The Support Automation Show: Episode 20

In this episode of The Support Automation Show, a podcast by Capacity, Justin Schmidt is joined by Nick Mehta, Chief Executive Officer at Gainsight. They discuss the importance of a strong collaboration between customer success and product and what role automation can play in this relationship.

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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.

Nick Mehta, good morning, welcome to The Support Automation Show.

Nick Mehta: Hey, great to be here, Justin. Thanks for having me.

Justin: Absolutely. Why don’t we get started with where we always get started and let’s tell us a little bit about yourself and what got you into the customer experience, customer success, Gainsight does a lot of things. You’ve done a lot of things in your career, but there is a through-line, and I would love to explore that through-line with you.

Nick: Yes, totally. It’s a strange through-line. It goes back to my childhood, if I really like to try to piece the puzzle pieces back together, because I’m sure, Justin, you’re the same way, which is you look up and you’re like, “Wait, how did I get here?” Right?

Justin: [chuckles] Exactly.

Nick: Like that famous song, how did I get here? I grew up a little bit around technology. My dad was an entrepreneur and ran some small companies, nothing very big, ran some small companies in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where we grew up, and I remember going to a Take Your Kid to Workday at my dad’s little company when I was like 10 years old, and with photo of it, and I still have that photo. I remember my dad telling me that if you ever go into the tech business, the only two things that matter are building a product and selling a product, because once you sold a product, you can move on to the next customer.

That mindset that it’s just about building and selling is what the history before cloud and SAS, what before, that was what everyone cared about, is just about the next customer, getting the next customer, things like support and customer success really didn’t matter, and I saw that in my career early on. Initially, before I got into the SAS and cloud world, I was in a big software company Symantec and I started as a product manager and eventually ran a division of Symantec.

In running that division, great team, great product and all that, but honestly, we didn’t think about customers, post-sale stuff, we would only think about it to the extent that if it was on fire, we had to fix it. At some point, our support hold times were too long and things like that, so then we go fix it, but it was extremely reactive.

Then I went to run my first SAS company before Gainsight, a company called LiveOffice, and I got turned into this world where, wait, when your customers are paying you as they go and when they have the ability to easily switch, you can’t just be reactive anymore. You can’t just only think about how long the hold times are on the phone. You gotta be thinking about, are they using a product well, are they getting value? You gotta be thinking about that before they call you, and that’s what customers that’s all about.

After selling my last company, I actually met two other folks who were working on the idea for Gainsight and I came on, as the company was getting started, I came on as a CEO, but as we were just launching it, one of the founders of Gainsight lives in St. Louis, Jim Eberlin Jim, and then his co-founder Sreedhar and I, and actually Dan Stein, and he’s been on your show. A few of us basically launched the company in 2013 as Gainsight in April 2013.

The whole idea was, hey, as companies move to these SAS and cloud models, they’re going to go through that same narrative that I went through, which is that reactive model where, okay, you do customer support, if you really need to and just make sure the customers aren’t totally pissed off at you to this new world where it’s like, “No, it’s our job to make sure they’re getting value that they’re using our stuff, and customer support and customer success is not just a cost center. It’s actually the way we grow, and so that’s what I’ve been doing the last nine years now.

Justin: Awesome. It’s interesting because you have the unique perspective here. You’re the CEO of the company so the whole business rolls up to you, but you also serve the market of the people and the success and support roles with the product for them, so it’s like you understand that CS is not just a cost center but also a revenue driver in a sort of intimate way that the position that you’re in, and you’ve also been doing this long enough that I think you have a really interesting perspective on this that I would love to explore. That is, we asked this at the top of every show, when you hear the words support automation, what does that mean to you? Then as a follow-up, how have you seen that evolution of the definition that brings to mind in your career?

Nick: Yes, totally. No, I think that if you heard the term support automation and if you sat in the shoes of where I was before I got in the cloud, that term is awesome. Less cost, need less people. That was the world, that’s why you need– Great, less cost, less people, awesome. Now, I think what we all people that I think in this new SAS/cloud world would say is, can I automate support so I can create a better experience for my customers, to make things easier for them, to let them to adopt their product easier, to get the value, to let my support team work on higher value functions, maybe invest more on customer success?

