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Episode #50 – CS & BS: We Really Need to Ditch the Checkbox Mentality

Have you been frustrated with checking boxes without truly understanding why you are doing it? So are Jon and Mickey.

Kristi knows for sure that the leadership is at fault.

Unpack the BS with hosts Josh SchachterKristi FaltorussoJon Johnson  & Mickey Powell, and hear out why Mickey is all set to start a new Truth LinkedInOut platform, the challenges of transitioning into customer success roles, and the CS echo chamber – Is every advice on LinkedIn is generic?

Also, you can’t miss the ClientSuccess Customer Success Thought Leader Summer Webinar Series.

Get the advice and insights you need to thrive in Customer Success. Subscribe to the CS Insider Newsletter

We are inviting guests to BS with us! Tune in to know if you are the one we need to feature in our upcoming episodes 🙂

I think a lot of times, for those of us that have been in this industry for ten years, the answer is always, well, it depends, right? And then we need to talk about it for an hour to figure out what's important. But I think that there's this thing where and this is not to knock the folks coming into the industry. I think this is more of a knock on the resources that are provided. Everything is it depends. And it really depends on how mature your organization is and what data do you have access to. And there's so many things, and I think we kind of lose people at the nuances.

Listening to Unchurned will lower your churn and increase your conversions.

Jon Johnson [00:00:00]:

Um what about that’s not the right intro, Josh.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:00:06]:

No, I thought we need a new intro because we rebranded.

Josh Schachter [00:00:09]:

We’re on a Lego.

Jon Johnson [00:00:10]:

It’s not Legos. Chris legos. But.

Josh Schachter [00:00:12]:

Welcome to CS. And DS.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:00:15]:

But I am perfect.

Jon Johnson [00:00:16]:

Full of BS right now.

Josh Schachter [00:00:17]:

We’re all full of BS.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:00:18]:

You, you are perfect.

Mickey Powell [00:00:20]:

I’m here today.

Josh Schachter [00:00:22]:

So what the listeners don’t know is that right now, well, all of our co hosts, except for myself, are playing with Legos in front of their screen.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:00:30]:

I’m not playing with Legos. I had a different toy.

Jon Johnson [00:00:32]:


Josh Schachter [00:00:33]:

We’re playing with toys in front of the screen.

Jon Johnson [00:00:34]:

Might be Star Wars Lego.

Josh Schachter [00:00:38]:

Should we start over or should we just go into it? I guess we’re just going to roll.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:00:41]:

What do you mean? Good.

Jon Johnson [00:00:43]:

Let’s talk about the most important moment. Let’s Talk about Mickey. The most important moment.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:00:49]:

I think we need to and then I think yeah.

Josh Schachter [00:00:53]:

Mickey, as of this moment, we’re recording this on Monday the 26th.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:00:58]:

June 26. Okay.

Josh Schachter [00:01:01]:

Thank you, Christy. June 26, we’re recording this, and Mickey has been kicked off, suspended from LinkedIn for about the past eight days.

Jon Johnson [00:01:11]:

Mickey, I wrote you a song. You ready?

Kristi Faltorusso [00:01:14]:

Oh, my God. What is it called? Yes, I’m ready. Let’s go.

Jon Johnson [00:01:17]:

Oh, it’s really out of tune.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:01:18]:

I can’t yeah, it’s good. Go.

Jon Johnson [00:01:21]:

Goodbye, Mickey goodbye, Mickey goodbye, Mickey I need you on LinkedIn.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:01:37]:

I feel like we should have, like, a little funeral for him. Like, you died. I really feel like.

Josh Schachter [00:01:46]:

Hey, John, before we go back to Mickey, I was riding the bus in New York and Manhattan this weekend. Yes, that’s right. I take the bus.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:01:53]:

Are we in a bus?

Jon Johnson [00:01:54]:

Yeah. Is that the above ground?

Josh Schachter [00:01:57]:

And I’m a man of the people, and I was riding the bus and I was on Spotify, and you know what I was listening to, John?

Jon Johnson [00:02:04]:

Was it a song that I wrote?

Josh Schachter [00:02:07]:

It was John’s music. I was listening to your music.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:02:09]:

Isn’t it so good?

Josh Schachter [00:02:10]:

It’s really good.

Jon Johnson [00:02:12]:

Talented you and about, like, 7000 people in Finland. Somehow I got added to a Finland playlist and it blew up over the weekend. So apparently I need to go.

Josh Schachter [00:02:23]:

Wait, what does blew up mean? Like, what? Tell us about this.

Jon Johnson [00:02:25]:

I just got added to a playlist. The algorithm worked in a very small European country with socialistic appetites, so it was pretty cool. I don’t know. I woke up this morning to, like, 7000 plays, which is like, a quarter. Like, it’s like $0.25 in my monthly payout, which is great. So I’m actually pretty excited, though. Like, I got a bunch of followers on Instagram from Finland. So I don’t know, maybe I’ve found my niche.

Josh Schachter [00:02:58]:

So give us how do listeners that want to listen to real stuff tune into your music?

Jon Johnson [00:03:04]:

Yeah, I’ve got a band. It’s called Wild coast. You can find it on Spotify and Apple Music and all the it’s on TikTok, too, if you’re under 35 and Instagram, we know people under 35, apparently. It’s just we are wild coast on all of the social media stuff, but it’s pretty fun. It’s like cheaper than therapy, I think. I don’t know if my family agrees, but I just write about heartbreak and loss and sad songs.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:03:35]:

I think your songs are beautiful.

