Nick Mehta on Gainsight becoming 'Best Place to Work in 2023,' navigating the downturn, and building community
Product State Q&A
Nick Mehta is the Founder & CEO at Gainsight. He’s the author of ‘Customer Success’ and ‘The Customer Success Economy,’ General Partner at Forum Ventures, Board of Directors at F5. Prior to Gainsight, he held roles as CEO at LiveOffice, and VP of Product at Symantec.
EC: Gainsight was just recognized by Glassdoor as the ‘Best Place to Work in 2023.’ What are some of the decisions and actions that contributed to a thriving culture?
NM: We were incredibly grateful - and surprised! - to receive this award. At Gainsight, our company purpose is ‘to be living proof you can win in business, while being Human-First.’
This Human-First concept, and our 5 values that underlie it, run deep in the soul of our company. I speak to nearly every teammate when they leave and I always ask one question - ‘What's one thing we should never change?’
Human-First and our values are the answer nearly 100% of the time.
It shows up in many ways — big and small — from ‘Recharge Days’ where we all take days off together outside of normal holidays, to teammates supporting each other through tough events, to our strange obsession with making parody music videos.
Okay - maybe that's MY strange obsession.
But the biggest way Human-First shows up is in the everyday compassion our teammates show each other.
EC: You recently surveyed 100 SaaS CEOs and discovered that CS teams are least affected by layoffs. What are some of the implications and considerations for SaaS companies?
NM: In a downturn, it's much tougher to get new clients, because most companies become risk-averse.
As such, businesses need to double down on retaining their existing customers. These customers are scrutinizing spend more than ever, so the Customer Success team's job - delivering and demonstrating outcomes - becomes paramount.
In parallel, customers are willing to do more with existing vendors, so CS opens the door for expansion.
Overall, companies are focused on Net Revenue Retention (NRR) more than ever, and Customer Success is at the heart of this.
EC: While a relatively obscure term just a decade ago, ‘Customer Success’ is now a category that many associate with Gainsight. What role did community-building play?
NM: Community-building was everything for us - from our Pulse conference, which now hosts 5,000+ CS pros together in San Francisco each year, to events around the world, to local dinners, to our online community.
The Customer Success community wants to support and learn from each other and we are grateful to be able to facilitate that.
“In a downturn, it's much tougher to get new clients, because most companies become risk-averse. As such, businesses need to double down on retaining their existing customers.”
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