It’s a different mindset where it’s not just, “God, how do I figure out ways to cut costs and support?” It’s like, “How do I actually invest more in my customers so that they can grow, my churn goes down, they spend more money with me and they become better advocates?” Support automation, you can look at it on two sides at the same point, and the way I look at it now is totally different than the way I would’ve looked at it 15 years ago.

Justin: Yes, a really Greenfield space right now, I think, to look and say, where can we introduce efficiencies and business is always about, right, you generate more revenue, you try to do it with less cost. Don’t necessarily need an MBA to understand that concept, but like–

Nick: That’s the basics of rocket. Is it hard to do, but easy to say for sure.

Justin: Exactly. It’s easy from an automation perspective to look at things where you save costs, and the classic paradigmatic example of this is the robot that takes over a step in the assembly line. For a software, you’ve got things like marketing automation, you shout out to the folks over at Marketo for building the first marketing automation platform or whatever, and then you’ve got, maybe you take AI chat and that is a first line of defense before the tickets get created and sent to– We could go on and on, but the revenue generation side of things is where it gets really interesting to me. In your point of view, what is the first steps that leaders should take when they’re looking to bring in automation to help generate more revenue versus cutting costs?

Nick: Yes, totally. I think that the mistakes, you can think of it like a maturity curve where you make mistakes along the way and you can go through different stages. I think what people might start out thinking is support as a cost center. Let me find ways to reduce those costs. Maybe I’ll set, maybe use people in lower cost locations or maybe automate, and sometimes when they do that, they do that with such a poorly designed experience that we’ve all experienced what happens to that as customers, right? That’s when you have bad IVR systems, that’s when you have really choppy connections to call centers that haven’t even invested in a good voiceover IP and whatever, and we all have all been through that. That’s the worst, but it is the starting point.

I think what people sometimes say is, okay, we actually want customer support to be a positive experience. Where maybe we’re serving the customer about their feedback, we’re training our agents on empathy, we’re investing in our agents’ development, which is awesome and they are augmenting some automation, some chatbots, et cetera, knowledge, automation, and so on. That’s great, but you might still be thinking of them in a reactive model. You’re like, “Oh, the job is to help the customer when they need help.” Then you might start saying, “Gosh, it shouldn’t just be about helping the customer when they need help, because for us, we want to keep that customer. We want to grow them, so even if they don’t need help, we need to be in front of them.”

That’s where the concept of customer success comes around, which is usually like a parallel team to customer support. They work, they’re like Batman and Robin and whatever, they work together really closely and they usually report into the same boss who might be the chief customer officer, and that customer success team is now driving things proactively, but they still need the customer support team when you get a technical issue or running into things, and so then companies start investing.

They often start investing still with a little bit of a reactive mindset, so that you ask those companies sometimes early on, “What’s that customer success team’s job?” It’s, “Oh, they’re trying to prevent churn.” Then what happens is they start saying, “Wait, if we do all this, it’s not just about preventing churn. It’s actually about getting ahead of it, driving more value for customers so they’re growing with us, improving what people call net retention, which is like looking at churn, but also the expansion in your accounts.”

Then eventually get to the level where you’re like, “Well, wait, if we want to do this well, it’s not just the support team and the customer success team, because it’s also about getting the feedback from those teams into the product. You make the product better so that people don’t even have to call in the first place or that it’s easier to adopt. It’s also about the sales team and the expectations they’re setting and the sales process. It’s the marketing team and the value prop of what we’re communicating versus what we’re delivering.”

Then companies say, “We need to apply this philosophy of customer success and customer support across the whole company. We need to retransform the way we think of the whole company.” What happened in that whole arc, by the way, that arc takes several years for the company. That arc goes from support, as a cost center , it’s the last thing I want to invest in, how do I do less, to then, it’s okay, I need to make my experience a little better. I need to make people hate me a little less in terms of customers, to then know it shouldn’t be about making them like me, then should know it should be about driving outcomes. No, it should be about driving growth. No, it means everyone needs to be in it, and that’s the arc that every company goes through. Don’t feel bad if you’re in the beginning of that, 100% of companies go through all those stages.