Jon Johnson [00:03:37]:

Thank you.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:03:38]:

I actually really this is awesome because I get to talk and because nobody can hear Josh right now, so this is awesome. So even though Josh is we still can’t moving. I can talk, and it looks like Josh is contributing, but he clearly can’t hear me. Josh, nobody could hear you.

Josh Schachter [00:03:55]:

Can you hear me now?

Jon Johnson [00:03:56]:

Yes. Oh, my God. I had a flashback. I had a flashback to, like, early 2020. Zoom. You’re muted. I’m sorry. You’re muted. Don’t do that to me.

Josh Schachter [00:04:06]:

All right, so speaking of knowing people under 35, we actually do know one, and his name is Mickey Powell, and the rest of the world knew him as well as the chat GPT guy on LinkedIn and the self promoter and all these wonderful things. And then he’s been kicked off. He’s been suspended from LinkedIn. So, Mickey, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what happened and what can we do about this? How can we start a campaign to free Mickey?

Jon Johnson [00:04:32]:

Free Mickey?

Mickey Powell [00:04:33]:

I don’t actually know entirely what happened. So I was in Hawaii, and I got up to actually do some work. And a part of that work, I needed to go to LinkedIn, and it said, hey, your account has been suspended and you need to submit your ID. And I actually know about this process because there was a bug that happened to me and a bunch of other people I know back in February, january. So I submitted my ID, thinking maybe it was like that same bug again, because last time it only took them like, three or 4 hours to reinstate. So submitted my ID and they’re like, hey, we’ll get back to you in three to five days. And I haven’t heard back. And now it’s been eight days, and I’m literally just like, I don’t exist. I’ve had a few people reach out, be like, hey, where are you? Are you okay? Are you taking a break from LinkedIn? No. My entire self worth is wrapped up in my LinkedIn persona. Yeah. So I don’t know. I really don’t know what to do. I’m reaching out to people that are connected to folks at LinkedIn in hopes that I can get this figured out, but I’m kind of just in purgatory right now.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:05:44]:

Really sad.

Jon Johnson [00:05:45]:

I know you’re like, my most tagged. If I were to have a top ten of folks to tag, I think.

Mickey Powell [00:05:54]:

I’m going to start my own professional network.

Jon Johnson [00:05:57]:

Yeah, if this doesn’t work out, linked.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:05:59]:

I agree.

Jon Johnson [00:06:00]:


Kristi Faltorusso [00:06:01]:

Donald Did.

Jon Johnson [00:06:05]:

I love that you use your first name, Donnie, other than Voldemort.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:06:12]:

New Yorkers. So we have that in common.

Josh Schachter [00:06:15]:

You know who needs to be suspended from LinkedIn? Anybody whose LinkedIn tagline title says helping businesses.

Jon Johnson [00:06:24]:

Oh, God.

Josh Schachter [00:06:25]:

If I see anybody get any connection request that says Helping Startups Market, helping Sales Scale helping that no, you’re helping yourself. Spam the shit out of oh, my gosh. So go to Blank.

Jon Johnson [00:06:41]:

Oh, my gosh. Is this in reference to our text chain? Josh?

Kristi Faltorusso [00:06:48]:

I feel like I was left off of some conversation and now I have FOMO it’s okay, Nikki, you’re dead to everybody. So you’re not part of any conversation. We actually even removed you from our text conversation.

Jon Johnson [00:06:59]:

No, it’s funny. I actually was just added so my wife and her family have the group texts and I’m always like, I’m the son in law, so it’s nothing personal, but I just got added into those groups again and it just feels very lovely, you know what I mean? To just kind of not know to know what’s being said. So, Mickey, I feel bad for you as you’re on the outside of what’s going on on LinkedIn. We joke about it, but this whole podcast exists because of this website. Like, it’s what? It’s a cottage industry, is that what they call it? So hopefully we’ll be able to get you back in. We miss you.

Mickey Powell [00:07:37]:

You know what, if not? Like I said, I’m just going to go start my own truth LinkedIn out.

Jon Johnson [00:07:42]:

Linked to truth.

Mickey Powell [00:07:43]:


Josh Schachter [00:07:45]:

Well, you did manage to get outside the echo chamber, so congratulations.

Jon Johnson [00:07:49]:

What’s it like out there in the real world?

Kristi Faltorusso [00:07:52]:

Tell us.

Mickey Powell [00:07:56]:

I spend a lot less time looking at my phone.

Jon Johnson [00:08:01]:

Or do you just lovingly look at it without well, I was going to.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:08:05]:

Ask Josh, is his productivity at work? Has it increased?

Josh Schachter [00:08:09]:

Well, he’s been in Hawaii for the week.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:08:12]:

Great. So, like zero contributions. Thank Mickey.

Josh Schachter [00:08:17]:

So let’s talk about, though, the echo chamber. I was prepping a little bit of our discussion here and what we wanted to talk about, what’s going to map to CS Insider, which I love. I love the report. And I was looking at the links that they prepared that are probably going to go into that report this week. And I don’t want to be like, grumpy or whatever he’s about to be grumpy, obviously.

Jon Johnson [00:08:42]:

Don’t take it personally, but they suck.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:08:45]:

Wait, would you say we stopped?

Josh Schachter [00:08:47]:

No, but it’s not that the articles, not the content. I have to be careful because I’m trying to build a brand as a startup CEO and you have to be a nice guy and people have to like you, et cetera. And then as Mickey knows and you guys actually know as well, I can actually have a pretty kind of vitriolic side.

