Howdy Y'all, Let's Get Organized!

January 29, 2019

It is often said that the best way to learn a new language is immersion. Simply stated, it’s the concept that being present and surrounded by the speakers of that language with active context accelerates the learning process. Even greater than formal, structured education, immersion allows the learner to strip away all of the hypotheticals. The only new words and phrases that are introduced are ones that are people all around are using. This type of focus makes their use of their new skills much more impactful to those they are conversing with.

At Zen, we believe in constant learning. One of our core principles is curiosity. After all, it was insatiable curiosity that gave birth to ZenSupplies in the first place.  We wanted to learn more about everything that concerns our ZenFamily. What do our customers love about Zen? What do they need to be changed? What do they want to be changed?  From ordering to dental inventory management to reconciliation and payment, how do we improve the experience at every level?

These make up a minute sample of the questions that we were dying to answer. That thirst for understanding allows us to stay rooted in our cause and plugged into our network, for their benefit. So much like learning a language, we took the opportunity to immerse our selves with our customers as soon as possible. The greatest number of users were in Texas, we were sitting in Chicago. That made the choice very easy. Despite the challenges of travel and working from the road, we knew we had to go where we were needed. We could have called all of the same clients or set up video conferences. We would have gained some insight. But there is no substitute for being shoulder to shoulder with the assistant, hygienists, and managers that have made Zen part of their daily lives.

We found such wonderful works of art and culture all over Austin.

From the very moment that we stepped into our first practice of the trip, we received immediate confirmation that we were in the right place! That first practice blew our minds with their organization and strong dental system software that, in some ways, were contrary to how we guide practices to run. This new perspective prompted even more questions. There were more things that we wanted to understand about their workflow. All of this feedback is invaluable to the curious. Had we not been able to physically see, touch, and feel these processes, the impact could not have been nearly as great.

The revelations did not stop there. Meeting with over a dozen customers in almost as many cities, we picked up a tremendous amount of knowledge and feedback. We got right to work with this information. Some minor tweaks were implemented right away. Changing the color of a button, or moving a function to a place that is easier for the user were things that we could implement immediately, so we did. The things that will provide a significant impact but also require a significant amount of development were prioritized, planned, and scheduled for implementation.

Austin skyline at Night

We value all of the feedback from our clients and partners but something is truly extra special about the connections made in this way. Looking at each other eye to eye, and tackling challenges together makes for solutions that are far more applicable to the people actually using them. No changes were made nor features added over this trip that did not come as a direct result of the one on one attention both given to and received by our customers. When looking at the journey through this lens, racing through a blizzard, stopping to work in coffee shops, long hours driving and all of the other obstacles seem so small. Nothing could possibly be as important as doing the right thing for our users.

Enjoying some down time with happy members of the Zen Family

Apart from the amazing knowledge we were able to gain through visiting our current customers, we had some other great opportunities as well. We were able to provide world class customer support to local clients, identify best fits for ZenSupplies, explore Austin, and even host our fist Zen Meetup! Stay tuned this week for more details and stories from the road!

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