Customer Success Is More Than a Team – It’s a Promise to Our Clients
Since launching Icon (formerly Caremerge and VoiceFriend), our team has been hard at work building up our all-in-one communication and engagement platform.
But for organizations to use senior living technology effectively, whether it’s achieving a high adoption rate or collecting valuable data points to inform organizational decisions, they need the support of a dedicated customer success function.
To understand more about customer success – and why it’s integral to the development and implementation of senior living technology – we spoke with the leaders of our Customer Success team: Mary Giangrasse (SVP of Operations) and Serena Meade (VP of Client Success). Check out their observations below.
To start, can you share what effective customer success looks like in senior living?
It’s important to offer a bit of context before diving in. Historically, senior living’s been slow to adopt technology that can help accommodate the aging population. That’s now changing. And this change creates a valuable opportunity for senior living technology providers to act as consultative partners for the people who use their technology. This is where customer success comes in.
But customer success isn’t just about ensuring residents, patients, or program participants understand the technology – it’s also about empowering staff and loved ones to make the most of it.
On our side of things, effective customer success looks like understanding staff workflows, sharing technology tips, and cultivating a relationship where customers feel comfortable asking for what they need. On the client side, that comfort is the sign that the customer success team is doing its job.
Any misconceptions you’ve seen about customer success?
The only misconception we’ve come across generally is the belief that customers’ success only falls on customer success teams.
At Icon, we emphasize that everyone plays a part in customers’ success, whether you’re with marketing, sales, product development, or anywhere in between. We’re all working to improve the aging experience.
How does Icon support its customers in the day to day?
One example that comes to mind is our white glove approach to senior living technology implementations. We work with each group that may use our technology – like residents, staff, and family members – to make sure our training matches what they do in their day to day. Although we have a standard process, we tailor it to each organization, program, or community.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to customer success.
Every client is unique. And almost every client has a slightly different definition of success. It’s our job to adapt to those individual needs and deliver a successful product, whether through quarterly onboarding sessions or those spur-of-the-moment phone calls.
Are there any other ways that you tailor support to individual customers?
Yes. Before deploying our senior living technology, we host kickoff meetings with a client’s corporate team. There, we discuss goals for Icon’s implementation in their community and overall goals for the organization.
For instance, an initial product goal may be to digitize attendance systems. But the overarching organizational goal may be to eventually equip each living area with smart home technology.
In this case, knowing the short-term goal and long-term vision helps us deliver resources that address the current need and serve as a foundation for future lessons.
Can you share what the merging process has been like between Caremerge and VoiceFriend?
The great thing about this M&A is that it aligned with what customers wanted. VoiceFriend clients were asking for an engagement platform. Caremerge clients wanted a robust communications system.
The product fit couldn’t have been more complementary. Tack on the similar missions (of VoiceFriend and Caremerge), and you’re looking at an ideal M&A here.
As Icon, we can now meet nearly every senior living technology need our industry has – and we’re still growing. Who knows where we could be in a year?
Any practices from either Caremerge or VoiceFriend that carry over and stand out?
There are plenty, but one that stands out – and came from Caremerge folks – is our executive sponsor program.
We mentioned the kickoff meetings with corporate teams earlier. This program builds on that and establishes a long-term relationship with the corporate teams for our enterprise clients.
In senior living, customer success teams typically work with front-line team members and older adults. So collaborating and engaging with corporate teams gives us a rare opportunity to see the full picture of an organization. That pays off. And our enterprise clients agree.
Why are you optimistic about Icon’s future?
If you look across other teams in Icon, you’ll see a wide range of experiences and skill sets. That’s what makes us optimistic about our future. Our people.
On the customer success side, we have an experienced leader in Mary who’s spent years learning what people in senior living want from technology. Now that she’s in an operations role, she can bring those expectations to the forefront of Icon and make sure the entire company knows what customers are looking for today.
We also have Serena, whose experience as a nurse in long-term care informs her empathetic approach to customer success. She’s witnessed firsthand the impacts of social isolation and the ways technology helped rekindle the connections older adults thought they’d lost with friends and loved ones.
Caremerge and VoiceFriend didn’t just have complementary products; they had complementary teams.
Under Icon, we’ve combined strengths. And that means we can enhance the aging experience for even more people.
Customer Success Maximizes the Value of Your Community’s Senior Living Technology
Anybody can go out and purchase a smartphone. But if they don’t understand its many functionalities (texting, camera, internet, alarms, etc.) they’ve essentially just bought a very expensive telephone.
The same logic applies to senior living technology. Older adults, their loved ones, and staff members need support to fully unlock its benefits. In other words, they need a dedicated customer success team.
Interested in learning more about deploying an all-in-one communication and engagement platform? Reach out! We’d love to help.