By Sherry Myles, Marketing Systems Coordinator
For the majority of ACD/Labs customers, the fundamental purpose of their work is to solve scientific problems and communicate their findings which build upon the body of knowledge within their R&D organizations. This ultimately leads to refining existing products or introducing new innovations that improve the lives of others. At ACD/Labs, we see our contribution as providing innovative software, solutions, and the expertise of our people to support this important work. The purchase of ACD/Labs software and/or solutions, however, is just the beginning of our relationship with our customers.
Business Process Analysis (BPA)
In many cases, we work closely with our customers, through the process of BPA, so we can thoroughly understand their existing workflows, challenges, and ultimate goals in order to advise, when necessary, based on our extensive portfolio capabilities and domain expertise. While this type of work has taken place for the more than 25 years that we’ve been in business, in 2017 we formalized it as part of our Customer Success Program to ensure that we are consistently delivering the highest value to our customers.
A recent example of this type of customer success activity is our continued collaboration with our long-time customers at Pfizer, where we have been implementing a global database solution that provides on-demand digital access to analytical data (with associated metadata and chemical structures) to scientists so they can efficiently collaborate, solve problems, identify trends, and search for legacy knowledge within their organization. Furthermore, an added benefit of capturing the wealth of structured data with chemical context will be to enable output to third-party artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) systems to aid with uncovering valuable insights to further advance their research.
“ACD/Labs’ Customer Success Program has laid the foundation for the adoption of new digital workflows in the Structure Elucidation Group at Pfizer. It has allowed the ACD/Labs team to gain an in-depth understanding of our goals as a customer, which has been key to the design and implementation of solutions to streamline the way we work with NMR and mass spectrometry data,” says David Foley, NMR & MS Team Lead and Senior Principal Scientist at Pfizer.
Customer Success continues throughout the lifetime of the software’s usage. Scientists progress within their organization, department structures change, but ACD/Labs’ commitment to our client’s return on investment (ROI) is a constant from the start of their investment with us. We periodically provide our long-time users tips and tricks sessions to improve the skills, offer webinars to show how other customers are getting value from the software, and help to train new hires. With each endeavor to understand a customer’s unique challenges and propose appropriate solutions, we learn more about what we can offer to a wider audience. In this way, we are able to offer new and innovative solutions to a larger segment of the industry with each new version release.
Customer Success Culture
At ACD/Labs, Customer Success is a culture that has been interconnected throughout the entire company. Our Senior Director of Customer Success, Karim Kassam, explains, “There are multiple teams and departments working together in these efforts. Account Management, Technical & Scientific Services, Professional Services, Marketing Communications, Solution Delivery, Innovations, and Production all coordinate with each other for the ultimate goal of providing our customers a delightful experience, while making them successful at achieving their scientific and business goals by the efficient utilization of the ACD/Labs software and solutions.”
Over the past several months, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all of our customer interactions have transitioned to an online forum. Power Lessons have been one element in our online offerings as we aim to highlight and demonstrate the best practices and features of our software portfolio. While Power Lessons started as a way for us to engage with customers when we could no longer meet face-to-face, we quickly learned that our customers were benefitting in other ways.
“ACD/Labs’ Customer Success Program and, in particular, the informative online power lessons have been invaluable in generating a true feeling of partnership. Not only do experienced users keep their skills brushed up but new hires are given a push start up the daunting learning curve. At a time when people are having to work at home for extended periods, the risk of feeling isolated and left behind is ever present. With initiatives like this, our users feel included, empowered and valued,” reports a long-time ACD/Labs customer from a major pharma company in the UK.
Another client was faced with the task of retraining their chemists due to the pandemic closure of their laboratory, and the drastically reduced workload of their employees. Since they couldn’t be in the lab together, they took the opportunity of attending these online learning options to further improve their skills.
The ACD/Labs Customer Portal, offered to our customers through the Customer Success Program, provides a wealth of useful on-demand information including short how-to videos, quick start guides, recorded webinars, and recorded Power Lessons. With the recent increase of online training requirements, we saw a 300% increase in portal registrations this year and have received positive feedback from countless customers about the value of the resources available there.
It is true of most professions that while you are constantly learning, you do not always know what piece of information you will need until the moment you need it. Moreover, if you have learned a new skill, the challenge is to find resources to refresh your memory when you need to use it! Additionally, the reality of the working day is no longer a straight eight hours from 9-5. Corporations have grown to global enterprises with colleagues scattered in remote locations. With the Customer Portal, resources are immediately available to customers at any time, and we are constantly updating the content as new features are released. Development of the portal has been undertaken in close collaboration with many of our key customers so that their feedback results in direct improvements to what we offer them going forward.
Customer Success is meant to be a proactive effort and look to the future of what we can accomplish together. Client satisfaction cannot be claimed by simply concluding the successful sale of a product. The real measure of client satisfaction is in the longevity of the relationship, and a customer’s willingness to advocate for and continue future business with the company.