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Time to Retire QBRs? Jamie Davidson, CEO & Co-Founder of Vitally, Weighs In

Is it time to retire the good ‘ld QBR? 

In our latest LEARN episode, Jamie Davidson, CEO & Co-Founder of, shares why CS teams should ditch QBRs and adopt Monthly Value Reviews (MVRs). Jamie invented MVRs as a monthly value-packed document that keeps customers engaged and reminded of the value you provide. It's time to shrink the timeline and amp up communication.

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“I called it MVR. It's a monthly value review. I made it up, but it was essentially creating a notion document, like a template you sent to the customer every month to remind them when the renewal is, what the general sentiment is, what their goals are, and what the progress is to control. You're constantly communicating value to the customer every month. So they're reminded that you're providing them a value, which is a good starting point for shrinking it from quarterly to monthly.”

Additionally, Jamie chats with Ted about: 

  • Ways to scale and automate your CS
  • The importance of getting creative with customer communication
  • The lessons he learned while growing Vitally

Plus, more.

Tune in our your favorite podcast app!


01:23 - Intro Jamie & What is Vitally

04:16 - Opinions on customer onboarding & best practices

10:01 - Retire QBRs & do MVRs

17:29 - Scaling CS & efficiency

24:39 - State of renewals and churn

28:27 - Rapid-fire round


Jamie Davidson: I gave a talk on something; I called it MVR. It's a monthly value review. I just made it up, basically, but it was essentially creating a notion document, like a kind of template that you sent to the customer every month to remind them like when the renewal is, what the general sentiment is, what their goals are, what the progress is to control. You're basically continuously communicating value to the customer every month. So they're reminded that you're providing them a value, which is a good starting point for shrinking it from quarterly to monthly.

Ted Blosser: Hi, I'm Ted Blosser, CEO & co-founder of WorkRamp. We were redefining the corporate learning space with the world's first all-in-one learning cloud for employee and customer learning. Welcome to the Learn podcast, where we learn from the biggest leaders in SaaS and hear what makes them successful. Hope you enjoy the show. Hey, what's up, everybody? Welcome back to the Learn With podcast. We have Jamie Davidson, CEO of Vitally, on here with us today. We actually here at Work Ramp are deploying Vitally. I was joking with Jamie. It's now the solution of all things Cs internally; so big expectations, Jamie. But Jamie, thanks for being on the podcast. Appreciate you taking the time out today. Let's get kicked off with, let's get an overview of yourself and a little bit about your career, and then we'll jump into the meat of it.

Jamie Davidson: For sure. Yeah. I mean, Jamie, CEO & co-founder of Vitally. Vitally is a customer SAS platform for B2B SaaS companies like yours. I've been at startups for 12 years and have been a CTO of two startups before this. One of those I was a co-founder of and actually spun out of that experience because at that company, even though I was c to for three years, I actually hard pivoted in customer success. I walked in one day, CT walked out, Chief Customer Officer at that company. It was a company called Path Gather. Built customer success from scratch with that company and, and got really inundated in the world of customer success and decided to, to build a platform I wanted all along at that, you know, as, as CT of that company. And so here we are.

Ted Blosser: That's awesome. You know, I, I had in my research notes Path Gatherer cuz it's in a similar category as Work Ramp. It's an LXP category. Tell me a little about that journey. What was, what was that like at Path Gather and the exit? I don't know if you were; I think you were still there at the exit time to Degreed or close, right?

Jamie Davidson: I left, actually. Yeah. So I mean, path, path Gatherer, I think it is pretty much just one with a degree now, and now it's just agreed. But yeah, the catheter was a, it was kind of a social take on the learning management system. We got started right at the, like, sort of like when MOOCs were exploding, like Coursera, adex, all these like companies were getting, you know, huge and on education online was, was becoming very popular. And we were looking to kind of bring that world and that passion into the corporate world where historically it's been really training and like regulation focused. We wanted to bring more continuous education spent on professional education. And so yeah, we, we built like kind of a platform that layered on top of your, there's no LMS and, and brought you content from Corsair, from edX, from those, like those third party providers into one place. But I left in 2000, right at the end of 2016. And I think the acquisition was in the early summer of 2017. So it was after I'd actually left.

