Crafting Customer Success the DX Way

October 24, 2023
The DX Team
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DX has been a cinematic trailblazer for more than 25 years, redefining ticketing tech. We didn't just ride the wave, we were at the forefront of it - thinking about the next best thing to help cinemas power great experiences.

We’ve also helped cinemas improve customer success with faster, easier, and more personalised experiences. But it wasn’t an easy path. Forming a customer success team around cinemas and for cinemas was a long road that we’re still trekking today.

So we wanted to pause and take a trip down memory lane to show you how we got here. And what’s next for our customer success mission.

The DX Beginnings Center Around Our Customers

We couldn’t have built our cloud-based software without the help of some amazing pioneering minds.

Our team is incredible, of course. But they aren’t the only wizards behind the curtain.

In fact, we wouldn’t be here today without the help of our customers

Case in point, our beginnings came with a commission from the future-facing cinema operators at Fram Kino in Bodø. During a routine renovation in 1989, the Fram Kino operations team opted to get an upgrade, using the opportunity to venture into the yet-unknown world of digital ticketing. 

They just happened to reach out to Nordlandsdata, where a young software engineer, Tore Martin Hansen, practiced his trade. In the end, Tore was part of the team that developed the digital ticketing system for Fram Kino, which eventually spread to other venues in Norway.

Then, in 1997, Tore and fellow Nordlandsdata alumni Jon Kristensen departed the company to found DX. In the same year, we established relationships with our first customers: 

  • Fauske Kino
  • Svolvær Kino
  • Ørsta Kino
  • Notodden Kino
  • Modum Kino

But, our tech journey was a relentless quest for customer-centric innovation that didn’t stop at our first five customers.

Next, we:

  • Dialed up Kinofon for telephone reservations in '99
  • Printed tickets at home by '03
  • Launched pre-smartphone NFC ticketing in '06
  • Served up concessions in '08
  • Unleashed dxWeb in ‘16 – giving our tech superpowers on the internet. 

Today, with hundreds of customers, we have become synonymous with our ticketing systems in Norway and continue to expand our reach as a key player within the cinema industry. 

Yet, our mission hasn’t changed. In fact, one of the key components that helps us remain a customer-centric company lies in our Customer Success team.

DX Customer Success: Our Customers Are Our Closest Allies

At DX, we treat our customers as our most valuable asset, so it’s essential for us to have a team focused on enhancing our customer relations with both goals of what customer success means in mind.

You’ve probably heard about both customer support and customer success, sometimes used interchangeably. Well, they’re not exactly the same!

To better understand the difference, here’s a breakdown of the two:

  • Customer Support Team: The "911" of the business world, they're the firefighters putting out customer service fires. They're the ones with the problem-solving skills when there’s something to fix.
  • Customer Success Team: Think of them as your personal cheerleaders in the business game. They're not here to fix problems but to ensure you thrive.

Because we want all our customers to achieve their goals and reach success through leveraging our platform — our customer success department tackles both. They’re here to help either with quick problem solving or with training and onboarding for your cinema operations needs.

Let’s get to know them better!

In their day-to-day operations, our customer success team deals with the full cinema journey (B2B2C):

  • our primary customers - the cinema operators are part of our B2B segment
  • the customers of our customers - the moviegoers are part of our B2C segment

When assisting cinema operators, our customer success team helps them solve a variety of issues, from administrative hurdles to ticketing and backoffice issues, from POS equipment hurdles to the cinema website or self-service kiosk needs. 

However, while the team helps our customers deal with their problems, our goal isn’t to just be problem-solvers. We want to plan ahead and resolve potential issues proactively. 

DX Customer Success: A Brief History

So how did we get here? Here’s our CS story within a timeline, to put things in perspective:

At first, as the company was still maturing and more and more customers were choosing DX, we had engineers wearing multiple hats doubling as support personnel until we brought in dedicated support staff. Being in the earlier years, we also had many versions of our products across clients, which created complexity and a long backlog. This situation resulted in more frequent interactions with our customers, leading to a close yet occasionally challenging relationship. 

With a good internal compass of being close to customers and joining them where they were (including cinema gatherings and film festivals), we were building solid roots, but still had room for improvement when it came to CS processes and operations. And our customers where the first to point it out.

Today, our interactions with customers have evolved substantially. Thanks to a streamlined product offering, operational issues and errors have become increasingly rare. So it’s more about keeping the client pulse than solving bugs.

And the change began in 2019.

2019: The Catalyst

2019 was a pivotal year as we started upgrading the department. But it still wasn’t enough. At the time, nine team members worked with disparate systems in four separate locations. Additionally, they were overwhelmed with a high ticket and call volume without involving other departments. 

