Jill Besse of the AppointmentPlus Enterprise Account Management team knows that a client’s success is a win-win for stakeholders on both sides of the table. Watch the video below or read through the complete transcript that follows, and hear her insights on business intelligence, innovation, and the “domino effect” that can occur with the successful adoption of enterprise scheduling solutions in larger companies.
You’ll learn why:
- Ongoing communication revolving around the client’s evolving needs is crucial
- Data analysis is such an important part of the client conversation
- Nothing’s better than those strategic moments where the client and software roadmaps merge.
RELATIONSHIPS: THE CORE OF ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT
Kendall: Hi, my name is Kendall Matthews. I’m the Vice President of Global Marketing and Communications for AppointmentPlus, and I have with us today Jill Besse from our Enterprise Account Management Team.
Jill, talk to us about how long you’ve been here and your background and experience.
Jill: I came here to AppointmentPlus about four months ago and it’s been a great ride.
Before that I’ve been in this field for 20 plus years, from program management, account management, sales. But relationships and relationship building are really at the core of who I am, so this was a natural fit.
Kendall: And that’s why I’m so excited to have you on board and doing the things you’re doing, is because you’re so great at building relationships, especially the technical relationships we have with our enterprise subscribers.
What does an enterprise account manager do for our subscribers?
Jill: Enterprise account management is a little different than what a sales manager would be, or what a technical support would be.
When our clients come to us and they adopt our technology, they are going to ramp up, they’re launched, so we don’t just say “thank you very much, we’re glad you bought our product, now go and have fun with it.”
[The client relationship transitions over] to our team. And Enterprise Account Management picks it up from there. We make sure the ongoing relationship is deepening, that we’re tracking with their technology vision.
This field is never static—companies are always going somewhere, and we’re always evolving our product and enhancing it. So by staying deeply connected with that client we can have a very organic relationship with them, and really track, customize and tailor what they are going to need in the future so that we’re having ongoing success with them.
A FINGER ON THE PULSE OF THE CLIENT
Kendall: So when you’re talking about roadmaps, do you have to merge theirs with ours, or how do you have those conversations?
Jill: Well, yes merge is probably a good word. Again, having a relationship is so key, because within other companies there are communications processes as there is here, so what an enterprise account manager does is make sure we have a finger on the pulse of what’s evolving with the client, what is going on here at AppointmentPlus and making sure those things intersect at the right point so they can maximize what we’re doing.
Many times our enterprise accounts are doing such cool things that we’re actually going to adopt them into our roadmap as well. So it becomes very strategic.
Kendall: And that’s the power of enterprise, especially with us having the account management team, being able to be a part of what they are doing and what their vision is.
Jill: Absolutely, yes.
Kendall: How often do enterprise clients speak with someone such as yourself?
Jill: We love to talk to our clients. With my clients I give them the choice [of how often we talk], and it kind of depends on whether they’ve just launched, if they’ve been in business a few years, if they have a project going, so it can be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly—they are welcome to call me anytime.
I’m looking at their business holistically, and looking at it from an overall business standpoint, like “how are we making them successful?” So we will talk, and then of course we have account reviews, and we will do those quarterly, half-yearly, yearly, it really depends. It’s very fluid.
Kendall: What’s involved in those quarterly reviews?
Jill: There is a lot of business intelligence that comes out of our [scheduling software] product. And it’s one of the things, going back to your initial question, that really excited me about this technology, because as appointments are being booked through this tool, a lot of information is being garnered about a customer, about what they’re doing, what kind of services they are using.
So on a quarterly or yearly basis we help our customers go in and pull that data analysis and look at when you started with us, for example, you were booking 500 appointments a month, now you’re booking 20,000. So something is working right, and we just unpack that showing this is what we’ve done. Those are great conversation starters for what’s next.
Kendall: Making sure we continue to innovate with them?
Kendall: So when we’re innovating and having these quarterly reviews, who do you typically talk to on a weekly basis? Everybody, smaller groups, what does that look like?
Jill: It really can differ depending on the type of client that it is and the industry they are in.
We work with companies that do HR for their clients, we work with docking, where there are shipments coming in and out, we cross a huge gamut in terms of industry.
Typically, [I would be talking with] somebody actually working with the product, so an administrator, and maybe every other call it will be someone who is a call center manager or someone who is overseeing the system and reporting into other chains of command.
And then yearly we’re going to have more of the hierarchy of who’s in the company. At that time they’ll be able to see how well this tool is accelerating their business in one business unit. Then we can start talking about doing it in other business units.
THE DOMINO EFFECT
Kendall: So it’s like a domino effect? Having a success plan here, and if it works, it can go into any department within that organization?
Jill: Absolutely. There is nothing better than a client seeing the proof of how [appointment scheduling software] actually works, because you can talk all day, but when they know that it’s right there working in their environment, it’s golden.
Kendall: Inside that path, another thing we focus on is our great support team. What makes that different than account management?
Jill: Probably the shortest answer I can give about the difference between tech support and account management is that tech support is very tactical, and will zone in on very specific things that are going on, or not just issues, they could be “I really want to turn this part of your system on, and I haven’t done it before can you walk me through that.” They enable.
Our role [as account managers] is strategic. We’re going to look at how things are going and keep the relationship moving along, with technical support being a part of that.
I oversee all of that as well. Because there can be commonalities that happen over time, and I like to look at it from a higher level. We do work together; we partner together.