Building Successful Engagements: Lessons Learnt From 500+ Implementations

Written by Kevin Haggerty, GM - US at Explorance.

Kevin Haggerty - GM US Explorance

Reading Time: Less than 5 minutes. 

Synopsis: In this guest blog, Kevin Haggerty, GM – U.S. and leader of the Customer Success team at Explorance, shares his experience of working with Explorance clients. This blog post tackles that crucial question – what goes into a successful engagement?

When I joined the Explorance team three years ago, I quickly became aware of how customer focused the organization is. Within every level of Explorance, decisions are made with the customer in mind.  In today’s environment of customer choice, it’s critical to have customer satisfaction engrained in our DNA – driving our delivery.  With almost twenty years of experience , we’ve had the opportunity to learn from each customer engagement and build a world-class customer experience through the creation of specialist teams that are tailored to each customer’s requirements.

“When we went live with Blue it went exceptionally well and without a technical hitch.”

— Senior Pro Vice-Chancellor, Blue for Higher Education client

What does a customer journey at Explorance look like?

We aim to deliver a seamless customer journey from Day One, when you request a demo with our Sales team, through to the onboarding process with our Professional Services team, and ultimately as you transition to your account team.  Following onboarding, each of our customers is assigned a dedicated account team consisting of a Customer Success Manager, Account Manager, access to our 24/7 Support team and online help/training materials, as well the opportunity to collaborate with thousands of industry peers in our Bluenotes Group and MTMImpact Communities. All of which means – we help you get insights earlier and achieve greater business impact. 

“Explorance feels like a real partner in our business. They make it easier for us to run our business, which lets me focus on growth and expansion. It’s a truly seamless partnership.”

— President of Engineering Company, Blue for Enterprise Customer

Let’s take a closer look at the teams that contribute to that success.

Engagement Progression

“There are a lot of nice applications out there, but none provided the level of customer service we were looking for. Explorance’s customer service is outstanding, and together with their software, provides a truly complete package.”

— Director of Operations and Quality Assurance, Higher Education

  • Professional Services (PS) are product and configuration experts who work with customers during the onboarding process to ensure they have the know-how they need to get started. If at any stage you purchase new products or you need assistance with a project, the PS team will work with you. They offer project and change management support, a turnkey implementation service for surveys and evaluations, and other custom services.  They can also provide managed services for customers that are looking to outsource their entire process, and full-service deployment and integration services, such as API development and updates.
  • Customer Success Managers (CSMs) are assigned to work directly with customers to ensure maximal value from the partnership with Explorance. As Explorance product experts, CSMs understand their customer’s customized product configuration and desired business outcome. CSMs provide regular guidance in how to optimize processes & handle new use cases. CSMs proactively follow up with their accounts to learn what expected outcomes we might be able to assist with, to create success plans assisting in reaching customer outcomes, and lastly to measure all that has been accomplished.  They can also help you identify product training and certification opportunities.

“Our CSM is AMAZING and I consider them a member of my internal team. Our CSM is always going above and beyond and is accessible for questions and guidance.”

– Global Marketing Communications Holding Company, Enterprise customer

  • Account Managers maintain successful long-term relationships with customers.  As the business contact for all customers, Account Managers work with all teams at Explorance to ensure that all needs and expectations are exceeded, and that all customers are continually satisfied with the value Explorance provides.  
  • Customer Support is available to all customers 24/7 to provide support as and when needed. Additionally, our online Help Center provides access to a wealth of information, including a record of all your open and closed cases, online help and FAQs.

“Explorance support is always there for us. We’ve never not been able to get them on the phone or by email.”

— Institutional Research & Evaluation Analyst, Higher Education

  • The Community Engagement & Learning Center (CELC) is open to everybody, regardless of where you are on your journey. You can connect with subject-matter experts for Enterprise or for Higher Education, in the same geographical region, or other factors.  As well as the year-round online community knowledge base, we hold annual conferences for additional opportunities to exchange.  Our regular webinars enable you to learn from other user’s experiences with Explorance’s products.  And there are ongoing training and certification programs available through our Explorance Academy.
  • The Consultancy team ($) offers services that help ensure your measurement, learning & development and other initiatives are robust and effective. From strategy through to analysis and change management, they ensure that you move from insight to action.

How do I know what to look for?

When selecting a supplier for Employee or Student experience management (XM), organizations often focus on the technology.  But in our experience, the customer experience plays a crucial role too. 

We recommend taking into consideration the following factors:

  1. Will they meet your desired personal, professional, and strategic outcomes?
    Each organization that comes to Explorance has a desired outcome that they’re looking to achieve.  Individuals need to consider whether the supplier will help them achieve the objectives they are tasked with delivering, and help them progress professionally.
  2. Will they meet your desired experience outcomes?
    As we hear so often, journey and destination both play a role.  If you achieve your outcomes, but the process of working with your supplier is painful, that can have a big effect on you and your team, and your ability to deliver in other areas. 
  3. Will they help you identify where to go next?
    Measuring and reporting back when things are going well is the minimum you should expect.  A true partner will also provide that feedback in relation to difficulties, and identify areas for improvement.  Ideally, your solution provider should not only take you where you want to go, but also take you to places you might not have thought of without them.
  4. Are they willing to customize your solution?
    Some companies take a one-size-fits all approach.  They may customize their technology, but not their support.  And that can leave you feeling unsupported in key areas.  Choose a partner that will work with you to fit around your specific needs.
  5. Can they offer a personalized account team?
    By assigning an Account Manager and Customer Success Manager to each customer, Explorance ensures that you have an ongoing partnership and communicate with someone that is familiar with your needs and history.
  6. What happens out-of-hours?
    Will you have access to a self-serve community based support model, such as Explorance offers, that can help 24/7? Being able to access a help desk, training materials and tapping into the experience of likeminded colleagues in other organizations can be invaluable.

As you can see, at Explorance we take your success seriously.  All of these teams continually listen to customer feedback, including through engagement surveys and our yearly Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) survey.  We can’t get it completely right 100% of the time, but we always take each piece of feedback seriously and use it to get better – exactly what we help you do, too. That’s reflected in our outstanding client retention rate. 

I’m proud to say that Explorance Customer Net Promoter Scores for 2020/21 have never been stronger, and in 2021/22 we will continue to build on that, in order to set the standard for customer satisfaction in Experience Management. 

 

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