What is life without goals? We all set them, consciously or sub-consciously. They are based upon our expectations of ourselves, our desires, and the ‘wish to meet’ expectations that others have of us.
Goals are just as prevalent in our professional lives. They control how we go about our daily working life and help us to achieve what we want both for ourselves, our teams and the company we work for. Cherwell Software understand this, and that’s why our Customer Success team is focused on the identification, agreement, management and achievement of our customers’ goals.
Goals enable us to clearly understand what each customer is trying to achieve and to ensure we are all on the same page. Our approach to goal management is one of the things that differentiates what our Customer Success team does from the old traditional “account management” model.
It sounds obvious doesn’t it? I’m sure lots of people think they know what customers want. I disagree and believe most people have a loose idea based on unstructured meetings and a set of notes. Goal management is much more than this. Our team records goals into customer profiles within our software system. The information is structured with target dates, objectives and dependencies.
Goals can be strategic or tactical, personal or corporate. The key is that they are clear, specific and achievable. I’ve hosted several goal management sessions with Cherwell Software customers, and it’s amazing how enjoyable and interactive they are. They help to clear any disconnects or misunderstanding and provide a clear path to success with agreed roles and responsibilities. Often, as we “negotiate” over whether a suggested target is actually a goal, there will be a “road to Damascus” moment when we all look at each other and say, “Yes. I get it. That’s exactly what we need to do to consider ourselves successful!”
Whilst we want to be very specific on what a goal is, it’s also important to understand that goals can be very, wide ranging and very different. To give an example and to help with context, I’ve helped a customer with a high level goal to reduce the cost of their service delivery by 15% across 2 years. In this case, we discussed a set of linked but lower level, more discrete goals, which would allow this goal to be met. Not to be forgotten are the underlying key information points to be captured for each goal such as associated processes and objectives, which validate goal completion, any effect on other service management departments and risks or dependencies.
Each goal our team captures is defined within a template so (as I eluded to above) it is specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and time bound (the lovely acronym SMART).
Goal management is now prevalent throughout Cherwell Software and starts well before a prospect becomes a customer. If we can understand and record goals at the very first meeting, we can ensure the sales process, implementation, ‘go live’ and life beyond is always aligned to what really matters.
My challenge to you is to think about your goals, engage with us, and let us help you to achieve them. Let’s look back in a year’s time and congratulate ourselves on a successful relationship where we worked together to make things better and provided demonstrable value and achievement. We can then ask each other the most important question, “OK. What are we going to achieve next year?”
Oh and just to finish off, and before you ask about my goal, my job goal is simple: To do everything I can to make you, our Cherwell Software customer or partner, successful (and hopefully to have fun along the way).
On a more personal note, my non-work related goal is to continue with my fitness regime and to achieve my ideal weight.weight.