CEM Blog Series, Part II: The “When and the Why” of the CEM
Knowing when to involve a CEM is critical to a successful customer relationship
In the first part of our CEM blog series, we looked at exactly what CEM is. We learned that CEMs, or Client Engagement Managers, are an integral piece of the puzzle when it comes to customer satisfaction and retention, and here at Spectralink, they are a big part of our “special sauce.” A CEM basically takes over the relationship with the customer once an ASM (Account Sales Manager) makes the sale.
In this second part of our series, we will do a deeper dive into the true value of a CEM – to both the customer and to the ASM – with our two top-notch “CEM Guys,” Jay Lenoce and Lyndon Earley.
What value does the CEM Provide to the Customer:
- Provides a Tangible Point Contact for the customer for any issues or concerns
- Provides Implementation Support, before, onsite during the implementation, and for follow-up
- Serves as an Information Resource for anything related to your products, services, or company in general
- Serves as an Escalation Contact if there are any problems so they can be resolved as quickly as possible by the appropriate people
- Contact when the customer is ready to Buy Again
When and why should an ASM (Account Sales Manager) reach out to a CEM?
It’s important to note that not all accounts will have a CEM. Each organization has its own criteria for when a CEM will be assigned to an account, such as deal size or complexity. Once it has been determined that an account warrants the inclusion of a CEM, there are a few answers to this question.
To address the “when,” an ASM should involve their CEM initially after the sale has closed or at the last phase of deployment. This means the CEM will be on hand to become a familiar reference point and source of help and support to the customer post-sale and can be on board to monitor the deployment to ensure it runs smoothly and that customer expectations are fulfilled. It’s important that the CEM becomes familiar with the customer, the reseller, and any other partners who will be supporting the account after the sale is closed to ensure customer needs are met. It’s also critical that the CEM connects with the customer 2-4 weeks after the deployment so that they can meet with key stakeholders such as end users, IT and support teams to debrief on the deployment and how things are going in those first critical weeks. This allows the CEM to capture the “voice of the customer” to determine what they like, dislike, and how they are using the devices. This is not only important to the health of the relationship with that customer, but also can help to identify any pain points that other future customers could have, so that they can be addressed proactively, before they are ever an issue.
Once the CEM has been established as a “leave behind” resource for the customer post-sale, the customer will often start going to the CEM directly with any requests or concerns. The CEM will often work with the ASM to resolve things as quickly as possible, but really, the CEM should become the main point of contact for that high-touch customer. And, as we mentioned above, CEMs keep a regular cadence of calls and meetings with their customers so most things can then be resolved directly without involving the ASM.
When talking about the “why,” we have established that, in general, the CEM becomes the main point of contact for the customer post-sale once they have met the criteria for an account to be assigned a CEM. Another reason why an ASM should involve the CEM is when there becomes potential for expansion with the account, whether it’s for upsell, revenue growth, or additional products and services. The CEMs should be the go-to for information when it comes to these, as well as for maintenance coverage and renewals, expiration dates or specific serial numbers. Lyndon reminds us that the CEM should really be brought in with any issue or concern post-sale, to help absorb time or labor-intense tasks that would hinder an ASM from being able to remain focused upon, “hunting for the next sell” to close.
Why would a customer reach out to a CEM?
As Jay explains, it could be “anything and everything,” and this is part of the fun of the role. In any given day, our CEMs will manage and support everything from billing questions to information regarding the “speeds and feeds” of our products, or even walking through a quick tutorial on how something on our phones works. Our CEMs are there as the “leave behind” support to make sure things are going smoothly, and any fears or concerns are allayed and addressed.
But in the end, it’s truly about being responsive when our customers need help and creating an empathic relationship to help them achieve their goals when it comes to our products in their environments. It is then the CEM’s job to work that relationship to learn about how our product, service, or solution is impacting their customer’s organization or themselves personally. While no two organizations are the same, the general approach is consistent because of the level of personal investment our CEMs give to all of their clients.
Why would a CEM reach out to a customer?
This is a great question, but it all boils down to building and nurturing that relationship with the customer so that they have trust in their CEM, and in turn, have trust with the company. As our CEMs explain, it’s not just solely reaching out to see how things are going with our products, but a mix of personal and professional interactions. This outreach is done through many channels, including emails, phone calls, video chats, and even in-person visits. On any given day, our CEMs are reaching out to the customer to provide a status update on an issue, delivering a report, or even conducting a Quarterly Business Review. But, it’s certainly not all business. Jay says, “if I am traveling, and in town [where a customer is located], I may see if they want to grab a coffee or bite to catch up. I enjoy learning about people, their families, and what makes them go every day.”
CEM Tip: Always schedule the follow-up meeting upon the conclusion of the current meeting with your customer. Creating this cadence is critical to both the CEM and the customer, because if you are truly engaged and part of their team, there is always something to meet about and cover.
Thinking of your CEM as one part cruise director to ensure everything runs smoothly and the customer is happy, one part therapist to listen to and validate the customer’s concerns, one part knight in shining armor who can lead troubleshooting and escalations for any issues, and one part reporter to feed information back to your organization on what they are hearing and seeing at the customer site to inform and improve how the company is operating, and you have just a small picture of what these account superheroes do on a daily basis!
Be sure to check out the first part of our CEM blog series, and be on the lookout for our next one, where we interview our ASMs and CEMs together and dive into how their symbiotic relationship can help lead to account success and deep customer satisfaction.
For more information on our mobile communications solutions, visit: https://www.spectralink.com/products/
About our CEMs:
Jay Lenoce has over 25 years experience in the wireless technology industry. He has been with Spectralink for over 20 years in various roles, and has been a Client Engagement Manager since 2018. He has worked with customers, partners, and the channel, providing knowledge and leveraging his vast expertise to help them realize their organizational missions through best-in-class mobile communication.
Connect with Jay on LinkedIn!
Lyndon Earley brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table having served in multiple consultative roles in the technology, service and philanthropic sectors for more than 20 years. He has mastered the task of leveraging data to weaponize the voice of the customer in order to enhance the customer experience. As a client engagement manager, he is currently managing some of the largest healthcare systems in the country to ensure they remain highly satisfied with Spectralink’s products and services.
Connect with Lyndon on LinkedIn!