Matt Rodenbaugh leads the HighGear Professional Services team, which works closely with the dev and support teams, and most of all, our customers.
Matt gives us his thoughts on the HighGear approach to generating customer success:

Supporting your customer community and making them successful should be a primary driver in our business lives. The team here at HighGear seek to accomplish this in two major ways: Passive Support and Active Engagement.

Passive Support

Passively, HighGear supports the community in two different ways.

The first is through the Help files provided inside of HighGear. Most software packages are guilty of providing basic definition help files, typically of the form, “This” means “this” and “that” means “that”, which is not very helpful.

What users need is not just definitions, but actual step-by-step instructions which explain scenarios.

HighGear has an extensive repository of documentation to assist users and administrators gain mastery over the platform. This includes over 500 new or updated pages of scenarios, screen shots, and step-by-step instructions for every aspect of the platform. Users are able to very easily open the help file and search for topics and features with easy-to-read details and instructions to follow. Even when searching, HighGear provides recommendations for pages they may be interested in. Also, the resulting pages direct them to the next obvious step in HighGear after that page.

The second passive step is that HighGear provides world-class support (all based in the United States) and also with direct access to the developers who work on creating the features and functionality within HighGear.

Offering both e-mail and phone support, the HighGear Customer Support Team is readily available to assist our customers when they need us.

HighGear’s support responses and scenarios range from the very simple, requiring a quick e-mail or phone call, through to complex issues requiring a very sophisticated understanding of both HighGear and the customer’s own unique circumstances.

Active Engagement

Proactively, HighGear supports our community in 3 different ways.

The first is through Training. HighGear’s Professional Services team offers monthly on-site HighGear Administrator Training at our Headquarters.

In addition, customers are provided a free training refresher on a yearly basis. When needed, HighGear’s Professional Services team offers training on-site at the customer’s location for End Users, Train the Trainers, and Administrators, all tailored to the customer’s unique needs and scenarios.

Finally, in extreme cases, training can be conducted remotely such as when the Professional Services team needed to train a customer with locations on the West Coast US, East Coast US, UK, Romania and India (interestingly – the start time was 10:30 a.m. EST).

The second proactive method offered by HighGear is that our Professional Services team provides monthly HighGear Administrator Webinars. At these Webinars, we focus on new features, how to use them and actively answer questions about them during the session. Also, Customer Administrators request topics, present their scenarios and then an experienced member of the HighGear Professional Services team demonstrates how to solve their problems, recommends best practices and identifies areas to watch out for – in front of everyone! We actually request ad hoc questions for us to answer on the fly during the session. The results of our Webinars have been highly successful, with great attendance and phenomenal customer responses.

Finally, HighGear proactively supports our customers by our community building efforts. HighGear actively engages customers though our LinkedIn Users Group, providing articles, blogs and answering questions. In addition, we host an annual HighGear Customer Conference. The conference provides a way for customers to meet and interact with each other and discuss how they are using HighGear and get their creative juices flowing for what they could also do. Also, we highlight and provide training on New Features as we release them. We emphasize topics that customers may be struggling with and we provide them with our road map and a way to directly provide input on potential new features and vote for the next up-and-coming features.

So, what ways are you supporting your customer community and making them successful?

Do you have any ideas of other ways we can support our community?