we can do to help.
Adil: The data that populates in the spreadsheet that indicates okay, this is this customer is at this adoption level of the platform. And we either need to, you know, engage them to help him get like better use of the platform or need to engage with him to expand because he’s pretty actively using the platform. Is that right?
Giovanni: Correct. Yeah, we want to get like more information, like from the user, because maybe decrease in usage can only can maybe mean, okay, this month, I don’t really because maybe I have like best perspective to do. So we’ll get back to the next month. And we were we are just basically like sending an email like, like they’re altering.
Adil: So these are like for all the users
Giovanni: Yeah, like for me, like the paying users, like for the for a few users, we have like something different. For example, like, you know, the onboarding session, onboarding campaign, sorry, we have like different onboarding spins on why you want to use under. And if after two days, we see that you are not doing anything. So like no searches, no modifications, like no actions, we are sending a personalized email and you go out from the onboarding workflow, because we want to understand what’s happening.
Adil: So you have a built-in personalized sequence in Hunter.io, is that right?
Giovanni: Yeah, correct. The customer at Hunter.io is used like to build onboarding campaigns and also try to help like with other campaigns related to the, to the product, for example, we have the box functionalities where you can upload a file to find a list of email addresses. And if you try if you are using the functionality, but you stop at the middle, then a customer that you’re after for 30 minutes says okay, I’m sending like this email because I’ve noticed that a deal is not really using this, this functionality, right?
Adil: That’s something pretty much taken care of like the onboarding part and nurturing people, you know, with with their usage based on their usage and activities and events. And you have you know, integrated customer or IoT, you know, trigger different personalized sequences for people based on different activities. So, that’s been taken care of. So now, you know, when you talk about engagements like customer success is all about engagement and building relationship. So how in leading customer success team at Hunter, how do you find it you as your customer success model, how it is closer to your customer goals, like how you navigate using technology, of course is not going to be possible to talk to every customer. Of course sales team does talk and they provide the hands off I’m sure you you already your your customer success team is so much integrated with sales and supporting product team. But during the time, how do you measure that we as a product as a SaaS we are living closer to the customer goals like goal oriented customer success, like customer first model. So how do you find it at Hunter.io? Because that’s a way to success one way to success, successfully retain expand your customers. And it comes all around like engagement and, you know, building relationships.
Giovanni: Yeah, as you said, like, it’s not really possible to talk with users, of course, as it would be, you know, a dedicated team to do that. So in bigger companies, I guess it’s possible to do so. But like for us really to optimize time. So we want to also do that like in different ways. So first of all, like we try to speak with as many customers as possible, so we only provide like support with chats and emails. But we also want to intercept like some thing, and also for users that are interesting to us. So based on the usage, for example, we have different products. So we want to target users that are more power users, like towards sending emails, or verifying emails, and so on. So we try to do that on a monthly basis. And it’s just like a conversation that we have like maybe 30 minutes, like 45 minutes. And we also try to understand if answer is evolving in the way that they want to see, in in addition to this, we also recently started to collect user stories. So user stories, it’s something that really helps us to better understand and have a really clear picture of what is like the workflow from starting using enter until like achieving the goal from different users. So due to that, like, we really need to create, like user stories, and also contact users in different industries, and also like in different countries, as there’s a lot of internal identity in this one. And I remember that now I’m, I’m in Switzerland, so it’s a bit more challenging, but I’ve been working in Barcelona for a year. And in that case, I was also meeting users face to face. So I was learning a lot regarding like users and how they were using the product. And, you know, like having a call, it’s different than meeting the person like face to face, and also try to understand what is their vision, on, you know, also different types of topics that are maybe under can connect with. So in addition to that, last year, we also started to do like webinars, and during webinars, we don’t really want to be the only one that talk. But we also leave users asking questions. And we are also organizing, like webinars based on different topics. So if the topic is then interesting for our users, we will have like more engagement, if not, we try to understand what we can do to help. So I think like this type of like webinars, especially now that we are also helping users to send emails, which is like a huge topic, are really helped me like to understand if answer is actually helping them like for, for their task, because there are so many different phases of, you know, sending emails or like other flows that are Yeah, outreach that it’s really hard to tackle and to also imagine, maybe, if you’re just working on your product.
