Your customers have a wealth of knowledge about your product’s ins and outs and ups and downs, but how are you tapping into that knowledge? 

Nutanix, a leader in private cloud, hybrid and multi-cloud computing, continually looks for ways to improve its products and services for customers. Christie Vaughan, Manager of Customer Marketing at Nutanix, is the mastermind behind their Customer XTRIBE program, which serves over 6,000 global customers and recently won the 2020 Influitive Bammie for “Best Advocate Impact on Product Development.” 

In this Influitive Spotlight Recap, Christie shares her advice for building an engaged customer advocacy program, how she works with product management and design to solicit and action feedback, and how their advocacy program and open community deliver a holistic customer experience.

Please walk us through the experience of joining your advocacy program, Customer XTRIBE.

To start, we’ve enabled our program to be a single sign-on platform so all customers can use their My Nutanix ID to log in to the program. Once logged in, they’ll get a customized experience based on Salesforce and Influitive targeting, which has allowed us to personalize based on account details. Members can pick and choose from a wide variety of starter challenges that help them get familiar with both the program and the Influitive-powered platform.

A few other channels include Nutanix University, which encourages customers to get certified on Nutanix by completing product quizzes and Stay Connected, where they can see what future events and webinars they may want to attend. 

How do you keep your program members engaged and motivated to climb the leaderboard?

Within our starter challenges, we’ll give members 200 points for taking the initiative to join. With an average of 3-5 challenges to complete per week, all customers have a fair chance to climb the leaderboard and earn a reward from the program. Furthermore, I’ll target specific challenges to new members who want to take on more significant activities earlier, like participating in a webinar or case study. Having flexible but personalized Influitive targeting has been helpful for this. 

We also publish a mix of public and non-public activities because we know some customers have corporate endorsement policies that don’t allow them to participate in case studies or testimonials.

How do you prevent members from getting burned out from too many asks for advocacy?

We leverage Influitive’s targeting capabilities to suppress users from receiving too many similar requests. For example, when a customer completes an interview with the Nutanix design team, we’ll make sure we thank the customer with points and recognition, but then put them into a group so they won’t receive another design interview challenge for a short period. 

We’ll also look at our internal content calendar to see what challenges will be published each week and ensure repeatable asks like product surveys are spaced out accordingly. We take a value-first approach to content creation, so we’ll balance requests with educational content like product announcements.

Tell us more about your content creation process and what internal stakeholders are involved.

I have one internal employee who reports to me, and we’ll manage our content calendar, and various stakeholders across Nutanix can submit challenge requests. We work most often with marketing, product management, design and field marketing and have biweekly or monthly 1:1 calls with teams who want to contribute further to XTRIBE. We also meet weekly with our APJ agency and collaborate on a content calendar for that market of customers. 

How do you collaborate with the Nutanix product management and design teams?

I began working closely with the Nutanix design team over the last 12-18 months but have been working with product management since we launched the program five years ago. I’ve coordinated customer interviews and sent out countless product surveys. To date, a simple survey seeking feedback on our product roadmap is one of our most completed challenges. Customers want to give us feedback and know that it has been heard, and this ties strongly to our design teams’ goals: to be more customer-centric and gather more customer feedback.

Do you find there’s an equal balance of product-oriented content engagement from Nutanix customer advocates and non-advocates?

There’s definitely an equal balance. Even net-new customers just getting acquainted with the Nutanix platform have feedback to share and bring a fresh set of eyes to our products and services. We also see an equal balance for product interview volunteers, and we see equal eager participation across the board, including globally among our customer base.

What is the relationship between your customer advocacy and community program?

We have a separate Nutanix community, which is open to anyone to join. There is a landing page for Customer XTRIBE, but it is a customer-only program, so they’ll need to log in using their Nutanix platform login to gain access. We’ve set up tracking to monitor who is joining XTRIBE from the community, and conversely, we promote content in XTRIBE that drives them to the community. We’ll even create activities in XTRIBE that reward customers for commenting on forum topics in the community.

What results have you achieved from the Customer XTRIBE program?

Since launching five years ago, here are a few key results we’ve achieved: 

  • Over 1,000 customers have opted-in to join our reference program
  • More than 20,000 educational challenges have been completed
  • Garnered 1,300 customer testimonials 
  • Over 14,000 social shares, which have generated more than 144,000 clicks
  • 1,600 product feedback survey completions
  • Over 600 online reviews, which has helped us keep a high rating on major review sites like G2, TrustRadius, and Gartner Peer Insights (Customers’ Choice 2 years running!)

Listen to the full webinar recording to hear more from Christie about their Influitive-powered program. Be sure to check out our Webinars page for upcoming customer spotlights.