Here at Bridge, we don’t just sell software—we provide solutions. The products you invest in can only take you so far, and as a customer, you’re not just looking for hardware or software; you’re looking for support. This is where our Client Success team comes in: it takes over where the product ends.
“Client success is important for two things: the customer and the brand of your company,” shares Janna de Guzman, head of Client Success for Bridge. “In Southeast Asia, it isn’t enough to provide a client with a product and leave them be. It takes more to ensure that your customers actually implement the software and adopt it into their current processes. Purchasing a product is only step one in being successful; customers have to become experts—they have to maximize the software in order to succeed.”
“As for your company, client success has the power to improve how people perceive your brand. It really comes through in the way you treat your clients,” Janna continues. “If your customer service is really attentive, quick to answer, and client focused, people will have that perception of your entire brand. Your customers are your best marketing tool. No matter how much money you spend on ads, a bad reputation will kill your brand. No matter how good our products are, if we don’t have a good support team, our clients wouldn’t choose to stay with us for the long haul.”
This dedication to customers shows in the main success metric used by Janna’s team: client happiness. All activities that are pushed by the Client Success team are directly related to increasing a customer’s satisfaction—these include one-on-one account management, unlimited training, and feedback and support.
“One-on-one account management is unique compared to the typical support that comes with any cloud solution,” explains Janna. “What usually happens when you buy a solution is you only reach out to support if you’re having problems with the product. But with us, from the time you make your purchase until you’re an expert at using it, you have one point person who helps take you through the whole process of onboarding. That person doesn’t just insure that you use the system, but that you maximize it for your business, and that you’re able to adopt it as fast as possible.”
When it comes to training, “we want to build product champions in our customers—someone who sees the value of the software,” Janna shares. “We show them the value by teaching them how to use all the features; that’s where training comes in.” Class sizes are small, trainers are experts in the system, and the program is able to tailor-fit the training to the kind of business that the customer has—food and beverage, for example, or retail. And if companies aren’t fit to come into regular training courses, ad hoc training requests are accommodated to fit unique needs. Instructors go to clients’ offices to train just executives, middle managers, or operations—everything is very specific to the user. “We place a lot of importance on retention,” adds Janna. “We aren’t satisfied with training you once then leaving you to figure everything else on your own.” If clients want a refresher course or want to attend training again, all their re-certifications are free.
“For support, we want to provide as wide of a range of channels as possible. Right now, in addition to meeting in person, we have video calls, phone support, and text messaging,” says Janna. “But nothing beats face-to-face meetings—the problems solved and feedback received during those sessions are better than calls or emails. We don’t want to miss out on any comments, suggestions, or feedback from a client, so we visit them.” And in every meeting with a client, the team keeps track of the customer’s satisfaction—the goal of every meeting is to improve on the previous meeting’s score.
Client success also pushes a little further than traditional support teams do. “When a customer has a problem, the tendency is to go straight to support. But we help with that by continuously pushing the issue to support so it gets resolved in a timely manner.”
Leading a tech support team of the future can be summarized that way—constantly pushing to be faster, better, all for the client’s sake. “In the past, tech support was always reactionary. You used to only provide support when someone would complain or make a report about a problem with the system,” recounts Janna. “What we’re trying to do now is to keep in constant communication with our clients and to build systems that will alert us if something is off, even before we get a complaint. We want to provide preventive support. It isn’t enough just to go in and fix the problem; we’re also about educating the customer on why it happened and how to prevent it in the future.”
The prevalence of startups today has made a norm of working with a lean team, a stark contrast to the massive support departments of software giants, but this doesn’t seem to faze Janna. “Strength isn’t really in numbers. The strength of the team lies in the quality of its members,” she muses. “I’d rather have three people who are great at what they do and love their job, rather than have a lot of people who don’t really care either way about the people they serve.”