Fast-paced progress is always underway at Coveo, and it is our people, equipped with ambition and hustle, that make it happen. I spoke with one of our heroic humans, Alain Bouchard (VP of Professional Services), to provide you with greater insight into what this recognition means for us and our customers both now and in the future.
What does the evaluation and selection process look like?
SPI Research is the leading technology services research firm, and they conduct an in-depth survey every year: the Professional Services Maturity™ Benchmark. They evaluate companies across five different performance areas: leadership, client relationships, human capital alignment, service execution, and finance/operations.
Of the 513 organizations in the survey, they identify the top 5% of PS Maturity™ Benchmark participants (around 25 organizations) to determine why they did so well. Coveo scored in this top percentile, making their findings really meaningful to us.
This year, on the business side, they found that top performers were better able to deliver projects on time to the satisfaction of their clients – with a good portion of those clients coming from referrals. On the people side of things, they found that the “Best-of-the Best” had developed a culture of excellence that helps them bring in and retain exceptional talent. I’m extremely proud to see these findings because they really exemplify our ability to balance success for ourselves and our customers.
What does it take to be a Top 25 “Best-of-the Best” Professional Services Organization?
There are three essential elements to be successful:
1.) Customer mindset: Our purpose is to enable our customers and partners to succeed. This comes from understanding the customer’s own environment, including their priorities and constraints. It is only with a truly holistic understanding that we can shape our solution in the best way to give them what they need.
2.) Structure and tools: We have also developed a robust delivering methodology and strong management practices to match. The guiding principle that we all follow is to focus on the content, not the container. Both the quality of what we deliver and the speed at which we deliver it are incredibly important, and adopting the right tools lets us strike the optimal balance.
3.) Team: We have an exceptional team that demonstrates both technical and business competence. Coveo has a strong culture of getting things done, which translates to knowledge building, sharing, and constant refinement for us. We know what we need to do to get the job done, and we make sure we do that in line with our core values: passion, collaboration, integrity, and inclusion.
As the “guy on the inside” who is overseeing everything, what would you say is the most important factor in Coveo’s success in this area?
That would be the exceptional team that I just mentioned. As the Professional Services arm of a solutions company, we need to be the best with our solution, and we are the best. That greatness stems from that fact we have developed and continue to develop a team that is technically savvy, but also has a can-do attitude and the ability to understand a customer’s business and the problems they need to solve.
It is that combination of factors that enables our team to implement with skillful ease, even in the most complex cases. Often, Coveo needs to integrate with a wide array of customer applications, to bring together data from an incredible number of systems to deliver the most relevant information, personalized search results, and recommendations. The complexity of the ecosystems into which we integrate can make this tricky, but we have developed tight integrations and connectors, as well as the ability to build integrations where they don’t yet exist, to help all of our customers and partners succeed.
Tell me what a successful implementation looks like on the customer side of things.
First and foremost, it is essential that the business objectives are met. In eCommerce, for example, this translates to an increase in sales on their website. In service, this could mean both an increase in customer self-service and in agent proficiency.
We take benchmark measures to ensure that we have the positive impact that we intend to have. We look at conversion and case creation rates before and after implementing our solution to make sure that we are delivering on our promises. That certainly involves facilitating performance outcomes, but also operating within the established budget and timeframe.
As I mentioned, understanding the environment and business objectives of our customers is vital for shaping our solution – and our usage analytics is what allows us to truly determine that they are met in the way our customers desire.
How do you plan to maintain the high caliber of Coveo’s professional services as the company continues to grow?
With the team being the most important factor in our success, it’s necessary that we maintain and improve upon it. To do so, we must be consistent in the face of change – by continuously hiring the best talent that we can find and in continuously providing the best knowledge and training to those that join us.
As new solutions are developed and existing solutions evolve, this adaptation is increasingly important. Our team must be able to stay abreast of all the changes and continue to implement with speed and skill to allow our customers to succeed. Knowledge sharing is what allows us to do just that. When we complete a complex implementation where we have to integrate with systems that we haven’t dealt with before, we document every detail of that process and share it with everyone on our team and our implementation partners too.
Part of investing in our people is investing in the tools that they use. We are professional multitaskers, and our task management tools provide team members with a holistic view that enables them to see everything they’re working on at any moment in time. We make improvements to these tools every quarter in order to be able to effectively replicate and test the changes we make before we make them. With the best people, best tools, and best practices, we will continue to be the best-of-the-best and lead our customers to success.