Ted Blosser: Cool. Well, I'm glad you landed at Vitally and started or started Vitally, and what I was thinking we could do today is actually, I think a lot of customers look to you and your platform and your team for best practices on the customer journey. So what I love to do today is actually walk through the customer journey and talk about each key portion and get your opinions on each and what are the best practices around each. Do you have any strong opinions that maybe go against the grain? So anything you wanna bring up here would be great. And so, I thought the first part of the journey we could start on is around onboarding. So tell us a little bit more about your opinions on customer onboarding best practices, whatever you want to actually start with there. Yeah.

Jamie Davidson: Well, I mean, like, I think it's increasing popularity that teams are having dedicated individuals handle onboarding and then the ongoing relationship post onboarding. So you have, like, an implementation specialist or solution architect handle the onboarding side of it, and then a CSM handle, you know, post onboarding, which I think makes sense. If you can find people to do it all, that's great. But it's increasingly rare. I think the two most important things to think that you're right in the onboarding process is, or the customer's goals and ensuring that you wanna have recommendations on sometimes what their goals should be. But also, of course, listen to them what their goals are. You have an understanding of how to measure and track those goals, how to understand their progress, and how to report that progress to the customer. And then the other side of it is just even the relationship, right?

From the beginning, you want your relationship with your customer, I think to be as authentic as possible or organic as possible. Not to come across as this transactional sort of thing because you want the customer to feel very comfortable to tell you anything and everything. Like if they're thinking of leaving the company, you want them to tell you that so that you can prepare for that. If you think that their budget cuts are coming, you want them to tell you that. And if it's kind of transactional in nature, if it's a little less authentic, you're not gonna get those kinds of insider tips if they do come about. And so you, you want to kind of feel like it's, you're at drinks at a bar kind of relationship. And so just be yourself, be authentic, treat, you know, your customer as if like they're, you know, again, they're at the bar getting a drink with you. And that starts during the onboarding process.

Ted Blosser: That's so key. Actually, I have this joke with our sales team. If you move with a prospect over to text, you increase your win rate. Yes. Tenfold. Yep. Do you have any tips? And it's hard to coach this, right? We're, we're a training company, and it's hard to coach how to build that rapport. Yeah. Do you have any tips on how to do that? Do you do that with your, I don't know, if, at vitally, for example, you use implementation managers or if it's full-stack? Any tips on building rapport with customers early on in that cycle? And also, when you change hands, I'm assuming you change hands at some point. How do you continue that rapport-building?

Jamie Davidson: I mean, you gotta hire people that are that way. Cause I do think there are people that approach their job in a more sort of like, I have my work persona, and then I have my other, like my actual persona. And I think that people have them, they clearly have the work persona always refer to 'em as like, you know, where's the off button on? I'm like, you know, how do I, how do I actually know who you are? How do I actually hit the restart button so I can see who you actually are? And so I think one, you wanna hire people that are just very authentic in the interview process that come across as like an authentic, you know, their authentic selves. The other side of it is, I think again, just,

Yeah, I mean encouraging the individual to learn about the individual. Like, you know, technically 'em on the social network, somebody about their background, you know, getting 'em to like their posts that, you know, that the customer is sharing online. Again, you want it to seem like, you know, the customer has acquired a new friend. And so going the extra mile to show that sort of not only support because now you're paying, you know, the vendor, you know, you're actually getting a, you know, financial sort of benefit from the relationship. But, doing the extra mile to showcase that support outside of that financial relationship, I think, goes a long way.

Ted Blosser: It's a great soundbite. You want customers to feel like they acquired a new friend. That's that. It's actually great you screen for that. Think about when you're screening; you don't wanna look for, let's call it, someone who's very process oriented. It's great at the implementation role, but they also are very genuine and likable. Yeah. You can build relationships too. That's key. Yeah.

Jamie Davidson: I mean empathy. Empathy is everything in customer success. And I, I think there are people that have genuine empathy and, and people that can try to force empathy. Empathy is easy to sense the force of empathy. And so people that have genuine empathy for, for the customer goes a long way to building that, building that relationship.

