The Support Automation Show: Episode 15

In this episode of The Support Automation Show, a podcast by Capacity, Justin Schmidt is joined by Emily Garza, AVP, Customer Success at Fastly. They discuss how a business can position automation with a team and strategies to evaluate different support automation tools.

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Justin Schmidt: Welcome to The Support Automation Show, a podcast by Capacity. Join us for conversations with leaders and customer or employee support who are using technology to answer questions, automate processes, and build innovative solutions to any business challenge. I’m your host, Justin Schmidt. Good morning, Emily. Where does this podcast find you today?

Emily Garza: Hi. I am located in Napa, California.

Justin: I love the Bay Area, Napa, central Northern California. Spent a few years up there a while ago and it’s as beautiful as everybody says it is. Emily, tell us a little bit about yourself. You are currently the AVP of Customer Success at Fastly. Maybe give us some bit of your background and how you got into Customer Success.

Emily: Sure. I started my career at AT&T and I did a variety of customer-facing roles. Sales, account management, business development, and through multiple moves, ended up in the Bay Area. For anyone who has moved to the Bay Area, you might relate with me here. I started to feel like the pole of a startup. The startup allure. It’s real, it’s exciting. It was just time to try something new. Started to look at what the options were and ended up moving over to Fastly. I started the sales enablement function there. That was my first role and really liked interacting with the sales team. I got to do coaching, roll out a whole sales methodology.

Well, some people don’t think it’s so fun, I actually really enjoyed preparing all the RFP responses, all that sales support function. Then about a year and a half in, I was in a conversation and just realized how much I missed actually talking to customers. That was really the prompt for me of, “All right, I’ve got to pivot.” Around that same time, we were looking at starting more of a post-sales focus team and customer success and raised my hand and said, “I’m interested in doing this.” I moved over into that role initially as a player coach to help build things out and has since been able to grow and expand the team. We’re now about 30 people globally.

Justin: That’s amazing. For those of us in the audience that don’t know what Fastly does, can you maybe give 90 seconds on Fastly?

Emily: Sure. Fastly is an edge cloud delivery network. We do content delivery and security. My favorite example for content delivery is, think about if you’re downloading an article from New York Times. You want to read what’s in the news today. If New York Times has their content for the website, not just the articles but how are the articles built, all the framework that goes into building a website, say that’s hosted on the East Coast. They can walk to it from their office, great. If you’re in New Jersey and you’re pulling that up, it’s pretty fast. New Jersey and New York are next to each other.

If you’re a reader in the Bay Area, you’re now going all the way across the country to request that article. Well, it doesn’t take just one request to build the entire website and article. There’s 100, 150 back and forths. Now because of the geography, you’re actually introducing latency. What Fastly does is we have local points of presence in various cities closer to end-users. Content is actually cached there. Then rather than me in the Bay Area going all the way to New York, maybe I’m just going to San Francisco or San Jose, a much faster loading experience. Then we layer security on top of that to make sure that our website stay secure.

Justin: I love it. In a prior life, I was the VP of marketing and then ultimately, the VP of publishing operations at a company called Multiply. We ran a whole series of websites, is probably our biggest brand. We were big Fastly customers. You and I just met a few minutes ago. This is coming from a place of a real recommendation, not some incentivized relationship here. Fastly is fantastic. Anyone that’s dealing with web traffic at scale, I can’t say enough good things about the platform.

It’s actually really fun to have you on because in a lot of instances, I have these great conversations with support leaders but my experience with their product is tertiary at best. This is going to be fun for me because as our conversation unfolds, maybe some of your anecdotes and stuff that you talk about, I’m going to think back to my time in publishing when we very well could have been one of the customers that sparked maybe an anecdote you’re going to share.

When I start this conversation with our guests, my first question is often, it’s usually my favorite question of the whole show just because the answers are always slightly different and that is, when you hear the word support automation, what does that mean to you?

Emily: It’s a great question. It’s similar to one of my favorite questions, which is, what does customer success mean? I think in both, it’s wildly different to company and even people’s interpretation.