Adil: Exactly. So I really appreciate that you’re working this closer to your customers during the webinars, you know, collecting customer stories. So you’re like, when you talk about because we’re sorry. So you’re you’re getting them to demos, and you know, asking the right questions, how they’re potentially using, and what are the gaps that they still see? And how you can improve? Is that right?
Giovanni: Yeah, so it’s basically direct like, outreach, and our marketing team is, is doing that. So we basically share as a success team, some customers that maybe have contacted us before, they have maybe your publisher, like feedback, or I really like Hunter, because it’s helping me to do this. And that, and I’m contacted by my colleague, Irina, say look at you can maybe reach out like to this person as he’s interested also to share like customer stories. In some cases. We also have, like, spontaneous applications, like for from users that are really happy and that you really want to share what Hunter is brought to them, simply because like they, they maybe never found like a tool that is helping them to find everything and send emails like in one single dashboard. So they really want to share what they were doing in their team and their company.
Adil: Great, great, great, great. So coming back to the question that they actually bug a lot of, you know, customer success managers when they’re, they’re located with a set of customers and you know, they have let’s say they have a 360 view of all the stats and all when it comes to engagements. Like how do you think hunter, we’ll just talk about Hunter? How do you think that like, is there any company like there come to a point where your customer success teams try to find some touchpoints for engagement that they’re like kind of blackout on the data. Or maybe the data is not putting an insightful, maybe indicators or something, they are finding it hard to get in touch with the customer like meaningful touchpoint. Is there any, like any scenario that you can share any challenge that you’re facing around engagements because it’s just about not like customer skills like you said, it’s a proactive approach? So it’s just not about pinging, or it’s just not about reaching out to the customer. That’s not their job, their job is to make sure they’re making, you know, data-driven decisions, and they’re trying to build meaningful conversations. So during your experience at Hunter.io and now are you leading a team? Do you think that there is a little slight gap on occasions when your team doesn’t have enough touchpoints for engagement when it matters the most?
Giovanni: Yeah, I guess like the biggest challenge is sometimes like to better understand our team. So like multiple users, like in the same organization that uses the product like because there can be maybe a person like leading the team and then other like 20 or 30 people using Hunter. So in that case, maybe it’s really like to understand who is the reference point, because as you can probably imagine like there are so so team members, or like team admin, sorry, that purchase a subscription, and then they won’t really care about like, leading it, and they just like showing the product, like to other team members, so they can look and use it. And it’s like, a lot of back and forth, like, try to understand what’s the contact point. And maybe, if we see that our team of 50 people is, is active, then everything goes well because we have a lot of data points like regarding the team, but out of like maybe 50, only two, for example, are using Hunter, then we are trying to understand why 48 are not really using it or maybe are using partially. So in that case, it’s always like, always are like to get data from that, although there are other like data points that we can focus on.
Adil: I think like one of the things regarding you also mentioned the data points such as,
Giovanni: Yeah, for example, such as we can understand, we can also like, to make a large like view on the team and not on the people inside the team. So we can focus like on the users, we can focus also like on the type of users that the team has, for example, only for a single subscription. If it’s easy, it’s intermittent. If there’s also like a gap between one user and then you know, the following one. And I think as you know, one of the things are getting customer success is like being proactive, try to get data, but I don’t think we should be always focused to get like 100% of the data regarding the user, because there will be always like some exceptions. So I think we need to focus on the bigger picture. And we don’t really need to be obsessed with data every time. I think the main thing that in some other companies I’ve noticed I worked for is that they didn’t really know the product. So if you know the product you are providing to the user, you also know what is the important parts of the product you should monitor. Because if you feel that maybe the functionality that you spend a lot of time working on is the best one and your users will only use that one. But in the end, you don’t have a lot of data regarding this because the users are using something different, then maybe you’re using too much time of getting data from that functionality.
Adil: I got a question now there’s a real question when I was working and leading a team at Content Studio, they are pretty big now I started when they have around 1500 customers when I left they had 75,000 customers so the challenge was like there’s gonna be some kind of indicators when you know that you know your product enough. You know, like, it’s a social media marketing platform. If some customer says comes in, we see that he has connected all their social channels and blogs, we know okay, that’s fine. That’s a potential user because he’s integrated all his social media and you know, blogs, to manage content, all cross channel. But there comes a point when we see somebody only connected to Instagram, their business, Instagram, or business LinkedIn, then that’s an indicator that shows us okay, this customer is actually using the platform but is not using it to the fullest potential. So what are your indicators at Hunter?
