Working with a variety of different people to help with one overarching goal can be confusing. When you have multiple people working on one project it sometimes isn’t clear exactly who owns which piece of the puzzle or who you should go to for help in a specific area.
In the past, the IMPACT team used to hear the same thing from our clients when they worked with multiple teams and people within our organization. Clients wouldn’t know who to go to for a specific problem so they would end up going to everyone. This clearly wasn’t great for our clients and it caused confusion internally as well. Everyone was tagged with the issue, but no one had real ownership of it. Responses and solutions lagged.
It was time for a change.
To learn how IMPACT turned this around and how current clients can easily bring issues to our team, I sat down with Kaitlyn Petro, the Director of Operations at IMPACT, who manages a lot of the customer experience workflow processes and journey, and Nicole Letendre, the Operations Manager, who works to set all of the information up once a new client closes, both internally and on the client-side. They shared how they recognized that this was a major problem for clients and our internal teams and what they put in place to solve for it.
Identifying the Challenge
What were the biggest challenges you were hearing from clients and the IMPACT services team?
Kaitlyn: Before we introduced our consulting type services, most of our clients, if not all of them, really had one main point of contact who handled and managed all of their services. This included inbound implementation-type services, upsells or continuations, cross-team collaboration, and project management. So the client had one main point of contact to go to for everything. It was really easy for that person to know “this is my IMPACT person.”
Since we’ve moved more towards consulting services, we’ve introduced different specialists, so there’s not one person who can deliver content services, HubSpot training services, paid media, website, etc. We have specific specialists who deliver each of those services, which means if a client wants to do all of those — which sometimes they should, and we recommend that they should — then they need to work with multiple points of contact at IMPACT.
In an ideal world, the client would have multiple points of contact in their own team working with the people at IMPACT. That’s not always the case.
Sometimes it’s one person at the client company while they’re ramping up and hiring some other people, like a content manager to work with a content trainer. So that one person has to spend all their time talking to two, three or four people here at IMPACT. So in the past, they didn’t know who was the right person to go to for some of their issues or their problems, or just questions in general of what their progress is on their projects or their training.
They might know everybody, but they don’t know exactly who to go to or where they could even communicate. This was often due to a lack of consistency in regards to how people manage their accounts, or the clients were never given that information in the first place.
Implementing a Change Quickly to Solve a Big Issue
What has been implemented to solve the challenge?
Nicole: One idea that came out of talking to one of our team members was they put together a slide deck to really help answer a lot of these questions and to gear people towards where they should be going for specific questions, issues, and a general insight into the structure of their IMPACT team.
Kaitlyn: Something that we’ve learned recently while we’ve been working on our customer experience journey is that the best things to do are to execute solutions to problems that
- can be implemented within a 30-day timeframe,
- have minimal to no financial investment, and
- can be done with the current capacity of the staff.
This slide deck was something that met all three of those criteria. We were able to actually implement it and turn it around quickly with no extra financial investment with the exception of a few hours of our team’s time.
Instead of us going out and hiring new people to project manage and cross-collaborate with all these team members to actually manage these accounts — which would add headcount and more expenses due to their salaries — we chose something that made more sense for us at the time.
This was something that could actually solve for the client’s problem a lot quicker than taking a three-month time period to hire somebody that we weren’t planning on hiring in the first place.
So what exactly does this slide-deck explain?
Nicole: This document goes through where you’re going to go to talk to your team and who from the team you should be reaching out to for specific questions.
We ideally talk to most people through the Basecamp message board, so if you have a question, you can reach out to your specific person through Basecamp.
Then it dives into your team, starting with your accountability team, which is your account manager, otherwise referred to as your salesperson, and when you would go and speak to them. They’re your main business point of contact and you’ll work from the very beginning of the relationship all the way through to the end of your relationship. If you have any feedback on any of your services or any team members, or you just want to talk to somebody, then your account manager, is the ideal person to go to.
Next, it highlights our accounts receivable manager, Shandia Drummond-Butt, and if you have any issues with billing, if you have any questions, or if you want to update any of your information, she is your go-to person for that.
From there, it highlights each specific service. Depending on what services you have, it’ll go into what type of questions you might have for each service and what exactly that person does. For example, if you have a content trainer and you have any content questions, you’ll go specifically to the content trainer. If you have a website project, typically you’ll go straight to the website project manager for any questions related to the website. And then so on and so forth for whatever services that you are doing.
And then, last but not least, we have our client advocacy team, which are our directors of client success. They are really responsible for ensuring you have a great IMPACT experience throughout your entire journey and they are your higher-level contact. If you have any major milestones through your company, you have any major feedback, you need to resolve major issues then they are the person who you can talk to.
Throughout this whole slide deck, there are meeting links, there are email addresses and different ways you can connect with specific team members.
Accessing This Information
Where can clients access this information?
Nicole: Once you sign your contract, you’ll be added to your Basecamp portal within 24 hours. Then in the “Docs and Files” section of Basecamp, you have a “Your Dedicated Team Folder” where you can access your specific slide deck.
Kaitlyn: Along with clients having too many points of contact, there could also be too many ways to communicate, right? So some people can be communicating via email, some could be using GChat, Slack, whatever somebody wants to use. We realized this issue a while ago and actually moved all of our clients to Basecamp, which essentially does a few things.
One, it allows for one way to communicate, and that could be through the Basecamp message board depending on what the client and the IMPACTers think is best, but it still allows for communication in one central place.
And then it also allows for everybody at IMPACT working on that client account and everybody on the client account who’s working with IMPACT, or just wants to be in the loop, to be able to see what’s going on. With an email, only two or three people are communicating back and forth, and only they can see what that conversation is. Now, with Basecamp, you have everybody on the team knowing what’s happening.
It also allows us to store documents, like this slide deck, for example, and create to-do lists. So it’s both a project management system and a file manager. It just makes sense for us to use Basecamp to store everything and have one centralized place to communicate versus having email and Google Drive and Slack, or a bunch of other types of software to communicate with our clients.
How does this information get updated?
Nicole: Typically that gets updated by each specific team and the director of the team that needs to be updated. They’re going to be the ones who are the most aware of what exactly is going on with each specific account in terms of who is being assigned to it, so it’s on the team lead to keep this slide deck updated in real-time.
IMPACT’s Customer First Approach
Kaitlyn: I think it’s important to note here that we are completely customer focused and really listen to what our customer issues are versus solving for internal processes. That’s something that we take very seriously here at IMPACT.
We collect feedback all the time from our clients in multiple different ways. This multiple points of contact issue is something that was initially introduced to us by several clients, which is why it was something that we aimed to solve for. he slide deck is what’s working right now. This is something the team plans to iterate on and improve in the future based on additional client feedback.
So when you first start to work with IMPACT you’ll be given a clear picture of exactly who you should be reaching out to for what.
If you have questions about…
As a customer-first company we want to make sure your needs and wants are top of mind for all of our team members and processes we create, which is why this document came to fruition. We want to make working with IMPACT as seamless and easy as possible.
If you have any additional questions please reach out here and we’d be happy to answer them for you.