Ziv Peled from AppsFlyer shares his secret sauce on CS and his journey to becoming a CCO
In our second episode of CCO Secrets, we had the honor of speaking with Ziv Peled, Chief Customer Officer of AppsFlyer.
AppsFlyer is a SaaS mobile marketing analytics and attribution platform. Or, as Peled describes it, a platform for marketers that aims to be an immersive tool that marketers use every day.
While he leads the customer success and customer support teams, Peled primarily spends each day thinking about the overall customer experience. He is what he calls “customer-obsessed,” a term he lives so thoroughly that it emblazoned the shirt he wore during our conversation.
He defines customer obsession as fully representing customers internally. This approach involves aligning each customer’s needs and use case with engineering, product, finance, and every department within the organization.
It’s answering the question “what do they need and how can we help them use our platform on a broader scale” in every area, every day.
But how did Peled become customer-obsessed at AppsFyler? His path was a unique one that started in engineering.
The majority of Peled’s roles have been customer-facing, but his career first began as a QA engineer for Voltaire, a computer networking company. He went on to hold several other engineering positions, as well as product manager and project manager roles.
“In the end, my love and passion is working with customers,” Peled said.
He held six titles at AppsFlyer specifically before making it to the Chief Customer Officer position. Part of his success was very much due to his product-focused background. This experience gave him a deep understanding of a product’s infrastructure and architecture.
This insight coupled with his love for helping customers enabled Peled to bridge any gaps between the product and the customer.
Often those gaps were related to optimizing value and rapport — two core elements of customer success.
Peled believes in building trust first and showing value second.
“When you get trust from a customer, then you're able to showcase the value. And then when our product is highly valuable to customers, it's very easy to then get to the relationship stage.
When it comes to the lack of customer success representation at the leadership and board level, Peled says it comes down to an understanding of and relationship among all c-suite roles.
“Investors, board members, founders, they need to understand that in B2B SaaS, the CEO is not the chief executive officer, he or she is the chief experience officer,” Peled said.
And the need for representation does not start at the board level, according to Peled.
“I think that it's not only in the boardroom. We need to be represented in the boardroom, but we need to work very closely with the CROs and COOs in order to design revenue much, much, better, much, much earlier.
“And we need a very good relationship with the CMO and the CPO. So we integrated Pendo [a product-analytics app] last year. We're thinking about the customer portal these days. And those are platforms— yeah I bought it from my budget and I'm using it, but it's exactly in the middle of product marketing and customer success,” Peled said. “And now I'm also speaking about the community who is the owner of the community? It should sit in customer support because it helps support .. and it will have a dotted line to marketing.
“I'm obsessed with relationships, but one of the things that I definitely realized in the last year is that a relationship is nothing without making sure that the desired outcome is achieved.”
For any CSMs, directors, or VPs looking to advance to similar heights, Peled broke his advice down by varying company stages.
“I think that the focus for anyone early stage to post-A is to focus on onboarding. And I mean onboarding of customers and onboarding of new customer success managers. And at the same time, no KPIs. The only KPI you have is those onboardings. Those onboardings must be amazing, both for the customer success managers and the customers.”
Wait a minute, Peled. No KPIs?
“I’m not saying not to measure. Measure everything; measure everything you can. Measure the product, engagement, and focus on that onboarding,” Peled explained. “At post-A and maybe a little bit after that stage, you need to start making sure your infrastructure is good, and you have all the points from the usage of the product to engagement, and you have a very good Salesforce instance, and you have the right people to grow with.
“So I think that every time, you need to make sure that you have the right people around you so that you'll be able to grow. If you want to be a CCO, you need the people that will be able to take you to the next level.”
Peled’s innate love and passion for customers paved a natural progression to where he is today, and he admits he’s simply learned most of his skills and expertise along his journey.
“There’s a lot of things I learned and that I still learn every day. This is my first time managing an organization of 244 people, which was just 109 a year ago. So it’s every day that you learn new things, and this is also why you need to hire amazing people and learn from them.”