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ubi i/o 2016 – week 10: Graduation!

ubi i/o 2016 – week 10: Graduation!

It’s hard to believe ubi i/o is already coming to an end, our 18 CEOs are now ready to set sail and continue growing within their respective markets. This last week was dedicated to putting the final touches upon the founder’s departure and preparing them for a smooth transition. Over the past three years, our motto has stayed the same: work hard play hard. So we didn’t forget to celebrate the successes of our entrepreneurs altogether! Here’s a quick recap of ubi i/o’s final week.

San Francisco

As ubi i/o startups are on the process of onboarding their first U.S. clients, we’ve organized a series of workshops focused on customer management.

On Wednesday afternoon, Matthieu Blandineau organized a working lunch on customer success. Our guest speakers for this session were Mozhdeh Rastegar-Panah, Customer Success Manager @ Zendesk and Maranda Ann Dziekonski, Vice President of Customer Operations @ HelloSign.

According to these two experts, customer success is a mindset that needs to span across the entire company. At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure your customers are successful using your product. At Zendesk, the organization created programs specific to each stage of the customer’s life-cycle to educate and help them get the most value out of their product. The idea here is to create a meaningful relationship allowing you to solve your customer’s problems while avoiding churn.

 

When you start seeing churn, it means it’s time to invest in customer success.

When should you start implementing a customer success program? Well it depends on multiple factors such as your product, your industry, your clients etc. but as a general rule, once you’ve found a proper product-market fit, you should start thinking about establishing a customer success strategy. As Maranda cleverly put it “when you start seeing churn, it means it’s time to invest in customer success”.

How do you measure the efficiency of your customer success program? Well, your churn rate will definitely be an important metric to consider. At Zendesk, 5 key milestones are considered when analyzing the customer’s journey through their product offering. Another way to measure your program’s success is by sending surveys to your clients. Mozhdeh also advised to map out the actions of your successful customers to those who aren’t, this will allow you  to understand the hurdles they are encountering.

One last thing, it’s important to develop a collaborative atmosphere between your customer success team and your sales team. Establishing this relationship will allow your entire company to truly understand the ins and outs of your customer’s needs, their expectations and their problems. You get it, building a successful product and scaling it will always be about teamwork.

 

Customer Support – Defining your brand

On Friday, Tarek Aghenda member of the ubi i/o team invited John Crick, Customer Service and Support Manager @ Parrot and Puanani Lee, Customer Service Operations Manager @ Payonneer.

When establishing your customer support, you have the opportunity to personify the customer’s experience when he/she reaches out to you. Puanani uses Zendesk to quickly create reports on all customer interactions, this helps other departments understand the various issues faced by clients.

One of the most important things to keep up with in regards to customer support is consistency. Whether it is about speed, accuracy of answers, or troubleshooting efficacy, it is important for the customer to experience the same level of care each time he reaches out to your customer support team.

What should you be looking for in your first hire for your support team? John usually starts with a contractor. “ First, you can hire a technical writer to provide information in regards to your products to avoid having to answer an overwhelming amount of questions form your customers.” How fast should you respond to a customer issue? According to our guest, as fast as possible, and within 24H max.

What’s next after ubi i/o?

On Wednesday, we invited our fellow alumni Adrien Gendre, COO @ Vade Retro, over to our HQ to talk about his experience after ubi i/o. The first challenge he faced was to recruit an American sales manager. Their first hire was unfortunately a bad one, but even worse, it took Vade Retro too long to realize the misfit before taking appropriate measures. Adrien therefore advised not to be afraid to let go of people if there’s an obvious mismatch. Sales solves all problems, so finding the perfect profile will be crucial to your company’s growth.

Adrien’s biggest challenge after ubi i/o was managing and creating cohesiveness between his offices in San Francisco and in France. Constant communication, team meetings and back and forth trips between the two offices helped manage this international challenge. Other challenges were centered around marketing, this was resolved by hiring an agency that handles all written content, which helped generate more inbound leads.

To celebrate the end of the program, we invited all the entrepreneurs to a lunch near San Francisco’s waters. A beautiful sunny day to chat about the future and reminisce over these past 10 weeks that have changed the trajectory of these 10 promising companies forever.

New York

ubi i/o’s last week in New York City began in the presence of journalists on Monday evening who were welcomed with an informal happy hour which allowed everyone to meet & greet.

The French Touch Conference being hosted in the Big Apple, we had the opportunity to participate to the launch which was an opportunity to connect with a large French ecosystem.

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On Wednesday, Adrien Dufayard organized a working lunch about “Business Planning from a Financial Point of view”. Pramex, our financial expert partner came to our HQ for this session. The entrepreneurs were divided into groups of two and each group worked with one of Pramex’s consultant to cover the following topics:

-Financial Reporting in the USA

-Staffing of finance positions (CFO, Financial director, vendor)

-Importance of finance in a company’s global strategy

-Business Planning for an American extension project

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Last but not least, we couldn’t say goodbye to our 8 startups without gathering one last time for a group lunch.Throughout our 10 weeks, the ubi i/o team organized 20 workshops with top-notch experts, our startups participated in over 22 pitch and networking events including the emblematic TechCrunch Disrupt NYC. We’re proud to say that our startups are now on track to set up their U.S. offices after hundreds of business meetings that led to dozens of signed contracts and more pending! It’s been quite the ride for ubi i/o’s first season on the east coast, and we’re looking forward to next year’s.

Au revoir & see you for the next edition!

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