SaaS Founder Interview with Peter Ord, Founder and CEO @ GuideCX
Five Key Takeaways from GuideCX’s CEO and Founder Peter Ord’s SaaS Founder Show Interview
Securing a new client is only the first step in a long road to success. Getting new business is pivotal, but retention is just as important. Retention ensures business growth, and a big part of that is smooth customer onboarding. A seamless onboarding process guarantees your new relationship gets off on the right foot.
GuideCX is software designed to ensure SaaS customer onboarding processes are friction-free and effective. GuideCX has features that allow important stakeholders to ease collaboration, customize onboarding templates, communicate with customers, and follow along on progress. It is an important tool that helps halt any bottlenecks in the onboarding process, which aids in retention.
GuideCX’s CEO and Founder, Peter Ord, joined Insivia’s CEO and Founder, Andy Halko, for an engaging discussion. Ord and Halko cover everything from building values, evolving as a founder, and much more. Below, we’ll cover the five most crucial takeaways from Ord and Halko’s 50-minute conversation.
#1. Some of the Best Products Stem from Their Founder’s Frustrations
Before launching GuideCX, Ord was working for a CRM company. While he enjoyed his time there, one of his biggest issues was a significant turnover rate because of the difficult onboarding process.
“I would have to meet with my sales team on a weekly basis and tell them which deals we were pulling back commission on because deals never went live,” notes Ord. “So yeah, the pain finally got significant enough to where I jumped ship.”
From there, Ord decided to build his own thing, with a key pain point in mind that he wanted to address. To guide him along the way, he interviewed a bunch of people that might have similar experiences. “I interviewed 116 people, at different companies, these are people I didn’t know,” states Ord. “And this was all with the goal to greenlight the process. And I came up with 14 pilot customers out of that 116.”
#2. The Iteration Process Helps Create Devoted Customers
Part of developing a business is learning and growing from mistakes. Many businesses try and head straight to market with what they consider a final product, but according to Ord, iteration is the key to customer success.
“I mean, yeah, I’m a big believer in this iteration process, you listen to your user, I mean, that’s how you create evangelists,” states Ord. “There’s individuals that they had a pain. There was the same pain I felt in my previous life, they understood the vision, they understood where they’re going. And so it forced me to help them partner with the concept, the idea, the vision, rather than just try to sling a product out.”
This focus on iterating and growing while remaining true to a vision helped Ord find better customers. “That creates exponentially better first customers, then someone you’re always saying yes to, right,” expressed Ord.
#3. Focus on Your Customers, But Don’t Ignore Competitors
As GuideCX began to grow as one of the early innovators of customer onboarding software solutions, its competitors also began to grow. Halko was curious about GuideCX’s level of focus on its competitors. “How much attention do you pay to competitors?” Asked Halko.
Ord responded with a phrase summing up his outlook on this process. “There’s a little quote, I read it in a blog where it’s “customer-obsessed, competitor aware.” And, I think that’s the fine line,” says Ord.
The general idea is to prioritize your customers while paying attention to the industry. “If we take care of our customers, we listen to them; we iterate based off their feedback. And then we kind of skate that fine line between, hey, what markets do we aspire to get into? And what markets are our customers into,” expresses Ord. “And kind of innovate in order to break into these, these higher tier markets. That’s how we’re gonna succeed, but we can’t ignore competitors.”
#4. Organizational Values Arrive Organically
Most companies have a set of values that they tout as guiding principles that define their hiring process and internal culture. While often these come from exec teams that are choosing aspirational words, Ord believes true organizational values are shown a little differently.
“I can’t define those, they have to be organically created. And previous organizations I’ve been a part of, you know, we’ve thrown value statements up in the wall, and no one relates to it, because maybe the organization isn’t, you know, showing that value,” states Ord.
Ord notes that the true value is more complicated than some value statements. “In order to truly build that culture, it has to come organically and in its own time. But what you can do, and what we’ve tried to do is interview for, you know, the values and the qualities that we want people to have,” expresses Ord.
#5. Hiring Great Leaders Can Cause a Positive Network Effect
Hiring is a crucial part of building a successful business. Halko wanted to know about GuideCX’s hiring experience. “What was it like finding those initial employees? And how has building the team been since you started the company?” Asked Halko.
Ord states thus far, many GuideCX employees have come through the network effect due to the quality of the initial team brought aboard. “The better leaders you hire, the more network effect you’re going to have because they’re going to have people that want to follow them and have followed them around. And I think that will always be true,” notes Ord.
“We’ve been fortunate, where the better we hire up front, the better network effect we’re gonna have, and the more people are just gonna organically come.”
These were five of the most significant takeaways from a wide-ranging conversation, but many more topics were touched on. Ord and Halko discussed leadership strategy, bootstrapping, and so much more. Watch the entirety of Guide CX’s CEO and Founder Peter Ord and Insivia’s CEO and Founder Andy Halko above!