Justin: Exactly. You touched on this a little bit in your answer there, and I want to double click on it because I know you’ve written about this before, too, on, which there will never be a better blog domain than that.

Nick: Oh, my God. I feel like the day that I came up with that, so my last name is Mehta which is M-E-H-T-A, and so it was either going to be Mehtallica or going to be Metaphysical. [laughs] Those were the two choices. I put a pull up on Facebook in 2008, and that was–

Justin: Buy that domain too, just in case you need to– I went through this similarly. I was like, “I’m going to start posting on LinkedIn more.” I was like, “I’m going to call it Thought Leader Schmidt, and that’s going to be my–

Nick: Leader Schmidt, hilarious.

Justin: It’s all about the brand. You mentioned this in your answer, and I want to double click on it because I know you’ve written about this as well, and that’s the concept of chief customer officer. Some of the best conversations I’ve had on this show have been with chief customer officers. You wrote this interesting piece on why nearly every SAS company should have a chief customer officer. I particularly want to dig in on something you’ve mentioned toward the end, and that is what does go under a chief customer officer?

The obvious answer is, well, customer success, customer support, but there’s more to it than that. There’s some ops-related stuff, there’s customer marketing, which maybe is a part of product marketing. We can play org chart games all day long, but I’m just curious from your point of view, what is a well-defined chief customer officer? What is their charter, and how can an organization leverage a well-designed role with the right person in it?

Nick: Absolutely. Let’s start with the charter and then the org. As you alluded to, Justin, the org can vary a little bit based on what the rest of the company is doing, but the charter is where it starts. The charter is very simple, which is, this person is front and center on these two sides of the coin. On one side of the coin is making sure that clients are getting the business outcomes they were looking for when they purchased your product, and getting it with a good experience. We call that [inaudible 00:11:29], that’s what the customer cares about. On the vendor side, like your business, I need the clients to stay with me, spend more money and be good advocates for us of the future. Those three things: retention, expansion, advocacy.

Now, this person is the tip of the spear on that. Now, they’re of course not the only person that owns that, because as we alluded to before, that depends on the product, it depends on the marketing and sales. They’re the person that wakes up every day and thinks about net retention, churn, advocacy. My chief customer officer, Kellie Capote, she’s the one that wakes up every day thinking about those things, sweating about hitting all the numbers. Now, why do you need to do that? The basic building block [inaudible 00:12:06] has practice for 95% of companies is at a minimum, putting the post-sales core functions together.

As you alluded to, Justin, you’ve got support. Most people have technical support, customer support, and then customer success, which is a more common recent practice over the last 5, 10 years. Many companies are onboarding and professes team setting clients up. If you have that, it’s a good place to put it. Some people have a training team, training your customers on using your product and maybe even charge for that or maybe it’s free. Then as you alluded to, you get into these other areas that are either accelerants of customer success and this function, or they’re the gaps in other parts of the org that you need to fill because nobody else owns them.

We maybe walk through some of those examples. An example of an accelerator, many companies say, “Hey, to really get our customers to get value, let’s create a community where they can talk to each other and learn from each other and help each other solve issues or adopt the product.” Community who owns that, often chief customer officers, own that online community. There’s an operations element to customer success and chief customer officer, because you got to analyze what you’re doing and figure how to scale it and process it,

it’s just like you have sales ops and other functions. What people often do is they’ll create a customer ops org under the chief customer officer, and they’ll put in all the operations for support services, customer success, all under one ops leader. Just like a chief revenue officer will have a sales ops leader, a revenue ops leader. Another example is something that could be an accelerant is actually somebody who is responsible for looking at the customer experience across the company.

