Streamlining Platforms and Processes to Improve Customer Success
SwoopTalent is a global, automated, talent, data management software for Human Resource teams, trusted by brands like Symantec, GAP, and Teradata. Founder Stacy Chapman is a tech and data pro, specializing in HR tech for more than 25 years, including being a PeopleSoft alum. It is safe to say that Stacy is no stranger to tech platforms, so of course we were honored that she trusted us to consult on her business operations.
The Goal: Create One Customer View
While SwoopTalent helps customers manage data, connect systems, and save time, they had a few internal challenges, like any small business in growth mode. Accountability and communication between teams were the biggest challenges. “We had a few good things, but a lot of giant cracks. Things kept falling through without clear processes and accountability.” The main need was cleaning up the Customer Support processes, which Stacy described as “a little chaotic.” They needed a single view of customers to be used for sales, current status, and historical information.
The information lived in different places, and the systems were not talking to each other. Which meant a lot of little problems across the business. For example, not knowing when to charge more or upsell, no customer meeting structure, and support teams not knowing if a customer had paid for an enhancement, causing confusion between sales and support.
Her team members had been using Teamwork for about two years, but Stacy wasn’t sure if they were using it to its full capabilities. She originally chose Teamwork because it integrated with HubSpot, Jira, and Zendesk, which they were also using, but she wanted to move to Teamwork Desk from Zendesk for better integration. Because she was a Teamwork user, Stacy visited the Teamwork partners page, which is where she found Beyond the Chaos and reached out for a consultation.
During the initial call, we learned that Stacy had 15 people working across three different countries. The time zone added a challenge to communications, and so did making sure Customer Success was clear on the best ways to communicate to the customer.
The Tactics: SaaS Review and Consolidation
Our challenge was clear. Different teams at SwoopTalent had different needs. That’s not unique. But at SwoopTalent, every team was using a different system. Therefore, it was not a surprise the business units were not feeling connected.
Just like many small business owners, Stacy had sought the best tools to use for each team. She had chosen well. The sales team was using HubSpot. The Implementation Team was working in Teamwork. Customer Success was using Zendesk. The development team was using Craft, recently shifted (temporarily, as it turned out) over from Jira. But, as is quite common, the systems weren’t clearly talking to each other.
SwoopTalent still needed these tools for support, sales, project management, and development. And we wanted to continue to use the ones that were best suited for those purposes, rather than forcing everything into one tool. But, the Customer Success Reps still needed the ability to get a holistic view of the customer in order to provide the best service.
They had HubSpot connected to Teamwork and were using Jira to act as a mechanism for moving things between Teamwork and Craft. But Customer Success still was on an island, only seeing the information coming in from the customers, and we still weren’t sure of the best place to house the single view.
The Results: Connectivity & Process
To help Customer Success, we evaluated Teamwork Desk, Zendesk, and Freshdesk, eventually landing on Freshdesk for Customer Success because it allowed them to set up SLAs (service-level agreements), escalations, and would still connect to Teamwork.
Beyond the Chaos’ team does not provide development services, but we helped talk through the connectivity with Stacy. Our role was to determine which pieces of information needed to be shared to make the process and systems work as a whole. Her awesome development team was able to connect all the systems using APIs.
Our next challenge was to create simple processes that clearly defined each department’s role, how they communicated with each other, and how to give Customer Success the lead in communicating with the customer and truly facilitating their requests.
First, we wrote a process to explain which department used which tool and for what purpose. The biggest win in creating that process was setting clear accountability and guidelines for Customer Success to follow up both internally and externally. We also set up a process for when and how to open a new project, which directed the team to the project template we created in Teamwork to help with new implementations.
Meanwhile, we worked with Customer Success to help improve customer response times and follow-up. We established the SLAs for internal accountability. With Freshdesk connected to Teamwork so Customer Success could more easily involve the development or implementation teams, we coached the Customer Success reps on customer communication skills, including how and when to close tickets. Customer Success became the communication glue between the customers and the rest of the team. And customer requests stopped falling through the cracks.
One of the key communication tools was setting up a status meeting process (how often and who should be in status meetings, who should lead them, and what they should cover). Customer Success facilitated these meetings with the assistance of the implementation team when needed.
Susan also led three training sessions with various team members to train them on the new processes, some basic project management skills, and Teamwork’s basics. Following the rollout of the training and processes, she did weekly support meetings with designated team members to make sure they understood what they needed to do and to answer any questions that arose so they could tweak the process if need be.
One result that often comes from streamlining and systemizing processes is greater accountability for team members. Sometimes, that shines a light on a team member who might not be the best fit. This situation arose for Stacy and she was able to quickly rectify it. This is an extremely challenging thing to do, and not everyone acts on it. But Stacy’s quick response allowed her Customer Success team to become all-stars pretty quickly by following the process we created.
Overall this was a three-month engagement, and Stacy could not have been more thrilled with the results. What she got out of it was not necessarily what she thought she needed at the beginning, but as we talked through the various outcomes, we adapted to where she needed to be.
“We moved to a new system. We had clearly defined SLAs and processes, which better set up the team for success. It’s a really good and fun way to get the best practices in place. Very good value for money!”
Being flexible to change the goals midstream and accommodate unexpected personnel changes helped the project succeed. Stacy was also amazing at working with Susan to manage scope so that the changes could still stay within budget.
If you need help with connecting your organization, whether it’s improved communication or processes, schedule a meeting with Susan today!