The ROI of Customer Happiness

The ROI of Customer Happiness

One way Certify stands out in the crowd is through its commitment to customer support. Today, we sit down with Kenny Eon, Certify’s Vice President of Customer Happiness, to learn more about the relationship between keeping customers and keeping customers happy.

Kenny Eon, VP of Customer Happiness
Tell us a little bit about the Customer Happiness team at Certify. How does each group contribute to customer success?
The customer happiness team is really three groups—account management, customer support and implementation services—that work together from post-sale to set up to user adoption. Account Management is the first group a customer works with after the sale. They take over and quickly become the day-to-day point of contact for the customer. Account managers are there to manage a smooth transition and share best practices, anything they can do to help prepare the company for easy onboarding and maximize the way they use Certify. Then we have our implementation coaches. Where account managers are the dedicated contacts, the implementation team is really more project-based. They work with the customer and their IT resources to get Certify set up and running with the exact requirements requested by the company. Then, for everything post-implementation, our customer support team is available to answer any user questions about a particular feature or troubleshooting issues, and they’re really great at handling more technical administrator questions about configuration, policy controls, or running different analytics. They can handle pretty much anything.

So, there are clear responsibilities across the teams, but together the focus of customer happiness is really to ensure the easiest user adoption and a great ongoing experience. It’s about creating a seamless transition from the sales phase to implementation to seeing it take off with employees and users.

Certify’s approach to creating the customer experience is unique in the industry. What are some of the ways your team helps Certify stand out?
The first thing I think that really helps Certify stand out is our customer support team. Pretty much every SaaS company offers support at various levels, but it’s typically just for the point of contact or product administrators. Additional levels of support are available for an added cost, user level support for example. A company may have one administrator for, say, 50 users, and if any one of them needs help of if they have a question, guess who gets the phone call or email? So, you can see how quickly the admin might get inundated, and then they’re in a position to have to work as a pass through or become a system expert, too. But we've taken a really different approach with it. We've said let's open up our support for every user, and let's do it at no cost. And we do this because user adoption drives everything about the quality of the experience and success a company has with any software platform, really. First and foremost, Certify is intuitive, simple and easy to use. It only gets easier for our customers with access to live support for every user and admin, 24 hours a day, five business days a week. We also offer a lot of live and self-guided online training to help users get up and running fast, plus new feature training and refresher courses, too.

Another rarity in the industry is Certify’s 99% customer retention rate. What are some of the reasons you feel Certify customers are happy to stay?
We’re especially proud that customers choose to stay with us. As much as I’d like to credit my team for this, I think customers stay primarily because they have a high level of satisfaction with the product. Sales shows them what Certify can do, and when customers see it quickly and easily come to life as promised they just love it. Also, in the most recent G2 Crowd expense management report Certify has the highest rating among all providers for user satisfaction and for quality of support, too, so we know support is doing something right. We work hard to create an open line of communication with all our customers and users, and we’re always actively seeking customer feedback. Every support ticket that’s opened closes with a quick survey to gauge the customer’s level of satisfaction with their experience. We conduct post-implementation surveys after every roll out to track our satisfaction scores there, and our account managers hold quarterly reviews with customers to look at system usage, best practices, and talk to customers about how they think things are going.

You mentioned that Certify customers have a high level of satisfaction with the product. What about those times when they may not be as satisfied?
We’re very open to customer feedback, and I think it make us stronger. A lot of times I’m fortunate to hear very positive comments, and there are also constructive criticisms and requests for new product features or modifications to functionality that we’re always happy to take on. This is why our product development team is a really great partner for us, and our customers often have some really great ideas that can solve challenges for more than just their own businesses. I’m not an accountant or controller, so I think one of the best experiences I’ve had was sitting desk-level with one of our largest customers for a couple hours and seeing how they process high volume expense reports and what her everyday challenges are. I took that feedback and experience to our product development team, and from it we enhanced our processing page and made a couple modifications that would ultimately benefit all of our high volume customers. I think that would have only happened with us sitting down together to understand the process from the customer‘s perspective, seeing how they use the software, and then figuring out what we can do to make it easier for them.

Vice President of Customer Happiness is a pretty cool title. What would you say is the best part of your job?
It’s coming into this environment every day where we have a truly customer-focused organization. To work with these employees who embrace that and day in day out, doing what's best for the customer and really being motivated by our customer’s success. I just love to work with a team that is so focused on providing a really positive experience for our customers. We have a lot of great customers, too. They love our software and give us some amazing feedback, and from that we’ve also been able to establish some great working relationships. And that is because of the team. Customers know when they call support or their account manager, or when they’re working with implementation they’re going to get someone who is very personable and who truly cares about their experience. And it's just amazing stuff because I think a lot of times today when people call support for many companies they’re cringing. They're thinking they’re going to be on hold for a long time, and that there’s about a 50-50 chance the problem gets fixed. It's just not that way with Certify. You need happy customers to ensure successful user adoption, and we just have great, focused people here and great customers we get to work with day in and day out. It is really cool to see.