This transcript is edited from the TigerGraph Connections podcast episode published on April 21, 2022, with Tish Looper, VP of Customer Success at TigerGraph. To learn more about the Elements Workshop program Tish discusses, click here.
Corey Tomlinson: Welcome back, everybody. With me today is Tish Looper, VP of Customer Success at TigerGraph. Tish, how are you today?
Tish Looper: I’m doing great, Corey, how are you doing?
Corey: I am doing fantastic. And as we were talking about in the pre-recording, it’s good to be recording with you again.
Tish: It really truly is. I’m so excited about it.
Corey: We’re going to be talking about for the most part the newly launched TigerGraph Elements Workshops. But first, touching on the Customer Success program, you just celebrated one year at TigerGraph and came in with the stated purpose of building a Customer Success program. So how does it feel after one year?
Tish: Well, I can’t believe it. I mean, one year, I look back at that journey. And, you know, I even sit here and say to myself, did you really do this? It’s a big undertaking when you think about setting up a Customer Success program, and it’s really fundamental to the success of a company.
Corey: Especially at a company that’s very much about its customers and their success, not to overstate that term. So diving in, can you share a little bit about what it’s been like building that Customer Success program from the ground up over the course of your first year?
Tish: I really took the approach into two segments. And when I start looking at, you know, how do you build out a program and looking at these approaches, the first one really has to be what is the core value of the company. And at TigerGraph, and as you know, one of our very first core values is seeing it from the customer point of view, or seeing it from the customer and partner point of view. And that is really important to make sure that you have a company that has that kind of alignment.
Then the second one is really about listening to the customers and determining why customers are buying our TigerGraph platform. And really what value that they’re seeing out of the TigerGraph platform. So I really spent my first 30 days, listening to our customers, understanding the buyer persona, making sure that we’re going to build a program that really aligns so that they can achieve their desired outcomes. So it’s, it’s definitely seeing it from the customer point of view, and making sure that you’re listening to your customers.
Corey: Well, listening to customers is kind of a core competency, right?
Tish: Well, if you’re not listening, there’s no way that you can respond to your customers’ needs. Once you listen to your customers, then you have that ability to plan and execute.
Corey: It’s great to hear about the journey that you’ve taken building customer success. On the Elements Workshop program, I’ve been working with you and your team on developing some of the content and promoting it. Can you talk about how these workshops fit in with the Customer Success Program at large?
Tish: Thanks, Corey, for asking that question. I really think that is a great question. Because when you do think about customer success, and you think about workshops, it is really about gaining the insight and being able to see the value and the intelligence that you’re getting from your data. And it’s really important that we can look at the knowledge and build a graph-based solution or know what steps to move forward with. And that’s really what the purpose of these workshops are. So they’re expert-led workshops that really are going to help you bridge the knowledge gap. And they’ll take you on a journey to explore and develop advanced solutions to exploit that hidden value of your data.
Corey: Talking about the individual workshops and not just the program at large. What does the curriculum for the Elements Workshops look like today?
Tish: Well, right now, it’s really about making sure that the customers can choose the workshop that really works for them, and is really aligned to their personas. And as we look at this, we’ve really developed a lot of content to be able to support that. And to be able to take the customer on that right journey. And to be able to do that, we’ve established a Graph Fundamentals workshop that will go over schema design and GSQL programming language. Then there’s also the Discovery workshop. This is really about a collaborative series of meetings, so that we can meet with key business stakeholders and decision-makers so that they can really explore the business value.
Then we can also look at Enterprise Deployment and Operations and Graph Database Benchmarking workshops, as well as a Graph Algorithm Fundamentals workshop. And the one that I’m really most excited about is our Data Science workshop. This is really a collection of extended collaborative hands-on labs with our expert data science team. And they’re really going to help you solve your critical business problems using advanced analytics, as well as some new methodologies so that you can take this information that you’re learning and apply graph techniques and algorithms and analytics to your business data problems.
Corey: Well, it’s awesome that you just mentioned the Data Science team, so I’m gonna throw you a curveball, though it’s not a hard one. Who else has worked on this? And obviously, the Customer Success team, Marketing team, we talked about the Data Science team. But I’m guessing this is this has been a team effort. Can you talk a little bit about who else has been contributing to the development of these courses?
Tish: Yeah, when we look at the development of the courses, it’s about bringing together every individual within TigerGraph. You know, we want to make sure that we’re expanding knowledge globally, and collectively in a collaborative method. And when we do that, it’s about bringing together lessons learned from the Pre-sales Engineering team, our Industry Solutions team, our Solution Consultants that are working to make sure that our customers are having the appropriate solutions and delivering those solutions successfully to our customers. It’s about coordinating with our Learning and Development team, so that we can make sure that we really are building out that consistent framework for success.
Corey: Now, let’s take a look at the future. We’re just launching this program now. It’s going to be a big part of the Customer Success program. How do you see Customer Success evolving at TigerGraph over the next year?
Tish: Well, I think before you start looking at the future, you need to sit here and sit here and look at where have you been? And what have you done, and build upon that. And when I look at what we’ve done and what we have accomplished in my first year here at TigerGraph, we really developed a roadmap for success. And part of this roadmap is about hiring the right team to support our customers. And that really started with building a customer success management team. We can really look at building those trusted advisor relationships and have that connected experience with our customers, we put a little bit more structure around our technical services to deliver the right solutions and services.
We’ve also built a Learning and Development team to help educate our customers on everything TigerGraph. It’s really important for our customers that they want to be able to see that we’re invested in a Customer Success Program. And it’s about really, when you look at that investment, it’s about outlining opportunities where we can make an impact, we need to think about the challenges on the customer journey, and map this out with the appropriate milestones. This really helps direct the actions of where we want to drive our Customer Success program for the future and where our customers are going to see the most benefit. When we see and look at that benefit, it’s about how do we make sure that that customer experience is really solid.
By a solid experience, we have to make sure our customers are getting enabled appropriately, are they being able to adopt the technology, and to be able to drive that value. And when I look at that for the future, it really is about that customer goodness. And that is really about where my focus is on, to continue that customer goodness. It’s about engaging, empowering, and enabling our customers throughout their journey.
Meanwhile, making sure that as I always say, these keywords, that it’s a frictionless, consistent, personalized, delightful experience that is really aligned to their objectives. And for us to be able to do that we have to deliver quality; that quality of work has to be delivered with integrity and trustworthiness. That has to be at the forefront of our customer experience. And so it really starts with partnering with our customers earlier in their buyer journey. This allows us to capture insights on our customers and to build our own customer 360 so that we can make sure the customer experience is successful.