How Co-Innovation is About Success, Not B.S.
A few weeks ago, I attended an on-site, pre-sale training with a Legal Operations customer. I introduced myself as a member of the Customer Success team, and the Director to whom we were giving the demo asked what that meant, exactly – if “success” was just a euphemism for something seedier, like sales.
I said, well, we’ll be whatever you want me to be, and he replied without missing a beat: No bullshit, please.
“No bullshit” was on my mind for a few days following. I understood that my quippy definition was just that – a quip – but I also didn’t think it could be accurately characterized as BS. “Customer Success” is a new field that has emerged as a consequence of SaaS software. Companies are no longer done with a customer after the purchase but are responsible for cultivating the relationship in perpetuity afterward.
Handing out co-innovation “cookies”
Our Customer Success Team for TAP at Mitratech is largely based on the “If You Give A Mouse a Cookie” model. We expect that when a customer purchases a workflow, they’re probably going to want some product training.
And if you give a customer some training, they’re probably going to want to know about the new features that are consistently being released to improve our product.
And if you give the customer information about new product features, they might want to join our Customer Focus Group and use their voice and expertise to influence our roadmap, while gaining support and authority from the other customers on the call.
And if they see their effect on our product roadmap and get to know other customers, they’re probably going to want to spend more time with their peers in Legal Operations and learn how other customers use TAP.
“Customer success,” then, is kind of a catch-all term for helping our customers become experts in TAP and leaders in Legal Operations, all while helping them go live with their various automated processes.
Closing gaps while sharing know-how
Our TAP Co-Innovation Center has given customers the opportunity to not just close knowledge gaps but actually create knowledge centers. In the early 2000s, philosopher Miranda Fricker wrote about what she called “hermeneutical lacunae” – or gaps in language that make it difficult to talk about certain issues.
Without a common language, it’s difficult to know, much less address, what is missing. In the tech industry, it can sometimes feel like we use a lot of words to say the same thing – words around iterating, ideating, scrumming, and it can be difficult to parse through when these words actually help create a useful language around a novel idea or process, versus when they create clutter.
Legal Operations is such a new industry that the language around common pain points and standardized solutions is only just beginning to emerge.
At Mitratech, we are interested in the new ways Legal Operations professionals excel in their jobs and the language that they need in order to do so. The Co-Innovation Center is one of our initiatives to help create that common language and build expertise where previously there were anecdotes.
In the Co-Innovation Center, customers can peruse what workflows have been successful at other companies, and then they can reach out to ensure that they are building their workflows off of the expertise that has been created before them.
Accelerating Time-to-Value and more
The TAP Co-Innovation Center is also a place where we dramatically reduce Time-to-Value, by allowing customers to one-click-download workflows into their own environments.
We’ve already seen a world of success. Some of the use cases we have seen have been expected, but the details have been extraordinary. We’ve been able to show customers not just the workflows that are floating around among their colleagues, but the cool features and functionality they’ve used to make them wildly successful. Customers have used the Co-Innovation Center to expand their knowledge of use cases, too.
What are a few of the use cases they’ve shared or downloaded?
- Ask Legal Portal
- Conflict of Interest
- Advertising Review
- Non-Revenue Transaction Portal
- Self-Service NDA
- Counsel Retention
- Director & Officers Liability
- Contract Requests
For our TAP user community, a focus on “success” is anything but BS. It’s the result of collaboration among everyone, all contributing to the good of what is a special and open community where their shared sense of purpose is driving the evolution of that “common language” so central to the technological transformation of Legal Ops.