Here’s a Jeopardy question for you: “Concerns not being acted upon, wrong person at the wrong meeting, no direct access and a lack of message clarity.” If you answered “What do customers feel when they interact with service providers?” then perhaps it’s time to take a good look at your communication methods. This is especially important for customer success managers (CSMs) when trying to better understand the needs, challenges and goals of their customers through customer workshops.
The Customer Success team at OpenText™ is taking effective communication to the next level through a series of highly interactive, virtual customer workshops built using LucidSpark. Leveraging virtual environments, we are striving to forge better relationships with our customers by prioritizing their challenges and goals, and delivering the business outcomes they expect from OpenText.
Success starts with strong communication
Our workshops are designed to put the customer’s business needs first — focusing on what they need to succeed, the challenges they face daily, their business goals and even their vision for the future.
The Executive Intent Workshop for example, has been developed to review the challenges, focus areas and metrics for success of our customers’ senior stakeholders when adopting an OpenText solution. The information gathered serves as our ‘North Star’ for future interactions with their teams and business units. To ensure these needs are clearly understood, OpenText CSMs follow several rules of thumb when facilitating these interactive sessions.
Our approach to interactive workshops
- Right topic, right people. We set suitable agendas to ensure the right people are in the virtual ‘room’. We understand that your time is valuable, especially when it comes to bringing together executives and C-suite participants. OpenText CSMs ensure that workshops focus on relevant topics for the right audience. For example, for senior executive stakeholders, we discuss strategic business concerns, whereas technical teams require we focus on their technical challenges.
- Invoke the Pareto Principle: The customer should be talking 80% of the time, the facilitator 20% or less. If it’s the other way around, the workshop is not working. We ensure that the facilitator’s role in the workshop remains that of facilitator. The workshop is for you and your business. We’re here to listen so we can address your most pressing challenges.
- Be inclusive: Assuming things about the workshop audience can be counterproductive. For example, not all participants will be familiar with the acronyms a company uses. Our CSMs avoid using jargon that might leave participants feeling confused. Inclusive workshops ensure that all participants feel welcome, that their opinion matters and that the content of the workshop is something truly meant for them.
- Cover sensitive topics in a safe environment: Not every topic or challenge that arises will be viewed as something to embrace; some challenges might be just plain irksome or frustrating. Our CSMs address concerns in a positive and proactive way to keep conversations productive, ensuring each workshop stays on track, and everyone has an opportunity to give voice to their challenges.
- Focus on keywords: When utilizing virtual Post-It Notes, we pay attention to the keywords our customers are using. For instance, if a participant writes “Security is a Concern”, we focus on the words “security” and “concern” and determine what they mean to the customer. By drilling into the definition of the words themselves, we get a better understanding of the customer’s perspective. One person’s definition of something may differ wildly from another person’s idea of the same word.
- Have fun: We always pay attention to the level of engagement in our workshops. We strive to get the most out our time together with customers while getting a true understanding of how we can help. OpenText sees customers as partners—we don’t want to be just another vendor who doesn’t engage with you.
Engaging with customers in such an interactive way to better understand our customers’ pain points requires that our CSMs work hard to prepare and listen intently. Feedback from customers shows that they thoroughly enjoy the process and are actively engaged during each virtual session.
Interested? Please see our Customer Success Portal for more details.
This is where the fun begins!