Ted Blosser: Let's move to the next phase of the customer life cycle. So, we even see this in Amps scores, right? During the honeymoon phase. They're great customers who love you; they just, they just bought the platform. Like I was, I was just gushing, for example, buying vitally. So excited. You have great expectations; you're in implementation. And I think regardless of what service or offering you have, you then end up in what I call the messy middle. Which is like, okay, you're kind of in the slog of the relationship. That's when things get difficult in this environment. You might have layoffs shifting roles and titles. So tell us your best practices around this messy middle. And then also what's the setup you, you would like to suggest in this messy middle account management, CSMs, cms client outcomes managers as Gainsight does. We do that too. So give us your take on this messy middle.

Jamie Davidson: Yeah. Well, I think you, you, you've done a good job of both taking the first step in, avoiding the messy middle and acknowledging the fact it's typically messy. I think a lot of people will only see that after the fact. So if you head into it thinking, okay, the middle is the toughest part. Hopefully, you can get ahead of it. I think the middle is typically the messiest cuz it naturally gets complacent. Like you wanna make a good first impression. So you invest in the implementation, you invest in that initial relationship, and then once you've kind of checked that box off and the renewal is now like nine months out, it's easy to get complacent and kind of fall asleep at the will. And so making sure that you have a recurring process in place where you're continuously revisiting the customer's goals, you're continuously communicating progress, you're, you're checking on whether their goals have changed, whether they're, you know, maybe you need to recommend new goals, you need to just really not fall asleep at the, will.

Stay on the ball and ensure that progress is continuously made and really that the goalpost continuously moves. Because if you do kind of check one box off and you don't have other ones to check, then you're naturally going to likely get complacent. And, and one thing actually gives a talk a few months back on like QBR, or actually, we call it like killing the QBR cause the QBR is typical, yeah, well it's, it's a common thing that people do to try to avoid the messy metal, right? It's a recurring touchpoint with the customer, but I think it's too infrequent. I think it asks too much of the customer, at least the traditional PBR. Cuz you're asking the customer to get 'em a call scheduled call with a vendor to pull in extra stakeholders, and the customer has like 20 vendors. And that's a lot of, a lot, a lot of ask to give them.

And so I, I gave a talk on something, I called it over. It's a monthly value review. I just made it up, basically. But it was essentially creating a notion document, like a kind of template that you sent to the customer every month to remind them like when the renewal is, what the general sentiment is, what their goals are, what the progress is towards. You're basically just continuously communicating value to the customer every month. So they're reminded that you're providing them a value which I think is a good starting point for trying to shrink it down from quarterly to monthly.

Ted Blosser: Oh, we have to dive into the MVR. That's such a great acronym. And I'm guilty of saying we do it as well. We did.

Jamie Davidson: We did too. We did too. We did too.

Ted Blosser: Okay. Let's double-click into VMS. Tell us more about how those are run. I get the notion doc, but Yeah. Tell us about the meetings. Sure. What kind of sentiment do you ask from it? What's all the way down to like the format? Yeah, let's hear more about it.

Jamie Davidson: Well, there's a no meetings, actually. It's asynchronous. And so it's actually Shamus plug. We actually are moving it into our own notion, like kind of a feature that we have called vitally docs. It's essentially; it's just like a notion document that's just powered by your customer data. It allows the customer to see data that you have and, and vitally and, and check off tasks that you have in vitally. But it's just essentially, I mean, if you are a founder of a company, you have to send monthly investor updates asynchronously, right? And I actually do this in notion, and it's kind of that thought process, but with a customer, you're sending a recurring monthly update that is collaborative. You think the customer can go in there; they can make comments and can fill out surveys that are maybe embedded in the documents.

And it's actionable because you can use that data that is being automatically accumulated in the document to kick off automated workflows to do an asynchronous follow-up. I am traditional, I wouldn't say AnyMeeting individual, but I think the meeting is the laziest solution to prob to a problem. It's not; it's not always the incorrect or the correct solution. It's just the laziest solution. And so, I like to try to push my team to find creative ways to collaborate asynchronously with a customer. And MVR was one way to do that over the traditional QBR.


