A Q&A with Customer Success, Part Two
Did you miss part one? Read it here.
In part one of this Q&A, Nick Diligente and Alyson Kjeldahl discussed some of the challenges that businesses face when implementing IoT solutions and how the Customer Success team helps navigate these difficult waters. Next, the two cover some of the ways the Customer Success team impacts Current, how they measure success and what the future of IoT platforms in the workplace could hold.
Nick: Speaking of ongoing success, can you elaborate on what it is you measure for customers and what type of feedback you receive about these criteria?
Alyson: Let me use an example with a professional services customer. The customer is ingesting our API and data themselves and developing an application in house. In that situation, we had a lot of discussions with the customer early in the project to understand what critical things they needed to see out of the solution to feel like it met their expectations and have them want to scale it across the organization. Initially we’ll do a small-scale pilot so the customer can confirm the value and we can prove and validate our solution with them. The purpose of the success criteria is to guide the decision to scale at the end of the pilot period.
Within this example, there were four things that were critical to this professional services customer. We put in place test plans for each of those four criteria and had the customer review them with us and agree upon them upfront. We established metrics for each and then conducted the test over a 30-day period. At the end of this pilot, we communicated the results and I’m happy to say we passed all the success criteria. The customer is now scaling the solution across their portfolio of U.S. offices. Without detailed success planning like this I can confidently say the customer would not have been comfortable making that decision.
Nick: Was there ever a time the initial project failed and you had to go back to the drawing board?
Alyson: Of course. There are always things that can go wrong but learning and iterating is what we do best. I worked on a great example of this recently. A financial services firm wanted to do desk-level occupancy. So we worked with them to modify an existing product that allowed us to provide accurate occupancy data for a single workstation. We iterated on the solution alongside the customer, testing it in their space to make sure we delivered an acceptable level of accuracy. We’ve now commercialized this product to offer it to other customers. It ended up being a great success story for both of us. They gained a custom solution that solved their problem and we gained invaluable customer insight that led to a new product.
Nick: Let’s shift to the future of IoT in the workplace. What are you seeing? What makes you excited about the future of the business?
Alyson: What excites me about the future of IoT is that right now we’re seeing a shift from your traditional workspace to a smart, enabled workplace. As employees, we’re going to start feeling the tech experience of our personal lives extend to our work lives.
Businesses are starting with this simple layer of occupancy data, but they can start to layer on additional types of data. Sensors will enable a more data-rich environment for them to unlock additional solutions. Things like people count data versus the capacity of that space—are you getting the right utilization out of the space you pay for? We can also layer on CO2 and temperature sensors that allow you to better understand why spaces are being used, how they’re being used and how they are being controlled. Our infrastructure is unique in that it enables flexibility of the system for you to tack on additional sensor technology and deliver more insights as the needs of the business change.
Nick: Finally, how should a company get started on its IoT strategy? What should they know about starting one of these projects?
Alyson: Within your company, be thinking outside of your department. What are the goals of your colleagues in other areas of the business? Are you aware that even though as departments you may be trying to achieve different things, there are digital platforms that can help you accomplish multiple outcomes? Everyone is always tight on budget and has limited dollars to apply to all these different priorities, so be smart about how you’re going to spend limited funds.
So often, we look at purchasing decisions department by department, and some of those opportunities are missed. We can help you identify who some of those stakeholders might be in other areas of your business. If you have some ideas about what you want to do with an IoT platform, reach out to Current and we can help you identify other ways your business might be able to leverage the platform beyond what you’re trying to achieve.
To learn more about Current’s digital solutions for smart offices, contact us today.