Then, later in the year, we made a strategic move by bringing Bård Karstensen into the fold as our “integrated” Customer Success Manager.

Bård came and led our team to become an optimised powerhouse. His mission? To lead the charge in transitioning from a reactive customer support model to a proactive, “lets-deal-with-problems-before-they-hit-the-fan” proactive model.

Furthermore, Bård took another step toward upgrading the team by promoting synergy. 

Yet, before getting to the well-oiled machine that our customer success is today, we, just like everybody else, had to adapt to the 2020 crisis and the years that ensued.  

2020: The Emergency Response

In 2020, the team worked together to ease the burden created by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For instance:

  • Norway went into complete lockdown on 12 March 2020, and some of our customers had shows and movies lined up for weeks after the scheduled lockdown. So, the team helped refund the tickets without affecting the ticket holders’ schedules too much and taking the load off cinema operators’ backs. 
  • Then, once restrictions eased up, our CS department assisted cinemas in returning to business. For example, the team helped smaller cinemas sell tickets while adapting to COVID limitations—like ensuring moviegoers are two metres apart from each other. 

Besides that, our CS team also helped introduce self-scanning tickets to follow the pandemic hygiene guidelines.

2021-2022: Internal Mergers

2020 and 2021 were tough years, as our CS team continued helping our customers navigate the pandemic and post-pandemic norms, while also navigating internal shifts.

Then 2022 came, with more significant changes. During the year, the customer success team merged the B2B and B2C segments while the whole company was transitioning to a remote-first framework. 

The reason? 

To foster that synergy we were looking for within the team, while keeping everyone focused on all potential issues.

Plus, throughout all these years, Bård continued to establish solid processes. From developing an internal FAQ section to creating a smooth operational framework that enabled customers to find their answers around minor issues while helping our team get time back to handle more complex matters.  

Now: Still Going Strong

A part of our CS team (from left to right): Bård, Mats, André, Jeriko, Yngve, and Ingar.

Now, our team consists of eight people (hello there Pia, Ingar, Mats, Yngve, Jeriko, André, Tore) working towards addressing customer concerns, while one teammate directly deals with customer onboarding (hello there Endre) — all integrated under Bård, currently Head of Operations. We’ve managed to do that while everyone works remotely and with the same systems. 

And the results speak for themselves. Just look at the stats from the last 12 months:

  • We’ve answered a whopping 2685 calls with a 91+% success rate. 
  • Our chat conversations are efficiency specialists, with response times under nine minutes and a farewell kiss in about two hours. 
  • And that’s not all. We're like email wizards, answering 16491 emails in 15 minutes or less that resolve issues within the hour. 

But it all started with having the right people to begin with. That’s another thing that Bård successfully put into place throughout the years.

What do all our customer success people have in common? 

They’re self-starters, curious, and constantly learning new things. They like to experiment and each member of the team constantly challenges the others with creative projects. For instance, setting up an internal Discord channel for helping each other out quickly. 

But that's not all! Our CS team goes above and beyond. Although their core focus is on customer success issues, they’re heavily involved in our product development process, working cross-functionally to bring their cinema operations know-how to the rest of the company. 

André and Jeriko spend at least 25% of their time in the product teams, serving as invaluable conduits between our customers and the development process. Their hands on approach ensures that our products directly address customer needs and desires.

And let's not forget Pia, focusing on all things cinema web-related. She's diligently working together with the product team to craft the next generation of cinema website solutions, ensuring our customers and their customers enjoy a seamless online experience.

In a nutshell, they’re a truly complementary team and the reason why our Norwegian customers are happy and constantly giving positive feedback (a feat attained through years of hard work!). Just look here to see what we mean

It’s also why we can say we’re truly customer-centric.

While our CS team remains deeply committed to customer success, their significant involvement in various facets of our product development and processes ensures we maintain the customer top of mind in everything we do. This not only enhances internal knowledge-sharing but also bolsters the team's understanding of our products and services, resulting in a win-win for everyone.

What’s next for our CS team?

Looking to the future, the DX customer success squad is working towards AI incorporation. Our vision is to deliver outstanding customer support by utilizing AI technology to handle routine tickets, enabling the team to focus on onboarding and delivering personal support for complex needs. 

As we continue to bring our new cloud-based solution to new markets like Sweden, Denmark, etc., we also design localised support powered by AI for translations and more. For instance, our Swedish bot is live for the market-dedicated help center and it’s already a great asset. 

In the end, we’re still focusing our efforts into developing a customer-centric platform that enables cinema operators to create an experience that goes beyond the movies. And we want to do that with the right mix of DYI educational resources, AI support, and personalised onboarding and training interactions. 

After all, we want to do even better as we’re growing our presence into new markets.

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