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Episode 29

Building a Great Customer Experience with PLG

In this episode of Good Data Better Marketing podcast, Ilan Frank, Head of Platform at Airtable, discusses the PLG gap, how Airtable is helping customers leverage AI, and driving alignment through culture and communication.

Guest speaker: Ilan Frank

Ilan is the Head of Platform at Airtable, a cloud collaboration service and spreadsheet-database hybrid, with the features of a database but applied to a spreadsheet. In this role, Ilan leads product strategy, direction, and delivery for Airtable's foundation, including integrations, scale, and extensibility to help power Airtable's growth, particularly into the enterprise. Ilan brings over 20 years of experience in building productivity solutions where there are specific requirements within administration, security, compliance, and scale.

Prior to Airtable, Ilan was an early leader at Slack, helping the company scale to win the enterprise, including 80% of the Fortune 100.

Episode summary

In this episode, Kailey sits down with Ilan to discuss the PLG gap, how Airtable is helping customers leverage AI, and driving alignment through culture and communication.

Key takeaways

  • The most successful companies these days are the ones that start with PLG. They are creating value and delight for their end users who then share those positive experiences with their colleagues.

  • Using AI to create a great customer experience needs three things. The first is getting AI into the hands of app developers so they can deliver more functionality to end users. Second, use machine learning to make decisions and predict information in your app. And finally, use AI as an assistant to builders so they can build faster.

  • When growing your enterprise software, relationship building is key. It’s important to connect product managers and engineers directly with customers to figure out which features they’re most excited to try. These relationships create champions for growth of your software.

Speaker quotes

“The companies that are going to be successful now in this decade, are ones that start with PLG. They start with creating value for end users, and those end users are just delighted and can't wait to share it with their colleagues. It's going to be very difficult for a company to come in and just basically create a better ServiceNow, or a better Workday, or better Salesforce without that.” – Ilan Frank

Episode timestamps

‍*(02:47) - Ilan’s career journey

*(07:50) - How AI relates to customer experience in enterprise technology

*(18:59) - Ilan explains the PLG gap

‍*(26:51) - How Ilan defines “good data” 

*(36:44) - An example of another company doing it right with customer engagement (hint: it’s Snyk and Figma)

‍*(39:45) - Changes in customer experience in the next 6-12 months

*(42:43) - Ilan’s recommendations for upleveling customer experience strategies

Connect with Ilan on LinkedIn

Connect with Kailey on LinkedIn