Justin: Let’s do both. Do support automation and also dovetail right into customer success. I think this will be a great bed for the rest of our conversation.

Emily: I think support automation, the automation part is where the scariness comes in. I think, for the most part, companies understand, we want to support our customers. Typically, there’s a designated support team who’s handling tickets and maybe some other aspects but that’s the unifying piece across companies. The automation part is, yes, we know we need a tool but we also need humans and finding that balance.

I think when people hear automation, it’s, “Hey, we’re either going to send all of our jobs offshore or we’re going to bring in tools and not need humans.” I really think, especially from bucket or all under the umbrella of customer experience, it’s really finding that balance between automation and human effort. I think one of the things I’ve seen firsthand at Fastly is just how valuable a support team can be and how that can be a differentiator for your company.

Typically, when someone’s filing a ticket with you, they’re not happy. The ticket’s not, “Oh, I love your product.” The ticket is, “Something’s wrong. Please help me fix it.” The fact that we consistently have high CSAT scores, you want to measure success on both sides. It’s the customer experience but it’s also the internal experience. The fact that we’ve had people join this support team and stay with the company, grow and develop, I think it’s a win on both sides. I think, support automation, it’s how do we take care of our customers but do it in the most efficient way? I think, in doing that, it’s that balance between human and tooling.

Then I’ll transition to the customer success piece because I think that that’s also interesting and we were saying right before we started recording that customer success means different things at different companies.

Justin: It sure does.

Emily: I think similar to this idea of support, yes, there’s one team that has that title but it really needs to be a philosophy across the entire company. I’ve seen customer success be strictly the CSM team. Sometimes it incorporates everything post-sale, whether that’s support or professional services, customer training, all of those things really go into that customer journey. As you think about the customer experience, how do we keep and grow the customer? How do we make sure that they’re successful? All of those pieces ultimately dovetail in whether or not you organizationally create it that way.

Justin: That’s exactly right. There’s a confluence of revenue, product roadmap, general direction of the company that all happens in the customer relationship. It’s very easy I think to say, “Oh, well, when I think of the org chart, I’ve got the sales team reports into the sales, marketing reports into marketing customer support and customer success or whatever it is, and the product has their own. We get together to share ideas, discuss, move things forward but the fulcrum of that conversation is customer relationships and what happens with the customer as you’re going through the journey.

One thing that I’m particularly keen on asking you just given the fact that you started in sales enablement at Fastly and grew that and effectively parlayed that into the role you’re at now is that you’ve got a very unique point of view of both understanding the beginning of the customer journey and then also the deep into the bowels of the customer journey stack there with customer experience and customer success and all that.

How can customer support and customer experience, customer success teams. How can the customer side of the business work to ensure their voices are heard with some of the top funnel, beginning of the journey sides of the business?

Emily: It’s a great question and a constant journey. When we think about partnering at Fastly and especially because our support team has been in place for a while, our customer success team in the grand scheme of the company, is slightly newer. It was, “How do we develop a team when there’s already these existing teams that we now need to interact and support with?” I think it’s being really clear on what everyone’s role is, especially if you’re establishing a new team in the midst of other staff that’s working, sometimes it’s, “Hey, I’m going to take a piece of what was your role.”

There’s tons of change management work needing to be done around that to make sure everyone understands why the changes are being made, but also be really focused on, coming out of the cloud and through this change management, what does everyone’s roles look like after, and are people really clear on what those mean? I think that’s the first step, just providing that clarity. When you have that clarity, then you are actually able to hold people accountable.

People who still skirt the rules or maybe try and revert back to the way things were, it’s comfortable. They have the ability then to say, “Hey, wait. We talked about this. Everyone was very clear on what it looked like moving forward.” I think a huge part of change management is just outlining how things are going to be so that you can have some of those difficult conversations if needed. Then I think it’s figuring out how you want to partner? Starting a new team gives you a little bit of luxury of seeing what has worked and what hasn’t worked and being able to learn from that.