Giovanni: Yeah, so the indicators are like, quite similar, we provide like a full suite. So they’re like different tools that you can use. So maybe they’re quite linked together as if you want to do prospecting then the workflow is quite similar for everyone. You want to find prospects. You want to make sure emails are valid, and then you want to send them. So we also have integrations. So similar to the tool that you were describing. We know if users are connected like their Google workspace account, or they connect like Salesforce, and so on. So based on that, we also have different campaigns, to better understand if we can suggest users, okay, maybe you’re connecting, like your Gmail account. So you could be interested also, in learning more about the cold email templates that you can use because we also have a section for that.
Adil: So if I’m sitting on Hunter, I’m trying to build a list for my prospects. And, you know, send some of using the prospecting engine, I’m using that email outreach engine, I get, I get a suggestion from Hunter team, the notification popping up, you can also integrate your own Gmail, you can also integrate these things to enhance your experience, using the same feature, you got more points, right, this is pretty interesting. So what do you do use any technology to do that, like their in-app notifications or something?
Giovanni: So we have been like onboarding. So it’s basically built from us, we couldn’t really find a great solution. So we decided to build it with our product team. And we also use like the customer.io campaigns through that. And this is actually something that we discovered, because we transitioned from Hunter, which before it was like Email Hunter. So many of our users at first only thought okay, and there is a tool to find emails. So the hardest part for us was to communicate to users, that we were also building like a suite. And we’re also providing it to them. So in many cases, like users are saying, Oh, I don’t really think that you are, you know, a great product, because maybe you’re not providing email verification, why we were providing like just on the next step, close to the search one. So we really realized that we wanted to link it a bit more. And we wanted to also understand how users were navigating the product. So due to that, we also watched user sessions, thanks to Full Story, I don’t know if you know the tool, but it’s really interesting, to better understand how the users of your product use the tool. We were discovering also that in many cases, maybe we were given something to be super easy to use. And then in the other way, like some users were not really trying to understand how to use it.
Adil: So okay, so that’s a part of, you know, you actually educate them and that’s why to use customer.io. That’s interesting. That’s interesting. So now, you know, just like you mentioned before, that the amount of data and insights that you have using spreadsheets, using customer.io, using CRMs, as well intercom for chat, and also you are recording chats and integrating them with Close.io, and where you’re creating opportunities for expansion and might be the sales team is also using it for trials like to get them to the paid cycle and all.
So now, do you think that at this point, like, do you think that as a CS leader, you are making high-level decisions for the technology and for, for customer acquisition and all and when it when they land on the customer cycle, whatever you need, of course, is something you’re going to be making this year with, along with other decision-makers?
So now, do you think that you need any other third party or any kind of external data sources, just like you mentioned before that we have, that you have some other data sources as well, in some cases, like some enterprise customers that like the pool of enterprises that are actually generating 90% of the revenue? So what about it, like have you looked around, you know, other data sources, or maybe doing it manually, or looking for technology or something?
Giovanni: That’s really like, at the moment, we have different types of like, paying customers, but we want to, you know, keep always like a human and so I think like the process that we have built in the last years is very streamlined. And it really helps like to dedicate enough time to customers that we need our attention. So even if we have different segmentations like for plans and so on, will be like a different process to see to help them and ensure that they have the same level of attention from us. So I guess like we found a really good combination between tracking like feedback issues, making sure that we also track the NPS for each type of customer. And also that we can ensure the best level of assistance when they want to maybe upsell or perform different actions in Hunter that we can support.
Adil: Okay, that’s cool. That’s cool. So now using the set of technology, which is pretty much working for you what are your growth metrics for this the last year the preceding year 2021? And what is the churn and where you’re heading? Please share with our audience because we love Hunter.io. Believe it or not, you guys, you know, started off pretty humble. And then now you’re going in pretty swiftly. So what is the growth? Metrics did you have? And what were your heading?
