Cody: Welcome to the ComplianceBridge Podcast, your source for the latest on risk management and policy and procedure management. My name is Cody Miles and I’ll be your host for today’s episode. Today we’ll be speaking with Brady Nelson, director of client success at ComplianceBridge.
We will be discussing the importance of investing in and developing strong relationships with our customers. Brady will explain how, through his role managing customer success with clients, ComplianceBridge ensures that the clients we work with are supported, and the process of compliance management becomes easier for them.
Welcome to the podcast, Brady! How are you?
Brady: I’m fine, thanks for the opportunity to speak with you, Cody.
Cody: As the director of client success, you do more than just work with prospective clients, you continue that relationship long after they begin using the platform. How is this approach unique from some of ComplianceBridge’s competitors?
Brady: Everyone has unique requirements. One of the things that I do in my role is I provide demonstrations, requirements analysis, and all those types of things. Obviously, time/value is important when you invest in any sop writing software application. So, we have a continuous flow, from the initial contact all the way through implementation, so nothing is lost in the transition. I have a team of people that, after we’ve provided the demonstration, then we’ll engage one of them; they will be assigned a particular client when they become part of the ComplianceBridge family. Essentially, there’s no drop-off, there’s just a continuous, smooth process from our first contact to production.
Cody: So, by investing in your clients in this way, what is normally the outcome?
Brady: The outcome of this is that, we want…is as I mentioned, it’s time-to-value. If you invest in a sop writing software application and it doesn’t work, or it’s…it takes too long for you to get into where you’re using it in a positive fashion, then no one wins. So we don’t win and the client doesn’t win. Our role is all about getting renewals. We want the sop writing software to be productive for you, we want you to stay as a long-term member of the ComplianceBridge user-environment. That’s our overall goal.
Cody: So how does the relationship of customer success happen in practice? And how does it evolve over time?
Brady: We have an implementation process we refer to as ‘crawl, walk, run’. It’s all about getting a client into the application and letting them discover the first few phases of that implementation. As they keep progressing down the path, they can make informed decisions about which way they wanna go. We view it as a shared implementation, we want to teach you how to fish. And as the implementation progresses, we turn into trusted advisors, having the client drive the implementation and configuring the system; we’re just there for the support mechanism.
Cody: So how does that normally begin when you first meet with a prospect?
Brady: We start with implementing the data model. For instance, you might have policies that only apply to your accounting team. Then, we’ll take the client’s existing policy library and we will batch-load that into the application. All of your policies will be loaded according to who should be viewing them and who should have read/write access to them. It moves from there, we start notifying different groups that there are policies they need to review and either approve or acknowledge if it’s an end-user. It rolls onto later aspects of the implementation where they’ll be developing reports, automated workflows, and things of that nature.
Cody: So that sounds to me like there’s a very strong emphasis on the discovery phase and for you, in particular, you’re actually spending a long time learning about the organization’s business model and how they operate.
Brady: Every client is unique. Our platform is broad enough and wide enough and functionally rich enough, configuration perspective that we can tune it to meet those needs, but that’s something that we’ll engage in the client with to understand. All of our clients have different requirements, but the platform is configurable so that we can tune it to meet those different requirements for our clients.
Cody: And you mentioned this ‘crawl, walk, run’ methodology of bringing people up to speed – how do you work with company stakeholders to make sure ComplianceBridge is meeting their needs?
Brady: One of the first sessions we have is we want to understand what are their primary requirements? Is it to get policy acknowledgement or is it to improve the through-put of policy update and modification; do they have accreditation standards they need to meet? Whatever that might be, so we set as a goal, we start to set timelines, we start to set dates as to the goals that they need to achieve. Then we apply it to the applications; if we know that they have certain requirements, all those kinds of things that we tune in the application.
Cody: What kind of industries find ComplianceBridge useful for them?
Brady: That’s a really good question, Cody. You’ll find that in our market, there are vendors or providers of this application that tune themselves to a specific market. ComplianceBridge is broad enough that our clients come from many different market spaces. Primary ones are finance, public service, higher ed, manufacturing. But they’re all utilizing the platform for essentially the same thing, so the message is you have different requirements but we don’t feel the need to specialize or tune it to any one marketplace.