One of the things that I was really conscious of is, how do we provide value to our customers? That’s our number one focus. Right behind that is value internally. How do you make these interactions, and what can we do to better support teams? Then also like, what do we need from those teams in order to be successful? It’s not a one-way street. Sometimes the customer success and support teams can get treated as, “Hey, go deal with the stuff nobody else wants to.” Which is not ideal. Nobody wants to be in fire drill mode all the time. Really seeing, how can I add value, and then what do I need in terms of expectation setting from other internal teams to make sure that this is going to be a good seamless, internal and external experience.

Justin: You touched on something interesting there, and that is that, I’m going to paraphrase a little bit, but that there’s sometimes this expectation that the customer care part of an organization deals with a lot of problems. One phrase that comes to mind when I think about this is the concept of shit rolls downhill. That’s a terrible phrase to use in this instance, because, A, Customer teams are not downhill from something else. This is a flat plane where all are equal. Second, you shouldn’t ever characterize your customers as shit.

Again, the voice of the customer is often carried through the customer care teams. Unlike customer success, I can just speak to this from here at Capacity, we’re a much smaller operation than someone like Fastly is, but we still have the same incentives on ensuring that our customers are successful, and especially the ones at the tip of the spear in terms of the scale of our platform inside their organization, the types of challenges that they’re using Capacity to solve all that kind of stuff.

Those conversations, those QBRs, those implementation calls or whatever it is that the CS team is going through, the findings and the feedback from those are just absolutely invaluable. They’re invaluable to everyone from the other customer care teams all the way through to the CEO and to the interns in the engineering department. I’d love hearing you touch on the change management aspect of all of this, because change management, it’s one of those business bingo terms that ‘s like digital transformation. It’s like, “What does that really mean?”

One part of change management, it’s not only just like process design, job design, all the kind of stuff you learn in school, but it’s also bringing in technology and leveraging that technology through some of that change that you’re trying to implement. Which leads me to another topic that we had proposed in our back and forth before this meeting, which is, tool evaluation and positioning automation with the team. Let’s bundle those together because I think ultimately it’s branches of the same tree.

Positioning automation with the team and the evaluation of those tools. I assume you’ve mentioned positioning automation because– and you did mention this earlier that sometimes automation could, for those of us on audio, I’m making scare quotes, it can be scary. Can you speak a little bit about how to effectively position automation within a team and manage the change management that comes with that?

Emily: Sure. I think a lot of it comes down to communication and expectation setting. This is something that I personally have gotten feedback and coaching on. The way that I grew up, not to throw blame on previous experiences, but a lot of decisions were made and then it was like, “Here’s what we’re doing. Go with it. Move forward.” That’s the way I thought things went. Then moving over to a startup, it was different. People want to be involved. They want to feel valued. They want their voice heard.

The first couple of changes I tried to make that were just my decision. “Hey, here’s what it is. We’re rolling out.” Didn’t go so well. [chuckles]. Learned the hard way. I think looking at change and change management, a huge piece of that is how do you get buy-in? I had a manager who really sat me down and gave me some good feedback around this of, “Start to share your ideas. It doesn’t have to be fully baked. You don’t have to promise the world to anyone, and gather feedback. Get opinions, especially if you’re not going to be the one doing the work.”

Oftentimes leadership is tasked with creating what that change is. What’s the new strategy, everything else, but you’re not the one answering the customer’s tickets or going in and using that tool every single day. We got to make sure that you’re incorporating that individual contributor feedback too. Just because you’re asking for feedback doesn’t mean that every single piece of feedback that you get needs to be incorporated. Again, you are in the leadership role to help manage and figure out how it all fits together, but making sure that people feel like they’re part of the process is so important.

Then really communicating why you’re even looking at the change. I think back to what we were saying earlier, the idea of automation being, “Hey, I’m going to become less responsible for something, or maybe I’ll be out of a job because you’re going to automate it away,” and really detailing, “Hey, we want to lean into this new tool because it’s going to unlock X, Y, and Z for us. Maybe it’ll improve our efficiency so you can actually talk with more customers, solve more problems, and it’s going to allow us to scale.” Those are exciting things.