Mickey Powell [00:09:02]:

I know what that means.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:09:03]:

Didn’t say keyword.

Josh Schachter [00:09:04]:

You didn’t go to college.

Mickey Powell [00:09:09]:

It’s true.

Jon Johnson [00:09:11]:

Which is actually even worse than not going to college, by the way.

Josh Schachter [00:09:16]:

Mickey is one of the smartest people that I know and self educated, and I agree he is a role model to what every person in the United States should be like. Just don’t go to college, but have your own natural curiosity and learn it on your own.

Jon Johnson [00:09:29]:

Yeah. Amen.

Mickey Powell [00:09:30]:

I love that.

Jon Johnson [00:09:31]:

Anyways, continue. I think I know where you’re going because I have similar opinions.

Josh Schachter [00:09:36]:

I don’t want to talk about any of this stuff. I don’t want to talk about more top ten lists. I don’t want to talk about QBRs. We only heard enough from Christy on.

Jon Johnson [00:09:42]:

That time, just replay from last week.

Josh Schachter [00:09:46]:

I don’t want to talk about the top ways to do X. I don’t want to talk about clickbait. I don’t want to talk about new ebooks. I don’t want to talk about there is nothing to talk about. And it is the summer now, so maybe that’s part of it and maybe for whatever reason I’m cranky. But I don’t know that it’s something we’re going to fix on this podcast, this echo chamber, the same faces, all that stuff, but maybe we can at least just brainstorm. Like how can we mix this series up a little bit? Because I feel like it’s starting to get a little bit dry and stale and if I feel that, I feel like it’s a leading indicator to what listeners are going to feel because there’s only so much BS before we just get generalized into three, four jokesters. So how do we freshen up this thing a little bit? What do we do?

Kristi Faltorusso [00:10:35]:

Well, I’m going to have an opinion here and nobody’s going to care about it, but that’s fine. So I get what you’re saying and it’s a reason why I kind of went I was quieter on LinkedIn this year because I just felt like all I kept saying seeing was the same nonsense of things that have been talked about for the past ten years. No new fresh perspectives on anything, the same conversations happening again and again. But then somebody did make a comment that and it dawned on me with so many new professionals breaking into customer success, this is new content to somebody every day. So I get your perspective and I don’t like talking about it either. I don’t want to talk about the things I was talking about and posting about three years ago and I can go back and I can look at it and I actually see people repurposing old content they’ve used before and I hate that. But I guess there is some value to it because I will tell you, every day I get messages from new people who are transitioning in or trying to break into customer success, who are like, hey, I stumbled across this. This was super helpful. I didn’t know this before and now I do and I’m super grateful. So I don’t know, I get it. I think there’s a way for us to maybe sprinkle in unique perspectives or break things down and, like, why this doesn’t work in real life, because I feel like there’s a lot less of that, like, practical application or like, hey, read this advice there. But I can tell you seven reasons why this isn’t going to work the way you’ve described it. So maybe we could take unique perspectives and challenge ideas or give real life examples of how or why things work.

Jon Johnson [00:12:01]:

In practical application, or they don’t actually, this because I love that we’re all harmonious on this too. I was speaking with actually someone, Christie, that I think you know, Julie Radar. I’ve done some coaching with. I’ve talked to about some CS stuff, and she came in as an educator within the last two years. So she transitioned into customer success. And I do think that there is something specifically for folks that are either transitioning or spending some time kind of growing in their career. I feel like a lot of people want a clear cut answer, like, what metrics do I track? What KPIs do I track? And I think a lot of times, for those of us that have been in this industry for ten years, the answer is always, well, it depends, right? And then we need to talk about it for an hour to figure out what’s important. But I think that there’s this thing where and this is not to knock the folks coming into the industry. I think this is more of a knock on the resources that are provided. I’m a big fan of the success hacker programs and these certificates, but a lot of times there’s this thing that is missing when folks get done with it, they think that they’ve learned the ten steps to customer success, and they’re just going to go do it in their job and then everything’s going to be successful. Actually, we talked about this today on LinkedIn, where it’s like, what is a success plan, right? And it’s like, you can’t just throw a document at somebody and say, we’ll follow this and you’ll be successful. Everything is it depends. And it really depends on how mature your organization is and what data do you have access to. And there’s so many things, and I think we kind of lose people at the nuances, right? Because it’s not a clear cut answer. It’s not like, well, you just call 100 people and you’ll sell ten things. Like, there is no percentage, right? It’s just like, we really have to talk about the nuances, and maybe that’s it. It’s like, where are the nuances so that we can say, okay, you learn these ten things, but the most important thing that you should have learned is how do you capture these things for yourself, not just follow the checkboxes that you were given.

Josh Schachter [00:14:07]:

You know what I want, John, so that’s a really good point, and Chris, your point is good too, and we actually talked about that.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:14:12]:

I don’t need your pity validation. You only said that after John comment. You didn’t make any comment after I spoke, so I’m going on mute.

Josh Schachter [00:14:20]:

Listeners probably think I’m misogynistic already. I need to give you that validation.

Jon Johnson [00:14:24]:

I love you, Christy. I love you so much.

Josh Schachter [00:14:30]:

In any case, what do you think about that new Barbie movie coming out soon?

Jon Johnson [00:14:33]:

I cannot wait. I saw the previews this weekend. I took the kids to go see a movie. I’m really excited.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:14:38]:

I did not go see the Barbie movie. I’m not going to go see the bar. Okay, well, maybe I would have had special access to get it, but I don’t. But I didn’t. And I’m not going to go see the Barbie movie because I heard it wasn’t good or heard it wasn’t going to be good.

