Liaising with stakeholders in the NON SaaS world

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Rachel Priest
Rachel Priest Member Posts: 6 Contributor
edited August 2020 in CS Technology
Hi everyone, 

During the Office Hours webinar yesterday I brought up this topic and would like to get some feedback from a wider audience:

I'm gearing up to work with a custom engineering and development company and have also ran into this scenario while working in the Healthcare IT space:  Each client may have a different build/service/need (mobile apps, communication/marketing platforms, cloud hosting) unlike the SaaS world. 

1. With such unique, "non-repeatable" offerings, how do you keep the various stakeholders engaged? 
Frankly most of the stakeholders are not the end or intended users, rather IT/IS teams that have to manage the solution going forward.  

AND

2. Have you crafted a unique communication style, cadence or method that works well across industries?  

@Diana De Jesus may also have some tidbits to add to my inquiry.

Articles and references are also welcome! 

Thanks a lot! Merci beaucoup!


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Rachel Priest
Customer Success enthusiast, SaaS & Healthcare IT, francophone, soprano
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Comments

  • Nicholas Ayala
    Nicholas Ayala Member Posts: 13 Thought Leader
    edited August 2020
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    Going to put on my consulting hat vs. my SaaS hat here for a second. 

    There are some things that you can do to help set the stage when engaging with stakeholders.

    An example would be to identify key players that are necessary and how often you would expect to communicate with them. 
    • Executive Sponsor - meets monthly 
    • Project Manager - bi-weekly
    • Execution team - weekly
    There can be people that overlap the roles but what this does is allow you to maintain the leadership in the engagement and have the client identify roles when engaging with you. 

    Happy to elaborate if there is additional clarification needed.
  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 133 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    Hi @Rachel Priest -- Great question! Many of our clients are non-SaaS businesses that have found that engaging "the right contacts at the right time with the right dialogs" keeps things in check. Here's how you can do it:
    1. Starting with "onboarding"/new-customer engagement, be sure they feel that they an advocate in the CSM by articulating your processes. When onboarding is complete, send a short, persona-based questionnaire that allows the right contacts to provide feedback about their experience. Commit to address their feedback and don't just chuck an automated survey invitation over the wall, i.e. humanize and demonstrate you care -- it's a HUGE differentiator (!) and also ensures you get 80%+ response rate.  Forward-looking question for customer-outcome management: Do they feel ready to start acquiring value? Backward-looking question (for experiential improvement): Do they feel that the onboarding process made good use of their time?

    2. Now that they understand your feedback process, follow-up with similar assessments coupled with EBRs ~6 months later. Are things trending in the right direction? Are their any gaps in the experiences and outcomes they seek from your firm? Track over time to make sure they are trending in the right direction, and remenidate any issues. Plus, sharing the collective set of feedback back with your Decision Maker(s) & Champion(s) adds insight from their colleagues that they might not be aware of, and helps them be a part of the planning and improvement process, especially when you can share benchmarking data that compares their account's experience & outcomes to others. Everyone LOVES to see new data/insight and being transparent not only helps you get everyone to the table and participate to get "trustworthy"/representative feedback, but also helps the rest of your company understand the aggregate trends, what's working and what needs improvement, so everyone in the company is on the same page.

    3. Rinse and repeat on the customer's schedule, so your engaging the right customer contacts at the right time in the right way...

    As for technology/automation, assuming you are using Salesforce you can automate much of this, including the scheduling of when to send the invitations, CSM tasks for the "humanized" component, follow-up processes, etc.  Waypoint's TopBox provides for the scheduling automation, benchmarking, various data visualizations and persona-based questionnaires (we prefer the word "assessment" especially when communicating to your customers because the process is more about census (not sample) and engagement from the right contacts to participate (assuming you're committing to address -- in some way -- what they tell you). Would love to discuss (and perhaps, refine) your requirements and share my experience with the various platforms to help you avoid reinventing the wheel.