- Sharon Bok
Q&A with Jess Kitt, VP of Client Experience with Popmenu
Popmenu is a leader in cloud-based restaurant technology to help restaurants increase brand visibility, guest engagement, revenue and profitability. The company works with more than 10,000 independent restaurants and hospitality groups.
The company was recently placed No. 57 on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest-growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, fintech, and energy tech companies in North America. Popmenu grew 3,102% from 2018 to 2021.
Jess Kitt, Vice President of Client Experience with Popmenu, discusses how during this time of significant company growth they are focused on automation to ensure customer interactions are efficient as well as meaningful. nCloud Integrators assisted Popmenu with their Gainsight Essentials Plus implementation to achieve this goal.
What were your business objectives as you started down the path to select a Customer Success (CS) platform?
Our Customer Success Managers (CSMs) each work with between 400 to 600 accounts, and because of this, it was important for us to enable some of the client touch-points to be automated. In addition, we were looking to have more communication transparency between our customer success, sales and professional services teams. We also wanted to centralize our customer surveys. Centralizing survey information seems like a small thing, but because we grew so fast during the past few years, multiple departments had surveys and market research on our customers, so we needed one place where this could live and feed into our customer health scores.
How did you approach your automation strategy?
Once a quarter, we break our work down into the Eisenhower Matrix and discuss as a team how we are spending our time, and the activities that are the most important to customer satisfaction. The Eisenhower Matrix is a task and time management tool that helps you organize and prioritize tasks by urgency and importance into four quadrants. Then, we listed out all of the things we could automate, and started prioritizing those items that could have the most impact.
Throughout this process of analyzing where to create digital touch points, we also looked at how we wanted our CS team to spend their time interacting with customers on a personal level. We know that their expertise lies in things like training and quarterly business reviews, and this is where we felt CSMs could make a connection with customers and really have an impact.
Do you have any examples of how automation is making your organization more efficient?
One of the things that's really important to us, which you can imagine if you think of 10,000 small and medium businesses, is that our customers pay us by credit card. So many customers accidentally miss a payment because they've changed their card or it got stolen. One of the things that nCloud Integrators helped us do is automate this process so if a payment doesn’t go through, an email is automatically generated to the customer. This automation is so important because each CSM was spending about 10 hours per week contacting customers for new payment methods. Now, our CS team members only receive a notice to follow up after three days if a new form of payment was not added to ensure the customer received the notification, and to say, “We appreciate your business, and know this happens from time to time. Here's how we can update it.”
A second automation example is customers who take part in our Boost program, which is marketing services such as email marketing or social media on Instagram and Facebook. Restaurant owners are so busy that they look to us to help them with these tasks, which are necessary to help grow their businesses. So our folks create a content calendar that includes all the messages we will deliver over the course of a month. The automation comes in to deliver an email message to the restaurant owners to say something like, “Your content calendar for the month has been created. Do you have any changes or additions to this content such as special events or holiday specials?” This may sound simple, but when you have to deliver 70 different customer content calendars, you want to spend time ensuring the content is on brand and correct. A Call-to-Action (CTA) is also created if the team member never hears back from the client or if the client has changes to the content.
In your opinion, what was the biggest advantage of using nCloud to help with your implementation?
As a company, we know it is really important for us to continue to automate, but not hire additional staff unless it is necessary. This helped us make the decision to use Gainsight. Once we made that decision, we knew we needed the expertise to implement this solution using best practices and in an efficient manner. We didn’t want to hire a new Gainsight administrator full time, so to save on costs we looked to nCloud Integrators to quickly get us live on Gainsight, and then act as our Gainsight administrator to continue to build and improve on our instance based on user feedback and priorities.
nCloud Integrators filled the bill, and we learned how to effectively use the platform at the same time we worked through the go-live implementation process. We were assisted with the technical aspects, such as making sure the data flows to and from each of our internal systems such as Salesforce, but also with ‘why’ and ‘how’ each piece impacts our customer journey and how various pieces help with automation and accuracy of health scores. Now that we are live on the platform, we are using nCloud’s Expert Services. We just implemented Salesforce at the beginning of the year, so nCloud is helping us build new automated processes in Gainsight, while at the same time pulling and pushing data into Salesforce in a sustainable way as that platform continues to evolve.
Did nCloud help you overcome any difficult hurdles?
We needed to transition from a different CS platform to Gainsight without any gaps in our service or processes. nCloud Integrators made sure everything was seamless, and that our implementation was done effectively but quickly within a short window. We didn’t have to extend our contract with our previous vendor, and we were able to have our CS team on both systems for like three to four weeks, so they could get comfortable with Gainsight and the new processes. This transition would have been difficult without nCloud Integrators. Do you have any measurable ROI you could share or how do you plan to track ROI?
Today, we have multiple teams in the same system, communicating with one another about client interactions. Everyone is now seeing and using the same information, so this helps between teams, but also when someone is out of the office. We can’t wait until the next day to take action on an account, so managers can go in and pick up the ball to either assist or assign a task to someone else on the team.
Also, now all of our teams are aligned on the same customer journey and processes around this journey. We are all using the same playbooks and everything is more consistent across the teams. Do you have any helpful tips for other companies looking to implement Gainsight?
My advice would be, don't be afraid to ask your CEO or whomever makes these types of decisions for a significant purchase in your technology stack - because the way that you'll scale your team is systematically, and having systems and processes that are centralized. Once you’ve scaled, it’s really difficult to add a new system and change the culture within your CS team.
Also, you don’t need to have every piece in place with a new implementation to deliver a big win. Start small with something that is going to make an impact and build from there. This is so important to get buy-in from your CS team. They need to quickly get excited about using the new solution. It doesn’t have to be big or sexy, just something small that makes a difference in their day to day such as automating an email for a billing issue.