Cody: Well that just speaks to how flexible the program is.
Brady: I always liked to talk about our program in terms of configurable. When I hear customization, I think of writing code. There’s over 160 system settings in ComplianceBridge application that can simply be turned on or turned off with the flip of the switch. That makes us very efficient in terms of…We don’t have to go to our technology team and have them write code, we can turn options on or off to tune the system to meet whatever that particular client’s requirements are.
Cody: So I’m sure whenever you’re going through the process of helping clients onboard, there’s challenges along the way. What kind of challenges do you normally run into and how are those solved?
Brady: Yes, there are always challenges with every organization. And it’s, some of the challenges will fall out on the lines of organizational structure, just communicating with all the – and introducing the new platform to all of the different facets of an organization. That can tend to be a challenge.
Another challenge can be: many clients come to us and they don’t really have a methodology or they, you know, they’ve got three or four different repositories for policies and they don’t have anything standardized. So probably the biggest challenge that we have is bringing all of those different repositories, that are not connected, under one roof. We help our clients to their overall policy management environment.
The challenge the policy managers have, it’s having an environment or a tool that they can utilize, that’s effective, easy to use and fast, that makes their job easier, yet flexible enough that it can be tuned to meet their environment and their specific requirements. We hear from prospective clients all the time – one we were just talking to earlier this week – they’re currently with another vendor. That vendor has four standard reports and that’s all there is. And so they obviously have other requirements and the reports have to be customized and there’s a cost involved. ComplianceBridge has the flexibility the adaptability that they can do those things on their own.
One last point on this is we hear a lot from a policy manager perspective, they’re currently managing things with spreadsheets, so you know, they send out a policy for acknowledgement to 300 people and they’ve got to check a box for every time they get one back. And one policy manager in particular told us that she spends four hours every Friday afternoon managing her spreadsheet. Well, since they’ve implemented with us we’ve provided that time in her day back to her, that’s all handled automatically in ComplianceBridge.
Cody: If you could summarize ComplianceBridge in maybe three points, what do you think are maybe the strongest selling points of this product?
Brady: We are functionally rich, priced very effectively – reasonably in terms of the value you’re getting for the functional capabilities we provide. And third, I think our customer success team really makes a huge differentiator. We engage with you at the start, we’re there through into production, and then we’re still there, we have many clients who come back to us and say, hey our administrator moved on, can you provide more training? Of course we can provide more training. So I think those three things: functionally rich, price performance, and client services.
Cody: That makes sense. And it sounds like and amazing thing. Truly it speaks to how well ComplianceBridge is doing today in it’s customer service that customer success has led to, essentially, exponential growth in ComplianceBridge since I’ve known you guys for the several years.
Brady: That’s a good observation, because what we’re doing, if I could just summarize ComplianceBridge, we’ve gotten much larger clients, we’ve gotten much deeper and broader into those clients. Because of this process, or because of this implementation and the services we’re providing; the size of our client base, the number of users, it runs the gamut from… we have smaller users all the way through, we have a user with 25000 clients that are in the 20-30-40 user range, they’re very productive as well.
Cody: So before we go today, can you tell us what would be the thing that you would say to be if I was someone considering ComplianceBridge?
Brady: I would say, as you’re looking at different alternatives, considerations that you should bear in mind are: flexibility, can this application meet my requirements, can I tune it without having to have special coding done? Price performance, I would look at the investment that I need to make and the return that I’m going to get for that. And lastly, I wanna understand the support that I’m getting after the purchase, how quickly can I get the time/value. No one wants sop writing software sitting on their shelf. I would look at those three things I think are very important.
Cody: And in the future, how can users contact you and the client services team?
Brady: There’s an 800 number, it’s on our website. Also, we are available at support@ComplianceBridge.com any time that clients need us.
Cody: What you have built and the kind of implementation strategies that you have implemented has radically changed not only the success of the company but it’s actually changing how this industry is viewing policy and procedure management and sop writing software. So thank you for your time today, Brady. I appreciate it, and I look forward to talking with you again.
Brady: Yeah thanks very much as well. Welcome the opportunity to communicate our story, so thanks very much.
Cody: Alright. Talk soon, thanks!