You might have a head of customer experience under the chief of customer officer who is doing all the listening posts, because people call them of surveys and all that, but also running all the cross-functional projects to say, “How do we improve the end-to-end experience for example for a new customer coming on board, getting that welcoming email, going through services, what’s that lifecycle look like? What’s the race you look like of responsibility in terms of who owns what? What’s the customer journey?” You might have a customer experience person reporting to CCO.

Then as I alluded to, you might have some people that are either filling gaps for building bridges. For example, you might have a marketing team that really works with a customer success team, which is great, but if you don’t, you might build a customer marketing team under the chief customer officer. Long term, you don’t want that, but short term, somebody’s gotta do it, and some marketing team focused on that new leads.

Another example of bridge building is we’ve done this following thing which a lot of companies are doing, which is building this group that connects between the product team and the customer success team. Taking all that input from support, customer success, other folks, and helping to create a conduit so it gets back into the product, but not just giving feature requests, but also doing a better job with beta releases, doing a better job with how you do releases and notifications. All of that done, this is long enough, Justin, to know releases can go really well or they can go really badly, and that can cause all kinds of problems [crosstalk] success and everyone else.

We have done this internally, and a lot of people have done this. It’s like, “How do you create that liaison between the product organization and the customer organization?” Everything you do in the product is done with a very customer-centric mindset. There’s a lot that could be under this charter. The last thing that sometimes is under there, and this is probably the more advanced organizations, is some companies start saying, “Look, I want my chief customer officer to have revenue. I want all the revenue from my existing customers to go to them, in my renewal, my expansion and so on.”

Sometimes they’ll actually have the account management team underneath them or a renewals team and they own the number. What happens there is you’ve got a sales leader that’s all the new sales, some people call that The Hunting, and then you’ve got your CCO who’s got all the existing sales, which some people call Farming. You don’t have to do that. That’s a very advanced thing, probably 10, 15% of people do that. 95% of people have all that post-sale stuff under them, and more and more, about 60%, 70% have a really good operations team. I described it in some ways in the phases of–

Justin: You touched on a word there in your response that I’m going to dig in on this because I think just recently you guys acquired inSided, so congratulations.

Nick: Thank you.

Justin: That makes a ton of sense. That’s the word, community. That’s a huge part of what inSided does as a– I’m a big Zapier fan, and I know that’s one of inSided’s customer. Shout out to Zapier, a University of Missouri grad started that thing.

Nick: Oh, yes. That’s right. Actually, great.

Justin: Typically, in a lot of these SAS and the orbit in which the Gainsight operates in, you’re dealing with the customer teams inside of your customers, but not necessarily your customers’ customers?

Nick: Correct.

Justin: inSided now we’re creating the bridge from the individual customers of your customers all the way through your customers’ teams, and then into obviously the larger Gainsight operation. Now, there’s that through-line from Gainsight all the way to Justin, the fan of Zapier, trying to figure out how to do something. Talk to me a little bit about the evolution of the customer community and how that is brought into the larger vision of the customer operations and customer success and customer experience platform that you guys are building?

Nick: Justin, I have one question, are you in our meetings? Are you listening to our Zoom conversations?

Justin: No, sir.

Nick: Literally, that is, actually, it’s funny we haven’t rolled all this out yet, but that vision, the way we think about it is there are these three axes if you think of a triangle, three vertices of a triangle. One is the teams that are in your company working with your customers, your support team or sales team or customer success team. Awesome, you mentioned that. The second axis is the vertex in the triangle . Now you’ve got your end-customers, as you said, that are maybe talking to each other through community and so on. Then the third one, by the way, is then you’ve got your actual software product itself, Zapier or whatever product. Actually, Gainsight one of the things we did a few years ago was we bought a company and then built it out to let you put code into your product to put in guides and walkthroughs and messages to your customers inside your product, building a knowledge-base, building support chat inside the product.

Our whole vision is, can you connect the paperwork in their customers, your product and your customers all together in this virtuous cycle, so you nailed it. It fits with the way community has really evolved, to answer your question, because communities started out in really two different use cases. One was in that old support world, remember, people want to reduce support costs. How do we reduce support costs?

