Building a Winning Customer Experience Team

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Laura Marshall

Head of Customer Success - CX, Foothold Technology

Aug 10, 2022

For human services software vendors who are hoping to build out highly successful CX teams, we’re sharing some overarching concepts that define our CX team’s approach:

At Foothold Technology, we consider support, services, and success planning as essential to the experience of being our customer and getting the most out of our product. We’re not a post-sales “go-it-on-your-own” kind of shop, and we know that the key to keeping customers is making sure they are getting top value for what they are spending. This value can be different for different customers–or variations on a theme perhaps–and guiding customers to define and realize this value is central to developing active advocates for our product, as well as keeping churn rates to a minimum.

Our Customer Experience (CX) division has grown and evolved in size, configuration, and expertise over the years alongside our expanding customer base. Collaboration has always been central to how our team operates, not only within the division to maximize resources and provide top-notch service, but also across the company. CX represents the company and product outwardly and actively, and in order to be successful we must be in alignment with the company that is behind us. 

Our Guiding Principles 

  1. Operate with empathy – have a solid understanding of our customers’ missions, what they value, and what their primary challenges are day-to-day. 
  2. Do not make assumptions – understand what the customer wants to achieve with our product, discuss with them directly and ongoingly. 
  3. Be generous – don’t nickel and dime the customer around CX resources. Extra support and attention now and then can pay back in a multitude of ways.
  4. Organize the customer relationship around a primary point of contact – maintain the same point of contact as much as possible over the life of their relationship with us to build solid relationships over time. 
  5. Align each team with customer success – CX cannot do it alone, all teams and divisions must integrate the success mission into their goals.

Structuring the Team to Support our Customers 

In order to stay lean and offer the best possible service, we have developed areas of expertise well suited to guide the customer through implementation and on to long-term success. Foothold’s CX division is comprised of five teams that work in concert with each other:

  • Implementation
  • Training
  • Billing
  • Success and Advocacy 
  • Help Desk Support

The customer’s primary point of contact  is responsible for the customer journey from contract start date onwards–and they rely on the entire division to play their parts in that success. The division aims to provide a consistent level of service across all teams – and we rely on the expertise of each team for efficiency in providing an overall excellent customer experience. 

Collaborating Successfully Across Functions

CX collaboration with our other two divisions–Sales and Product and Engineering–is key to company success. Striving for consistency and managing expectations throughout the entire customer relationship is a shared company endeavor. CX engages on a recurring basis in a variety of ways with both divisions.

  • How we collaborate with sales:
    • Participation on demos 
    • Cultivating strong customer references 
    • Coordinating multi-step prospect-to-customer transition process 
    • Incentivising customer referrals 
  • How we collaborate with Product and Engineering:
    • Defining and tracking customer requests to inform development priorities
    • Liaising with Product to align on shared customer needs
    • Working directly with engineers on Help Desk tickets
    • Creating and moderating customer forums with developers

The overarching mission of CX is to provide an exceptional customer experience. To scale, we rely on a network of expertise within the division to engage with the customer on varying processes, requests, and challenges. This network is coordinated for the customer by a primary point of contact, who best understands the organization and their goals over the course of a multi-year relationship. The collaborative engagement with the other divisions at the company rounds out the full capability of CX’s advocacy work, influencing all aspects of the customer journey. 

Let’s help the organizations our communities depend on.