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Interview: Delivering First Class Services to a Growing Customer Base

May 23, 2017  |  Electronic Invoicing

In this interview, Helena Stolpe, VP Delivery, Pagero, tells more about how Pagero’s delivery organisation works, how their job has changed with the company growth and why her organisation is an integral part of Pagero’s customer offering.

About Helena Stolpe

Helena Stolpe has been at Pagero since 2003 and is working as VP Delivery at Pagero HQ in Gothenburg, Sweden. She is a results-oriented leader with project management, integration and support as her home areas. As a leader, Helena is focusing on encourage the team members to take initiative to jointly improve. Helena also has a background as a software developer.


The four parts of the Pagero Delivery Organisation

“Pagero’s delivery organisation consist of four different departments: our Customer Integration team who is taking care of our integrations. They are also doing analyses and handle parts of our production. They are governed by our SLA. They work closely together with the Project Managers who are managing large activation projects and assist as presales. Our Project Coordinators are assisting in larger projects and they run smaller projects. They also handle customer onboarding and training. Last but not least, our Support team handles our production, certain implementations and more complex setups. Their work is also governed by our SLA and they are working very hard to fulfil our SLA promises to our customers.”


One common goal: High quality solutions for our customers

“A couple of years ago, we took the decision to put the four different teams together into one single organisation. The reason for this was that we wanted to have one common goal: to deliver high quality projects and solutions in a customer focused, efficient and professional way that gives our clients an implementation and service that is sustainable over time. That is the common goal of all departments within the delivery organisation.”

“Because a customer specific and advanced solution may sound great at beforehand, but if it is not possible to maintain and doesn’t work in production, the customer will be dissatisfied and then they will not stay with Pagero anyway. So I think it is crucial to have this in mind from the very beginning. And with this organisation that we have now, each team knows that their job will affect the other teams and in the end the customers.”


The best support wins

“The support team is really important in this. It is with them that the customer stay most of their lifetime with Pagero. And then we need to have a great support, we need to give that little extra. We should off course have a professional and knowledgeable support, but if you give that little extra, that is what the customer remembers. That is what is spread word-of-mouth. You expect the service to work, because you are paying for it. I think the support is what builds confidence, it builds our brand to have a great support and it sells more services.”

“So I would say that investing in our support is the best thing we can do. We usually say that the one who has the best support wins and I think that goes very well together with how we work. And I am convinced that we have the best support.”


Customer feedback is essential

“We often get feedback from our customers saying that they are really happy with our support. I think it is great. Because if a customer takes the time to send an email after they have received the help that they were asking for, just to tell us how amazing our support is, then I think that we have done something right.”

“Then off course, we want to hear negative feedback as well so that we can improve, because we can make mistakes as everybody else. Then we want to know about it so we can find the reason for it and if needed, change our processes and routines to avoid that the problem occurs again.”


Routines and knowledge sharing are important in a changing environment

”The company as a whole has changed a lot during the last few years. We have expanded our offering with new services, our platform has become more complex and we are active in more countries. Also, we have teams in different parts of the world. The main part of the delivery organisation is still located in the HQ in Gothenburg, Sweden, but we have two local support teams. One in Finland for the Finnish and Polish market and then our global support team in Madrid that we opened earlier this year.”

“All this has a huge impact on the delivery organisation. Firstly, routines and processes become much more important, especially for the teams that are governed by our SLA. Everybody must follow the same routines so that one team can take over when the other one finish their shift. We also need routines for how we keep up to date and how much each individual need to know. When we were less people, everybody could know everything. It is no longer possible. Everybody should have the same basic knowledge, but we need to have teams or groups within teams with different areas of expertise.”


The need for specialist competences creates new departments

“The company growth has also created the need for whole new departments. The Customer Integration team, for example, was created to meet customer requests. Our customers wanted access to specialist competence to be able to get in-depth answer to their questions. For example, as we enter into more and more markets, there is a growing need for analysis and pre-studies regarding for example formats and compliance.”

“The Customer Integration team can for example look into whether a certain format that a customer wants to send is suitable for the purpose, or if some information is missing that is mandatory in one or more of the countries concerned. We also look into whether the desired format is a format that the customer can grow with. Maybe the initial project scope is Sweden, but the plan is to expand globally with Pagero. Then we recommend to not go with a Swedish format but a larger one. A part from the geographical aspect, we look at for example the business the customer is in, upcoming legal requirements for e-orders or e-invoices etcetera. There are many things to take into consideration depending on the project scope.”


Daily maintenance of the format library

“Format is another buzzword in the business we are in. We are currently handling more than 350 formats and the number is constantly growing. We have a number of core formats where our responsibility is to follow pre-defined rules when it comes to updates and new versions. If we change something there, it will have an impact on the majority of our customers. But then we have a large number of customer specific formats that can be changed every other day, depending on the customers’ requests.”


International large scale projects

“The Project Managers’ work has definitely been affected by the company growth as well. They are now managing not only e-invoice projects but projects involving all sorts of document types – as long as we can handle the document types in our platform, they can project manage them. They are also managing more and more international projects and projects involving many countries at the same time. They can also be part of a very large customer project. Some years ago, the e-invoice project was most often an isolated project. Today, the projects we manage are rather a part of a larger project in the customer’s organisation involving many different flows and systems that need to be integrated with each other.”


On-boarding and managed services

“Our Project Coordinators is a quite new team that has been set up to handle the needs of the growing organisation and customer base. They handle smaller projects or assist the Project Managers in larger projects, but they also handle customer onboarding. They go through Pagero Online together with our new customers, show them how our services work, help them to get up and running and makes sure that the transaction flow works as it should before they put them under the administration of the support team.”

“They also handle certain SPOC support for some of our customers that have bought that service. They do not replace our support team; it is more of a managed service with a small team that certain customers can contact for whatever questions that they can have related to our service. For example, they might want help to connect a new customer or supplier and then we can assist. It is a service that is much appreciated by those of our customers that are using it and our team becomes often like a part of the customer’s own organisation.”


Future vision

“In the future, I want us to streamline the work we do so that we can deliver services to a larger customer base even more efficiently than today. I want us to develop our platform so that it becomes more and more intuitive with more self service functions. That way, we can have automatic onboarding which will be a tremendous help for us and our customers to build the network. Also, it will make it possible for the delivery organisation to focus more on analyses and project management to help our customers to reach their goals.”

“I want our international support team in Madrid to grow with more people. I think that it is really important to have support teams that are teams and not individual islands. In our expanding ecosystem with customers all over the world, the need to interact with different countries and to know local laws and requirements becomes more and more important. If you have the knowledge needed, you have what it needs to be able to offer the world’s best support.”

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