Jon Johnson [00:14:54]:

Ryan Gosling and Wagarabi can do no wrong.

Josh Schachter [00:14:57]:

They are perfect, but they are continuing to project stereotypes. In any case, let’s move on. Getting myself into hotter waters. John, maybe you guys know I worked in product management, and one of my favorite websites was this onboarding tear down website, and it was just devoted to going through all the onboarding flows of products and just ripping them apart as good and bad. What if we made this office hours case study where we bring people on and somehow we’re confidentiality, right?

Kristi Faltorusso [00:15:40]:

Wait, are we bringing people on here so we can beat them up and tell them how it felt? Like this got real ominous and this was, like, dark. I didn’t say it was a bad idea. I just want to know what I’m signing up for, you know?

Josh Schachter [00:15:56]:

What the wrong way?

Mickey Powell [00:15:58]:

Let’s start with update. AI.

Jon Johnson [00:16:00]:


Josh Schachter [00:16:02]:

Well, the point that I’m getting at, and we can avoid the ICS process because there is none, is to go and bring on guests and make this an open, live office hours where people bring to us problems or their practical nuanced things that are going on, and then we rip them apart in front of others.

Jon Johnson [00:16:24]:

Well, it’s less rip them apart and more but this is the thing, Christy. You actually do this for the articles. Your dear Christy. And what I really love about the articles that you write is that they take a very specific question and you offer a nuanced approach. And I think at times what we see on LinkedIn and other social media is a generalized approach, actually. Like, I hate creating for an algorithm because that’s not actually creating for value. It’s just based on this zero or one that this computer brain thinks will get the most attention. Right. It really does devalue the importance of nuance. And I think this is why we get into echo chambers and we can get super political or religious, and it all kind of fits the same models. And if you are basing what you are learning off of what the algorithm is giving you and I know I sound all conspiratorial with that, but it’s true. Like, you miss the edges and that’s what customer success is. And this is something that I’m really passionate about, is that we are built to support the edge cases. That is everything that we do, because the standardized things get at scale and they get the learning and they get the chat bots and they solve all the questions we are here to answer.

Mickey Powell [00:17:38]:

How do we do that?

Josh Schachter [00:17:41]:

How do we get that into this program?

Jon Johnson [00:17:43]:

And I think it follows what you’re talking about is I think it is that open call of saying, like, let’s talk. I mentioned Julie. She’s got this thing where she’s trying to figure out how to track KPIs, what metrics, and it’s like, let’s take 30 or 45 minutes of somebody within reason. Obviously, you can’t share how the cake is made fully, but this is what I’m doing. And it’s like, well, what metrics can you track and how can you tie that to value? And it becomes that like, yes, let’s take these generalized approaches and we can break them up into onboarding or success plans or whatever it is, and then we can actually tear apart the bullshit of some of it, but also say this is how you think about it from a nuanced perspective. Christie, from your experience with just the decades of experience that you have. Josh from the product side, mickey from Legos? I don’t know, LinkedIn, the dark side from off of LinkedIn. No, but really, I think that there are enough perspectives in here to say, and then we can apply kind of that logic of here’s a story of what I did, and we can have that kind of fun mentality but we can kind of take your dear Christie and kind of turn it into dear CS and BS or whatever it is and then kind of do this workshopping. And then hopefully it’s something that you can point to later when somebody says, man, I’d really love like, I’ve got this list of KPIs that I need to track. And it’s like the KPIs aren’t the important thing. It’s how you track them and how you come to those KPIs. And that really only comes from these types of conversations.

Josh Schachter [00:19:12]:

I love it.

Jon Johnson [00:19:13]:

Pause for breath.

Josh Schachter [00:19:14]:

I love it. It’ll take a little work to coordinate. We got to tee up who’s going to be on the program. But I think it would be much more interesting than just the four talking heads about talking.

Jon Johnson [00:19:25]:

We have to prep our audiences, like the folks that are coming to say, like, John, Josh, Christie and Mickey are going to yell at each other based on your questions. So be prepared for that because I think we should have counter opinions and I think we should have things that we disagree with and we should be able to kind of poke and prod and hopefully we learn something too, right? I mean, that’s the end goal for me is I want to get better at what I do. I love to make people laugh, but also I have a job that I do every week and if I can gain some value from learnings here, then it’s a win win.

Mickey Powell [00:20:02]:

I’m going to disagree with you.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:20:07]:

Here goes. Let’s go.

Mickey Powell [00:20:10]:

So I do agree with the premise that CS is in this position of having to deal with all the variables and all the edge cases. But my opinion is when you’re dealing with circumstances like that, you don’t need to skew more towards the variables or the edge cases, unless those have a crazy high upside or crazy high downside. And I think it’s usually more important to have good foundations.