Ted Blosser: Wait, so I'm gonna compare one of the things you said in onboarding to this concept and help me reconcile it too. So sure. We talk about relationship building. Getting in front of the customer during the honeymoon period that's important. But then we move mv r some more; async almost feels less personal on the surface. Yes. But how do you continue building the relationship if you're moving things more async? What's your recommended way to continue meeting with the customer? I'm assuming you're meeting with the customer sometimes. What do you, what do you suggest around the mv?

Jamie Davidson: Well, it's not, it's not like, it is not, it's not a situation where you just wouldn't have a meeting around it. I think it's a starting point, right? So you, you move it to an asynchronous collaborative, like qi, like our vital docs like notion like a coda, something like that. And then, you give the customer the option to have that meeting on top of it based on what they may be put into the document. Because if you just start with, okay, let's have the meeting every month, I think you kind of get more towards the relationship being transactional. Cause you've set up a recurring pattern. If you want them to treat you, treat somebody like your friend. I would imagine most people don't have friends where it's like every single, you know, Friday the third, Friday of every month at like two o'clock we're gonna go meet at this place. Like, you kind of do it a little bit more organically. So the MVR is a way to kind of almost get data, get evidence, get communication, like substance to facilitate meetings if they need to happen to facilitate more collaborative, more productive conversations in a meeting if they need to happen. And it's, it's, it's, it's more, it is just data to educate if a meeting is necessary and if the customer even wants the meeting or not.

Ted Blosser: That's cool. Okay. So I'll kind of ask you point blank, too; this might help settle the debate internally. We, we've always had the debate is, Hey, our regular syncs a good thing for the CS function with a lot of, we, we call 'em CLMs here at workaround client outcome managers. A lot of CLMs prefer having monthly, weekly meetings. And you could say no, yeah, you should get rid of those. Do you advise that to your clients? Or do you say, Hey, do what fits your business? What's your, what's your suggestion? Or are you super opinionate on it? Get rid of

Jamie Davidson: Recurring? No, I wouldn't say get rid of recurring. I mean, we do them, of course. It, you know, the, the, the fact of the matter is that the, the customer isn't just an immediate friend you get. And so you have to, you have to build that trust over time. And you do need structure; otherwise, it's easy to, it is easy to kind of, you know, end up in a plot where you're never touching base with the customer. It's, it's just a, it's a fine line to walk. I, I think you need to listen to the customer and understand what benefits are the best. Some customers want the meetings need the meetings to hold not only themselves but their large team accountable for making progress toward seeing value in the product. Some are more independent and are more proactive on their own. They don't need the meetings to have that accountability.

They can do the work; they can make progress in their own time on their own schedule outside of those meetings. And that's where you maybe can fall back to looking at the data and figuring out creative ways to schedule ad hoc meetings to tackle unique challenges and creative things that come up. So if you want a universal role, the easiest and safest choice is gonna be to have recurring touchpoints. You wanna get really revolutionary. You can say no recurring touchpoints. But again, it's, it depends on the person. There's just no one right answer for each customer. Because each customer is going to function just differently. And they're gonna; they're gonna want to work differently with your product.

Ted Blosser: That's great. And so take is to ask the customer what their preference is, adapt to their mode of operation, and build relationships with them regardless.

Jamie Davidson: In an ideal world. Yes. Yeah.

Ted Blosser: Yeah. That's very cool. Let me talk about a topic that actually touches both the two topics we just talked about. Onboarding and essentially CS slash account management is scaled. Cs, this is a hot topic these days. We even internally debate on, Hey, what's the segmentation line? What are the resources heading toward it? Give us; I've heard hot takes, and I've heard people kind of just go with the standard norms. Give us your take on skill Cs as of May 2023. What would you say?

Jamie Davidson: Well, I mean, I think everybody has to be doing skill cs. Even those that are doing white plus Cs or, even in some ways, doing scale Cs, because, at the core of scale, CS is efficiency and back efficiency is automation. And everyone's customer success process, regardless of whether it's one-to-many, one-to-one P L G or anything in between, should be leveraging automation to automate the repetitive, automate the sort of like boring, the easy to complete task and let in, with an aim to giving your individual CSMs more time to focus on the creative, on the challenging, on the unique solutions that require actual, like humanized human thought. And so I'm a big part of the scale. Yes, we do it vitally. We're, of course, running it out of our own vital instance. And, of course, powering that is our automation to facilitate that.

