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From the Q-mmunity

Reflections: Understanding the voice of our customers

Throughout December and January we will be sharing Reflection stories from some of our Qualtricians. These stories reflect on the last year and beyond — recognizing the good and the bad, the struggles and the successes. Today we are featuring a story by Matt in Customer Success.

I joined the Qualtrics Customer Success team in 2021 after spending a few years as a high school teacher and higher education management consultant. As a Customer Success Manager, I help our K-12, Higher Education, and Educational Technology customers realize value and grow their programs. This work takes many forms and makes each day unique, spanning from hands-on keyboard demos, to strategic planning, to user training. When I’m not working, I’m in the mountains trail running, skiing, or camping.

Is there a project or something that had a big impact on your and your team this year?

During some customer visits in May and June of 2022, I realized that one of our K-12 partners CESA-6 has an immense knowledge of best practices for deploying Qualtrics at an educational organization. While the meetings onsite with them were incredibly beneficial for me and the customers to learn, their impact was limited to those in attendance. So, I came up with an idea to scale the CESA-6 team’s reach and impact by leveraging existing Qualtrics infrastructure. Partnering with colleagues on a few different teams and at CESA-6, I planned, pitched, co-presented, and posted a four-part Qualtrics in K-12 webinar series on Basecamp, our user training site.

The series included one session a month from September to December, covering common K-12 use cases and most of Qualtrics features included on K-12 licenses. The series was unique in two ways. First, it was grounded in K-12 stories, using the stories to present Qualtrics product features (we typically train in the opposite direction, presenting features and then leaving it up to customers to figure out how they can be applied). Second, it included an hour-long “office hours” session exactly a week after each webinar, which gave all attendees an opportunity to try out what they learned and then return with questions. Overall, we reached 118 Qualtrics users from 66 different organizations (most of whom were not customers that I am directly assigned to work with), and we’re working on plans to iterate and improve the series during 2023.

What are you most proud of in 2022?

Professionally, I’ve been working closely since March with a group of CSMs to redesign our onboarding experience. We’ve redone and created a ton of content, and most importantly, applied our own experience management expertise to mapping out and improving the CS onboarding journey. Personally, I’m proud that after moving to Utah in January, I’ll wrap up 2022 having run over 500 miles, skied more than 40 times, and camped ~almost~ 30 nights (stay tuned, I’ve got 2 nights to go).

2022 has been quite the year, if there's one thing you'll remember it for what will it be?

Definitely the spike in energy that came from attending TGIT, our all-company all-hands, on Thursdays in Provo. I work alone from home most days, so it was a welcomed influx of good vibes, snacks, and people whenever there was a big meeting in person.

If there's one story you'll tell about 2022, what would it be?

As COVID-19 restrictions started winding down and the Utah weather began warming up, I started coordinating pre and post work runs and hikes for the Provo office. These became a great opportunity to connect as humans and learn more about the wonderful people that also happen to be my colleagues. Specifically, there was one hike to the aptly named Lost Creek Waterfall that I’ll never forget. While the hike’s distance (~2 miles roundtrip) was very manageable, I may have ~slightly~ underestimated the impact of its vertical gain (~1,000 feet over a mile). Fast forward through a few creek crossings, lots of steep bushwhacking, and crawling under at least one hole in a fence, and we ended up with exclusive access to a pristine waterfall while the sun cast shadows on the opposite canyon wall. Best of all, we’d managed to squeeze it all in after a full day at work, which is something I’ll never take for granted about living in Utah.

What's something that you did in 2022 that you didn't expect to have so much autonomy over?

Honestly, I’m immensely grateful for the degree of autonomy that we have in CS over our schedules. I take pride in meeting with customers often and responding to emails within 24 hours, but I also love getting outdoors everyday and find that doing so makes me a more productive employee and a happier person. Throughout 2022, I was able to deliver on both fronts, blocking out a few hours in the early morning or late afternoon to run or ski, and then making up for that time by completing all my asynchronous tasks later in the evening. This degree of flexibility and trust that we’re given to deliver a great customer experience while also taking ownership over our own employee experience can’t be understated as something that makes Qualtrics a unique and great place to work.

Moving into 2023, what lessons will you be taking with you from this year?

A unique struggle I face working in education, which was Qualtrics’ original industry, is bridging the gap between how my customers have been and want to continue using our platform, and how our product continues to evolve. While product innovations are a net positive in the long-run, they can create a lot of concentrated pain in the short-term for researchers who have been using Qualtrics in a particular way since the early 2000s. At the same time, it’s natural and necessary for a SAAS company to evolve in this way.

So, as the CSM for many of these organizations, my job is to know what’s going on internally and externally, manage expectations in both directions, gather feedback, and distill the most important themes to ensure that Qualtrics continues to hear and understand the voice of our education customers. I’ve learned that doing this is as much an art as it is a science, requiring patience, persistence, and creativity. So, in 2023, I plan to continue listening and learning, while also refining my messaging internally to ensure that I’m effectively highlighting our education customers’ biggest priorities and making actionable recommendations to the teams in a position to make a difference.

Qualtrics Life

Qualtrics Life is nothing more or less than a collection of the stories, experiences, and voices of the people of Qualtrics.

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