Matt Binnington, Marketing & Communications Specialist, ACD/Labs
In part one of our Freewheelingly Asked Questions series, I was thrilled to review ACD/Labs’ Technical Support approach with two of our excellent customer service personnel. In this follow-up, I was joined by the two principle staff responsible for our Customer Success program, Laura Zepeda and Karim Kassam. They were kind enough to spend time discussing the introduction of ACD/Labs’ Customer Portal – a one-stop shop for workflow-oriented PDF and video guides on all our software offerings.
1) Why a Customer Portal?
Prior to discussing what resources are included in the customer portal, and how users are able to access them, Laura and Karim explained their motivation for creating the portal in the first place. Karim noted that, “We wanted to make sure that all of our customers gain the greatest benefit out of the software they’ve purchased. Though they could get value out of their ACD/Labs software ‘out of the box’, they often didn’t have the time for a dedicated two-day training session learning all of its features and capabilities.” Thus, the Customer Success team was born, and their first goal was to improve on the tool tips and user manuals contained directly within ACD/Labs products by creating a dedicated resource repository. Laura explained, “We created the customer portal to provide easy access to up-to-date resources and documentation on workflows within the software. We also wanted to ensure that it’s simple for multiple users in an organization to access these documents, without the need for them to be downloaded from within the software and distributed manually.”
Additionally, creation of the portal was intended to accelerate the process of addressing customer feedback by allowing rapid resource introduction. Laura clarified, “The portal gives us a bit more control on feedback loops, because when we receive customer responses about the sort of resources they’d like to have we can immediately address their concerns by updating it.”
2) What function is the Customer Portal intended to serve?
As mentioned, the customer portal represents the singular location to access all of ACD/Labs’ how-to resources. These include a few different categories. The first is Quick Start Guides, which are relatively short PDF documents (average of 6 pages) containing step-by-step directions with screenshots for specific tasks. Laura expanded, “Quick start guides are highly illustrated PDF documents that demonstrate best practices in the current version of the software. Plus, in addition to stepwise solutions they also contain notes on working with different data formats, links to additional resources, and contact information for technical support.”
The second type of resource found on the portal is How-To Videos. Laura explained those as well, “How-to videos are instructional recordings with typical run times of under 3 minutes. They go through key workflows in real time, with accompanying explanatory narration, and are separated by product and data type, just like the quick start guides.”
Finally, the customer portal contains archives of ACD/Labs Webinars. Karim described their inclusion, “Our webinars are valuable longer-form resources that detail core functionality for our key products, while also providing regular updates on new capabilities we’ve added to our software. Customers can use the portal to watch recorded webinars on multiple topics, and we also plan to advertise upcoming webinars via the portal in the future.”
Any current ACD/Labs customer that subscribes to maintenance can access the portal by visiting www.acdlabs.com/portal to register an account. All that’s required is an organizational email address and the 5-digit license ID number associated with their software purchase. Since the portal is web-based, it can be opened on a variety of devices. Laura detailed the value in this arrangement through a specific use case, “It was important to us for this resource to be accessible outside the computer that customers house our software on. For example, if a user is unsure how to process an NMR spectrum, they can simply pull up the portal on an alternate computer, tablet, or mobile device to watch a video or read a document that details exactly the workflow they need.”
3) How has the Customer Portal been received thus far?
Since the portal launch in the fall of 2018 Karim and Laura have been thrilled by the positive reactions from ACD/Labs customers and staff alike. Karim shared, “The feedback I’ve seen has been excellent. The consensus is that the portal is a fantastic initiative. When we first presented it to several customers they were very grateful for a resource that helps them better utilize the software they’ve invested in, without a major investment of their own time.” Laura added, “My new favourite point in a conversation with a user that’s having trouble is when I respond by asking if they’ve heard about the portal. I can then quickly show it to them, and there’s always this moment where they say something like ‘Oh wow, I didn’t realize this existed – it’s fantastic! Look at all these videos and resources.’ They can immediately recognize the value in the offerings, and appreciate the means to navigate the resources at their leisure.”
Laura and Karim are hard at work making regular updates to the portal, and look forward to continued feedback from customers. I also couldn’t help but asking if Laura has personally received any comments about how friendly and helpful her how-to video narration is ;) Though I was the first to offer that particular assessment, don’t take my word for it, head to www.acdlabs.com/portal and check out the resources for yourself!
Until next time,