What's your worst post-sales-engagement story?

Heather Wendt
Heather Wendt HLAdmin, Member Posts: 285 Gain Grow Retain Staff
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edited December 2023 in GGR Cafe

CS Folks - When it comes to post-sales engagement, we all know how important it is to get it right.

Sometimes though, it can go really, really wrong!

I’m curious, what is the worst post-sales engagement experience you’ve ever had? And how could it have been made better?

And conversely, what is your best?

Please remember - we don’t want to name and shame anyone or any company!!


  • Jeffrey Kushmerek
    Jeffrey Kushmerek Member Posts: 96 Expert
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    edited November 2022
    Was getting some issues, so I broke it into 2. Here is something I was brought in to fix
  • Heather Wendt
    Heather Wendt HLAdmin, Member Posts: 285 Gain Grow Retain Staff
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    Love these examples (maybe 'love' isn't the right word here!)...thanks for sharing some examples of post-sales gone wrong...everyone has experienced them in some way, but as each of you has shared, the lessons learned can help improve the process for the future and give insight into how to avoid these missteps in the future.

    Would love to hear any advice you can give to @kabhatia who is struggling with a forced implementation timeline that isn't really realistic. Any thoughts there to help?
  • kmulhalljr
    kmulhalljr Member Posts: 40 Navigator
    5 Likes First Comment Name Dropper 2023 Success Network - Supporter
    'The New (IT) Guy'

    Spent +/- 3 weeks working on a technology recommendation guide for a workforce development agency, later quoting, then assisting with the purchasing and product onboarding process [documentation whitepapers & video demos]. I get a call toward the end of the following month that the organization has hired a new IT Director and he has audited their technology stack and wants to talk. Five minutes into our conversation he wants to cancel 2/3rds of the order for inferior products, some of which cost more, simply because he doesn't want to 'learn' what are not complicated products (made by companies that have a ton of internal supports as well). Spoke with the customers ED and they asked my opinion on the alternative products - I was polite, but very candid. They then went on to say that their hands were tied as they struggled to find a replacement Sys Admin and they would need to give on this one. 
  • Heather Wendt
    Heather Wendt HLAdmin, Member Posts: 285 Gain Grow Retain Staff
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    @kmulhalljr yikes! Definitely a horror story of the post-sales type!
  • Heather Wendt
    Heather Wendt HLAdmin, Member Posts: 285 Gain Grow Retain Staff
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    @colin-userlot - nothing like 2 extremes! So, have to ask...is that 'worst experience' company still in business?? Hard to fathom such a consistent lack of customer experience across the board! Love the 'best experience' example though...sounds like a company that truly prioritizes customers. Thanks for sharing!

  • Elizabeth Italiano
    Elizabeth Italiano Member Posts: 11 Navigator
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    After the sale closed it was almost a full month before I was introduced to the onboarding and CSM team. Then I found out the AE lied about functionality that existed. There were workarounds with integrations that would accomplish what I needed to do but it was a nightmare. In the meantime, we got blasted with upsell emails immediately. We never went live which nobody seemed to care about. But all of a sudden 90 days out from renewal we were SO important. We did not renew.

    This was with a well-successful startup but frankly, I think the leadership team became too arrogant and didn't think they had to really put the post-sale effort in because their product and brand were 'so great'. This company went from being a Cinderella story to a cautionary tale and I am not surprised.

  • Lovlyn Andawey
    Lovlyn Andawey Member Posts: 4 Navigator
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    Worst one I can think of was returning from a 3 week vacation to learn that the biggest international logo was sold on beta features. These beta features had a significant impact on the platform's existing UI and UX (like, very different user experience and configuration). They were in an onboarding phase and could only be supported by the main developer (CEO).

    I felt so useless and I struggled to position myself as a strategic partner. I was trying to learn what the beta features were (which were in constant flux), and I was wondering how I can possibly manage the customer's expectations when they already have a straight path to the CEO.

    The acquisition of the logo was approved from the very top. However, if I were to be in this situation again, I would caution against selling beta features because they are not formally supported by the Success team. If it is insisted, then I would ask for the sales team to state in the contract that the customer is promised core functionality that can be delivered via beta features. Most importantly, the Success and Support team cannot support this customer adequately because we only support products, not betas. If the customer signs the agreement, then at least they are contractually clear about what they are getting into and I will do everything I can to support them.

    If someone on this community has been through this type of situation, how would you approach it? It would be wonderful to learn from you. 😁

  • tejash_24
    tejash_24 Member Posts: 23 Navigator
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    One of the customer started multiple complaints just after implementation -- post sales.

    Complaints like-

    They dont know how to use the product

    Product is not what sales team demoed

    Product is complex

    Product is not at all useful


    We went on call with implementation folks including sales and training folks

    We found that right at the time of implementation, the scheduled training were disturbed by client staff. Most of them were absent and inconsistent in attending the training

    We also found that data migration was not successfully completed from previous software to our software because practice did not provided us complete data set and previous vendor was uncooperative with us.

    Eventually client understood that the issues are not with our software.

    Finally we were able to collaborate with client, previous vendor to complete data migration, get client attend training without being absent and things were settled

  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 199 Expert
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    For most of my career I have been part of the train the trainer model. The key is getting key sponsors and product owners on board and if you can't get that, the project is not likely to be successful.

    Boiling down training to what do I need to know is also key. We might think they all need a deep dive, but most users are focused on the three, or less, things they need to do on a daily basis. They zone out when other items are covered and who can blame them? Knowing your audience and tailoring the training is another key to successful adoption.

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