Jon Johnson [00:20:41]:

Yeah. So how do you build on foundations when you’re like to push that analogy to its brink, like you’re built on rocks? So many of these startups do not have good foundations. They just move into this is driven by revenue. It’s because we’re going through this process, it’s really frustrating right now where we have to implement success plans and I’m vocal about this, I’m not going to talk crap about anything because it’s a process, right. We’re all learning. But it’s like if you’re just creating a success plan because somebody told you to, that’s the wrong reason, right? And we get into this thing where you have 50 CSMS that create success plans, and then the next year it’s like, what’s the value of that success plan? If it’s just to check a box, it’s not actually to gather and to capture the success of a customer, right? And so I think that’s where some of the friction could come in, is like, what are you doing just because you were told to do it? And then, how do we do it better? And how do we empower folks to actually go back to their bosses and say, I see where you’re coming from, it’s important that we have these ideas, but let’s think about it this way and then offer building blocks. To your point, Mickey, because I agree with you. How do we help people kind of tear down what’s been done and then rebuild a foundation based on actual value? Because we got to check the boxes at some point. It’s a job. Our bosses are going to tell us to do something that we have to do. And if we’re not empowered, which we should be, to say, I agree with you, I can get this done, but here’s a perspective that you may not have thought about and I’m going to offer you this perspective, right? And then you can build something that will get you to the end goal, but also that will be valuable long term.

Josh Schachter [00:22:20]:

John, what was the TLDR of that in one sentence?

Jon Johnson [00:22:24]:

I don’t know. I feel like I lost the plot a little bit.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:22:27]:

I’m making a comment. Hold on, let me go. I’m going to take John. So I’m going to do something with it. I blame the leaders. If you’re a leader and you’re asking your team to do something, and you’re not giving them a clear understanding of why and the impact and helping them understand that, how can we expect them to take a unique approach or tailor it or do anything right? Like, they don’t have the context. And this is why we all operate in this box, checking motion. It’s because that’s how it’s being operated internally. If someone’s telling me to do something, we’re not having any context provided along with it. So all I know as a CSM is I got to go do this thing because I was told to do the thing. So I think it’s a leader’s fault. As a leader, I’m going to blame the leaders.

Mickey Powell [00:23:11]:

Here’s a really specific example for people that are listening that we see all the time. Think about your CRM or your CS platform, whatever it is, how many fields, drop downs, boxes are not used consistently. They don’t have clear definitions of what goes there and when and why. There’s permutations of it, or it’s like customer success, onboarding deprecated. And it’s like, this shouldn’t be there. That’s an example of not having a clear vision, a clear architecture, clear and easy, concise way to approach things. And I take great pleasure, and I’ve done this to many different companies many different times of I start cutting things away from processes and from CRMs or platforms or whatever until it gets down to the bare bones of, like, this is what we have to do to do our job. And if I implement something and it’s not used or it’s getting in the way of the main goal, I will roll it back, and I’ll take ownership and be like, hey, I asked you to do this thing. It’s not working for X, Y and Z reason. We’re not going to do it anymore.

Josh Schachter [00:24:22]:

Yeah, you know what?

Jon Johnson [00:24:23]:

I’m a big fan of that.

Josh Schachter [00:24:24]:

You guys know the show I don’t put on anymore called, like, Dirty Jobs.

Jon Johnson [00:24:29]:

This guy, right? Yeah. He goes, Mike Rowe.

Josh Schachter [00:24:32]:

Mike Rowe.

Jon Johnson [00:24:33]:


Josh Schachter [00:24:33]:

And then there was also, like, Undercover Boss, whatever. That would be a fun thing to do. Three of the four of us undercover in a CS organization, I like that. What if we invited somebody on? And it wasn’t necessarily like, hey, come tell us about your problems, and we’ll solve them for you, whatever. Because who’s going to volunteer for that? But what if it was just like, hey, come describe a day in your life as a CS operator, and then we break it down. Okay, tell us about onboarding, tell us about your productivity, tell us about your whatever, and then we can just kind of give our opinions, want it or not.

Jon Johnson [00:25:11]:

But I also think that there is value in that. We could break it into segments. We could break it up into industry. Right? Because this is the other thing is if you’re dealing with a consumption based model, your KPIs are going to be different than you are on something that is not consumption based. Right. Like, if you have to sell something every single month and you have to use it in order to renew, that’s a different model than and the KPIs are going to be different. Right. So it’s like having these things and talking through why it’s important to pay attention to onboarding and when it’s important to implement changes into process. Mickey, I’m a big fan of what you were talking about. Maybe that’s one of the sections. What’s the worst part of your job? What do you wish you never had to do? Or what’s something that you feel like you’re just checking the boxes on? And then maybe we can use that to key in and say, is there an opportunity for you to change the process here, or is this something that you know what I mean? And really kind of like, look at those. It’s almost like therapy for CSMS to kind of walk.

Mickey Powell [00:26:11]:

Not only therapy sorry, I’m going to jump in because that’s actually a very good point. This is what I would do in CS operations, is I would interview people, and I would ask them to describe the process for me and the steps and what are needed. And you know who mastered this is Toyota with Six Sigma.

Jon Johnson [00:26:30]:

Oh, yeah, big time.

Mickey Powell [00:26:34]:

That is something that we could do to actually help people, because I’m not a master at Six Sigma. I just know enough to help me be slightly better than the rest, which is kind of my secret with most things. But it has been very helpful when you sit down with somebody and you’re like, tell me about the frictions or the annoyances, and then you ask Why? Until you go, oh, it’s because we’re asking you to check this box on this object in this platform, and then nobody does anything with that, and it’s a fucking waste.

