Aspire has revolutionized the landscape industry by empowering contractors to transform the way their businesses operate. Aspire’s cloud-based platform offers the end-to-end functionality contractors need to gain full visibility into their business, make better decisions, and increase profit margins.
Corey Kuhn, Manager of Customer Success (CS) with Aspire, discusses making giant leaps in its CS progress with Gainsight, how automation has enabled significant CSM efficiencies and how changes in processes have created an “Aspire Experience” for their clients.
How has your organization changed with Gainsight?
Our company is experiencing significant growth. I started four years ago to build our CSM team, and our revenues were $4 million, and now our revenues surpass $120 million. As we grew, we needed to find software that would aid our growth, so we purchased Gainsight as the system to help manage this growth and be our one record of client truth.
We knew it was a powerful tool and not one you can take out of the box and go with, so that is why we started working with nCloud Integrators’ implementation team. Their consultants helped us get to the starting line and beyond. It was amazing. Going from no Gainsight to first implementing Gainsight was a giant leap in progress for our organization. Then we realized there was so much more we could do, so we worked with nCloud’s Expert Services team to take us to the next level, which has stretched us to use the real capabilities of the tool. It has transformed our team and our processes, and now we truly understand what Gainsight can do.
What was your focus for process improvements and outcomes you wanted to achieve with Gainsight?
As we had our initial conversations with nCloud’s Expert Services team, we decided to focus on improving CSM efficiency with a more robust C360 layout that went deeper into client details. Today, it is an Aspire-focused snapshot of the company. Our CSMs can go into the dashboard and instantly see what work they need to do with a particular client. In the past, this would take 10 to 15 minutes of prep time to check client status before each call.
We also automated various pieces in the customer journey. nCloud Integrators helped us with our playbooks and automation of various tasks such as our NPS process. The end result is that our entire customer journey has changed in a way that is great for our team and for our clients. Everything is standardized, and we are reaching out to clients on a consistent basis with a consistent message. It is now much more of an “Aspire Experience.”
Can you discuss some of the processes that you automated in more detail?
The first area we focused on to automate was the NPS process. We used to have everyone on our team carving out at least an hour a week managing the NPS process with reach-outs and personalized responses. Now this entire process is automated with standardized messaging, and our team is just reviewing the responses for items that stand out. Overall, our team probably saves 20 hours a week. This new process has also allowed us to adjust our team’s capacity and each CSM can now manage a few more clients.
The second area we automated was client onboarding, and for us this means the process of working with clients after implementation. Our process was administration heavy with our team responsible for sending out various communications such as reminders to attend webinars, links to our knowledge base, and emails with helpful information. Now this entire process is automated and standardized, so clients get specific reminders and emails in a way that makes sense in their training journey. Depending on the client, this includes five to eight different communications. Our CSMs can now spend time meeting with clients or reaching out to provide specific assistance.
How did nCloud Integrators help you achieve these outcomes? As a software company, we know that there is never a good time to implement software. There are always other priorities or responsibilities that come up. With Gainsight, we understood the importance, but it was hard to carve out time. nCloud Integrators put us on an 8-week path to implementation with timelines and accountability. Every week, we had goals and things we needed to accomplish in that time. Also, nCloud Integrators’ consultants probably answered thousands of questions for us, such as “Should we do it this way or that way? or What's your experience with other companies doing this same process?” It really cleared the path, showed us which rocks not to trip on, and saved us so much time. Their advice allowed us to be much more efficient because we could have gone down the wrong path and have to back track - and that takes twice as much time. nCloud’s assistance really got us to the finish line quickly and efficiently. Can you discuss your implementation experience as well as the experience you’ve had with nCloud Integrators’ Expert Services team? During implementation, our consultant with nCloud had a very comfortable style. She brought us along, but also made sure we were accountable and learning along the way. Sometimes if we were struggling, she would jump into the back end to help with setup, and then walk through the process later. Other times she held our feet to the fire, because we needed to learn the setup of a particular piece. nCloud also suggested that we bring in some experienced CSMs to walk through the process, provide feedback and understand the changes before the rest of the team. This really helped during our rollout process, and we got up and running with the entire team relatively quickly. As we continued with nCloud Integrators' Expert Services team, we found the process to be flexible and based on specific goals outlined in the initial meeting. Then at the end of each phase, we reviewed what we accomplished and set new objectives. The nCloud consultants made sure all of our meetings were on-track and a good use of time.
At the end of the day, a good consulting relationship is about the people. It seems like nCloud Integrators really has their business figured out because everyone I’ve worked with is so great and knowledgeable about Gainsight and the industry. What advice would you give someone looking to implement Gainsight? I have generic software advice that I always like to give brand new clients: allocate twice as much time as you think you're going to need for the implementation process. The level of effort and what you do upfront multiplies exponentially on the back end and the quicker you will see the dividends. That is really how I felt about our Gainsight implementation. Honestly, nCloud Integrators is worth double the price of what we paid for implementation because of the time and effort we saved on our end. There is often a hidden cost of implementing new software because you don’t realize how much time you are spending on discovery and education work. On your own, it takes four times as long to educate yourself, answer questions and figure out the right path. The value of nCloud Integrators is that they helped us get to that understanding faster, and if we came to a fork in the road, we had a trusted partner that could help us make decisions that would take us down the correct path.