Earlier this fall, we had our final of 10 customer interviews. It was a process we began in summer of this year and one that was long overdue. With the last interview complete, we dove on in to the data, both qualitative (in-depth interviews) and quantitative (surveys). What did we find and thus, what change will come? Read along to find out.
The first thing we learned upon our endeavor was how little we knew, or rather, how little we knew for certain. We had our assumptions, courtesy of Alex Osterwalder's Value Proposition Design but what we didn't have was certainty. Were the offerings we considered golden truly all that valuable to our customers? Were we truly wow-ing them with our speedy support or were our results somehow skewed?
In the past, we've relied on our support ticket ratings in our CRM, Hubspot (which we cannot recommend enough), as well as our ratings in Trustpilot to gauge our customer satisfaction and overall, we've been ranking quite high.
So, we were set, right? Dust of your hands and say "Well done, team!" Nope. We needed more than just one off rankings, we needed the nitty, gritty, maybe not so pretty truth: how were we doing, really?
Thankfully, ten wonderful customers answered our call and shared their opinions of BEMO on everything from our website to our response time. After months of outreach, prep, interviews and pouring over hours and hours of film, here are the top ten things we learned plus the ten resulting promises we are making to you, our customer:
Top 10 Takeaways (+ 10 Promises for 2020 and Beyond)
Our Products Aren’t Unique, the Way We Provide Them Is: You (our customers) can buy Microsoft products anywhere from any partner. Why us? According to you, it's our personal touch, our check-ins, our planning with you that make buying from us worth it. Our Promise: As our team grows, we will only hire team members who operate with this understanding: what we sell is interchangeable. The way we sell it isn't. Our customers come first, always and going above and beyond for them is standard operating procedures.
Change is Uncomfortable: It's difficult to make organizational changes (i.e. move people into Teams and away from Outlook. AKA total #gamechanger) and it's our job to help make those changes easier. Our Promise: When your company goes through a change, we will do our best to provide you with resources we've crafted or those we've found most useful. From blogs to YouTube videos to one on one sessions, we want your organizational changes to be seamless and supported.
Validating IT Spend: It's not always to easy to get the necessary monetary support behind necessary changes. IT departments need their companies to see where spending is required in order to avoid hackers and stay up with the times. It is our job to help make this clear. Our Promise: When you're navigating changes, we will help show the value in those changes. We recognize that all funding, big or small, factors into the bigger picture. We will help you tailor and, if necessary, trim your budget requests to support your organization's bigger picture.
Check-Ins: The interviews verified a sneaking suspicion: while our customers knew where to go when they have a problem, wouldn't it be nice to speak to them on a regular basis, problem or no problem? Our Promise: We always want to help, not hinder you and your business and we know you are busy. Still, in an effort to avoid overburdening our customers with interactions, perhaps we stepped a little too far back. We don't just want to speak to you in times of change or issues (though, of course, we are always available for that), we also want to check-in and see how things are going. So, we will be popping by virtually a little more often to make sure things are floating along nicely and to keep the conversation open as well as continue our interviews to make sure we are providing the best experience we can to you. We look forward to speaking with you!
The Roadmap: Piggybacking on Check-Ins came what I dubbed "The Roadmap". Unless you're taking an ambling stroll, most of us like to know where we are going. We pride ourselves in taking into account where our customers are versus where they'd like to go and this, time and time again, was listed as one of the top things our customers value. Our Promise: IT can be overwhelming, a trusted advisor makes it less so. We will take the time to evaluate where you are versus where you want to be and how to get there. Keeping this roadmap in mind helps us to advise you and grow together.
Evaluation: How are you evaluated in your job? If you work in IT, the focus might be less on the day to day and more of a general "did things go haywire this year?" The less negative IT-related events that occur, the better. Helping you spot the holes in your infrastructure means your evaluation (and your system) go off without a hitch. Our Promise: In addition to keeping your roadmap in mind, we will also make sure to watch for upcoming issues. Perhaps you have an OS that's on it's last leg of support. Perhaps your industry is particularly prone to specific types of phishing attempts. We'll look ahead to spot trouble before it finds you and discuss strategic ways to navigate the world of IT for you and your users.
Who Do I Contact You and How Often?: Have you ever wondered how much you're supposed to contact us? If so, you're not alone. Customers had varying comfort with contacting us, some stating they'd only reach out in the case of a breach (in which case, we'd be the ones contacting you too!). Our Promise: From problems in Business Voice to a breach, we want you to know when, where and how to reach out to us. Carol, our wonderful Operational Excellence Manager is helping to clear up this conundrum of care so you know exactly what comes with your licensing, who to contact, and how. We want to be available to you and your team, and we will make it much clearer how to do that.
What’s Happening with My Account? (+ Continuity of Care): If you've ever had your house remodeled you know contractors can sometimes run into unanticipated issues. Compromised support beams thought to be steadfast, corroded pipes thought to be tip top mean more time to get the same result: your new setup. With migrations, and more it can be the same thing: we can run into unanticipated issues that mean it will take a little longer to get the job done or it will need to be done differently. You want to know each step, each issue and ideally, you'd like to speak with the same person each time about it. Our Promise: Communicating any pivot to a project or an update is a part of our job and something we will do even better from here on out. Even if the update is "There's no update", that's the update you'll get to keep you in the know and up to the minute. Plus, while time zones and, you know, sleep, means that you won't always be able to speak to the same team member you spoke to last, we're updating our logging techniques to ensure that any team member is up to speed on your project so you can sit back and relax.
COVID Changed the Workplace (+ Microsoft is Confusing): If we didn't all live online at the beginning of 2020, come the nearing of its end, we all certainly spend a lot more time in the virtual world. COVID has changed the way we meet, the way we work and the way we get things done and fast! Teams we talked to had to navigate shifts to entirely remote workplaces nearly over night (a huge hats off to all of you! I am still so impressed by the transitions stories you told me). Thankfully, Microsoft has an app for this and that and everything in between, which leads us to the next part: Microsoft is confusing. Where do I make a To Do list? Planner? Stickies? Our Promise: We've been fully virtual since the start and we want to share our tips and tricks for running a successful virtual team! Here's one article we wrote and more are on the way. Also, Microsoft is confusing, we agree. As an innovator, things are constantly changing but it's not your job to stay up with the latest change in this or that. It's ours. So, expect more tips and tricks to have the need to know info in your inbox. By the way, as per the To Do list conundrum mentioned earlier: if you haven't noticed, the Planner app in Teams is beautiful and brings all your To Dos into one place. Check out this announcement for more info.
Don't Sell Me: Do you like being "sold" to? Chances are, your answer is "No". Actually, chances are your answer is something closer to "Heck no!" and we don't blame you. I don't want to be sold to and no one on the BEMO team does either so, we won't. Our Promise: In an effort to look out for your roadmap and create efficiency and ease, we will always alert you to tools we think could improve your experience but you will not find us trying to move you up in licensing that's too big for you or pushing you towards tools you don't need. That's a promise. We'll help you find the right option that fits you, every time.
And...that's a wrap! Actually, there's one last thing we learned: our customers are awesome. Truly, a huge thank you to all our our interviewees. Your candor and insight were absolutely invaluable and we so appreciate the time you took out of your busy days with us. As always, stay safe and stay in touch!
If you have something you'd like to share with us, please reach out! Leave a comment, contact us in chat or send me, Julia, an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best wishes to all our BEMO customers! Thank you for choosing us. We will always work hard to make you certain you made the right choice.