Each quarter a team of Bloomerang employees consisting of a Customer Advocate (our fancy title for client success managers), a Customer Support Specialist, and a Product Engineer take part in what we have come to call a “ride along” to visit a customer for half of a day at their organization headquarters. The Ride Along program is designed to be an informational session where we can observe how the primary users at the organization are using Bloomerang on a day-to-day basis. During this process we can give helpful advice on better ways to perform daily functions as well as gain insight into functions of the software that can be improved upon.
This past quarter we visited with Good News Habitat for Humanity in Richmond, Indiana. They were established in 1990 and serve 3 counties. GNHfH partners with community groups and organizations to construct homes for families who can’t afford simple decent housing. In their 25 years, Good News Habitat in Richmond has built or remodeled more than 88 homes promoting their mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope.
It was an informative day for all of our participants. From a Bloomerang perspective we were able to see how this Habitat for Humanity affiliate is using the software for their donor management. Currently they have a large number of in-kind donors and they would love to turn them into monetary donors. This sparked a discussion for using Bloomerang to generate reports and possibly emails to identify and solicit these constituents in new ways. They had not explored the mass email feature which gave us the perfect opportunity to showcase how that might be of help. At the same time it was good for us to see how inserting an image into an email template for the first time can be a little confusing. We also were surprised to witness that thank you letters were being generated one at a time rather than in a batch. After exploring the possibility of entering all of the donations first and then by making use of the letter filters to generate letters in batches, we think we helped make their acknowledgement process quicker and more efficient. In turn, this gives them more time to cultivate their in-kind donors.
The Ride Along program is valuable on many different levels. For the Customer Advocate it is a chance to cultivate and strengthen our relationship with a customer, while gaining more perspective on how they operate and serve their unique mission. For the Customer Support Specialist it is rewarding to guide the organization to use Bloomerang more efficiently and help them customize our software to meet their needs. For the Product Engineer it is an opportunity to see how the software they wrote is used in the real world and how it can be improved.
In the end, I was happy to finally be able to put a face with a name. In my role as a Customer Support Specialist I work closely with our customers every day. We tackle many topics with our customers from “Can you help me with a report?” to “My Dashboard isn’t updating” … and even “How are you today?” Because we spend so much time “chatting” with our customers it was good to have a nice face-to-face conversation while not only learning about their organization, but who they are personally.