“I am a bridge builder and I really like that aspect of my role,” says Yamini Rangan, chief customer officer at Dropbox, a SaaS company that offers file storage and collaboration solutions to both individuals and companies. With a background in sales and marketing, Yamini spent a lot of time talking to customers, mentioning that it was one of her favorite aspects of her job. Her love for being customer-focused was what helped drive her success at Dropbox,
Though Yamini has only been in her current role at Dropbox for 8 months, she’s been at the company for over 3 years. Her experience has shown her that customers buy technology products because they’re trying to solve a particular problem for themselves, their companies, and for their customers. She shares that when you connect with your customers’ true needs, you’re able to offer better help and provide value to them.
Yamini shares strategies that she has employed within Dropbox, that keeps her leaders and C-Suite aligned to the same goals of customer-centricity.
Prevent Siloed CX Work at Large Scale Companies
Since Dropbox has gone through a hyper-growth period, Yamini shares that it was important that her teams united internally to focus on customers. The goal was to prevent departments from becoming siloed in their operations. As CCO, her role is about embedding the customer centricity into the DNA of the company.
Yamini shares that she developed a one-year plan within the first 90 days of her role. She spent the first 3 months listening to employees and customers so she could understand both perspectives; she needed to know what was and wasn’t working and take those suggestions into account during planning. Yamini would ask customers, “What’s good about Dropbox – what is not good about Dropbox, and where can we continue to improve.” She explains that they spent time going over the responses to determine what actions they needed to take next.
Yamini tells that her leadership teams and C-Suite are all invested in being customer-focused. Since they’re invested in the vision, her conversations are often around prioritization and sequencing the right set of actions to take. Yamini and her leadership teams and C-Suite spend time listening to customer calls and support interactions. By listening, they’re able to analyze responses, understand the customer journey, and determine how to move forward.
Take Your Leadership Teams Through the Customer Journey
Similar to many other leaders, Yamini and her team created a focus group, a “customer advisory board,” where they gathered their top 15-20 customers to talk to them about the product strategy and company vision, and they listen to what is and isn’t resonating with customers. According to Yamini, this unifies the executives more than any power point presentation, because they’re hearing it directly from the customers.
Additionally, Yamini and her team developed a Customer Connection Day. She explains that this is where they created immersion experiences that allowed employees to see and understand what the customer journey looks like. Employees needed to understand the various facets of what that experience is like when customers install Dropbox, how it’s commonly used, and what the customer support experience is like.
As Yamini and her team continued to dive into the customer journey, they looked at the qualitative and quantitative data gathered to learn the various customer friction points. By knowing these points of tension, they can improve the usage process for the customer. Yamini explains that in order to be tactical, you have to put yourself through the customer journey, dig into the patterns that drive and improve differentiation for the customers. After this, she shares that they make sure to close the loop on the listening and tactic cycle. Once she works with her team to implement changes at Dropbox, they check in with customers to see how things have progressed.
What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Then?
“I would say that pay attention to the human experience. One of the things that I’ve kind of intrinsically known but now I really know is that it’s not as much the largest initiatives that matter, it’s also the small changes that improve the experience that matters. Pay attention not just to the really large, needle-moving ones but also the small human experiences that change the perception of customers.”
About Yamini Rangan
As a strategic and results-oriented technology professional with 20 years experience across sales, marketing, operations, and strategy, Yamini Rangan serves as Chief Customer Officer at Dropbox. Previously, she was the company’s vice president of business strategy & operations.
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