Our mission at CrowdReason is and has always been to give you, our customers, the digital tools that will help you thrive. In our view, that involves a whole lot more than just selling software.
The best way we know of to help you succeed is to become your partner, which we do by gaining a thorough understanding of your business needs (yes, literally yours!) and using that information to continuously make our product and service better. This blog series highlights the CrowdReason processes that support that partnership—and the individuals who make our customer experience exceptional.
Our first few posts centered on product development, implementation, sales, and customer support. This article focuses on our approach to customer success and how we help every company that uses our software to realize the transformative change they are striving for.
Customer success is a partnership.
We put a lot of effort into developing the best property tax software product possible, but that’s only half the battle; the other half is helping our customers succeed in using it to achieve their goals. We don’t just teach you how to use the software and then exit stage left. We’re in it for the long haul, working hard to understand your goals and obstacles, guide you through implementation, solve problems, and ensure the software meets your needs well into the future.
Our customer success manager, Jaimi Shoemaker, knows that strong relationships are a critical success factor and works hard to develop them. Customer goal management is a big part of that. “I think of it as a partnership in which we’re both trying to reach a common goal—whatever it is the client needs. I want them to know we’re in it together.”
A lot of people confuse customer success with customer support. The difference, Shoemaker says, is that “support is 100% reactive—you can’t proactively support someone when you don’t know they have a problem. Success is more proactive than reactive. We try to get ahead of things before there’s a concern. My role is much more about relationship-building and determining how individual companies can best use our systems and get the most out of them.”
What does success look like for you?
The definition of “success” changes depending on the company and where they are in their transformation journey.
End goals sometimes look similar: Smaller companies may simply need a centralized system that permits them to better organize their tax work and promotes more streamlined workflows. Larger companies are often looking for solutions to help them use their scarce resources (their highly skilled tax experts) more optimally. We designed both MetaTasker and TotalPropertyTax (TPT) to support the kind of transformative process changes that not only help organizations advance in step with changing technology but also use their resources more efficiently to stay competitive.
“Many enterprises come to us because they’re strategically trying to move people out of doing low-level tasks like data entry. Why have a knowledgeable tax expert do data entry when you can use MetaTasker to quickly and easily grab data points off documents? There’s more valuable, higher-level work those skilled professionals could be doing instead.”
Other goals are related to software implementation, which sometimes stands in the way of success. One large consulting firm struggled with implementation simply because of the company’s sheer size; disseminating information across the ranks was a challenge. During her regular conversations with the customer, Shoemaker learned about the difficulties and mapped out a different plan for moving forward. “Now, they’re doing awesome—they have a single point of contact, and that person is empowered to make decisions on behalf of the company.” This has streamlined their processes and improved their overall efficiency.
In that case, says Shoemaker, “we wouldn’t have even known there was a need for help if we didn’t have a good relationship to start with. If you can’t do something—like if you’re having permissions issues within the system or don’t know which button to click, that’s support. But we can advise on more than just that. It’s always okay to pick up the phone and say, ‘My team is frustrated about change management; how do we do this?’ Change management is a huge part of implementation, and that’s one of my strong suits. I love to just brainstorm.”
Our commitment to you is ongoing.
Shoemaker usually steps in at the handoff from sales. At that point, she jointly gets on calls with sales to walk through a customer’s needs in the contractual phase.
After that process, Shoemaker opens up a two-way line of communication. One important aspect of customer success is new software release notifications. “We’re agile in development—we have a new release every two weeks—and not everyone reads the release notes. I always review the notes, and if I think a particular client would benefit from a certain feature, I reach out and let them know it’s available.”
Throughout the lifetime of the relationship, customers can call anytime with issues or questions; Shoemaker also reaches out to each customer on a regular basis. “But if I’m only doing that—if I’m not close enough to a client to know what they might need, or what releases would be interesting to them—then I know I still have work to do.”
Meet CrowdReason’s Jaimi Shoemaker
Jaimi joined the team in 2019, but she has more than 15 years of experience in customer management. In addition to serving as our customer success manager, Jaimi also oversees our growing Ghana office in Africa, our partner in India, and our global crowd of data validators for MetaTaskerPT.
“This role didn’t exist before I got here, so I was lucky enough to be able to mold it into what I wanted it to be, with Carl’s [Hoemke] guidance. But the role should always be evolving because our customers are always evolving, and their needs change. If we’re stagnant, then we’ll lose an opportunity.”
When she’s not at work, Jaimi stays busy caring for her three dogs and three cats (“because you have to have an even number!”). She’s also the proud mother of a 22-year-old son who’s currently in college studying music education.