Maybe when customers can help each other, and then they won’t call us, a support ticket deflection. That’s the first use case of community. Obviously, that’s why you can go and have an issue with your iPhone and go into the Apple forums and see that nobody ever answers the questions but you can post your question, right? Concept of community, which by the way does not always lead to great customer experience, is certainly out there and definitely probably the mainstream use case in the traditional old school model.

What happened was, as companies moved to SAS and cloud, they’re like, “Wow, it’s not just a support ticket deflection. First of all, that’s a crazy concept. I want to talk to my customers, but I want to get them to do stuff and get more value.” These communities evolved, and inSided is an example of evolved, to say, “Hey, let’s position more around customer success. How do we actually focus more on helping new customers learn from experienced ones and onboard better? Customers learn about advanced functionality and new use cases and best practices. Also by the way, build personal relationships with each other and become advocates for the brand,” and all those kinds of things.

Very positive, not defense, but offense [inaudible 00:19:36] and so a lot of SAS companies now, just as a standard thing is, “Hey, build a community of your customers, get them to talk to each other.” In fact, there’s this new term that’s become really popular in startups called community-led growth. The way you grow isn’t just through selling and marketing, but it’s your community helping you grow. A lot of the best product companies now are growing through these file communities.

Building out community now is really more of just than a defensive support deflection, it’s an offensive strategy, and it’s more than just even your customers just talking to each other. It’s creating this conduit between the vendor and your customer and the other customers. We call that the customer hub vision. It’s this hub between the vendor and the customer and then all the other clients. There’s a lot more, you can imagine, over time you can then converge your knowledgebase and the events the customer’s going to and a lot of other ways you interact with them. Your success plan, like their goals, all could be in this one place.

Our long-term vision is community is the way that a vendor can then connect with its customers and then have customers connect with each other, and then customer success is the way your team connects to the customers. Then the product is the way that your customers connect in your software. All this stuff tied together, you create this flywheel where you’ve now created this way to really grow your company in a much more sustainable, durable way by driving value for your customers.

Which our long-term view is, companies are still going to have to do a lot of sales and marketing and webinars and send emails and do phone calls, whatever that’s fine. If you want to build a durable growth engine, you’ve got to make your customer successful, you’ve got to have a product that drives adoption and growth and you’ve got to have a community. Those three things create really well together.

Justin: They really do. I remember reading that news because it was really recent, like last month. If I am–

Nick: Four weeks ago, yes.

Justin: Just as a nerd, I like to keep up on this kind of thing, and across, I just love the concept of organic growth and how when an acquisition’s made what the synergies are, I could tuck things, and I absolutely love it. The thing that really struck me about this one and hold aside inSided and Gainsight. I think just as a way the world is going, in general, we talk about this in marketing all the time, the concept of the dark funnel, where I can put on the world’s greatest webinar, which I did last week, everyone should check it out. It’s on productivity tips. I can put on the greatest webinar in the world. I can get the world’s most optimized landing page to get someone to fill out a lead form.

I can have a world-class sales team to push that through the phone. I can do all that stuff and I can measure everything. I can look at the click-through rates. I can look at what part of the webinar they dropped off at, I can see the sales velocity inside the opportunity and sales. I can do all that stuff. What I can’t do is understand what happens when that prospect sends a Slack message to a friend of theirs in a group somewhere and says, “Hey, have you ever worked with Capacity before?” What I can’t do as a product owner is understand, “Hey, XYZ doesn’t work. How do you get it to work?” “Oh, you got to plug this into that and etcetera, etcetera.”

Through community marketing, through customer communities, through the advocacy and the development of those conversations and the insight into them, you can now have an understanding of that. You can flow it back into the larger CSAT and talk about featured adoption. If Gainsight able to tell one of its customers, “Hey, your customers are talking about XYZ, you can see the CSAT score’ is this, maybe you invest in that to bolster it or whatever.” You’re making a hell of a compelling case, and one that’s not possible without some degree of deep technological integration, automation, being able to manage that sort of previous heretofore dark funnel that has now been illuminated.