Where I think teams can, can go to make missteps in scale. CS isn't how they use automation. I, I like to look at automation, and the way that we do it with scale CS is personalized automation. And the opposite side of that is, is robotic automation. And so if the automation is robotic, if, like, for example, I actually got an email literally today from one of the vendors that we use, I'm not gonna name them, but it went to, it came from like a generic email address at the company. It clearly wasn't an individual; it was a polished A C M A E email. But it was talking about setting up a strategic session with like the team. And my thought was automatically archived; they went into my like promotion or updates folder. And we all have had bad experiences with bad automation, bad, you know, automated support, or bad automated customer success.

And so if we think that what we're getting, you know, the, the prompts we're getting to schedule these meetings are from a robot or from an automated system, we're not really incentivized to engage with it because we think we're going to go down a, a frustrating, you know, process that is not gonna be efficient and it's gonna give us generic sort of like input or outcomes. And so, thinking about it as like, how do you personalize your automation? How do you make it seem like it's one individual? You're just facilitating the sort of repetitive, the standard things they need to be doing. And yeah, I dunno. I think that's, that's, I guess that's all. I guess that's all I got for now.

Ted Blosser: Would you, when you were actually, I love that example. I remember in our early days of our, we used a VIP slack channel, and we, and the only way we could kind of hack it, we were kind of on the earlier side of leveraging it for support, but we had a, we couldn't figure out how to personalize Slack and actually have people rotate in. And so we had to essentially use a shared account, and people hated it; it's like, I just, I wanna talk to a real person, not your logo. Yeah. Right. But that's an immediate kind of visceral reaction you have is, like, I do not wanna talk to a logo. I wanna talk to Sarah at Work Ramp. I wanna figure out my problem here. But you're spot on with that. You make yourself,

Jamie Davidson:

You make a fake ploy, which I, which I've seen a company do and actually don't, I, I think it's like a, a fine idea. Like, have it be an actual, like, you know, essentially were by the, by the backend, but you know, yeah. Have it like, even though if there's been Sarah at work ramp com, it'll, at the very least, I think, increase reply rates to whatever you're trying to get the customer to do. I,

Ted Blosser:

I used my wife's avatar, I think, on our website for the first five years of the company, just as our fake bot there. Yeah. she let me borrow, borrow her face for our website. Let me ask you about the pitfalls of scale cs. Sure. Have you seen it go wrong? And here's an example. Have you seen people make the segment too big or understaff it? Like what are the biggest pitfalls of scale Cs you see? Cuz on paper it sounds great, boards would love it, they reduce your costs. What's, what's like, a big pitfall outside of the personalization?

Jamie Davidson:

Well, I think making the automation robotic is certainly one or two. Robotics is certainly one. Cause you're, you're investing a lot of human capital into something that doesn't really provide much impact and potentially can even degrade the customer experience cuz you're just bombarding the customer with like email after email that they're auto archiving. And, you know, they're further while they're doing that, they're just basically getting a more negative impression of, of the company. The other side of it, I think, is people, they maybe look at it purely from a like revenue perspective, but I mean like how much the customer's paying you. Like, you know, if you're less than X dollars a year, you know, annual contract value, you're in scale Cs; otherwise, you're in high touch customer success. Which is an obvious way to segment based on who gets scale Cs or not.

But, you know, especially if you're in a PLG model into that less than X dollars per year segment, those that have extremely high potential to become that next key logo, that next high touch customer you want. And so trying to layer in information about the business, about the potential of the business to become a truly, you know, known key logo for your business and going the extra mile with those and maybe breaking some of the rules of Kels for those to try to encourage them and, you know, increase the potential that they become an actual like larger potentially like a six-figure customer is Keith. So I think, you know, trying to figure out when you should break the rules with the scalp Cs thresholds that you're looking at is, is key to, to, to drive more growth in that eventual like high touch customer success segment.

Ted Blosser:

Yeah, that's a great way to identify. Obviously, we sell a customer education platform as well too, and we'll look at signals from hey, who's actually engaging heavily with the training content and even pull them out of the skilled CS org and give them even more personalized attention. Cause we could see the signals, hey, they wanna learn more, and the reps can even see that directly in our Salesforce instance. Yeah. Okay. Let Switch go ahead. Go ahead.