Jon Johnson [00:27:08]:

Yeah. No, I mean, I think a lot of the time that we spent I do think that a lot of time that we spent as CSMS is spent checking the boxes. And this has been something that I’m really trying to unpack for myself as I’m looking at leadership opportunities and really wanting to move and upscale my career. It’s like, how do I make sure that if I implement a process that I don’t just set it and forget it on literally everything? And this last year, year and a half in my job is I’ve been rolling out a lot of processes and a lot of things haven’t worked. And I’ve been really focused on, okay, we’re not doing this anymore, and setting people up, saying, we’re going to try this for a quarter. If it doesn’t work, we’re going to try something else. Kind of getting into that habit of not just adding. Process on top of process. But if I’m going to add something, I want to make sure that I remove something as well. Right. Because we’re so surrounded by burnout and we’re so surrounded by just the overcomplication. Do more with less. And it’s like if we’re not tying it to value. Josh, back to what you’re saying earlier, if you want to TLDR it, what’s the value of these boxes that we’re checking? Define everything. And if you can’t, then why are we doing it?

Josh Schachter [00:28:14]:

So what’s the structure of this thing? We’re inviting CS professionals on the show.

Jon Johnson [00:28:18]:

A whole lot of ketamine, and we’re going to.

Mickey Powell [00:28:23]:

Disassociate for 40 minutes.

Jon Johnson [00:28:28]:

Completely reengaged in the conversation of that line, by the way.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:28:32]:

Actually, I’ve been sitting here waiting my turn to say something, and then as soon as you finish, Josh jumped in, so it doesn’t even matter.

Jon Johnson [00:28:37]:

Christy, speak. No, I just muted Josh. I just muted Josh.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:28:41]:

Okay. I remember what I was going to say. I remember what I was going to say. So, John, you make a valid point, but if you are a great leader, your team should be empowered to challenge processes that don’t work. So you shouldn’t need to go check back in on things and say, hey, guys, how’s it doing? They should be telling you this doesn’t work or this isn’t necessary, or we need to do this instead. I will tell you every team meeting I have, someone on my team is telling me something I built is dumb.

Josh Schachter [00:29:10]:

And they what’s this leader hatred today? These are our ICPS varies as well.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:29:20]:

I live my truth. I don’t know. No, I think if there’s things that leaders do well, but I think most of the time they do more not well.

Josh Schachter [00:29:27]:

So then let’s get leaders on the show and rip them a new listen.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:29:30]:

I think it starts at the top, right?

Jon Johnson [00:29:32]:

Let’s get Nick meta back.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:29:36]:

I think it’s a tough no, he has to focus on he’s busy. No, I just think that it is the leader’s fault, and I do think it’s because so many leaders are in positions that they’re not really qualified to be in. If I’m being very honest, I think that they are.

Josh Schachter [00:29:53]:

We tell them, why unqualified.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:29:57]:

We start a podcast called Unqualified. So they show up, and then we let them know if they should be allowed to keep their job or not. And we have their CEO dial in, but he’s on mute until we come up with our thoughts, and then we bring them off of mute, and then we welcome them to the conversation. Then we fire the leader. Live or promote them. Like we do something like that. You’re going to get more money or we let you go.

Jon Johnson [00:30:22]:

I got to be honest. Can I just pause real quick? Half of the time when we’re on these, I forget that there’s at some point somebody else is going to listen to us. Talk about these things.

Mickey Powell [00:30:32]:

I think that’s actually kind of a good thing. And I want to warn us. I don’t think we need to over index on changing format. Agreed. We can do different things. If this is a slow week for the CS Insider report. Just like a slow news cycle. Cool. Let’s do something different like we did today.

Jon Johnson [00:30:50]:

Do you want to talk about a submarine?

Mickey Powell [00:30:54]:


Jon Johnson [00:30:57]:

As the advisor to CS Insider, this is one of the things, like, Brandon and Ashton and I constantly have threads about what are we doing, what’s working? And I think that it’s valuable for us to take a moment to say our subscribers are growing and people are still adding themselves to these newsletters, and there’s still a lot of value that’s there. And that’s great. I think maybe there’s also a way that we can edit what we’re doing, what’s the value that we’re adding? And I want to make sure maybe that’s a part of what we do on a weekly basis is like, let’s just make sure that we’re checking, that we’re adding value. And Josh, you brought in your buddy who wrote that book a few weeks ago, and I really enjoyed those conversations. Maybe that’s something that you do every couple of weeks.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:31:41]:

Damien. His name is Damien.

Jon Johnson [00:31:43]:

Beautiful man. We should bring in some leaders to add, like kind of like have a topic, have somebody that kind of brings that in. And maybe it’s folks that are listening. Like, if you guys have something, the twelve people alongside my mother in law who listen to this. If there’s something that you have a burning opinion on that you kind of just want to ram, can’t. This is one of the things that I’ve always wanted to add, is like a rant wheel where we just kind of take topics and we spin a wheel and we just kind of go off on it.

Mickey Powell [00:32:12]:

Sorry, have we not been doing that?

Jon Johnson [00:32:14]:

No, I mean, that’s all that we do.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:32:16]:

We just show up to rants. That’s why I come.

Jon Johnson [00:32:19]:

And where we can ask somebody who has an outsider’s perspective on the four of us, because we’re all best friends and we text every day. And Mickey is a ghost right now, but he won’t always be. I really like what you said, Mickey the TLDR. Because that’s like maybe that’ll be my podcast. Hey, John, say less words.

Josh Schachter [00:32:39]:

Okay, so here’s what it is. We are welcoming guests on our show. If you want to rant, if you’ve just done something that you’re proud of, that you want to promote or something.

Jon Johnson [00:32:52]:

Really stupid, like something that you learned, let’s talk about that, too.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:32:57]:

Failures more than the wins.

Josh Schachter [00:33:00]:

Either way, you guys aren’t letting me finish my list.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:33:03]:

Okay, keep going.

