Brian Lafialle

Google + Cast


Looker at Google Cloud prides itself on excellent customer success with some of the highest NPS and CSAT scores in B2B SaaS, so it was essential to find a way to provide the same level of Customer Success to all their accounts.

The company was looking for ways to service their lower-paying velocity customer segment similar to how they service their high-paying enterprise customers.


Looker Customer Success teams could only serve a fraction of the account base with dedicated CSMs, leading to low customer engagement and leaving revenue on the table. CSMs at Google spend 3-8 hours gathering insights, researching, finding recommendations, creating presentations, and presenting insights to customers to drive products, features, and technical support adoption.

Low-account coverage

At Google, 9% of the 3000 accounts got a named CSMs, and the remaining 91% relied on a pool of CSMs, Digital CS, or just technical support.

Not a CSM productivity problem

To maintain their level of customer success, Google would have to either hire several more CSMs or have every CSM manage several more accounts. Neither was feasible.

Scaling CS a necessity Β β€” with 4x growth per quarter

Looker was acquired by Google cloud for $2.6B in 2019. Before Looker joined Google Cloud, they were growing their customer base at a break-neck speed to the tune of 150 new logos per quarter. Nonetheless, they were tasked with growing at 500 and 600 new logos a quarter, while growing the CSM budget sub-linearly.

Shift in Strategy

As growth accelerated, Looker's first and founding customer success hire, Brian LaFaille, shifted his focus to scaling customer success.

His scope to scale CS included Looker and other SaaS solutions that Google Cloud offered. Including Looker, Apigee, Chronicle Security, and Workspace (Google Meet, Google Docs, etc.)

New Goals

Brian made it his goal to find a way to build personalized customer journeys at scale and transition customers from high-touch to tech touch without, of course, confusing their customers or making them unhappy.

From account to user focus

The critical point Brian and the team wanted to ensure in this motion was that it focused on the individual user and not the account.

How can they facilitate individual users to learn at scale and drive critical behaviors in the product at scale?They also wanted to personalize user journeys for everybody, not just for the tech touch segment.

The Solution

Google hired

The Cast team worked with Google Leaders Brian LaFaille, Jaime Farinos, and Wayne McCullock (now walkMe) to drive personalized user journeys at scale.

Brian likes to explain the consumer aspects of Cast as an analogy to Spotify's year-end review.

"For people who are Spotify users, Spotify does an amazing job at the end of the year, with a year-end recap, and they send it out in mass to millions of active Spotify listeners. Everybody loves it, and they share it on Instagram. That sort of consumer-based motion we wanted to follow."

Cast Bet

Brian figured that if he could get critical insights back to his Looker customer champions and sponsors, two exciting things would happen.

One, for the customers that don't have CSMs, Looker could replicate the EBR type motion. If a CSM is on the account, they are reviewing and presenting these insights directly 1:1. With Cast, Looker could send these insights out at scale in a 1:1 way. What then starts happening, the users and champions start to gamify their behavior. They know they are getting a Cast once a month, and they want to move their metrics to the next level. "I see my adoption is here, and I want to get it there." You see this on every consumer app available from Fitbit, Apple, etc.

The second key benefit Cast provides is increased product engagement. When you get these insights out to customers in a repeatable fashion on a repeatable timeline, they begin to pay attention and drives usage back into the product.

Cast is becoming a crucial part of Looker's Digital Customer Success strategy. Digital Customer Success is becoming an essential part of every Looker customer's journey.

Using Cast Virtual CSMs for 98% of long-tail of CSM-unmanaged accounts

Cast and Google are scaling Digital CS and post-sales to 98% of 3000 Google Looker accounts


Click here for a cast video presentation sent to Looker customer Chip @ CENGAGE Learning inc.

Business Lift


Google had three goals and Cast was able to meet all three.

  • Product adoption
    For Looker Marketplace, Looker Embedded Analytics, and the Looker Mobile App
  • Support for accounts not utilizing support.
    Lack of support usage is a leading indicator of churn.
    Appropriate use of support is the biggest indicator of Net Dollar Retention (NDR).
  • Feature adoption
    For Dashboard and Query Usage.

Product Adoption

3x Product Adoption
Cast achieved 3X the Product Adoption for the cohort of customers Cast was used for.

Cast was sent over email and consistently saw open rates of > 40%, which are over 2X better than Looker's best performing emails.

Cast email click through rates are 7X better than the best performing Looker Emails.

Customer Satisfaction

What Google's Customer's say about Cast:

92% likely to recommend
92% of Google's customers would recommend the Cast product.
Based on a survey of Google's customers who received a Cast video presentation.

Overall Rating by Google Customers

Average Rating: 3.6 of 5
Based on a survey of Google customers who viewed a Cast video presentation between July and September 2021
β€œGood to see stats about our usages, especially over time. We don't monitor things like usage very closely. Partially because it's hard to know what's the best number to look at. Especially since the native Looker logs only go back 90 days it's hard to get a broad picture. Also good to see some nods to our usage relative to other clients”
- Andrew Rabinowitz

What is Cast?

What is Cast? β€” in 99 seconds.

Cast is a Digital Customer Success solution that personalizes user journeys, at scale.

Cast automates and scales customer success and post-sales for B2B and SaaS businesses by using Virtual CSMs.

The value Cast automated Virtual CSM's provide is the same as that of a human CSM β€” drive customer success and health, product adoption, and impactful outcomes for your customers, and Net Dollar Retention for you β€” but for the CSM-unmanaged accounts.

Cast helps drive customer success, product adoption, revenue expansion, and impactful customer outcomes for ALL customer accounts.

Cast focuses on every user at your accounts and personalized the video presentation by the user's role, usage, and behavior.

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