A great fear when selecting an enterprise software solution is the fear of what happens after the system is implemented and Professional Services disengages. The practice of Customer Success exists in the software world to ensure that customers are never left without a resource or advocate.
At Seal, the Customer Success Management team exists to enable customers to derive great value from their selection and implementation of Seal. The three (3) main functions of Customer Success are:
1. Ensure customers capture the value they sought when purchasing Seal
2. Expose customers to other use cases to drive additional value
3. Bring the customer voice into Seal’s product development process
Seal’s Customer Success Managers have a deep passion for building relationships and driving value. By partnering closely with our customers, they gain an understanding of the organization and business operations, as much as possible from an outsider perspective, and provide significant counsel on what can produce value and how to measure it.
When purchasing Seal, customers usually have one (1) or two (2) use cases in mind. Customer Success Managers engage at the start of implementation, partnering with key customer stakeholders, to make sure:
- Identified use cases are fully understood
- Measurement is clear and agreed upon
- Use cases are considered by the Professional Services team during implementation
Working closely with key customer stakeholders to establish communication and agreement around these first efforts, is a crucial part of getting started.
Customer Support Managers bring expertise and experience from prior deployments, thanks to a wide variety of customers and their initiatives, to provide additional options and recommendations to drive additional measurable value for customers. In collaboration with our customers, Customer Success Management builds a Success Plan that includes a rolling 12-month list of prioritized initiatives, to focus Seal’s powerful solution in ways that truly matter as tangible business outcomes.
Occasionally, additional resources are required to make these initiatives come to life. Whether Learning Services or Professional Services, Seal Customer Success Managers marshal the right resources, at the right time, to get things accomplished. If doing so requires additional budget, the team provides clear and upfront communication about what additional investment is needed.
Both parties involved in any enterprise software engagement should equally care about measuring and reporting on ROI. Customer Success Management keeps a running tally of use cases implemented, including how they are measured and the resulting ROI. Some ROI is in “soft dollars,” such as risk avoidance by identifying nonstandard Unlimited Liability language. Most often “soft dollar” value is expressed in time saved multiplied by the cost of effort. Some ROI is in “hard dollars,” such as a use case for a procurement team that identifies vendor consolidation opportunities to merge purchases and claim greater discounting due to higher aggregate purchasing volume. The money saved is also added to the running ROI.
Our best engagements follow a monthly key stakeholders meeting cadence allowing Seal and our customers to convene, discuss additional soft and hard dollar savings captured through the use cases, and add to the running ROI total.
HOW BEST TO WORK WITH CUSTOMER SUCCESS
Your Customer Success Manager will work fiercely to move your use cases forward. As with all good things in life, all parties must contribute to this effort. Customers can best help themselves by coming to the table with:
- Time: make the time for Customer Success’ strategic work stream during implementation so your implementation process can rise from a simple binary of being on vs. off and into delivering value on day one of being live.
- Ideas: any research request, fire drill or dream of discovering what is in your contracts should be added to a running list of use cases. Customer Success will help you pull out the ones with quick business impact or high ROI, but a brainstorm of possible use cases should be the first step. Your running list of ideas is a terrific starting point.
- Resources: we are passionate about efficiency and will only reach out to you for mission-critical things that are key to driving ROI. Please be responsive. Seal is like a Ferrari and you want to let it run at full speed; we’re here to deliver the car to spec, hand you the keys, teach you how to drive it, and coach you constantly on how to get the most out of the ride.