Navigating Digital Transformation: Unveiling the Customer Journey

Discover effective communication, partnership, process alignment, and balancing people, processes, and technology.

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| Read time: 4 mins

In today's dynamic business landscape, the role of a Customer Success Manager (CSM) has emerged as a pivotal force in fostering enduring customer relationships. The customer journey, at its heart, is the path that transforms a mere transaction into a meaningful partnership. 

Ashlynn Rickord Werner, a CSM here at PlotBox, provides insights into her role in supporting our customers as they digitally transform their operations.

Q1 Can you briefly outline your role as Customer Success Manager?

My role revolves around ensuring our customers' satisfaction. In the Customer Success team, our aim is to make sure that customers using PlotBox are not only content but also successful in their journey, both during implementation and as active users. We provide comprehensive support, addressing queries about product features, new improvements, and any issues that arise. Our ultimate goal is to guarantee that all our customers are happy with PlotBox.

Q2 Can you explain the typical customer journey in the digital transformation process and the key stages or touch points they go through?

In short, the customer journey guides the seamless progression from idea to achievement.

This journey to success involves key stages that ensure a smooth transition from the start of engagement to project completion. The first, ‘alignment’ stage is crucial as it moves the customer from signing the contract to starting the project. Our internal teams work together here to gather important project details from the Commercial team, setting the groundwork for the next steps.

The alignment stage speeds up the gathering of vital project information, leading to a strong partnership kick-off. This leads into the ‘execute phase’, where we make the project's vision a reality through careful planning and skilled execution. With precise navigation and dedication in each phase, we guide our customers to exceptional success, ensuring their journey with us is outstanding.

Q3 How important is partnership in the context of digital transformation?

Establishing a solid foundation for a partnership is absolutely crucial for successful digital transformation and the overall project. One key aspect is involving Customer Success right from the beginning. By understanding our customers' processes, pain points, and reasons for choosing PlotBox, we can become their trusted advisors throughout their entire journey.

Customers can freely approach us with questions or concerns, whether it's about their data or more complex business decisions.

Our aim is to be their advocate and a reliable partner, supporting them at every step of the transformation process. This collaborative approach is pivotal as it allows us to build a strong and enduring relationship with our customers.

Q4 Communication plays a vital role in ensuring a smooth transformation. How do you establish effective communication channels and keep stakeholders informed throughout?

Ensuring effective communication falls partly on Customer Success and partly on the project team during the execution and delivery phases. To achieve this, we establish the frequency of meetings right from the start. After the kick-off, we schedule ‘goals workshops’ and decide on meeting intervals—whether it's monthly, bi-weekly, or quarterly. This early establishment of clear communication objectives is absolutely essential.

Apart from these meetings, we utilize project tracking tool software for managing delivery tickets. Once the project is live, this becomes even more crucial. As a Customer Success Manager, I review progress and work closely with the support team to ensure customers are updated on their open tickets and their current status. This way, they feel well-informed and connected to the process.

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Q5. How do you ensure a deep understanding of customers' needs and expectations throughout the transformation process? 

Understanding our customers' needs and expectations throughout the project is crucial.

It helps us tailor our approach and deliver a smooth and successful digital transformation. By actively involving the customer in the process and assigning them specific roles, such as data owner, process owner, and financial integration lead, we ensure they play a major part in the project's success.

Identifying key stakeholders early on helps us know who to rely on for vital information and decision-making. Involving the customer in various phases of the project, especially during data and process-related activities, is essential since they possess the knowledge of their own business. By engaging customers and making them active participants, we create a smoother transition and a more successful digital transformation.

Q6 Could you explain the discovery process you follow and why process alignment and configuration is so important to achieving positive outcomes?

During the process alignment phase, we carefully analyse the customer's current processes and discuss potential changes needed to align them with PlotBox's capabilities. It's about putting their day-to-day operations into the perspective of PlotBox, ensuring that they can seamlessly integrate the platform into their workflow.

Q7 Process improvement is an ongoing endeavor. How do you ensure that customers are achieving process improvement and how do you measure success?

If a customer has identified process improvement as a key delivery goal, we maintain regular check-ins throughout their journey to gauge their progress and satisfaction, especially after the process alignment phase. Once their process alignment session is completed, we schedule a separate call to ensure all their questions have been addressed and to understand how they feel about the changes made. This post-alignment health check helps us verify if their new processes in PlotBox align with their previous ones and if they feel comfortable with the transition.

However, our involvement doesn't end at the go-live stage. We continue to support customers and monitor their processes beyond that point. We keep a close eye on how their processes evolve post-go-live. There might be legislative changes or new requirements that they need to adapt to, and we guide them through those adjustments.

Q8 Change management is often a challenge during digital transformation. How do you help the customer to address employee concerns, resistance, or fears? 

In the past, some customers may have been hesitant to involve their entire staff, believing that only the management should handle the project rollout. However, we emphasise the importance of engaging the wider team early on. By including all staff members in the process, they gain a better understanding of the benefits and functionalities of PlotBox. Consequently, they feel more connected to the transformation and become more receptive to the changes.

Q9 In your view, what are the key factors or considerations for achieving a balance between people, processes, and technology in the long term, even after the initial digital transformation?

When striving to achieve the perfect balance between people, process, and technology, it becomes essential to involve all stakeholders. From senior executives to end-users working in different roles within PlotBox - their perspectives matter significantly. Understanding their needs, adoption challenges, and unique processes is crucial in making the digital transformation as seamless as possible.

Ultimately, the success of the digital transformation lies in striking the right balance between technology, processes, and the people using and following them. By aligning these elements harmoniously, we can drive positive change, empower individuals, and create a lasting impact on the services provided to the families in their time of need.

Q10 If you had one piece of key advice to give a cemetery or crematory before embarking on a process of digital transformation, what would it be?  

Embracing change is a critical aspect of undertaking a digital transformation. This endeavor requires a significant investment of time, energy, and financial resources. It's essential for individuals and organizations to be open to change during this process.

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