InRule is installed in over 300 enterprises worldwide, most of whom use the product in mission-critical applications. Since the success of our company hinges on the success of our customers, we felt it was time to create a team solely focused on that goal and I have the privilege of leading that effort.
To understand what the mission of the Customer Success team should be, we thought about what has helped make customers successful with InRule in the past. Ultimately we distilled success down to three common themes:
- Using InRule is a journey and the most successful customers have someone helping to guide them through it
- The most successful InRule users have connected with InRulians and other users both inside and outside their own organizations
- The smoothest implementations have clearly defined goals for InRule and the team actively tracks progress toward those goals
Our job in Customer Success is to ensure these three conditions exist for every customer.
At a high level, the journey starts with an onboarding period where the project team installs the product, learns about InRule and starts to work through the architecture of how InRule will fit into the application. Then the team moves into the implementation phase of the project where rules are written in irAuthor and code is written using irSDK. Finally, the application (and InRule) goes into production where maintenance is transferred to operational teams and performance tuning is explored. The type of support a project team needs will vary significantly at different stages within this journey. In particular, the production stage often lasts for years meaning there can be many needs that arise around activities such as upgrading InRule, personnel changes, etc.
An example of how we actively promote customer success in a lifecycle stage is through the onboarding process. The purpose of the process is to help customers smoothly transition from buying InRule to successfully using it. Key parts of the process are a Welcome Package that contains important information about the InRule experience and an onboarding meeting. The most important part of the onboarding meeting is a clear definition of why InRule was purchased and the team’s expectations for the product. This gives everyone on the project team and every InRulian involved with the implementation clearly defined goals to pursue. The meeting also provides a great forum for new users to start connecting with key InRulians who will walk side-by-side with them through their InRule journey.
Beyond onboarding and implementation, the Customer Success team also helps smooth transitions with customers further along in their journey. For example, personnel changes often occur in IT organizations and sometimes InRule knowledge is lost. For example, a new team might not know how to log into the support site, how to get InRule training or what exactly the original team licensed. Customer Success bridges that gap by educating new users about aspects of the InRule experience. Or maybe there is a product enhancement that is important to the team of InRule users. Customer Success advocates for that enhancement and connects users with the Product Management team.
Everyone at InRule Technology is excited to have a dedicated team focused solely on the success of customers. We hope you are too and whether you are an existing or prospective customer we look and forward to working with you soon.