Getting Software Implementation Right – Sustaining

Software Implementation Sustaining OpsVantage
If you have had the fortitude to endure this series on software implementation, you are rewarded with a short final installment.

In prior posts we covered preparing the implementation, selling the implementation, and doing the implementation work. This post covers how to move a customer out of the implementation process and into a healthy sustaining relationship with your company.

Graduate

If you have ever been on an implementation team you know that it is sometimes nearly impossible to get a customer to stop calling you when they need help. You did a great job making them feel comfortable, well supported and welcome as a new customer…Maybe too good of a job??
The simple fix to this is to conduct a graduation call. Arrange a call with the Account Manager, and a manager or lead from your customer support team so you can:

  • Thank them for being a great partner during implementation
  • Introduce their account manager and how and when to engage them
  • Introduce the customer support manager and provide information about how and when to contact support
  • Clearly state that this is their go forward team and that you and the rest of the implementation team are onto your next project

Pro tip: Build this into the schedule and talk about it during the kick off so the customer does not feel like this is something just invented to get rid of them.

Survey

Every person that participated in the implementation should receive a survey. Don’t cherry pick which people and what customers – send surveys to 100% of the implementation team. OpsVantage highly recommends using NPS, but the most important thing is that the survey is done completely, consistently and that the results are analyzed for follow up and process improvement.

Improve Processes

Too many companies survey the customer, launder the results, and present fictional data that makes them look good in operations meetings.

Bummer – a real missed opportunity.

Remember, the goal of implementation is to make the customer successful with your product, and anything you can learn to improve the outcome is time well spent. Experience has completely convinced me the very best way to internalize the need to change is by reading all the customer comments. Some of them will make you proud, others will put a knot in your stomach. Either way, systematically revise your processes to consistently incorporate the best and eliminate the errors.

Pro tips:

  • Pick 2 or 3 things to work on at a time, don’t take on too much at once
  • Categorize the issues found, and trend them over time so you know if your efforts are working
  • Use NPS
Thanks for sticking with me during this series, it was fun to write and share my experiences.  I hope it has been helpful!

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