Jamie Davidson:

Segmentation with manual segmentation, like we use the data that we have to automatically segment the customers, and then on a recurring basis, we look through that scaled success segment, at least the new customers that are in it. We might manually, yeah. Like pulling somebody out of it and into a different segment and basically overwriting the data with human judgment because we know that potential that the customer has.

Ted Blosser:

I like that. Let's go to a topic that's top of mind for a lot of people in this economy right now, churning down sales. It's, it's happening all around the board, especially in SaaS. It's easy to switch SAS vendors these days, especially when you're looking to consolidate, for example. Give us your thoughts on the state of renewals and churn. Right now. What are two, let's call, one of two big things you would recommend to all SaaS companies that they should be looking at when it comes to renewals and churn reduction?

Jamie Davidson:

Hmm. Well, you gave me one of my answers early on in our chat, and let's focus on the messy middle. And that relationship I've seen so many customer success teams, you know, kick off the, the, the, the relationship, right? Sleep in the middle and then wait for the renewal to come about a schedule that, like last second QBR, you know, a couple of months before the renewal, all with an aim to get, you know to ask the customer basically, are you gonna renew? And then they learn these surprising things like in the QBR in the meeting that might be turned risk. And then they have to, like basically, you know, shuffle, like maybe act quickly to try to overcome those. And customers can see right through that. For if you are disengaged for a four-month period and then only really engaged for the last couple of months for the renewal, customers see through that.

And that's gonna further, again, potentially add to their potential to churn. So folks in a mess, middle, messy, middle, making sure that you're getting really innovative in those monthly checkpoints in that monthly sort of like a recurring relationship, making sure the customer's making progress towards those goals is, is key so that you can continuously remind the customer that, Hey, we're here for you. We're seeing value from the products and whatnot. The other side of it, I think, is, and this is not something all customer success teams have control over, but I think now's the time just to get creative with pricing, especially if the churn is potentially economically related. If the customer is, you know, being told by the CEO, they've gotta cut budgets like every, there's a lot of panic happening right now, and people forget that markets go up and down and sure we're on the more downside than the upside right now, but there will be the upside coming soon.

And, you know, offering people free months pushing the renewal out a little bit too, to put, try to put it back into a position where there's more of an optimistic outlook when we're more on the upswing, while, of course, leads to contractions. It's better than churn. And again, I would only do this again if it's economically related, but giving, giving the, the buyer a chance to get a clearer thought around the renewal process when the markets are looking better than and worse is something that will eventually, I think, pay off in the long run of the company.

Ted Blosser: It's smart. It almost sounds like your second part of the answer is that it can help in the short term, right? You could, you could teach your team how to negotiate better. You probably see some short-term wins there, but your, your first part of the answer of that question, answer to that question was, Hey, you really gotta fix the, the, the fundamental problems if you actually wanna solve churn, which is really in the messy middle, maybe a little bit in the onboarding, but definitely in the messy middle,

Jamie Davidson: Right? It's gotta go hand in hand. You gotta get the data picture, the data profile that proves that the customer's getting value from the product. So that if then the CEO or somebody comes in and says, we gotta cut costs, remove, you know, product X, you then arm your customer success buyer with two things. One is the data package that proves you don't wanna make this decision. You're getting so much value from the product; it's going to be absolutely devastating to your business if you just totally gut this, you know, from your tech stack. And then two, we understand that you're in a tough spot, we'll work with you by buying, you know, giving you a couple of months and let, let's revisit a couple of months when potentially the outcomes are a little more optimistic.

Ted Blosser: Yeah, I love that. Keep it, keep it simple. I wanna ask one quick question. Then we'll head into the learn rapid-fire round. The quick question I had for you is this is more on Vitally, and we talked about the whole customer life cycle. What's the most unique thing u USA Vitally does for its clients that maybe other companies aren't doing today?

