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Bad Customer Experience: Gigya Example

May 1st, 2014 by

bad customer service

Here’s the story of a sales and customer service experience I had with Gigya that I think we can all learn from. Developing the right strategy and tactics to grow revenue is challenging. I’ll run you through the story quickly, and offer a summary below. Feedback welcome.

Chapter 1. A Gigya sales rep follows up on my request for a Demo. Days before the demo my assigned rep calls and requests answers required for the demo. A bit intrusive, but I answer a few questions and show enthusiasm for the demo.

Chapter 2. Demo day arrives. We kick off the call with more questions about our business, followed by a PDF presentation. What? PDF? Really? Any demo? Buhler?

Chapter 3. PDF is packed with customer logos and diagrams of how social works. The big push is Social Login, as if it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Please. Do I need this? I’m dreading this pitch.

Gigya Sucks 4. I ask to skip the PDF. Just the demo of the product please, I politely ask. NO CAN DO I learn. “We need a Tech Person on the call. Next week. Say Tuesday?”

Gigya Sucks 5. The rep calls back and states: “Byron, I need confirmation that you intend to buy our product to confirm the demo next week.”

Gigya Sucks 6.  I decline. I hang up. And I’m frustrated that I’m apparently not worthy of seeing the product. The end.

Situation:  Gigya, like all SaaS models–and businesses for that matter–need to quickly find the buyers with the time, need, money and authority to purchase their product.  Spending too much time with the wrong customers will tank sales. Spending not enough time with the well matched customers will also tank sales. Finding the right formula for success is challenging.

Complexity: Marketing tactics have greatly improved over the years, so leads are easier to generate for certain products and services. Qualified leads however are more difficult to acquire, requiring advanced methodology and technology.  Sales and marketing managers need to make key decisions on where to spend and how to manage the process.

Solution: Gigya has it all wrong. Selling is not about fitting the product into the customers business. Instead, it’s about how the customer’s needs fit with the product—and that’s up to the customer to figure out, not Gigya.

Gigya needs three levels of engagement if their product is, in fact, that amazing:

1) Demo the product to the world, perhaps in groups at certain times of the day. Showcase a few problems that Gigya solves in freakishly amazing ways.

2) Tease this concept: “That’s just the beginning—put us to the test with a custom solution and we’ll show you how our technology and methodology will WOW you.”

3) For those that agree to the next step, this filtering would suggest a more serious lead, worthy of higher level “Tech Players” getting involved to improve the chances of closing.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think Gigya can improve their sales strategy? Look forward to hearing from you.

3 Responses to “Bad Customer Experience: Gigya Example”

  1. Alan Edwards says:

    With arrogance like that, it will be difficult if not impossible for them to turn the situation. I can’t help but wonder if you were from the Hugo and not Writer Access would the commitment to buy be needed before a demo.

    They need to understand that three lesser orders equal one large order, and is better as all their eggs are spread out. One out of three cancels, you survive. One out of one cancels, you are in trouble.

    Not only do they suck at sales, it seems there overall business strategy is a sure loser.

  2. Barry says:

    Hmm, I’m rather startled by this experience since mine was so drastically different. I asked for the Demo, like you, and followed up with a few days before the presentation by the salesperson to answer some relevant questions. For me, they were for the purpose of providing a much more tailored presentation–e.g. they took out products they knew weren’t relevant to me and spent more time on the important stuff. Maybe I’m more open or have more time on my hands, but I actually appreciated a salesperson taking the time to understand my positioning rather than just pitch a generic deck or give a generic presentation.

    I ended up not being able to afford their solution (it’s rather pricey, after all) but wasn’t nearly as vehemently opposed to their process as you seem to be. I think the disconnect here is coming from the fact that Gigya’s salespeople are, after all, salespeople. I’m sure they have a dollar-amount quota and need to spend their limited time with the prospects who can and will buy. Obviously the rep you mentioned needs a softer touch and a better mind for gleaning this info without asking outright, but I have a tough time commiserating with your sentiments.

    On a side note: It’s been about a year since I spoke with Gigya, but to explain as best as I remember 2 points: (1) They deal with obtaining and leveraging a vast amount of user data from social networks, which makes a demo tough. Plus, since I didn’t already have an idea what to do with that data it wasn’t as poignant for me. (2) My rep anyway said that live demos and examples of their clients were more difficult to come by because of NDAs, I assume because of that secure user data. Hope these explanations help balance your diatribe just a bit.

  3. Byron White says:

    Everyone needs a nice diatribe every once and a while, so thanks for understanding Barry and helping me come to my senses.

    Customer feedback is critical for success. My problem is not the methodology to screen customers. Instead it’s the way they screen customers, especially with a promise to have a second meeting and then resending that meeting request because I did not pass some test. It’s called discrimination in a courtroom, and against the law. And just bad practice in the business world, that typically has it’s own consequences, but time will tell.

    I’m sticking with my rant. And funny that the only defense comment here for Gigya is from someone that did not buy the product.

    But again, thanks for bringing me to my senses.

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