In search of the greatest teams in business who are creating meaningful customer experiences, this is Heart of Business with Anthony Kenneda and LB Harvey.
Anthony Kennada Hi, everyone. I’m Anthony Kenneda. And I’m LB Harvey. And we couldn’t be any more excited to announce our new podcast called Heart of Business.
LB Harvey Now, what is the Heart of Business? What we think it’s those moments when teams and customers connect and really inspiring and meaningful ways. That’s when your team is motivated and that’s where they’re engaged in their work. And for customers, it’s those personal human experiences that make them loyal to your company, loyal to your brand for life.
All of us are driven by the heart of the business, whether we refer to it by that name or not. It’s the space where we really feel like we’re making impact on our teams, our customers, and even our company’s mission and vision. When teams are fully engaged, they’re doing their best work. And your customers can feel that in the way that they experience your organization.
Anthony Kennada That’s right. Now, the best teams in business are connecting with our customers in really amazing ways.
Anthony Kennada And these are the stories that we want to bring you on the show. I like to think I know a thing or two about the qualities of a great team. I mean, I’ve been a diehard basketball fan now my whole life, and it’s pretty clear that to me at least, I’ll be that the Kobe Shaq Lakers of the early two thousands are the greatest team of all time.
LB Harvey You know, I suspected you are going to try to go this direction. And I have to say a big well, I think you’re forgetting the doubles, the Chicago twice three team of the 90s. That’s right. I’m rockin my B.J. Armstrong right now.
Anthony Kennada Two three-peats. I’ll give you that. We were almost there. But look, in all seriousness, we were actually inspired for this podcast by watching ESPN’s documentary The Last Dance, which profiled your Chicago Bulls. Our hope with this show is to find the ninety eight Bulls or maybe even the old Lakers of the business world, the greatest teams that are working together to deliver amazing experiences and outcomes for their customers.
LB Harvey That’s right. And we’ll ask all the tough questions. You will walk away from every episode appreciating the dialog in every episode. We’ll talk to a leader whose team has gone the extra mile to connect with customers and serve them in meaningful ways. At times, some of these examples may seem radical or maybe not make sense in the short term, but they’ve always delivered exceptional results in the long run.
Anthony Kennada LB I’m so excited to be working on this show with you. I think both of us have sort of had a bit of a career story where we’ve seen moments where we’ve been able to really build great teams and really our teams have delivered for customers in meaningful ways. I’ll share a little bit about my background.
So prior to my time at Front, I was a CMO at a company called Gainsight, and we built a very exciting kind of marketing team. They’re really focused on not just selling our product, but creating a whole movement or industry around customer success. And the biggest moment for me that that I think back on was creating this conference called Pulse that again, wasn’t about our brand. It was all about best practices and community and networking for people that were in the job of customer success. And that’s been kind of a big story. We took it from about three hundred people in its first year to over six thousand people in twenty nineteen.
The Moscone Center took it to London and Australia and kind of built this kind, a larger than life brand, really, in the spirit of serving this group of people, the customer success folks. So that’s the one that sticks out for me. I’m I’m actually excited where we’re going to do an episode at some point here in season one, where we’re going to talk about that with some folks from Gainsight and tell that story. I’d love to hear from you, LB. How do you think about your career journey and the experiences that you’ve built that kind of brought you to the Heart of Business here?
LB Harvey Prior to Front, I had two really amazing personal journeys with customers, so I spent seven plus years at LinkedIn where as I was leaving, I was running the North American Sales Organization for the LinkedIn Talent Solutions, which is all about connecting opportunity and talent together. And one of the things that I love that we did was we celebrated our our end users, the recruiters who are using LinkedIn talent solutions to find the next generation of fantastic talent for their companies.
And so we tracked their progress and their success. And for the folks who are real power users, we celebrated them and elevated them as real champions for their business and their companies. As everyone knows, recruiting great talent is just an absolute top priority for any growing business. Most recently, I was the SVP of Sales Success and Support at Intercom, which is a company that’s also really focused on driving personal relationships between businesses and their customers, which is obviously a great mission.
And one of the things that I loved about an initiative that the sales team actually drove was down in Asia-Pacific, where we had a growing customer base. One of our account managers created a local customer account. So even despite not having a more formalized program at that time, kind of a customer advisory board, he was able to bring together seven really key customers and get their consistent product feedback, feedback on the way that we were serving them. And when I was down in Sydney, I had a chance to sit in on a three hour roundtable and discussion and it was really, really insightful. So I love those pragmatic opportunities to check in with customers, understand the value that they’re getting from your product, what keeps them a customer for life. And then also, I love hearing about where they want to see the product continue to evolve to best serve their needs.
Anthony Kennada That’s incredible. I totally, totally agree. There’s nothing like hearing the customer kind of say it back to us. Right. And validate the product really delivering for them and just the overall experience that they’ve had with the company. So I couldn’t agree more. You know, one thing that we’re really hoping to do with the show as well is to shine a spotlight on some of the good news that’s coming out of the business world of twenty, twenty seven. As we all know, a pretty rough year, but it’s amazing to see how companies are innovating, how we’re pivoting there. We’re serving customers and new and creative ways. So every episode will kick off with a segment that we’re calling Heartbeats.
LB Harvey Welcome to Heartbeats, so the inspiration for Heartbeats came from a popular Web series hosted by John Krasinski called Some Good News, which really sought to bring some inspiration and a little hope during the worst of COVID. Some good news is not still around today, but enter Heartbeats. It’s our attempt to pick up the baton and bring you some of the most inspirational stories from businesses rallying around their community to bring good things.
Anthony Kennada That’s right. And our first story is from a company I think both of us really appreciate here called DoorDash a story fans.