Jamie Davidson: The unique thing that, well, I already talked about, the mv, what is it? The mv cause I did just kind of create that a couple months ago. And then our had customer literally heard my talk about it, and he was like, you know, we're gonna, we're gonna actually do this. I didn't even tell him to do it. He just listened to the talk, and he, like, you know, we're gonna do this. So we're actually using, again, our docs feature to replace the QBR and move it to an asynchronous monthly value review. I think that's, that's pretty unique, and I'm hoping that, you know, it does pick up a little bit and others start to do it. And we do have, you know, shameless plug; we do have an MVR template that I can shoot your way if you're interested.

So you can hit me up on like LinkedIn if you want. We're, we're pretty creative communicators. I am fairly anti-email when it comes to customer engagement because the thing you have to again, keep in mind is that the customer has dozens and dozens of vendors, and all of those vendors also are emailing the customer. Other people that wanna be vendors are also emailing the customer. And so, I always push my team to find new unique ways to engage customer that doesn't rely on email. So we use dedicated Slack connect channels with our highest-value customers. We use our docs feature to facilitate asynchronous recurring engagement. We just started looking at in-app product tours, and we're using them in a very personalized way. We're pushing, pushing very dedicated and unique tours to unique individuals at the point of them being in the product.

And so, of course, we do use email for some certain things, but we look at it more; the email is more of a customer marketing tool to just kind of promote, you know, product features, product updates, and things like that. And less of something to facilitate the customer relationship. And to your point, as you said, if you can get if you can start like, you know, texting your customer, that's where you've really, you know, done a good job. And, and I think that's, that's what we're all trying to aim towards. Like, let's actually get to the point where we're comfortable enough to text the customer as a means of communication and engagement versus email.

Ted Blosser: So fashionable, but getting a call from your new friend will make your day. So. Well, Jamie, this has been an awesome conversation. I'm gonna go into the Learn Rapid Fire section here. This is just a couple of minutes. I'm gonna ask you a question and gimme a one-line answer for each. First one I'm gonna ask you is what's one podcast book blog you learn the most from, or maybe you're you're currently reading?

Jamie Davidson: A few years back, I read a book called; I think it was called, like, Create Your Own Religion, I think. I think it's like a subtitle of a how-to book without instructions. And it, it, look at that book on the surface, you probably thinking that might be a little bit of a, I don't know, controversial book. It's actually not. It's essentially a book that encourages you not to just accept common practices and processes in things because they're commonplace. It gets you to question how they got there, the motivations of how these things got into place, and encourage you to kind of think without bias, you know, as you approach your daily life. And to approach things more of a clean slate, not with the bias of, like, historical practices and, and processes that were maybe put in place that was maybe appropriate for a time, you know, way back when, but maybe aren't now.

Ted Blosser: Great answer, great answer. We'll have to check that one out. How about one topic? So if you could, if you, if you, let's say you're retired, you could learn one new topic or even if you had free time now, what's one new topic you would try to learn about the human moral condition, I guess? I mean, I love, I love to understand people and why they do what they do. A lot of people think of me as a little bit more of a robotic individual than a human individual. And I like to think of which I find somewhat true, but I like to analyze the human condition and, and, and understand what it is that, that gives people, that it gets individuals to do the things that they do. And so I probably just honestly study, like, read the books around again, like human history, philosophy, things like that.

Love that. Last one I'm gonna ask you, this is gonna be related to your career. You've had a successful career. You've started vitally; what's one big piece of career advice you would give the audience?

Jamie Davidson: Mm, make your own rules and do the job that you want. Not necessarily the job that you have. I mean, if you are ambitious, I grew up in the rural south, you know, surrounded by farms. And I learned that that was not what I wanted in my life. And I continuously, you know, as I got older and older and, and became more of an adult, continuously tried to find ways to, to sort of break those constraints, break the rules that were different and different from, from the p individuals around me. And so, again, it kinda gets back to the book I recommended. Don't just do the things; follow the processes that are surrounding you, question them, find ways to make your own path in life, and just be creative and practical with how you approach your career.

Ted Blosser: Hey, and that's why you're in New York City now, doing the exact opposite of being surrounded by farmland. So

Jamie Davidson: There's nothing wrong with it; it just wasn't for me.

Ted Blosser: Jamie, it's been a pleasure having you on the podcast. Appreciate you taking the time, and we're, and we're, again, we're looking forward to rolling out the platform and looking for staying in touch.

Jamie Davidson: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.