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Case study: How NimbleUser keeps everyone on the same page

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NimbleUser has been empowering professional and trade associations with smart integrated technology for more than two decades. Their flagship product, Nimble AMS, is software created for professional and trade associations and built on the world class Salesforce platform.

NimbleUser Founder and Chief Customer Officer, Sigmund VanDamme, told us how they use Geckoboard to fuel company growth and keep everyone on the same page.

Customer-centric KPIs

In the past 22 years NimbleUser has grown exponentially and we faced a challenge of how to keep the team apprised of our key performance indicators (KPIs). Putting up dashboards in high traffic areas makes it easy for our team to see the KPIs while getting coffee or grabbing lunch.

We aim to deliver an unparalleled experience for our customers. We’re a very customer-centric organisation and in order to maintain our focus, we needed a way of making people aware of our key metrics. We put a lot of emphasis on our case satisfaction. In other words, when we resolve cases we ask, ‘How many cases do we have in the queue? How quickly are those responded to?’ I work closely with our Customer Success Manager and our support team to make sure that we deliver on our promise.

A chatty data culture

Our KPIs are displayed on a number of dashboards throughout our organisation. We have a big one in the communal kitchen where we show all the KPIs. We also have a lot of other pretty neat things that we’ve tied into Salesforce. They have a product called Chatter, which is an internal social network, and if we use a hashtag on Chatter that’s called #kudos, it appears on the dashboard. So if someone does a good job, I can type it into Chatter, use #kudos and it appears on the screen as a way of recognising someone’s work.

Keeping score and staying in control

I’m quite the advocate for this book called ‘The Four Disciplines of Execution,’ written by Chris McChesney and Sean Covey. One of the things they say is how important it is to have visibility of your KPIs. The example they always use is, ‘A bunch of guys are out there playing basketball, that’s one thing. But the minute you start keeping score, it’s very, very different.’ Similarly, instantly when I see a KPI, I tend to focus on it a little bit extra. Especially if it’s something I have control over. We’re trying to only visualise the type of metrics that people have control over and then they’ll be able realise. I think people just naturally want to do better. I know I do myself. Having the metrics presented very visually in front of me is like having a milestone so I can have something to shoot for.

Minimum amount of KPIs

Our KPIs have of course been refined over the years, but right now they’re pretty consistent. We’re like any software firm – its licenses and seats. And since we’re very customer-centric we look at customer satisfaction relentlessly.

I think it’s important to keep your KPIs to a minimum. Pick out the ones that are very, very important to you: maybe ten of them, or even five. Then monitor them as closely as possible in order to act on them. Don’t put something up there that doesn’t really make a difference. Choose a metric that multiple people can have some form of tangible effect on.

Making Geckoboard a part of the culture

Add an element to the dashboard that makes people want look at it on a daily basis, something that draws people in. For example, all our dashboards feature a clock and the weather. So when people look up to see what time it is or what the weather forecast is, they’ll see the important numbers too. Try to make it fun. For example, like we did by putting #kudos and upcoming birthdays up there.

In the beginning there was a bit of resistance when people started to question why we were spending money on TVs and dashboard software. People would say, ‘I can get that information.’ My response was, ‘Yes, you can - but you don’t.’ It needs to be front and center and everybody needs to understand that it’s up there for a reason. We had a staff meeting to explain the purpose of the dashboards, but in the end I think they made their own case.

Want some more insight on how NimbleUser use Geckoboard? Read Sigmund VanDamme’s blog post here.

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