LB Harvey We are big door users. Even before COVID, I will admit we were dashers for totally, totally.
Anthony Kennada Well, they’re in the news for for making the decision to allocate two million dollars in cold weather grants for local restaurants that have three or fewer locations in select cities. And they’re choosing these cities based on a number of factors like local climate limits on indoor dining with the local population looks like and they’re basically giving these businesses five thousand dollars to help them adapt to colder temperatures. We turn the corner now here into into the winter months for things like buying heating equipment, additional piece of protective equipment for their employees, increasing indoor dining and so much more. I think this is just obviously incredible. Just to think about DoorDash kind of going the extra mile here to serve their customers from the ecosystem perspective for a business that’s usually focused on taking food out of restaurants and delivering it somewhere else. So fascinating to me. But I think such an important decision that they made that that really speaks to how much they care about their customers.
LB Harvey Yeah, absolutely. I love this story and I think I love that they’re focused on helping some of the local businesses. Right. The fact that they’re focused on restaurants that have three or fewer locations, you got to imagine that it’s those folks that are having the hardest time kind of weathering the storm versus the big restaurant chains.
LB Harvey And I’ve I’ve often thought, as you know, new outdoor dining springs up here in San Francisco.
LB Harvey It’s probably not easy to want to invest in stuff like heaters and decorating outside, especially when for a city like San Francisco, it’s unclear how long outdoor dining is going to stay.
LB Harvey A thing, obviously, that’s tied to when when the COVID threat subsides a bit, etc.. So it’s awesome to see DoorDash stepping up and helping offset that cost. And to me, I really think that they’re playing the medium to long game here because they’re making sure that they keep a lot of their ecosystem alive and that that customers are still discovering or rediscovering some of their favorite spots. And I think, you know, going and getting the actual vibe of the restaurant helps remind you some of the food that you love best and some of your favorite spots. And so they’re really playing the long game here. And I would imagine this is going to engender a lot of brand loyalty all around from customers and restaurants for trash.
Anthony Kennada Yeah, I think you’re right. It actually is. As you were talking, I pulled up their mission here because I was curious. They said that DoorDash is working to empower local communities and in turn create new ways for people to earn, work and thrive. I think this is just such a beautiful expression of their mission and good on them for kind of bringing that to life. And I don’t think obviously this is something that they’re approaching from a kind of commercial outcome perspective. I mean, that’s something that likely could could play their favor over time. I don’t think the restaurants will soon forget this. You mentioned the medium to long term. I think this is something that will will continue to build affinity between Doordash n and the companies that they serve. Absolutely. All right. I got one more for you LB. Yes, OK. Walmart has decided has announced recently that one hundred and sixty of their stores across the country are going to be hosting drive in movies in their parking lots until it looks like the end of October, which is pretty amazing, I think, for speaking of communities. What a cool way to kind of bring back a, you know, a tradition that so many of us loved and now miss not being able to go into movie theaters or at least not having kind of the same experience there and chance just get out of our homes and connect with the local community and be entertained. And I know when I think about Walmart, I think about a lot of things, including large parking lots of which sounds like the capacity to do this was certainly there. I think this is such a cool, creative idea.
LB Harvey Yeah, absolutely. I know as a mom of a small child, all of my friends and I are constantly exchanging ideas on how to create adventures and create some entertainment in in this day and age. And I personally miss being able to go to movie theaters.
LB Harvey You know, I very much appreciate some of the the new technology, Netflix, et cetera, that allow us to enjoy the best new movies from home. But there’s something about going to a theater and getting out of the house that that I really, really. And so this is a great story, it’s like a feel good story from Walmart and I think everything I believe about the Walmart brand is deeply tied to them wanting to be very ingrained in the community. And so I think this is just a great way for them to keep that sort of brand promise alive and commercially I would imagine this is a nice opportunity as well. It keeps Walmart relevant.
LB Harvey I mean, it actually brings eyes to Walmart, right? People are pulling up in these, as you mentioned, big parking lots in their presence at the store. It’s probably making them think about the things that they want to go out and buy or pick up.
LB Harvey I don’t know when the movies are being shown and if it’s close to store hours, but I would imagine this is going to bring some additional traffic to Walmart and also really make Walmart stand out as a brand. That’s that’s in it. To your broader point on business is doing good in the community. It’s also just a great way to connect with the local community and provide an awesome sort of friend family experience.
Anthony Kennada Well, I’m so excited for this. LB We’re going to have our first episodes of Heart of Business drop really, really soon. But for folks listening, there are two things that they can do while they wait.
Anthony Kennada First, if you’re listening, hit subscribe on Apple podcast, Spotify, YouTube, honestly, wherever you listen to podcasts. So you’ll be the first to know when our first season launches, you’ll be able to get new updates every time a new episode is added.
LB Harvey And if you feel like your team has what it takes to be considered a GOAT, greatest of all time, then hit us up. We would love to hear your story and potentially bring those to the world.
LB Harvey So email us at [email protected].
Anthony Kennada That’s right. And finally, you can follow the Heart of Business podcast, as well as other great stories of how teams and customers are working together to make missions possible by subscribing to Front Page, the editorial site that we recently launched here at Front for founders, executives and customer facing teams. You can do that by either following us on Twitter @frontapp or by going to frontapp.com/blog.
LB Harvey That’s it for today. See you on our next show.
Heart of Business is a Front Page production brought to you by Front, the leader in customer communication. Front Page is the trusted resource for leaders who believe in the impact of meaningful connections with customers. You can find more inspiring stories at Frontapp.com/blog or on Twitter @frontapp. And don’t forget to hit subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you never miss an episode of Heart of Business.