One of Workato’s core operating principles is to “create ecstatic customers.” And this responsibility doesn’t just fall on the shoulders of the customer support team; each department has a unique role to play.
My customer intelligence team, for example, plays a vital role in celebrating our customers’ success and nurtures customer relationships long after they’ve achieved their first Workato milestone. We’re the bullhorn that amplifies our customers’ every win through case studies, press releases, videos, and more.
In the end, the assets we produce are a win-win for customers and for Workato. Our customers have the opportunity to advance their personal brand, and in return we receive valuable customer feedback, metrics, and stories that often carry much more marketing weight than our own words. The ability for prospective customers to see firsthand how Workato customers use our product helps paint a much better picture of what their future could entail and, ultimately, helps our reps close more deals.
Here are some of the strategies we’ve used to gather customer insights, build up our champions, and continue to put our customers first, second, and third.
1. Position the customer as the champion of their story
When it comes to marketing collateral, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of leading with the product—after all, that’s what we’re trying to sell. But the product shouldn’t be the main character of your story; your customer should.
Without your customer’s creativity, problem-solving skills, and perseverance, your product would be just that—a product. We champion customers in our stories because they are the ones doing the hard work of solving complex organizational problems. While they may have selected Workato as the best tool for the job, our customers are the ones that bring our automation platform to life.
2. Be seen as more than just a vendor
The relationship you have with customers should be prioritized above all else. Ensure that in every interaction, you’re putting your customers’ success ahead of your own marketing and brand goals.
When we provide value and partner well with our customers, we’ve seen how many want to work with us again and again, even as they take on new roles in new companies. Always think long-term, instead of focusing solely on the immediate marketing request at hand.
3. Celebrate your customers in unique and personalized ways
While asking your customers to speak at an event or appear in a press release certainly reflects positively on their achievements, it can often feel more like taking than giving.
We created customer awards specifically so that we could let our customers shine front and center. Moreover, in order to recognize a wide range of deserving customers, we created a variety of award categories that represented all types of achievements from using our platform.
This initiative has helped us better understand the accomplishments our customers were most proud of. Sometimes the impact was straightforward, such as time or money saved, but other times our customers were equally excited about the professional advancement that working with Workato afforded them. Our customers have secured all kinds of promotions and received high praise from executives, and we wanted to honor that, too.
4. Create share-worthy moments to increase buzz and boost resumes
Our first award effort, the Workato Unstoppable Awards, recognized individuals for business impact by use case, ROI, and time-to-value. The showstopper moment was that winners would appear on New York City’s Nasdaq tower.
However, when one customer went so far as to fly to New York City for that coveted selfie, a lightbulb went off. We realized that we could up-level the experience even more by giving all of our winners an in-person moment with the tower.
For our next award series, the Automation Impact Awards, we did just that. It made the award feel even more special to our winners. A few customers even told us that appearing on the Nasdaq tower awed their kids and impressed their moms—they were heroes for a day in their eyes.
The selfie at the Nasdaq tower was such a highlight for our customers that even the “shy” folks went out of their way to share it on their social networks, which increased both their personal brand awareness and ours. What’s more, the ceremony we hosted as part of the trip allowed our winners to meet each other and share ideas—ultimately sparking inspiration for their next projects with Workato.
Overall, the buzz that stemmed from the New York City trip was a win for the company, and an unforgettable memory for our winners that will last a lifetime.
5. Capitalize on the unexpected benefits of your initiatives
One of the most visible byproducts of creating these customer awards was that they injected a renewed sense of excitement around Workato, both for our existing customers and prospective customers. Generating such positivity around our customers helped inspire them to go back into their organizations and see what they could accomplish next.
The other upside of receiving so many award submissions was that they became a gold mine of valuable information on not only what customers were doing, but also the value they were seeing. Before we launched the customer awards initiatives, we had a general understanding of the most developed and interesting use cases across our customer base. However, we received a surprising amount of submissions that revealed previously unknown use cases, which, had these customers not participated, would have gone undetected.
Following the close of the awards initiative, we were able to follow up with these customers, dig deeper into the specifics of their use cases, and request additional participation in other marketing opportunities. Essentially, the benefits of our awards initiative rippled out much longer than we expected.
6. Always look out for what’s next
Following our successful customer awards, we wanted to drum up more content that similarly focused on the individual. Our customers’ use of Workato is just a small part of their professional careers; we wanted to seek other ways to situate their use of automation within the broader context of who they are and the professional problems they face.
To that end, we created the “Humans of Automation” blog series. The idea was to focus almost entirely on the individual and how automation—in all its forms—has played a role in their professional careers. Was it a longstanding thread? Or a recent discovery? Has it helped them gain higher respect or new roles in their company? Or has it even played a role in their personal life?
We were delighted by our customers’ stories, from hearing how automation has informed major career changes to how it’s even been a tool for them to help communities in distress.
My team and I are honored to work with our amazing customers on a day-to-day basis, and we’re excited to continue publicizing their automation success stories. To learn more about our work and our customers’ stories, you can visit this page and stay tuned for more customer awards!