"When I visit our customers, they each tell a different story: they all do something 'unique' with Sofon." Maurice van Hout is a 'Customer Success Manager' at Sofon, and he works with the customers to tie the solutions together well: "In practice, the focus is often on the tools, while the vision (why we do it that way) is sometimes lost. So I want to find that connection again: I want to know what their future looks like and their markets, and what their focus is."
"There's no better job than mine: I visit satisfied customers, but even dissatisfied customers are interesting to visit because you can learn the most from them. They often have the most valuable recommendations. We should not avoid that; we should also try to bring our product in line with that, as much as possible. Customers also see their market changing, so they expect us to change with them: 'Sofon should give us more help with implementing changes quickler.' It's nice to see the world in this way: a problem as good input. That way you can put a positive spin on everything."
How healthy is a company
"I talk to different ‘levels’ and departments of a company. Each ‘level’ and department has its own challenges. Remember, we work with many departments at a customer, not just Sales. Everyone in the process also has an interest that the Sales people have all the relevant knowledge. To show that, I sometimes write the word "GiGo", and ask if they know what that stands for. Often then don’t. GiGo stands for an ancient wisdom in IT: "Garbage in - means - Garbage out". When well-intentioned sales orders are made, but they have problems, that causes trouble for the entire company. The entire process gets disturbed and becomes inefficient. "
"Well, how do we get all 'levels' and departments aligned so that the entire process proceeds smoothly, from lead to after-sales service? We have developed a Health Scan to address the problems that arise in this process chain.
Firstly we have an 'awareness session "on C-level level, in which we discuss the goals and vision of management. This session will ensure that the challenges which occur in a company, are recognized, acknowledged and 'valued'.
Then we perform the Health Scan on the more operational level. We have interviews with various stakeholders of the company. We then focus on the specific problems and the resulting follow-up steps.
The Health Scan report can be followed by a thorough change analysis. In this analysis the desired changes as compared to the current situation are discussed. This change analysis describes possible solutions with their consequences and related investments. The various problems identified are resolved based on priority and connectedness. The investments for the solution are always related to the 'value' of problems to be solved.
"My job as Customer Success Manager means that customers get a clear view of Sofon. We want the customer to use Sofon successfully. I always get good reactions to my job title. I offer advice based on my understanding of the customer's needs: I listen to the customer and see if we can do better. We put the customer in the driver's seat. We ask customers what their clients notice about our system, but also what it means for the organization itself. Since everyone does something different with Sofon, it's difficult to say that in advance: Often they want to automate their current process, but it's smarter to automate your future process."
"Customers also ask whether we want to come see if they're using Sofon well, because Sofon has more and more possibilities. Added up and summarized: the entire company has an interest in implementing Sofon well."