By Susan Saldibar

Back in my software sales days, right after the sale, we’d turn everything over to the installation team.

Thus began the hand-off from hell.

For a couple of reasons: 1) The installers had no training (and no skills) in customer service. And 2) our SLAs (service level agreements) were skewed away from customer satisfaction, giving installers a ton of leeway to run late, renege on promises, and basically steamroller over any adjustments the client might need.

Very different from the hoops we jumped through to sell the software.

Maybe you’ve been a victim of a love ’em and leave ’em vendor relationship. 

Maybe you got promised the moon only to watch that expensive CRM wither away at the hands of a crap customer service team who managed to do everything but call you back.

Move over, Marvel superheroes: Meet the WelcomeHome  customer success team.

That may sound cheesy, but that’s because you haven’t met Emily Alexander, VP of customer success at WelcomeHome (a Foresight partner). To say her enthusiasm is contagious is an understatement. (Watch her in action in the latest Marketing Monday with Leigh Ann Hubbard.)

Emily wouldn’t have stood for a handoff like the one I just described. 

She would have kicked ass and taken names. But she doesn’t have to at WelcomeHome. Customer success is baked into their culture. (They’re the guys who conducted a listening tour before they wrote one line of code.)

All this is great. But what does it mean to you?

It means that you should never have to put up with an application that sucks; an implementation that sucks; and customer service that, well, doesn’t serve.

Here, straight from Emily are the questions you should be asking your technology provider before you say “yes”:

  1. Do you have a customer success team? How many are on the team? Asking this will tell you how much emphasis they put on service. It’s easy to say you have great service. Delivering is something else. Then,

    1. Do they understand senior living? What’s it worth to not have to explain your acronyms and all the unique stuff that goes into operating a senior living community? It makes everything easier to work some someone who knows your environment, your challenges (and all those acronyms).

    2. Do they understand technology? They should have working knowledge of the technology used by the app.
  2. What’s your average response time? This is huge. It should be under 30 minutes.
  3. What are your support hours? What about “after hours”? There should be a phone number.
  4. What types of self-service support do you provide? Unlimited? Free? They should be nodding.
  5. But we can still call you, right? (A good answer would be “Absolutely! I have the number right here.”)
  6. Will we receive unlimited free training? Anything less than “yes” is a flag.
  7. What’s your average “go live” time? It should be under 30 days.
  8. What is your adoption rate? It should be no more than 90 days.
  9. What’s your “net promoter” score? I love this. First, can they even tell you? This is the scoring on how likely someone would be to recommend a product (the 1–10 scale). This is important because, as Emily points out, you can adopt a product and still hate it.

By now you probably have figured out that WelcomeHome loves questions like these. 

That’s because these folks are totally dialed into what they do for their clients. And they’re proud of a product built ground up only after conducting a listening tour and talking with sales and marketing folks in senior living communities to find out what they hated about CRMs and what would make them love a CRM.

Now that you know all about Emily and the success team, this is your cue to click on over to their demo.

Is there a great product behind all that customer success? What do YOU think …?