Fireside chats are less formal than an interview but more structured than a typical GitLab AMA. The fireside chat series with key customers is meant to be informal yet structured chats between a moderator and their guest. In this scenario, the guest is a current GitLab customer or partner and the moderator is a member of E-Group or Senior Leadership.
Contrary to its name, there is no fire or flames involved, and the term “fireside chat” was first used to describe a series of evening radio addresses given by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression.
As we continue to increase and magnify customer centricity at GitLab, E-Group and the VP, of Customer Success agreed to host a series of fireside chats as a way to expose the broader team to key customers and partners. We hope to learn more about GitLab’s customers and partners' GitLab journeys, through these chats by posing mindful questions, that draw out relevant insights and by ultimately creating an environment where the customer and/or partner will share their experiences with the GitLab team. These conversations will provide an “outside looking in” perspective from the customer/partner’s point of view, which will help GitLab team members better understand customers’ goals, challenges, needs, etc from their perspective.
The VP of Customer Success and CoS to CRO aim to coordinate at least one 50-minute Fireside Chat per month based on the customer and partner’s availability.
Led by the VP of Customer Success, the CS team will work with their functional EBA, Account Team, and Customer Reference team nominate existing Customers and/or Partners. The team should aim to identify customers and partners who have a unique story to tell, solved a challenging problem with GitLab or have a topic to discuss that would benefit both the Customer/Partner and broader GitLab team.
The process to nominiate a customer or partner for a fireside side chat:
Fireside chats will be hosted remotely on Zoom and the EBA to the VP, of Customer Success, will be responsible for coordinating the chat once the customer or partner is identified by working with the account team and key stakeholders on the customer or partners’ end. The EBA will coordinate an inclusive time (generally before 10 am Pacific) based on the customer or partners’ timezone
The EBA to the VP, of Customer Success, will send an invite out to everyone at GitLab from the GitLab Team Meetings calendar and ensure an agenda is affixed to the calendar invite prior to sending. The EBA will also schedule a 10-25 minute prep meeting with the moderator and guest at least 7 business days prior to the Fireside Chat
The structure and agenda of the fireside chat will be largely dependent on the customer or partner selected each quarter, the goal of the agenda topics is to create a natural flow to the conversation, and may go off-topic depending on the responses from the guest.
The moderator will lead the curation of the agenda, by modifying questions in advance and synchronizing with the customer or partner. The template for the prep meeting is used to prep guests for the logistics and questions that will be asked in the session.
Agenda Template. Please make a copy of this as a starting point. If you have questions on the template, please ping the CoS to the CRO in #customer-centricity.
The moderator should plan to have at least 2-3 questions ready to help start the discussion and may choose to alter the questions based on the customer/partner's response. The moderator may choose to sync with the account team, or executive account sponsor to learn more about their guest or solicit feedback from key stakeholders on the agenda.
Questions from team members will be curated based on previously answered questions directly or indirectly by the speaker and those that have not been addressed.
As purely an example, consider asking any of the questions or topics below to the Customer/Partner.