A startup tech company in Lincoln is finding revolutionary ways to give its consumers the best experience possible with its product. Hudl, a sports video company that provides video analysis and tools for coaches to teach their players, is working on finding ways to attract customers and retain commitment with a new implementation specialist role, a position that opened in April of 2019.

While the Hudl product, which allows coaches to show game film, opponents’ games, practices and even lets them create their own highlights, is relatively new to the sporting world, the role of an implementation specialist is to visit schools around the country to give a more in-depth, in-person walkthrough on how to get the most use out of the platform. These visits are often to schools that have recently added multiple Hudl accounts for different sports. 

“We built everything from the concept of reaching out to a school, tracking their implementation, and designing the trainings,” Kevin Gunter, an implementation specialist, said. “If it was an internal or external process, we created it.”

However, bringing this role to existence wasn’t easy for the company. There were different obstacles the new implementation specialists, Gunter and Annie Noakes, couldn’t foresee when starting their new role.

“The main challenge that came with the new role is the unknown,” Noakes said. “For example, we wouldn’t be sure how successful our processes and workflows would be. We met several times last spring to walk through the different processes we envisioned for implementation this year.”

Because Hudl is a yearly subscription, there is a strong emphasis on renewals and making sure the schools are using the product to its fullest potential. People within the company attract new sales or renewals, and the implementation specialists create a happy medium that the company lacked before. The new position also brings the support to the user instead of having them call in with questions when they are new to Hudl.

“We now train our users completely off the bat on how to use these tools,” Gunter said. “This lightens the load on support during the year while also helping renewals go easier.”

Making a product easy to use is important for companies so that support interactions stay as low as possible. Will Voelker, who has been a support specialist for two years, has felt the impact implementation had on his role.

“I think it took a big burden off of what we would have felt for first-time users,” Voelker said. “Because they had someone show them how to use products on site, we took less volume surrounding those types of questions.”

Gunter believes Hudl’s blueprint of bringing support to the customer can be something for other companies to model in a unique way.

“We mold our trainings and actions to work with our users and not at our users,” Gunter said. “Implementation is not something you can copy from one company and paste it to the next it has to be hand-built in some form for each company, but that’s what makes it so impactful and special.”

As Hudl grows bigger, it still relies on that small company feel to make sure the users feel valued and heard. Implementation puts a face to the company and helps strengthen relations with the customer.

I am Grant Morrison and I am a senior majoring in Sports Media and Communication, as well as History with a Political Science minor. Currently I am interning at Hudl as a Support Specialist.