Pulse 2019 Recap: People and Puppies

Dan Morris | May 29, 2019

Logo for Pulse 2019 conference

Last week, Squelch was proud to sponsor Pulse 2019 — the world’s largest customer success conference. Hosted by Gainsight, the event took place May 21st-24th in San Francisco. Here’s a recap of our experience and top takeaways from the event.

Wall of flowers with Pulse event logo

Event Recap

As evidenced by the display of flowers above, Pulse was a beautifully-produced conference. The care and thoughtfulness that Gainsight put into the decor extended to every aspect of the event, making it an enjoyable and worthwhile experience for sponsors and attendees alike.

The Squelch team spent the majority of the conference at its booth in the expo hall, which allowed us to interact directly with the hundreds of customer success managers (CSMs) and other CX professionals in attendance. The chance to speak one-on-one with the very customer heroes we aim to help with our CX optimization solution was invaluable.

Employees of Squelch pose at the company's booth at Pulse 2019

We listened to attendees describe their current challenges in resolving customer issues and helping them to achieve their goals. After gaining a better understanding of these CX professionals’ needs, we had the opportunity to show them a live demo of the Squelch software and begin a conversation about how it might be able to help solve their challenges.

Our team understands that time is precious, especially when attending a professional conference jam-packed with talks and networking opportunities. So we were particularly grateful to the attendees who stopped by to chat and watch a demo. And to say thank you, we entered them in a giveaway for a pair of Apple AirPods. That’s what we call a win-win!

Squelch employee poses with Pulse attendee
Congrats to Amin Chaudry (left), winner of our Apple Airpods giveaway.

Top Takeaways

“There to learn.” That’s how one of the Squelch team members described the motivation of CX professionals to attend Pulse, and the conference did not disappoint with the learning opportunities it offered.

The agenda featured full days of sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with a shortened schedule on Friday. Tracks included:

  • Human-First Leadership
  • Evolving Your CS Program
  • Driving Customer-Centric Transformation
  • Growing Revenue Through Customer Success
  • Building Products That Drive Growth
  • Scaling Customer Success

Attendees were also able to learn more about the conference host and its products through the Gainsight Customer Showcase, Gainsight Admin Summit, and Gainsight Elements Workshop.

One session we especially enjoyed was Balancing Scaling and Customer Wow! The talk was co-presented by Mary Poppen, CCO at Glint, and Irit Eizips, CEO of CSM Practice. Both women are pioneers in the field of customer success and are featured in past or upcoming editions of our Influential Women in CX interview series.

During their session, Mary and Irit explained how “achieving the ultimate customer experience while scaling your customer success team is becoming the main focus for many customer success leaders.” They also provided answers to three central questions:

  • Scaling customer success: who, when, how?
  • Where should you focus your scaling efforts relative to your company’s lifecycle?
  • How does scaling towards customer “wow” translate to account expansions and advocacy?

People + Puppies

As noted above, one of the session tracks was Human-First Leadership, which tied into a broader theme of the 2019 conference: “Customer success is human first.” In laying out the theme, Gainsight explained, “What if the future of business isn’t less human? What if it’s more? This year, Pulse is celebrating human-first customer success by creating learning, networking, and entertainment with the human at the center.”

When it comes to CX, we agree that a skilled human touch is essential and believe that empathy and gratitude are particularly important components of a stellar experience. But Pulse 2019 taught us that puppies are also important.

What the heck am I talking about? As depicted in the photos below, Gainsight welcomed an organization called Finding a Best Friend Rescue, which brought several dogs in need of a new home to the conference. The puppies provided cuddles and a boost of energy to attendees, some of whom even ended up adopting one of the dogs.

Sign promoting "Puppies of Pulse" event         Event attendees play with dogs

The “Puppies of Pulse” left us thinking that perhaps rather than focusing on the human element of CX, the key is connection — whether that be to a fellow person or a four-legged friend. The concept of connection, particularly as it relates to CX culture and a business’s bottom line, is actually a concept we explored in a recent webinar with TSIA. You can access the full video and slides here: How Culture Can Impact Success Teams, Customers, and the Bottom Line.