We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the best senior living tech providers act like partners. They support and, crucially, anticipate your needs. They work tirelessly to ensure you’re deploying technology effectively. They act as an extension of your team.
That belief has shaped Icon’s approach to customer success. To offer a deeper dive into the customer success function – and why it’s best in class – we chatted with Justin Komorowski (Head of Customer Success), Emma Naumann (Senior Customer Success Manager), and Lauren McGuire (Senior Customer Success Manager).
Icon recently introduced a pretty big shift to the Customer Success function. Can you share what changed and why?
Justin: Happy to! We realigned to more closely focus on value delivery and the client relationship post-implementation.
Before this change, customer success was primarily account management with a sales tilt. We dropped the quotas. We reorganized our company. We separated customer success from our implementation and support functions.
Now, when you see Icon’s customer success team, you’ll see a group that’s hyperfocused on value extraction – on helping customers get the most from their Icon technology.
What’s involved in the day-to-day work of customer success at Icon?
Lauren: My day is very client meeting-heavy. For example, I may be leading training sessions, meeting to review best practices, or participating in our executive business reviews (EBRs). Those EBRs are our opportunity to review a client’s goals, current initiatives, account adoption, and any metrics that highlight how a client gets value from their product.
Emma: My big focus is on those quarterly EBRs, on aligning with a community and reviewing metrics. Beyond that, my day-to-day involves answering customer calls and introducing new products. And that means understanding a community’s goals.
For me, it’s important to know that goal alignment varies by customer. Some customers want to hit 70 percent adoption rates. Some communities are focused on consolidating their tech stack (customer success’ job in that case is to introduce new products). Some want to improve health at scale and create reports on the events residents attend. Whatever the community’s goals, it’s my job to track them and stay in touch with the stakeholders.
Justin: A lot of meetings; getting in lockstep with customers. I join every EBR with our clients. That’s the bread and butter of customer success.
In those EBRs, it’s good to ask questions like “What’s on your white board for Q4?” There’s a cross-pollination piece to these questions. We may hear from a customer that there’s a ramping demand for data transparency. So we take that information and elevate it to a 30,000 foot view – to tie our conversations to real business impacts. That’s how we ensure our technology is doing what it’s meant to do.
How do you measure customer success?
Emma: Metrics are a great place to start. Are residents using the product? Are staff members?
And if they’re satisfied, can they give us a case study? Can we use them as a reference for other communities? When communities want to speak highly of our product, that lets us know they’re in a good place.
Lauren: Something I always like to see is a client that is constantly asking questions. The more vocal you are, the more likely you care. For example, we’ll have clients who notice that we’ve added a new button and they’ll want to jump on a call to discuss it. That communication shows clients are thinking about our technology every day. It’s a great sign.
Justin: We’ll look at user data (logins, number of messages sent, whether attendance is being taken) on a quarterly basis. We also measure the health of organizations by tracking how long it’s been since the last EBR. Why? Because that’s how we keep track of the community’s business goals and our alignment with them.
Beyond that, we’ve focused on highlighting our tech’s impact on business objectives quarter over quarter. There’s nothing better than when our clients share that the insights we provide have made it to celebrations in their internal “all hands” meetings.
What makes for a successful engagement with Icon? Do you think about it differently than others in the space?
Justin: Our implementation team is best in class – and I’ve seen five customer success teams so far. We take the time to really work through the business case. We uncover the value a customer expects to get from the tech and fixate on it. That’s a big driver in early relationships.
Much of this is tied to goal setting, too. In a lot of ways, we’re laying the groundwork for what clients can and should expect from quality customer success. We may come in and have a client’s goal be “I want the colors changed on this resident hub” not “my CEO wants to reduce spend by 17 percent.” Icon makes community leaders rockstars internally because we highlight the business outcomes of using our technology.
Lauren: We’re committed to getting involved with all of the community stakeholders. I know residents by name. I host webinars that community staff could put on, but my being there helps make sure everything goes as well as possible. Wherever you are in the technology process, we’re with you every step of the way.
Any real-life examples of how your work solved customer problems?
Lauren: Recently, a client came off of a different software. That software had buttons, which residents liked. Icon didn’t have buttons at the time. So we showed staff workarounds to create buttons on the homepage, and that helped make the launch more successful for residents.
During the sales cycle, that client had set the goal to get to any piece of information in our system with two clicks – no scrolls. That was the biggest demand from the resident tech group. Now, it’s a standard for our platform overall.
Justin: We’ve also been in situations where a client may have a piece of Icon tech they aren’t using – sometimes it’s a legacy decision. As those priorities change and tech systems evolve, we look for opportunities to simplify tech stacks or swap in capabilities that better align with today’s challenges.
I always say we’re the customer’s quarterback. I may not be able to answer all of your questions, but I will get an answer for all of them.
Assuming community leaders are reading this post, what’s one thing you’d want them to know about how Icon approaches customer success?
Justin: We’re an extension of your team but on Icon’s payroll.
Emma: I fully echo that, Justin.
Lauren: I’d also add that Icon has success with clients because of our relationships. Clients can call me whenever they have an idea that pops into their head – they’re never talking to a chatbot or text box.
What’s your favorite part about working on the customer success team at Icon?
Emma: The teamwork. We’re remote. It was a big learning curve to adjust to, but I feel connected and supported throughout the whole organization.
Lauren: Seeing success with clients. My favorite part of working in customer success is watching someone who launches and gets genuinely happy after experiencing the product change. It’s really rewarding. We get to see the difference we make.
Justin: I like untying knots for customers – simplifying things and getting to a state where metrics are able to be shared in a deck and conversations elevate toward current objectives and real, measurable impact. Being asked by a client to “weigh in” on company challenges is the highest honor.
The Unsung Piece of Tech Stacks: Your Provider’s Customer Success Team
Typically, when leaders review senior living tech stacks, they solely consider the software, the hardware, the bells, the whistles. But your provider’s customer success team largely determines how easy it is for you to use that tech. And that makes a world of difference, whether for staff efficiency, family satisfaction, or resident engagement.
When you have a dedicated customer success team backing you up, you’re essentially getting an ROI cheat code for your technology. That’s precisely what you get with Icon.Interested in hearing more about maximizing your technology investments – and how Icon fits in? Book a demo!