I would say, especially at a startup where maybe you do have skin in the game in terms of equity within the company, your direct work is making the company grow and develop and being able to automate and help drive some of that scale, that should be exciting if someone’s really in that kind of startup mentality.

Justin: When you think about that sort of positioning for automation, one thing that’s interesting about what you just said is that you, whether you did it consciously or not, didn’t necessarily make that about customer success necessarily. That’s more universal too regardless of the function inside the business. It’s going to be interesting for business leaders going forward because it’s one thing to automate something.

I’ll just draw from a pertinent and low-hanging fruit example in our space, like putting a chat bot on the website, for example, that uses AI to answer customer questions. That’s a fairly pretty common use case for NLP right now. You can find a bunch of, if you just want a chat bot to put on a website, there’s a bunch of options. I’d steer everyone towards Capacity, but there’s a bunch of options.

However, we’re getting into really interesting use cases now where you’ve got great example. This is a company called Drishti that basically what they do is they install camera’s at varying stages of a manufacturing process. The camera just basically films that stage of the process and then the software is trained on, this is what this assembly stage should look like. These are the components and this is the order that they all go in and the model learns, oh, shift one and plant A perform stage three 5% faster than shift 2 and plant B, why is this– figures out the answer and reports that on to whoever’s looking at those reports.

That’s a much deeper level of automation inside of a business process than light touch answering questions with a chat bot on a website. Not to say that answering questions can’t get deeper. It most certainly can, but when you start getting into things like process automation within a business or using AI to screen resumes, which has a whole other ball of potential problems with it. You’re dealing with much deeper implications.

My question then, when you’ve got those heavier expectations of what automation potentially means, you’re ending up having much deeper discussion with the vendors and the tools that you’re bringing in, because again, you’re not just like, “I need something to send my emails,” you’re buying something much, much deeper than that now. You’re looking at that evaluation.

What advice do you have for people in your position who are doing that evaluation? What kind of questions do you recommend asking? Maybe if you have a specific example of an experience of what went well or poorly with that evaluation to share would also be great. That was a really long way of saying what goes into evaluating tools for automation.

Emily: [chuckles] It’s an important decision. One thing that I like to try and remind myself of when I’m asking for a budget is I have my lens of the world. I’m asking for budget for another person or a tool, but our finance team is getting that question from every organization at the company, and they have to then make and prioritize. You’ve got to be really clear on, “Why am I asking for this and what’s the benefit going to be?”

I think it’s really easy when you get to a certain point and you say, “Okay, we need a tool. It’s time to invest. Here’s a piece that we can automate through this. We’re going to become more efficient,” to just start hopping on calls with vendors. It’s fun to get a demo. You get to see the shining UI. You can imagine these glorious future you self, all the benefits of that. Maybe even get invited to a vendor happier or whatever it is, but however you like to shop for tools.

I think the problem with that is you get overwhelmed in the dazzle and then it becomes a little bit harder to actually make an effective decision. One of the things that I found really helpful is before I talk with anyone is making sure I really understand the problem that we’re trying to solve. Why are we buying this tool? Then outlining what is the criteria that I’m going to make the decision on. Before I even talk to anyone and get any sort of influence from an outside vendor, what’s important to me? Are there certain features or functionalities? Does it need to work with certain tools that we already have?

Are there reports that I want to be able to see? Some data visibility coming out of it?

That way I can go in and actually start evaluating off of the criteria that I need for my business, rather than whatever key things that the vendor wants to tell me about them. Some of that’s great. Maybe it’s the cherry on top, but being really clear about what do I need for this tool to be most effective. I’m spending thousands potentially even more dollars and investing in this, you’ve got to make sure that at the end of the day, you’ve checked all of those boxes that are going to be critical to making it most effective.

