In addition to features, functions, and results, Return on Investment (ROI) is one of the top considerations evaluators should be making when searching for the right enterprise software solution for their company. How quickly will the solution deliver the results that affect tangible savings? In other words, when will the software have paid for itself?
At AskCody, we look at ROI from not only a cost perspective, but a cultural one as well. Tristan Deschler, Customer Success Manager at AskCody, sat down to discuss what we mean when we talk about ROI and why it’s a critical component to the success of your meeting management solution.
AskCody: What does ROI mean to you?
Tristan Deschler: When we look at ROI for our customers, it’s not necessarily just looking at dollars. We look at time saved and ease of use. User adoption and streamlined processes are hard to quantify, except in time. We work together with our customers and can see that across the organization, we’ve saved them 30,000 hours every year by optimizing processes that they used to do manually. Couple that with ease-of-use for end users and that’s the true ROI. From a financial perspective, you can then break that down by wage across the organization, but in my experience, executives care less about that. Looking at hard dollars isn’t something they want to do when they’re talking about optimizing these processes. It’s a soft cost. Time is the most valuable thing they’re saving.
AC: How can a client promote high user adoption to attain that ROI quickly?
TD: Ensuring a high user adoption is core to what we do as Customer Success Managers. As part of that, I’m always looking at how customers are using the platform. I measure how many meetings are being booked. Of course, there’s a lot of change management to go from whatever clients were doing manually before AskCody. A lot of what I do is training to see how we can optimize the process to drive the most efficient behavior. We’re very service focused, so it’s important that I speak to the client and see how that adoption is going not just in the beginning, but all the time. Of course we’re selling software, but service is a huge part of that, and from the service side we’re in touch with most of our clients on a weekly basis. That’s what drives ROI. It’s all about how many users are using it.
AC: What is the most common barrier to ROI within an organization?
TD: People are often worried about being replaced by the software. They feel very special to their process and can initially feel like we are automating a huge part of their jobs. But AskCody is not about replacing people. People have always been a part of this process, so we determine how they can now add even more value. People are not losing power in this process; we are enhancing their experience. Now, the front desk can be focused on giving a guest the best possible experience from the moment they walk in the door, not on what equipment is in the room or how to get there. They can give a white glove experience instead of worrying about catering and other things that aren’t really their job. It enhances the entire visitor experience.
AC: How can clients proactively approach ROI from the very beginning?
TD: Right after implementation, we go through an exercise called Collaboration 360° with each customer. We break down how long it takes from an end-user and a back-end process perspective for each meeting in a granular process. People were shocked to see how long scheduling one meeting actually takes before AskCody. In the workshop, we go through this current process and then measure how much time it will now take with AskCody. We show the customer the immediate ROI while at the same time setting goals to drive down time and drive behavior.
AC: How much time are customers typically saving?
TD: At a minimum, we’re able to save at least six to seven minutes across the process of every meeting. If you think about how many meetings a company of 1,000 people has, that adds up quickly. We recently had a client with 500 employees. We broke it down and saw that they’re saving 30,000 hours a year. Before AskCody, it would take employees between 12 and 20 minutes to book a meeting end-to-end. Now they’re down to three to four minutes per meeting. Doing that kind of exercise opens people’s eyes. No one thinks about the end-to-end time to set everything up. From registering guests to ordering catering, to managing all the requests on the back-end, those tasks are not core to the business.
AC: How quickly do clients see this time savings?
TD: Instantaneously. End users are up and running by the end of the week for some companies. As soon as the end-users get their hands on it, they can run with it. We train the trainer, and the skills trickle down from the Super Users and Ambassadors to the rest of the company very quickly. The admins of each department become the Super Users. They were always seen as the meeting experts and that doesn’t change. We roll the software out to the entire organization, but we make sure these Super Users are trained very well, which eases the process across the entire company. We make sure they understand the behind-the-scenes processes. Even if people know what they are, they might not know how the processes are necessarily implemented. I’m talking about more technical questions, like how to delegate for other users. These Super Users get exposure to the complexities so then the easier stuff comes quickly.
AC: How do you ensure that these changes stick across the company for lasting ROI?
TD: When we train, we’re not only showing how to click through the software, but we go one step further to show context. Meaning, why does this step make the entire process more efficient? People ask questions, they want to know why. Especially those that are using the software 10 to 15 times a day. They want to know why the process is optimized like this. Sometimes users even have other needs that we hadn’t thought of, and we can go back and tweak the configuration further to better fit their needs. We’re constantly setting goals and tweaking things to make the entire system better for our end users. When you invest in AskCody, you’re not just purchasing software, you’re getting a relationship. We check in often to make sure the organization is achieving their goals.
Time, dollars, resources, however you define ROI, AskCody makes sure you have the tools and skills you need to achieve it. When searching for a meeting management solution for your company, make sure you partner with a group that is dedicated to your ROI.