To those of you I haven’t yet met, hello, I’m the new Head of Customer Success Management for Skymetrix. This is a new role, focused on ensuring that we offer all our customers proactive, expert, and efficient guidance and support.
I’ve actually been with the company for over five years and prior to that, I spent 15 years working in airlines. So I have a good understanding of the industry and the strategic and operational challenges our customers face every day.
Our customer success promise
Helping our customers improve is what motivates us. It’s within our company mission statement — ‘Transforming fuel and cost management in the aviation industry to maximize customer success’ — and it’s one of the four pillars of our business.
We recognize that our customers have different goals and so success looks different for different airlines — you might need to become more profitable or more efficient, remain competitive, or achieve sustainable growth.
Whatever your goals are, we start with those and consider how we can help you achieve them. This means you get much more than a product; you get a service that is tailored to your requirements.
Central to this is our closed loop of customer collaboration. We continuously work with our customers and partners to develop new functionality that addresses industry challenges and requirements. This means our products and services are always improving and evolving.
How we deliver on that promise
Since I was appointed to this role in June 2022, I have been putting together a plan for the next year and beyond, which will ensure we deliver on our customer success promise. Some of our customers will have already noticed changes to how we work; others will see the changes soon.
Our Customer Success team
We have a Customer Success team with clear responsibilities: the main one being to support our customers in achieving their own business goals. We have heavily invested in customer success and now have over 30 people working in this team, for just over 100 airline customers. This ratio is unique in our sector and means we can provide an outstanding level of service.
Every Skymetrix customer receives a dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM), who acts as their primary contact within the company. CSMs have a complete view of your account and liaise with all departments within Skymetrix, including Support. They ensure you get the best experience possible — from day one. The CSM guides you through the implementation phase and helps you with training and ongoing support thereafter, to ensure you get the most from our platform.
Every year we conduct a customer survey to check whether we are meeting airlines’ expectations. We measure core metrics for customer experience and use the feedback to improve our service.
Proactive support for ROI
Our Customer Success team also works with you to ensure our platform provides a strong return on your investment. All customers have a personalized account plan and we conduct monthly service reviews to check how things are going. We also offer quarterly, executive business reviews, which focus on your airline’s strategic goals and KPIs and how we can help you achieve those.
With their comprehensive knowledge of both your business and our software, your Customer Success Manager will help you find new ways to drive efficiency and save money.
Good quality training is clearly vital to ensuring our customers get the most from our cloud-based fuel and cost management platform. We have found that it’s become even more important since the pandemic, because staff turnover rates within the industry have increased.
We don’t implement our solution and then walk away; we first provide onboarding support and then help you create a personalized training plan. This ensures all your users get up to speed fast with our software, as well as any new business processes that have been adopted. This training continues through the lifetime of your partnership with us, as new features are added to your account and new people join your teams.
Recently for example, we have delivered face-to-face training to flydubai employees on our business intelligence tools, as well as to Ryanair staff on airport charges and ground handling rate maintenance, invoice checking, and reporting. During the height of the pandemic, we quickly developed additional online training which met the urgent needs of our customers at that time — such as how to develop new fuel forecasts and budgets and how to evaluate the impacts of different forecasting scenarios.
Co-development and collaboration
Co-development and collaboration are in our DNA. Since 2001, we have been working with our customers and industry partners to develop software that addresses industry challenges and requirements. Our platform is therefore the result of over 20 years of shared learning, so it’s truly been built by the industry, for the industry.
For example, we were part of IATA’s Fuel Data Standards Group which developed the industry-wide data standards and many of our core fuel management modules — such as Fuel Allocation, Resale, Billback, Emissions and eTender — have all been co-developed with customers.
More recently, we have responded to customer needs around Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and have quickly set up a SAF working group, which will help us build a product for this. We are also working with Atlas Air to develop our Next Generation (NextGen) platform, which will use the latest technology and enable you to gain the next-level of fuel and cost management.
We want to be visible and available for our customers, so we are organizing more of our own in-person events as well as attending industry ones.
This Autumn, we are organizing our first ever Customer Roadshow — we aim to visit every single customer in person from September. We are also planning a User Group meeting so that all users of the Skymetrix platform can come together to hear the latest developments and give us feedback. We expect to hold this in early 2023 but will send further communications to customers about this when the details are finalized.
In terms of industry events, we recently attended the IATA Aviation Energy Forum in Germany and had positive discussions with lots of airlines, including customers and non-customers. The next big event we will be attending is the IATA World Financial Symposium in Doha, Qatar in September. If you are attending too, why not book a meeting slot with us?
We are already working hard on all these elements of our customer success plan, and I look forward to leading the team that will deliver it all over the next six months and beyond — I know it will have a really positive impact on our customers’ experience. I am particularly looking forward to meeting and getting to know our airline partners, so I can learn more about how we can continue to support them.