Overhauling the Customer Engagement Model

A broken model

Our intelligent automation platform, Encapture, helps financial institutions process documents with minimal human involvement, so they can be more efficient and customer-centric. 

Historically, our efforts to engage with customers were a bit disjointed, as multiple teams (sales, marketing, CS, product) had different relationships and levels of exposure within each organization. Each functional group operated in silos with different KPIs, making it challenging to understand the entire customer relationship and quickly determine a course of action that best served our customer and their goals.  

This situation is not unique to Encapture, and many tech companies struggle to align departments around a single engagement model. For example, we have long heard sales teams grumble about “marketing being held accountable” or “CS personnel not having an upsell mindset.” Ultimately, this fragmented model leads to a lack of go-forward inertia that’s so critical to a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship between customer and vendor.  

And then COVID hits 

Over the past year, the COVID pandemic created two phenomena that forced us to reassess our engagement model.  

First, we’ve experienced a massive spike in demand for Encapture. The financial services sector needs a better way to allow remote employees to be both efficient and continue to provide a high level of customer service. Further, persistently low-interest rates have created a surge in mortgage refinancings while compressing profitability metrics – a double whammy.  Lenders are scrambling to implement automation technology that cuts costs, reduces processing times, and provides a better end-customer experience. And they need a solution now. 

Second, the shutdown of travel and in-person meetings seriously cramped our old way of engaging with customers. Historically, we spent significant time and dollars traveling to customers for in-person meetings, dinners, events, etc. – both for our sales and customer success teams. Now we can’t do that. 

Four changes we made 

We channeled the disruption from COVID into momentum to completely overhaul our customer engagement model in four major ways. 

First, we aligned the entire company around a single north star metric for 2021. For us, that’s getting to a specific ARR run rate by the end of 2021. Everyone at the company – product, CS, marketing, and even back-office admin – create sub-goals that clearly align with this single metric. This exercise unified all departments and promotes much better cross-team collaboration when interacting with customers, as well all agree on what success means. 

Second, we re-mapped the customer journey (from initial prospect engagement all the way through value realization) and defined detailed stages within the process, including clear entrance and exit criteria and KPIs tracked. Functional groups were then assigned to each stage, so it became clear who was responsible and how to measure success within that stage. Again, success in a stage is always tied back to our north star metric. 

Third, we implemented systems to track and measure the new customer engagement model. This included partnering with Salesforce, hiring a full-time DevOps resource, and taking ownership of the entire tech stack (no outsourcing or consultants). Salesforce was tremendously helpful in getting us up in running in less than a month, as well as integrating with complementary tools like Outreach and ZoomInfo that make our team more collaborative and effective when engaging with customers. 

And fourth, we’ve started experimenting with a fully digital buying experience for enterprise-level transactions. It works well early in the sales process (initial discovery and demos), but our biggest challenge has been the inability to facilitate on-site workshops with our clients. Typically, these meetings involve a broad group of stakeholders and include a deep dive into business processes, requirements, and a detailed proof of concept.  

COVID forced us to streamline an all-day, in-person workshop into two, 2-hour Zoom meetings over several days (to prevent the dreaded Zoom Fatigue). Consequently, we’ve seen these workshops become much more focused and collaborative, and they allow us to get broad-based alignment on business goals, define an implementation plan, and generate confidence that Encapture can solve the prospect’s pain points. 

Ultimately, we believe these changes aligned our cross-functional teams around a single process that results in a better experience for our customers. Our prospects receive much more clarity on the buying process and have a unified team to work with all the way through post-implementation support.

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