Nick: Totally.

Justin: This is a really long-winded way of asking a simple question. That is, if community is one of the next horizons, let’s look beyond even that and think about far into the future. We’re coming up on time and I want to be respectful of your time.

Nick: Totally.

Justin: I would love to know, is your blue flame thinker and a tip of the spear a lot of this stuff, what’s some of the stuff in the future of automation and the customer relationship that has you most excited?

Nick: Totally. I think there’s three things that I’ll share that feel like they’re far enough away that they’re a little bit futuristic, but not so far that you just totally wave your hand. I think these three things will definitely happen.

Justin: Flying cars.

Nick: Exactly. Flying cars. We’re all robots in the future. Before we become AI robots, singularity on the way to that, the three things I think are pretty logical to happen. Number one is by having the data across all these different places, so for example, your interactions with your customer, from your team, your CSMs, your support, and all this amazing data, and now emails, chats, etcetera, and then combined with their interactions in your community and then their usage of your product. Finally, I think we can get to the world of actually using AI, because I think AIs have definitely been more dream than reality in B2B, in software, and SAS.

It showed up a little bit, of course, in chatbots and things like that and there’s some core predictive support things happening. I think in terms of truly understanding a customer and being able to recommend the right things to them, understanding the factors that drive churn, I think we actually, as an industry, will get there. AI applied in all this feels like it goes from the true hype cycle peak of inflated expectations to something more realistic because this data is coming together. That’s number one.

Number two, I think we can actually drive a more integrated, thoughtful customer journey, because right now, one of the things that happens from vendors, I’m sure Justin, you see this too, is you’ve got, okay, these emails coming out from marketing and support team contacting the customer and then some messages popping up in the app to the customer, and then there’s a community invite and come join our training program and CSM reaching out and sales reaching out. There’s no lack of love for the customer now, but it’s a little bit too much and it’s not organized. It’s not very effective. You can’t tell it’s working. I think coming up with a more organized customer journey is the second thing that’s very possible now that all these things are coming together.

Then the third thing that I think ties to that is how do we actually create a more unified customer experience that’s more in the product? One of the things I think is interesting right now is how fragmented things are. You’re the client, you buy Zapier or whatever. You’re like, “”Oh, Zapier, it’s okay.” Now I got to go to the community site, but the community site’s us. Sorry, I’ll take responsibility there. You go to this community, the Oh, but is it a knowledge-based thing? I got to look that up somewhere else. Oh, is it a support thing? I got to go to the Zendesk portal. Oh no, I actually need to email my CSM. Oh, actually it’s a commercial thing. Maybe I need to talk to my salesperson.

Zapier is much better about all this because a lot of it is self-service, but a lot of vendors are like that. I think Gainsight’s that we’re too fragmented. So how do we create a more unified customer experience? We’re in the product and relatively seamlessly, whether it’s a support issue or it’s talking to my CSM or it’s filling out a survey or understanding new feature or even communicating with other customers, can I do more of that in the product? We call it a customer hub, like building the customer experience into this integrated thing that’s going to be in the product.

Those three things, AI becoming more of reality, truly stitching together the customer journey, and then putting as much of that as possible in the product. Those are three that feel very solvable for all of us in the industry.

Justin: Yes. I am fully with you on the cohesiveness experience, and it’s interesting when we go through our lives here in 2022, I always use this as an example, Tim and the team up in Cupertino have built a user experience that’s literally second to none where everything in this device serves the other components of the device from a hardware perspective, software perspective. If I need to get support, there’s an app on here I can do it. I’d literally never leave my iPhone to manage my entire life, which effectively Apple owns at this point. Shout out to Tim Cook and on all of them for building a $3-trillion company. Their earnings last quarter, when they were like, oh, $130 billion, a 48% gross margin or whatever.” I’m like, “That’s in a quarter?”

Nick: I don’t read it, Justin. It’s too boggling.

Justin: Mind-boggling.

Nick: It makes us so insignificant in the grand scheme of things, I don’t want to read it.

