Part II – Pivoting to Focus on What Matters Right Now
In the first post of this series, Syncron Chief Customer Officer, David Reiling, shared his perspective on what are the non-negotiable characteristics of a great Customer Success organization and how Syncron rapidly mobilized to support customers by relearning and listening more intently for what might be a new unique set of needs during this time. In the second post of this series, Pressure Testing The Four Pillars of Syncron Customer Success, we break down each pillar one by one and find that all were important, but all were not equal during this time.
Question: The first pillar of Syncron Customer Success is to deliver on a Customer-Centric Mission of Value. How did Syncron deliver that over the past six months?
Answer: A customer-centric mission of value manifests itself by FIRST considering ‘how is this going to impact the customer?’ in every decision we make, followed by ‘how is this going impact our company?’. The order of these two questions is the most important characteristic of a truly customer-centric mission. Whether it’s the availability of a new feature, executing an implementation, resolving a support ticket or creating a new e-learning module – the default thinking must be customer first. When it comes to value, our customers tell us how they measure value — we don’t impose our own assumptions. For one, it might be off-the-shelf inventory supply; for another it could be improved dealer satisfaction; and for another it could be specific value-based pricing. If we deliver on the mission of value as defined by our customers – our value (as Syncron) will be an outcome of that approach. That was absolutely tested over the past six months. Having clearly defined value metrics, account health KPIs and dedicated success management has allowed Syncron to maintain extremely long-term relationships with our customers and deliver on that mission of value even in unprecedented economically challenging times.
Question: The second pillar is to build an Expertise-Based Organization. What does that mean and how did we deliver over the past six months?
Answer: An expertise-based organization in a software company is defined by two things. First, you need to have some amount of domain expertise. You need to know the nuances of the market and measures of success. For example, automotive vs. heavy machinery and how the principles of pricing apply to them. At Syncron, we have professionals both from the industries we serve on our team as well as those who have accumulated decades of experience in those same industries delivering solutions. Then you marry together the domain expertise AND intimate product knowledge – nowhere else can you replicate that. Inside a software company, the professional services team can literally sit next to the very people who are developing the products and gain insights of the product capabilities like no one outside the company can. One of the ways we know we’re delivering on that is by ‘demand,’ – are customers asking for our services? When they do that, then we’ve done more than just plug in a technology solution.
Question: The third pillar is to provide World-Class Services & Support. How do you define world-class support and what did we do to deliver on this over the past six months?
Answer: Simply put, the market defines this for us. We work with the world’s largest, most complex OEMs, and because of that they are accustomed to a high level of services and support from much larger companies than Syncron. In fact, our customers are often surprised by the size of Syncron! From our named Customer Success Managers, 24/7 global support services, global language coverage and award-winning implementation and support teams – we absolutely ‘fight-above-our-weight-class’. This pillar, above all others, was the most important to lean into over the past six months. While the tangible and tactical services we provide are critical to the continuity of our customers’ business, what really stood out was the genuine friendships with our customers. Going through this time period highlighted the authenticity and ingenuity of our teams working with our customers to provide what they needed at the right time.
Question: The final pillar is to Enable an External Ecosystem. What does that mean and how did we deliver over the last six months?
Answer: Functionally, that means that we have experts outside of Syncron that also know our solutions. They operate independently, but not entirely separate from our processes. When I spoke about the domain expertise earlier, some of our external partners already have deep understanding of the market, like Carlisle Co. for example, and they can serve our customers in ways that we don’t currently provide (e.g. business process [re-]design, change management, business readiness, industry benchmarking). We want to expand the scale and the scope of what can be delivered for both the core technology-related services and all services that should wrap around an enterprise scale implementation by partnering across the after-sales service ecosystem.
Question: Is it accurate to say delivering on a Customer-Centric Mission of Value and providing World-Class Services & Support became the most critical pillars for Syncron Customer Success over the past six months?
Answer: Absolutely. While all four of our pillars remain important, based upon what we heard directly from our customers in that process of relearning and listening, providing world-class services and support and a laser focus on delivering value to their business rose to the top.
If you missed David’s first post in the series, you can access it here. If you want to learn more about Syncron Customer Success and how we can partner to drive the most value from your Syncron Solutions, send us a note here.