Josh Schachter [00:33:06]:

Thank you.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:33:07]:

This is so good. Keep going.

Jon Johnson [00:33:09]:

You’re so good, Josh. You’re so smart.

Josh Schachter [00:33:14]:

Oh, man. Rant wheel. Promote something like a new book, but it has to be something that actually has value, not just promotion for the sake of promotion, like many people. Do we know who that person is? If you have a challenge you want to talk about, I think we could also have if you want to, like, get into the talk about your career, like, get into CS and learn what that’s like.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:33:42]:

I guess we don’t give it a good look over here.

Jon Johnson [00:33:45]:

No, but I also want to hear people that I would love to hear somebody from somebody who came in from outside of this industry. Like, this is my first year, and holy shit, guys, I’m not cut out for this, or I want to hear some perspective.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:33:58]:

Maybe they’re cut out for it, but I’d like to know what they thought it was going to be versus the reality. Somebody come on and tell me. Like, a year ago, when you were begging for your first CS job, you were begging and you got it. Are we happy? Are we sad? How do we feel? Would you learn?

Mickey Powell [00:34:14]:

I love that. Can we also talk to people that don’t know about customer success and have no interest in it, and then we try to convince them we should literally.

Jon Johnson [00:34:21]:

Bring all of our mother in laws on and just be like, what do you think I do?

Mickey Powell [00:34:25]:

My grandma turns 90 in September.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:34:27]:

Should I get her on prime candidate? Absolutely.

Josh Schachter [00:34:30]:

I would love no, do it. That’s not a joke.

Mickey Powell [00:34:33]:

Bring your grandma.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:34:34]:

I would invite my mom. My mom actually listens to all the podcasts, and she’s an avid follower of my content. She thinks she knows what I do. She still doesn’t. But I would love to invite my mom.

Josh Schachter [00:34:44]:

I met your mom. Your mom’s great.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:34:45]:

You haven’t she loved your dog.

Mickey Powell [00:34:48]:

Are all of our mothers currently alive? No, your mom has passed.

Jon Johnson [00:34:53]:

John yes.

Mickey Powell [00:34:54]:

I’m sorry, I didn’t hear that. Do you have a matriarch in place of your mother?

Jon Johnson [00:34:59]:

I mean, my mother in law is, I would say, the closest.

Mickey Powell [00:35:03]:

Could we do it doesn’t have to be next time, but I think we should do a mother’s episode.

Jon Johnson [00:35:07]:

I would love that. Oh, my gosh. What I would love is that she would be so out of her depth in every level imaginable. So she had the kids out in California for about two weeks, and they just dropped them off raleigh and so we were sitting at the kitchen table on Wednesday, and we were talking about it’s, like, oh, I’d really love to listen to it. And I was like, here’s why you shouldn’t. So if I were to then say, hey, do you want to be on the podcast? She would absolutely say yes. I think that that would be either a real bonding moment no, we don’t no explanation, just no, I feel like.

Mickey Powell [00:35:47]:

Beforehand no, sorry, no context, but we have to explain customer success to them on the podcast.

Jon Johnson [00:35:54]:

Yeah, absolutely.

Josh Schachter [00:35:55]:

Okay. I’m a little concerned that this is going to spiral for me into an episode about my dating life from all the marketing.

Jon Johnson [00:36:02]:

How about instead of your mother, the last girl that you match with on Hinge? Like, the last girl that you match with on Hinge? Just invite her on the podcast.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:36:11]:

Does she know that we do this podcast?

Josh Schachter [00:36:16]:

I send her the selective episodes.

Mickey Powell [00:36:18]:

Do you in his bio? There’s actually a link in his bio.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:36:22]:

I asked him what he talks about in his dating profiles if he talks about his role as the CEO of Update AI.

Josh Schachter [00:36:30]:

All right, moving the conversation, moving ahead. I don’t actually have anything to move ahead with.

Jon Johnson [00:36:40]:


Kristi Faltorusso [00:36:40]:

You just sucked all the fun and passion out of whatever was happening here.

Josh Schachter [00:36:44]:

Christy, you guys are doing a client success summer webinar series.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:36:49]:

Let’s talk about that for a second.

Josh Schachter [00:36:50]:

Yeah, you’ve got all these new faces that I’ve never seen or not part.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:36:53]:

Of the echo chamber. I actually invited our friend Damien from here.

Josh Schachter [00:36:57]:

I saw that that was cool because.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:36:58]:

I really enjoyed our conversation. And then he and I chatted a little bit. He actually sent me his book. I still have to read it, Damien. Sorry. But he’s agreed to do a webinar. So what we are doing is I.

Jon Johnson [00:37:09]:

Think I still have Donna Weber’s book.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:37:10]:

Up here that she gave me that I haven’t read is we actually wanted to do a summer webinar series featuring a ton of different thought leaders in customer success, tackling different topics. So we had last week, we kicked it off, and it’s going to run from last week, which is June 20 through the last Tuesday in August, and every Tuesday have a new thought leader coming in with their own unique perspective on a topic. And last week we had Jan Young, and we didn’t talk about customer success at all. It was all about change management, which I just thought was like, such a breath of fresh air to not talk about QBRs and playbooks and Onboarding and Scaled CS. It was like change management is super critical to the work that we do in helping us do it successfully, but we don’t ever spend any time talking about it. So Jan just actually went deep on change management, which I thought was awesome. We got Mike Lee up tomorrow, so we’re rolling out a little bit every yeah, me too. We had Greg Danes on twice talking. I was there for reasons of change, so we’re just having a new person every Tuesday come and just they get an hour and we’re giving them our platform. So it’s just a way to help amplify voices in the community and talk about unique things.