Giovanni: Yeah. So every like, premium model, it’s, it’s always mixing our free and paying users. We are really happy, with the growth that we are having at Hunter as we are completely bootstrapped. And the fact that you know, enter is always profitable business, it’s something that we wanted to have like from day one. And actually, our founders have been super open with us. And we always have a full glance at the metrics that we have here. So the customer acquisition is not really doing in terms of like, outbound, but we always have an inbound customer. So we are not doing any type of sales, asking customers like to join, enter. So we really want to focus on at the moment with our marketing team like SEO and to everything that is bringing us so new users to us. The competition is now growing, but we are trying always to differentiate and make sure that Hunter stays a tool that can provide data in a transparent way. But also be the reference point for cold email campaigns and cold outreach. So at the moment, like we are really focusing on growing Hunter, especially for this year, we have different tools that we want to push and also the improvements for the ones that we have, at the moment. And I guess like this is also going, hand in hand, with what our users want to see. Because if you have a vision of your product without really considering your users, maybe you’re missing something, and in this case, we just like finished a three-day meeting with our founders, to better understand and clarify what is like the maybe issues that we have at the moment and also like what are the what is the roadmap for each section of our company, for example, like going from leads to campaigns to data quality assurance, and, and so on. So, this is something that we do like on a yearly basis, and then on our company treats, we always try to understand where you want to go. So soon, we will also hire three new people, for the product team, as we have a lot of good ideas and also we want to develop them. But at the moment, we are quite busy with the to-do’s that we need to need to tackle. So we soon had like three new team members and with an eye, You’re always like of keeping like the team small because we want to collaborate all together and making sure that you know, the collaboration between us, because we are all remote, is always like quite, quite easy. And the communication is is is clear and transparent like for everyone.
Adil: Great, great, great, great. So just you mentioned that you’re looking for resources, please let our audience know what is the best way to reach you.
Giovanni: Happy to! So we like in the on the website you can find like a career page at the moment like we have a proper role like for senior goal engineer, but we will soon add like three new roles maybe like for data here at Hunter so I’m not really dealing like directly with the hiring but my colleagues like from the product team will soon show like the new open roles.
Adil: Is that for data science, machine learning, or something.
Giovanni: Yeah, actually data science. Yeah, correct. And it’s also possible to subscribe to new job openings. So we have a direct section on our website on the career page.
Adil: Wonderful, wonderful. I’ll get in touch with you. If if we find any opportunity, I mean, I really appreciate it if you share your credentials, your emails, people can reach you out your LinkedIn so people can share connect because it was so insightful, the kinds of things the way you have explained. And you have opened up with all the CS, you know, operations how ops work at Hunter, and how you have actually nailed it down to a streamlined process which is working super exception for you guys. So thank you very much for your time while you leave please your credentials so people can reach out.
Giovanni: Yeah, sure. Thanks, Adil and it was a great conversation. So I can be reached like to the website, if you will, if you want to use Hunter to find my email, would be great. I’m just joking, doing marketing. My email is giovanni@hunter.io. And you can also find me on LinkedIn, Giovanni. But yeah, the best way if you want to contact me it’s through. It’s via email. So if you also guys need help, like with Hunter I’m always like behind the chat button, or you can contact me via email at contact.hunter.io If you have more product questions, but yeah, it was a great conversation. And I really hope that I share some good insights on how we do customer success here Hunter.io.
Adil: You absolutely did. You absolutely did. Thank you very much for taking the time it was powerful as how now the marketing team and editing team are going to start working on your episode, and we’re gonna come up with some snippets for our channel for our business pages for our open pages. Giovanni: Yeah, a pleasure. And hopefully, we’ll be able to chat again. And I’m looking forward to also receive the podcast so I can share it with the entire team. Adil: Exactly, exactly. We will we will. So yeah, it was pretty nice. I’m going to push the record button away so we can close this.
Outro: thank you so very much for staying with us on the episode please hear your feedback at adil.hyperengage.io We definitely need it. We will see you next time another guest is on the stage with some concrete tips on how to operate better as a Customer Success leader and how you can empower engagements by building some meaningful relationships. We qualify people for the episode just to make sure we bring value to the listeners. do reach out if you want to refer any CS leader. Until next time, goodbye and have a good rest of your day.

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