Justin: Yes. It’s exactly right, because every customer is a little different and you know this at Firstly. No two are exactly the same. They can get cohorted and bucketed, and that’s why you build the tiers of feature sets or however your SAS product in this example is sold, but ultimately there is a lot of variants inside of there. One of the things that I always recommend people do, and this sounds almost crazy coming from someone who’s paid and incentivized to sell automation, but really get some flow charts software, whichever one makes you happy and map out the process that you’re looking to automate in the first place. You find occasionally that you don’t necessarily even need to automate the process, you just need to fix the process itself.

When you map it out and you’re like, “This data comes in from this tool and then we send it off to this tool to get this thing back to then do et cetera, et cetera and then this team comes in.” You’re like, “Oh, shit, we can optimize this simply by removing X and then combining Y and Z together,” and boom, you’ve saved a huge portion of what you’re trying to do.

I think you touched on something really interesting, and that is support leaders all revenue facing functions of a business face this issue. I think some more so than others, but you end up getting jealous of other organizations who have something really slick and you get the FOMO, if you will, and that drives you. Next thing you know you’re signing a contract for an application that you don’t necessarily need. I think you’re exactly right. Find the way you need this particular application to work and all your questions and all your evaluation needs to go off of that.

Emily: I love the point that you were making, and I’ll just maybe say it a slightly different way. Sometimes you don’t need to buy a tool. There’s the excitement of it, but one of the things that our business systems team at Fastly has been so great at in partnering is actually pushing back a little bit. Like, do you need that tool? But also asking the question, “Do we already have a tool that would work?” There’s oftentimes this excitement around buying something new, but maybe, I don’t know, say you’re trying to do a customer satisfaction survey. Do you need a survey tool or can you use the Zendesk survey if you already are using Zendesk for ticketing?

I think sometimes we forget about the other functionalities of tools that we already have and just want to go spend more money, but then your company grows and scales and five years later, you’re like, “Why do we have five things that do the same thing?” You have to go back and re-streamline

Justin: In marketing that’s always the thing that I tell people is like, “Evaluate your tech stack once every six months, and if you ever find that you have more than three different tools to send an email to somebody, it’s time to rethink.” Part of it is guilt. We’re all selling software here. We can be guilty as charged. Sometimes you end up, vendors add on features because they’re looking for expansion revenue and different ways to grow the business and you can’t fault people for doing that, but the natural by-product of that is you end up with four different tools that will email a customer if you need it to.

Emily: Exactly.

Justin: One thing I always love asking people that come on the show is, is there a specific automation that you’ve seen broadened at Fastly that had a particularly powerful impact and that you would recommend maybe someone else in your position look into doing. You don’t have to mention the specific vendor if you don’t want, but just even if it’s a part of the function that you were able to bring automation that was particular successful.

Emily: Yes. I’m going to talk about that a little bit higher level just because I wasn’t really running that project but Actually using– It’s called Frame AI, and it’s been able to really give just visibility and analytics around tickets. Understanding through NLP and things like that. “Is this a happy ticket? Is a mad ticket?” In that tickets, what are the top concerns? What types of questions come in more often?

I think just any tool that can give you some of that visibility into both customer health and sentiment. Then you can go filter that back to the appropriate teams. Maybe that’s customer success, maybe that’s sales. Runs back to that idea of, how do we share information and become valuable as internal partners? Then it also gives you the ability to become more efficient in other ways.

Say you start to see a pattern of two months. We tend to get– They purchase our product, they’re two months in, and we tend to get questions about X. If we’re starting to see that as a trend, then can we build documentation around that? Maybe it’s video training. Whatever it is to help to support the question. Actually, then be more proactive, rather than reactive and waiting for the ticket to come to support. How about we say, “Hey, you’re approaching your two month mark. People are typically running into this challenge or have this question. If this fits your scenario. Great, here’s the answer. We’ll give it to you now.”

