By Jory Lamb, CEO & Founder at VistaVu Solutions
For most people in North America, we are now a month or more into the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020. Most companies don’t make face masks, respirators, gloves or ventilators. Given that, what role can we play in the recovery? The people of VistaVu have been working hard to ensure that we are focusing on our customer success and our customers can operate as normally as possible under the circumstances. One way we’ve been doing this is by making it easier for our customers to help each other. This development has created real value for our customers and so I’d like to share with you how we arrived at this point.
It starts back in 2017, when we introduced our Customer Experience Executive (CEE) program. The CEE program is like a concierge service, with a goal of efficiently providing anything the customer needs. The CEE’s job is to be the voice of the customer within VistaVu.
Next we implemented Net Promoter Score. We asked customers to give VistaVu a numerical score that reflects how well we meet their needs and the experience they are having. This is measured, tracked over time and also catalyzes action. If there’s something we can do to score higher next time in terms of customer satisfaction, we do it.
Our customer approach continued to evolve with our move to the Customer Success concept.
Customer Success Concept
Typically, software delivery teams are separated into Implementation and Technical Support.
We split our teams into Clients and Net New Clients. This sharpened our focus on our current client business, which has since grown to be two-thirds of our revenue. That’s a dramatic increase from what it’s been historically, which told us we were on the right track.
Some customers have asked for the ability to network and interact with other VistaVu customers. Pre-COVID, we had planned a two-day event in Toronto to bring together our customers from across North America for this very purpose.
Instead, we hosted online Customer Councils in mid-March to address product requests within the SAP product set. We asked customers: if you could change anything in SAP Business ByDesign, what would it be? We zeroed in on Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing and Inventory.
We received 50 ideas back from our customers, then we hosted a Customer Council event two weeks later. We gave everyone in that Council 10 votes and asked them to distribute those 10 votes among those 50 ideas. This bubbled up into about 10 ideas, which VistaVu then presented to SAP. Some of these ideas will find their way onto the SAP Business ByDesign product road map. This process wouldn’t have happened at the same speed otherwise.
What We Learned from the Customer Council
However, the biggest thing that came out of that Customer Council was that customers started sharing their contact information. They got to know each other, they got to hear about each other’s challenges and also how each of their companies addressed their challenges.
To bring it back to COVID-19, the reality is that there are fewer people in our organizations to do the work. We all must do more with less. Problems that were formerly addressed through brute force – through manual entry and individual effort – now have to find ways to be addressed through automation.
While we are an SAP Business ByDesign and Business One consulting firm, we are not so brash as to think we have every answer to every question. Sometimes, in fact increasingly so, the answers will come from and be shared by the customers themselves. If our Customer Council helps this happen, it will be good for our customers and good for VistaVu.
In this way, changes brought about because of COVID-19 will allow us to be better, faster and more efficient than we otherwise would. Once the COVID obstacle has been cleared, this will become the new way of doing things.
It’s a bit different to have VistaVu customers engaging with one another, not just with us. This requires a healthy degree of transparency and humility.
Ultimately, our success depends on our customers’ success. It’s not about us, it’s about them. The connection between customers delivers value that helps offset today’s challenges and, I believe, it will only get stronger.
Stay healthy and safe, wherever you are. If there’s any way VistaVu can help your organization, please reach out.