Here at Clowder, we pride ourselves on our service. Our approach has always been that we're not just selling apps, but continuous, hands-on partnerships. Our Client Success team strives to serve as guides for building longevity and strong engagement in each of our apps. To showcase just how valuable our Client Success team is, we sat down with its Director, Alexa Kade, for a Q&A. Here's what she had to say:
What does Client Success mean to Clowder?
"Cheesy, but it's sort of like a way of life in how we approach Client Success or client management. Deep rooted/thoughtful methodology that puts the client first. As a company, and I may be biased, I think it's the stitching that keeps us together and really what sets our company apart from other vendors or third party contractors out there."
How does Clowder's Client Success team differ from others?
"Each client is assigned a dedicated Client Success Manager that takes the time to onboard them, understand their business, their team, the goals - from the top down. By having a dedicated point of contact, our clients are able to work through questions on strategy or technical needs without having to guess where to go. My favorite part of our onboarding process is a slide in the presentation that includes a picture of the Clowder team - it puts a face to a name and just humanizes things a bit. Knowing there's a real person at the other end of the phone makes room for a deeper partnership and that's the whole objective."
What is the onboarding process like for a new client?
"Well, it's organized. Taking on something like this can feel overwhelming, so we've created a Project Plan (a singular link via a shared Google Sheet) that outlines what's needed at each stage, who should be involved and when, and all of the moving parts to seamlessly execute launching an app. It was important for us to pull together the right pieces and in the right format to ensure each client feels supported."
What is the typical troubleshooting process like for clients?
"That's a good question and something we really pride ourselves on. Again, most of our direct POC's aren't tech experts, so we try to take a lot of heavy lifting off of them in that way. Our developers are talented and well versed in many different AMS systems having completed over a dozen different integration types. We use a ticketing system internally but all the client needs to do is reach out via phone or email and we take it from there. If the client needs to do any technical work on their side, we provide clear instruction on changes that need to be made. That's the other nice thing about having a dedicated CSM [Client Success Manager]- if it gets too nitty gritty, we can set calls. No needing to wait on an external ticketing system where you can only communicate via email."
What are the kinds of resources Clowder clients have access to?
"Thanks to our amazing Director of Communications, Katie Argueta, she takes all of the crazy ideas we bring her and is able to realize them in a way clients can use for their own benefit. If you haven't heard this already, you will at some point in being a Clowder client, we have a "library of over 40 best practices." We probably need to alter that phrase because the over 40 is really like over 60 at this point and it grows monthly. In addition to best practices that cover feature usage, continued promotion and content planning, we send out a monthly client-only newsletter. Most of our clients also receive our monthly all-contacts email which typically includes information about upcoming webinars and new blog posts that speak to what's going on in the industry and our client spotlights."
How is your team tracking and measuring each app's success?
"We aim to connect with each client on a quarterly basis, but let's be serious - most of our clients hear from us at least once a month if not more with targeted and tailored outreach. That said, during the launch planning phase, we walk through Clowder's approach to setting goals and measuring success - we call it "Adoption Concepts." The idea being, you will never see 100% adoption but that doesn't mean your app isn't successful. We break down the three buckets that define "Adoption" through 1. downloads, 2. usage and 3. engagement. The numbers in each bucket are determined by either the active membership base which for most organizations is typically only 50%, or by a "target pool" the client feels is more appropriate which tends to be less than 50% of the total base. Of course, we shoot for the moon but we want to be realistic."
How does your team approach successful event usage for each app?
"If you had asked me this question 3 months ago, I would have given a totally different response. For a second, let's assume the world isn't facing a massive pandemic - we have two launch playbooks, one for non-event launch and one focused on launching the app at an event. There are unique aspects to both and our guides help tailor messaging to ensure optimal adoption. Back in the day, we also provided complimentary onsite event support for the first year - taking on things like "I forgot my password" so staff can really focus on the other details of hosting an event. Today, things are a bit different - we're focused on virtual connectivity and I think Clowder is really leading the way in supporting organizations in going virtual. We have playbooks, best practices, client examples - everything to really help our clients recoup some lost revenue centered around hosting events that have otherwise been cancelled. The takeaway here is that we support our clients in every way possible - whether onsite or by guiding them in how to host a successful virtual event."
How are you helping clients build lasting success?
"Part of it is a shift in mindset. 10 years ago you were no one without a website. 5 years ago you were no one without a mobile-responsive website. Now people are looking for that dedicated icon which is only possible with a native app. I think the other part of it is consistency - reaching people where they want to be reached. We challenge each client to think about it from their day to day perspective. What apps do you use most often and why? Most responses are the same across all clients which makes it easy to build off and create a strategy around it. I think our Launch Planning call is probably the most revealing; it's where most clients have that "ah ha" moment. Not every participant follows along in the sales process so a lot of this is new to them - but on this call, they really get it and then it usually just snowballs from there."
What do you want each client to take away from your service?
"A sense of partnership, knowing that we show up for them every day. I really don't like being referred to as a vendor, so as much as we can remove that style or aspect of the relationship - that's what we strive for."
To further drive home Clowder's Client Success offerings, Alexa provided examples from a recent client email that serve as an inside look into the team's dedicated guidance:
- Post Latest Business, Safety Guidance on COVID-19 for Metals Companies from this link with a push notification that indicates a new Safety Guideline announcement has been made
- You mentioned only sending important pushes - well I'd argue that all of your content is important right now - especially these updates - tell your members!
- Consider adding a message from the CEO (a video or letter) on the status of the industry - here's an example of what the AGC (Associated General Contractors of America) did - albeit pre-chaos but it was pretty powerful. And here's another example from MERA (the Association for Sustainable Manufacturing) both of these videos live in the app's news feed.
- Anchor a banner ad linked to your Newsroom - here's an example of what FBINAA (FBI National Academy Associates) did. This allows users quick access to a webpage that's regularly updated without having to double work by putting on your site and the app.
- Create a Coronavirus folder in Resources - remember the content in resources is exportable so users could download from their phone to apps like email, slack, Skype, notes, messenger, etc. Include content such as CISA Advisory Memorandum, NAM Instructions, letters to VP Pence and PM Trudeau, and the Sample Letter Template.
- Promote the folder through a push notification "We're here for you! Adding valuable tools and PDFs in the Coronavirus Resource folder"
For any follow-up questions you may have, Alexa can be reached at Alexa@clowderapps.com.
If you'd like to learn more about the Clowder client experience, you can schedule a chat with us to discuss what a partnership with your unique organization would look like!