Justin: It’s just mind-boggling, but the broader point is that there’s a cohesive experience that they have created. That is an experience that in my professional life I don’t necessarily get, because to your point, there is some sort of fragmentation. To unify the toolset for the customer teams, to a best-in-breed platform of everything you need, you guys are well on your way to doing that, and kudos to you for doing that. From the customer’s point of view, outside of Apple, a lot of other companies have the opportunity to build a cohesive experience for their customers.

To do that, they’re going to need the right chief customer officer in place, they’re going to need the right technology stack in place, and they’re going to need the right alignment across all their product and customer teams to build everything that’s necessary. Nick, I could talk to you all day about this stuff, but we are running on time. Let’s end with my little quick-fire round here I do with everybody.

Nick: Sure.

Justin: I’m going to challenge you a little bit because for some of these, I don’t want you to recommend one of your own works here, but what’s the book that you most often recommend to people?

Nick: I’ll give you two. One that’s practical and one that’s completely impractical, but is just deep into the mind of the metaphysical world. The practical one is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, which is by Patrick Lencioni and it’s about how teams get dysfunctional and you read it and you’re like, “Oh, there’s no way that’s my company, my team.” Then you read, you’re like, “Holy cow. That’s my company, that’s my team.” Then you can get better. Read it. Absolutely no greater, couple hours.

Justin: It’s an all-timer. That’s a business book, Mount Rushmore book. 100% agree,

Nick: Mount Rushmore 100%. Then my metaphysical one is a book called Gödel, Escher, Bach, which is about the nature of reality based on this famous math theorem called Gödel’s incompleteness theorem and it shows where consciousness might come from. If you wanted an 800-page book about math, that’s the one to read. I’ve read it multiple times.

Justin: Oh, love it. All right. Next one. You’re a successful entrepreneur, CEO of the large business. You’re a busy guy. Productivity and managing your time is very important. What’s one tip, trick, practice, define it in how you want that you’ve pulled into your daily routine that you would swear by?

Nick: Yes, totally. There’s two. I’ll give you. They’re related. They’re both about actually more balanced, because for me I’m trying to be the marathon or not the sprint. I’ve been doing Gainsight for nine years. I think this is the opportunity for the industry and for us and for our customers, and so I want to do it 18 more years. I want to keep going. Two things that helped me keep going. Number one is, in the last couple years, post-COVID, I convert as many things I can into calls and I walk a ton. I probably do 15,000 steps I did with the company every day, and I actually average probably 15,000 steps a day. It’s like seven and a half miles a day. I walk a ton and I love it. It gives me so much energy.

Then, number two is in the same spirit of balance. We have a thing on– Gainsight really trying to let people disconnect on the weekends. To try to practice what I preach, I go into my iPhone, into the settings, and I turn off email and all my work apps every Friday night. I don’t turn them on until Sunday night. Now, somebody can still reach me if they want to text me or whatever. I’ve got my computer if I need to, but I really try to just take it off the phone so it can’t be there with me.

Justin: Yes. I love that. That’s one of my tips too. Whenever I go on vacation, literally delete, so delete it. [laughs] Just delete it.

Nick: I deleted it too. I know there’s other ways to do it. I deleted it. That’s funny, Justin, you do that too.

Justin: Because if it’s there and I’m just picking it up, I’m going to tap it, but if it’s not there, I won’t. You have to put the– the very source has to wear the blinders.

Nick: There’s so much effort because you have to reinstall every password. I’m not going to do that.

Justin: Yes. I love Slack. They don’t necessarily make it the easiest thing to log into. Shout out to Stewart and Benny off for that one. Nick Mehta, thank you so much for your time today. Where can people learn more about you, follow Gainsight? Where should we send them?

Nick: One of them is It is my personal blog, and then [inaudible 00:32:04], and then I’m pretty active on Twitter, N-R M-E-H-T-A, and then LinkedIn. Definitely look forward to the conversation and this is so much fun, Justin really enjoyed it.

Justin: Oh, I appreciate it, man. Nick Mehta, thank you for coming on The Support Automation Show.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 this 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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