I think that’s some of the power of automation. It’s not, “Hey, we want to take stuff away from support.” If you’re self-servicing a little bit customers on some of those more common things, it actually allows the support or other teams to become more strategic. Get into more of the more challenging things. Nobody wants to answer the same question day in and day out. That’s not as fun. Being able to really use a tool to identify some of that data and trends will actually allow the team to shift where it’s time is focused.

Justin: That’s fantastic stuff, Emily. First of, shout out to our friends at I’m very familiar with them. The idea of leveraging technology to do sentiment analysis– I’m going to overly simplify this. Any folks in marketing over at Frame that take issue with this, find me on twitter. Using AI to do sentiment analysis at scale is fantastic because this gets into one of my credences in life, which is the plural of anecdote is not data. When you get people coming like, “Oh, X, Y, Z is broken.” It’s like, “Why do you say that?” “I had a phone call with so and so.” It’s like, “You had one call?”

Leveraging technology like that to look at hundreds of thousands of request, or whatever it is, and come down to what the actual issues is, is extremely powerful. The other thing you touched on that was music to my ears, and this is something we say all the time here at Capacity. In fact, it’s like literally on the wall in our, now mostly empty because we’re all remote office in here in St. Louis is helping teams do their best work, which is exactly what you described.

A good automation can eliminate a lot of the repetitive tasks that people do, and free your best people up to do their best work. It’s not about, I’m going to bring in some tool and I’m going to replace 500 people in my organization. I’m going to bring in some tool, and this 500 people in my organization are now no longer going to have to deal with, I’m going to be extremely reductive here, answering the phone and saying our business hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM anymore. We’re going to be able to free this people up for higher level things. Absolutely love it.

Wrapping up our conversation here. What excites you the most about the future of automation and customer success?

Emily: I think it’s really around being able to dive in and be a little more personalized with the customer. If we can leverage automation for some of those more basic tasks, and provide a baseline across all of our customer support or that customer experience. It then allows whether it’s support or customer success to have deeper and more fruitful conversations with our customer. If you’re leveraging tooling and automation to make sure that you’re tracking customer specific information.

Our customer success team knows that you’re hosting an AWS. Great. They can put that in whatever your repository looks like. Now when the support team is helping solve the ticket, that’s one less question that they have to ask. Now, you can say, “Great. I understand that you’re using AWS.” Maybe it’s asking that level two or level three question to help solve something faster. I think just being as personalized to the customer.

It’s always a balance because personalization doesn’t scale. It’s hard. If you can find some of that balance where you’re not starting at ground zero each time, and you can use tooling to help that, it’s just a better customer experience. I think it’s a more engaging job function because you’re having real conversations with customers.

Justin: Yes. Love it. Emily, this has been a fantastic conversation. Long time listeners of this show always– I’ve like honestly gotten LinkedIn messages about this. I have still not branded it like the final quick fire round. Almost every show, I make an awkward reference to the fact that I have not branded it, which is not becoming the brand in and of itself. Maybe I’m more of a marketing genius than I let on here.

Kidding aside, let’s end with our quick fire round here. The first thing that comes to mind, what’s the book you most often recommend to people?

Emily: I’ll go with Genius Habit, and I’m going to have to look up who the author is because I don’t remember off the top of my head. It was recommended to me as I was really trying to figure out, “What do I want to do in my career?” You got to do the exercises. You can’t just read the book.

Justin: Laura Garnett.

Emily: That sounds correct.

Justin: Yes, The Genius Habit.

Emily: Yes. You go through, and it really helps you focus on, what do I like doing? What am I good at doing, and how do I marry those two?

Justin: It’s like the Japanese concept of Ikigai where like, what are people good at doing? What do people like doing? I think it’s what you can pay people for. Then the intersection of that is like the ultimate hierarchy that you can make. The Genius Habit. Yes, that’s a good one. That you’re the first person to recommend that book, but I have heard of this book before, so it’s a good one.

Next up is, if you could recommend one website blog/community, LinkedIn, Facebook group, et cetera, for people in customer success, or customer success adjacent. What would it be?