Jon Johnson [00:38:18]:

Yeah, Mike Lee is a local Raleigh folk as well, so I’ve met up with him for coffee and the kind of local CS meetups. He’s incredible, so I cannot recommend his stuff enough.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:38:30]:

Yeah, the only time when I was out there, I tried to meet up with him, but he was traveling, so he wasn’t there. So I have yet to meet him in person, so I’m excited to host him tomorrow. That’s great.

Josh Schachter [00:38:40]:

I love that. I think I’m ready to wrap this episode up.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:38:44]:

Josh, are we killed today? Why is he so sour?

Josh Schachter [00:38:49]:

No, not sour. I have a good weekend. No, that’s not related at all to the webinar series. I think it’s great. Honestly, I like those names that you have going there, and I’m really glad that you’ve formed this relationship, this friendship with Damien after being on the show, because you guys no, that’s great. Okay, so I want to wrap it up because I want to figure out I just want to solidify this because CS and BS, and I don’t want this to be the BS part. Our next recording on July 10, I’ll actually be in Argentina. Our dev team is based there, and I want to do this recording. So is that going to be the episode that we each invite our mothers and your mother in law John onto this?

Mickey Powell [00:39:40]:

Is that the next no, let’s not start with that.

Jon Johnson [00:39:42]:

You know what? I actually have this idea, literally, I like this idea of seeing if we can talk to somebody who is new in the industry to talk about what you thought it would be and what it is. Christy and honestly, like, I mentioned her before, but let’s reach out to Julie. I know we both know her.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:39:58]:

Yeah, julie would be great for it, and I think that she’ll have an honest opinion, which I can appreciate.

Jon Johnson [00:40:04]:

Totally. But I do want to do the mothers. Like, what do you think we do every day? And then I think that would be really interesting as well.

Mickey Powell [00:40:14]:

Before we break yes, I do have a positive note to end.

Jon Johnson [00:40:18]:


Kristi Faltorusso [00:40:20]:

Let’s go.

Jon Johnson [00:40:20]:

Mickey, did you get back on LinkedIn?

Kristi Faltorusso [00:40:22]:

Save the show?

Mickey Powell [00:40:24]:

They must have heard us talking about them, because I am back.

Jon Johnson [00:40:29]:

Oh, my God. Ladies and gentlemen.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:40:31]:

Are you serious? Oh, my God. Stop.

Mickey Powell [00:40:34]:

No, this literally happened during the show.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:40:38]:

I’m looking at it because we were all sad publicly. Hold on.

Jon Johnson [00:40:42]:

No, you haven’t lost any followers. Like, you are here. Oh, Mickey.

Mickey Powell [00:40:48]:

I mean, either I’ve had my heart post impressions.

Jon Johnson [00:40:53]:

My heart just skipped a beat.

Mickey Powell [00:41:00]:

Resurrected from the LinkedIn grave. I actually don’t know why. I just got to, like hey, reset your password.

Josh Schachter [00:41:07]:

Wait, Vicky Mouse emailed you?

Jon Johnson [00:41:09]:


Kristi Faltorusso [00:41:12]:

Hey, guys.

Mickey Powell [00:41:16]:

Okay, no, I actually got no, hold on, hold on. This is a good story. This is a good learning lesson. Yeah.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:41:23]:

Are you gonna tell people why you got kicked off?

Mickey Powell [00:41:26]:


Kristi Faltorusso [00:41:27]:


Mickey Powell [00:41:28]:

I don’t know why I got kicked off.

Jon Johnson [00:41:30]:

No, we’re all dying to know.

Mickey Powell [00:41:32]:

I actually cold emailed two executives at LinkedIn. I won’t name their names because I don’t want other people to cold email them and I just got a message, like, three minutes ago from somebody on the executive escalations team. So that cold email to an executive 3 hours ago got forwarded to somebody and Jasmine said that my account was suspended in error.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:41:59]:


Jon Johnson [00:42:00]:

I love that. Wow.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:42:01]:

I love how they’re like, he’s getting.

Jon Johnson [00:42:07]:

Too popular, he’s too powerful.

Mickey Powell [00:42:10]:

LinkedIn said to me, I actually had.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:42:12]:

Them suspend you because I felt like you were going to overthrow me on LinkedIn.

Jon Johnson [00:42:20]:

It was a coup.

Josh Schachter [00:42:21]:

They admitted to Eric. Can we sue them for lost impressions?

Jon Johnson [00:42:25]:

The 27 likes.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:42:28]:


Mickey Powell [00:42:28]:

I’m sure Microsoft’s legal team will take kindly to that.

Jon Johnson [00:42:32]:

Okay, guys, I do have to go do some work. So on that note, Mickey, I’m sorry. I’m so happy that you have a value back in this life I was lacking.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:42:45]:

Now we can be friends again.

Jon Johnson [00:42:47]:

Yeah. I’m going to go write some success plans.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:42:51]:

Are you going to go do a post now? Mickey? Are you going to go post?

Jon Johnson [00:42:54]:

Oh, do it. Set. Celebrate it.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:42:58]:

I was gone just see to see if anyone noticed. Yeah.

Josh Schachter [00:43:03]:

All right.

Kristi Faltorusso [00:43:06]:

It doesn’t feel like you love us at all. All right, Josh. Goodbye.