Video: Enhancing the Customer Journey
BPM Microsystems’ Approach to Custom Success at SMTConnect 2023
At the SMTConnect 2023 event in Nuremberg, Germany, Iain Hazlewood from What’s New in Electronics TV engages in a conversation with Penny Santhanam, the Senior Director of Custom Success at BPM Microsystems. Emphasizing the significance of the customer journey, they delve beyond technical aspects and machines. Penny highlights the pivotal role customers play, stating, “(Without the customer), we have nothing.”
To ensure an exceptional experience, BPM Microsystems extends its support from the initial point of engagement until the end. They assign dedicated account managers, conduct quarterly business reviews, offer touchpoints forecasting, and provide risk analysis. With a commitment to fostering a strong and mutually beneficial relationship, BPM Microsystems aims to deliver comprehensive care and value to its customers.
Iain Hazlewood: Hi, we’re at SMTConnect 2023 in Nuremberg, and I’m joined by Penny Santhanam from BPM Microsystems. Penny, you’re the Senior Director of Custom Success, right?
Penny Santhanam: Yes, sir.
Iain: Now, the customer journey’s the important thing which we don’t often talk about. We talk about technical things, the machines, all these sort of things, but without the customer…
Penny: We have nothing.
Iain: Yeah, so you know you’re taking them from the point they start to deal with BPM and through, and how long do you carry that relationship through?
Penny: Until the end. So, it’s really important for us, at the time of purchase, that we get involved, we introduce ourselves, and we assign an account manager so that they understand that they’re going to really be taken care of through the whole journey of the relationship with BPM. We do things like quarterly business reviews and touchpoints, forecasting. We advocate we provide risk analysis, so there’s a lot of beneficial pieces that we’re bringing to the table for the customer.
Iain: Yeah, and is it a two-way street, you know because you’re going to be learning from them because their demands, what they need, will change as their business changes?
Penny: Absolutely. Every customer is different, and that’s really important with our reviews so we can understand what do they need, what are their wants, and we make sure that when we talk to them the next time, that we’re fulfilling that need. So, we’re bringing value.
Iain: Yeah, do you find, do you find there’s a difference between what a customer wants and actually what they need?
Penny: For sure.
Iain: And is it a case of managing…
Penny: Those expectations? Absolutely. And sometimes that’s where the advocating comes into play, and we kind of walk them through because sometimes they don’t know, they don’t get the full picture, so we bring that to the table for them.
Iain: And you’ve got a lot of experience in dealing with a lot of different customers and a lot of different businesses, so you know you can quite easily share, without harming IP or whatever, but you can still share experience and you’ve got that knowledge to bring that to the table.
Penny: Yes, yes. So, we can provide them best practices, and that’s what we try to advocate. You know, in addition, I also handle all of our customer service and field service, so I make sure that they are getting the best experience that they’re needing, and then we’re providing training, and we’re doing the things that, again, are truly adding value to the relationship with our customer.
Iain: Fantastic, and that retains customers…
Penny: That’s the job.
Iain: That’s what helps their business as well.
Penny: Right, because if they don’t know something is happening, then we’re there to advocate and let them know that these are the trends that are happening in the technology side, so we bring in not just our customer success managers, we also bring in our technical group during our conversations so they get the full picture.
Iain: Yeah, I was going to say, how do you feed that back into your own business if you’ve got technical managers involved?
Penny: Right, well, I mean, we have to make sure that, you know, what they’re needing, then we can get product management involved. Like you said, every customer is different, and they have different needs. So, it’s our job to figure out what that is and how to get it for them.
Iain: What size team do you have to do this?
Penny: Currently, I have around 15 people on my team, so we’re busy (laughter), making sure all of our customers are happy.
Iain: Yes, yeah, um, and I guess it’s pretty rewarding as well, isn’t it because you…
Penny: Yeah, it is very rewarding. You know, we’re not there just to, of course, sell the next product or what the customer is needing to sustain, but we’re advocating, we’re being their partner, we’re doing things that are bringing value to them, which is important.
Iain: And do you think the industry has changed a lot in that respect? That it used to be very much, “We need that machine to do that thing,” they choose between two or three manufacturers, maybe, and…
Penny: For sure, yeah. Well, BPM has been in business for over 38 years, and during that time, we had been one of the few. So now, there’s a lot of different options out there for our customers. So for us, we need to bring a different value, and that value is really making sure that we’re taking care of the customer.
Iain: In that way, you certainly are…
Penny: Yeah, we hope we are…
Iain: It’s not hard to quantify, with, you know, this is where it’s developing, and you’ve got those ongoing relationships. And I guess, you know, the fact that I guess small companies or large companies get the same level of service from you.
Penny: Right, absolutely. It doesn’t matter if it’s a smaller company or a bigger OEM, everybody is treated the same. Yeah, for sure.
Iain: Fantastic. And a show like this is a great place to see some of this.
Penny: Absolutely! We’re partnering with Adaptsys here at the show, and it’s great to hear from the customer and also hear their concerns or what we could be doing better. So, that’s what I bring back to the table and bring it back to my employees.
Iain: Yeah, fantastic. Well, I hope the rest of the show is really successful for you. It’s been quite busy so far.
Penny: Yes, it’s been great! We’re really excited to be back.
Iain: Thanks for spending time talking to us.