Customer Success Depends on Being Clear about Your Outcomes
By Amanda LaBrecque, Vice President of Customer Success & Lifecycle Services at Aspire Technology Partners
Every company, including yours, is looking at ways to achieve successful outcomes with their technology investment. But that technology is changing rapidly and can be very challenging to understand and manage. Consider some of the latest technologies that companies in your industry are implementing, like software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN), or Edge Computing and IoT, or Unified Communications and Webex Meetings. Your IT team must become experts in the latest features of these technologies while simultaneously navigating the best fit and consumption model for your organization.
At Aspire, our customer success lifecycle management team provides an advisory approach for our customers where we walk them through the roadmap of technology solutions, service initiation, onboarding, and adoption. Our goal is to understand where customers are in their technology and business journey, where they want to go, what they need to achieve, and then we tailor solutions to help them drive their specific business outcomes. Along the way, we want to ensure that we bring value to every interaction, that our customers realize the full value of their technology investments, and that we cultivate strong long-term relationships with our clients.
Business outcomes are the key to technology solutions success
Customer success is part of our DNA. We believe that customer success outcomes depend on a clear understanding of your expected business outcomes, how each solution will impact key stakeholders, and knowledge of their goals as well. What outcomes do you strive to achieve? Would you like to reduce costs? Do you want to improve collaboration and improve efficiency in communications with internal staff and clients? What outcome or specific goal or goals does your organization want to achieve?
We begin by creating a plan and a roadmap with measurements and specific milestones to ensure that your outcomes are being met at every step of the way. We work closely with the customer to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that help measure effectiveness and guide us along this journey together. We always ask questions. Are we there yet? Are we not there yet? Have we run up against a barrier? How do we overcome that barrier and work collectively to move onto our next milestone?
One example of a barrier is when a customer implements a new technology with many new capabilities. It can be challenging for them to understand which features will be most useful for their organization. For example, we have many companies that have implemented the Cisco Webex platform. It is very powerful, but it can be challenging for customers to stay on top of all the different features that they can enable, like Teams calling, new break-out rooms, and closed captioning. That is where my team comes in.
End-user messaging and training increases adoption
We develop customer communications and training materials to help you get the most from your technology investments. The types of communications that we deliver can range from newsletters to information sessions like webinars. They can also include some more strategic communication like “train the trainer” where we educate and inform your in-house IT team how to train your end-users about implementing and adopting new features.
Recently our education customers found themselves needing to quickly learn new features of Webex that they could use in classroom settings. Some educators wanted email newsletters, others wanted 1-to-1 sessions, and others wanted on-demand webinars. So, we created event centers where we made different content, sessions, and training modalities available to be consumed. In one case, we ran a town hall-like event for over 500 educators from New York State where school districts across the state attended.
The stronger the end-user experience, the faster the adoption
We are always focused on helping you realize the greatest experience with your technology purchase because we find that the greater your company and end-user experience, the faster your adoption and ability to incorporate new features into your business processes, which lead to improved outcomes moving forward.
Ensuring a seamless experience requires that we plan correctly at the start of our journey with you and that we set up strategic business reviews that are customized to help you measure your success and business outcomes. Sometimes this means going back to those milestones to review and resize them to help with adoption. This requires us to be flexible in our approach, where we can build the correct touchpoints into our engagement. And we support a “layered” team model for supporting our customers, comprising solution architects and technical resources, customer success managers, trainers, software licensing professionals, and other team members who are all focused on supporting you wherever you are in your journey and technology lifecycle.
What to look for in your technology partner
As you begin your organization’s journey with new technologies, make sure that your technology partner has invested in training and vendor certifications for their people, best practices for their processes, and the right tools to deliver you an exceptional experience.
Consumption models are changing, so your IT partner needs to not only understand the outcomes your organization wants to achieve, but they must also be knowledgeable of the latest programs and best options for getting you there. You also want them to understand where you are coming from, where you are going and, of course, the outcomes that matter most for your organization.
You want your technology partner to be as focused on your business outcomes as you are – that is the way to achieve true success.
If you would like to learn more about Aspire’s Customer Success & Lifecycle Services, please contact me directly: Amanda LaBrecque (firstname.lastname@example.org) Aspire’s team can work with your business to determine the best support options and assistance for your company, so you can get back to focusing on larger strategic outcomes. You can also visit www.aspiretransforms.com for more information.
Aspire Technology Partners is a Cisco Gold Certified Partner engrained in solution pillars that set us apart as a true Cisco solutions provider. We are committed to the continuous improvement of expertise and skillsets around Cisco initiatives that enable us to help and guide customers in the adoption and management of technology architectures designed to transform their organization. We hold Cisco Master Specializations in Collaboration, Security, Cloud & Managed Services and are one of only 25 partners in the US to receive the Cisco Advanced Customer Experience Specialization.