Emily: Can I say mine? [chuckles]

Justin: Of course. Absolutely, can.

Emily: Yes, very Shameless Plug.

Justin: No shame.

Emily: Earlier this year, I launched Value CS With Emily. It’s It’s really a collection of various podcasts that I’ve done, so just conversations around customer success. Some things that I’ve published on LinkedIn. Usually, about two times a week, I’ll share some infographics with different customer success related topics. It’s not 100% about me. It’s also where I highlight really interesting blogs and podcasts, and other people that I find interesting in the CS space. It’s really my hub of CS learning.

Justin: Yes, I’m on it right now. Yes, this is fantastic. You’ve got a lot of great stuff on here.

Emily: It’s been my COVID project. [chuckles]

Justin: My COVID project was turning this sunroom into the office that it is now.

Emily: Nice.

Justin: Next question. If you look back on all your years in management, and being a productive high contributing individual. You look back at all the differences– Your journey through school, and work, and everything else. If you could think of one productivity tip, productivity hack if you want to call it that, that you’ve heard that stuck with you, what is it?

Emily: I don’t know if it’s a hack, but I would say-

Justin: Yes, I hate saying productivity hacks.

Emily: I would say one thing that has helped with my productivity is getting notes down as soon possible after a meeting. I’m not the type of person who likes to record meetings, and then go back and listen to them because I don’t have time. I’ve been through it once, I don’t need to-

Justin: 0% chance of me listening to a recording.

Emily: I don’t need to go through it again. Being able to leave the meeting and I typically like handwriting notes, transcribing those into a more cohesive form for other people to read. If you do it, the sooner after the meeting, the more context you have. If you try and do it three, four days later, like, what did that word mean? What was I trying to remember? For me, it’s just being able to prioritize that time after a meeting to make sure that I really absorb it and document it in a way that I can take action in the future.

Justin: Yes, that’s a great one. Personally, one thing I did about three or four months ago is this is a little convoluted, but I have a Zapier integration that I set up that whenever I have a meeting on my calendar, it creates a note in notion with that meeting, and all the metadata from the meetings, like who attended, what was the title, et cetera, et cetera. It creates a blank note that then I have open. I usually take notes on my iPad with a pencil and then I’d translate that into text and shove it in rather than sit there on my mechanical keyboard, that’s really clacky.

Yes, I say this to say taking notes for a meeting and doing it immediately after is an extremely good idea. Alright, last one. Who in the world of customer success would you take out for either coffee or a cocktail, depending on the time of day? Who’ that be?

Emily: I’ll say SuccessHACKER just published a list of top 25 Customer Success influencers and top 100 Customer Success strategists. That, I would say only scratches the surface. The customer success world is just growing by leaps and bounds at this point, there are so many people.

I think if I had to pick one, I’d probably say Nick Mehta, who’s the CEO of Gainsight. He has done such a good job in connecting with so many customers. Gainsight has many customers, and was really the first to market in terms of the CS tooling space. I’d love to just hear his perspective in being able to talk to so many. He would be that resource to level up and share the analysis and trends that he sees across the industry.

Justin: Shout out to Nick at Gainsight, a company that was founded here in St. Louis. Yes, they still have a office here but that’s one of our success stories. Thank you so much, Emily, for coming on our show and speaking with me. I’m sure you’ve got a very busy day, and taking some time out to chat about support automation and customer success has been a real treat for me. Emily, where can people find out more about you and Fastly?

Emily: Sure. Fastly, I would say our website is probably our primary source of communication. Then for me personally, connect with me on LinkedIn, Emily Garza or come to my website

Justin: Love it. Emily Garza, thank you so much for being on The Support Automation Show.

Emily: Thanks so much for having me.Justin: The Support Automation Show is brought to you by Capacity. Visit to find everything you need for automating support and business processes in one powerful platform. You can find the show by searching for support automation in your favorite podcast app. Please subscribe so you don’t miss any future episodes. On behalf of the team here at Capacity, thanks for listening.

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