Implementation and Beyond: Elements of an Effective Customer Success Program

While countless technology solutions are available to support the various business needs of Affordable Housing, purpose-built solutions paired with a robust Customer Success program is less common for our industry.

Simply put, a Customer Success program is a business method aimed to support customers in using products or services to help achieve their objectives. It’s relationship-focused client management that aligns customer and vendor goals—igniting beneficial outcomes for everyone involved. Customer success in a SaaS business such as ProLink refers to the discipline of setting customers up to reach their goals through intentional onboarding, training, relationship-building, and support.

At ProLink, the foundation of our Customer Success program subconsciously started with the relationship fostered between us and our very first client—one that has evolved and strengthened over the past 17+ years, and that has proven many of the Customer Success strategies we now offer to all our clients.

ProLink’s Customer Success program begins with an organization well before they are a client. We are deeply invested in providing thorough and transparent due diligence up-front to ensure our solutions are not only the best available option, but that we truly support the business needs of the agency. We begin each new client relationship with the intention to always keep them, so it is in our best interest to start off on solid and confident ground, ensuring we will be successful together.

This intention follows our clients as they journey through the initial implementation effort and remains with them as they enter our Customer Success program and become production-live users. Our clients continue to meet with the same experts who originally supported them during due diligence, lead them through all of the steps of their implementation, and intimately know what is left to be achieved in order to reach optimal utilization. While ProLink’s Customer Success program is not new, it is always an area of focus for our business, and we’re looking forward to several improvements to the program that will be made throughout this year. Here are a few key elements of our Customer Success program that we consider invaluable for both ProLink and our clients:

  • Using the knowledge gained through client feedback methods and inclusion at all levels of the organization, ProLink aims to maintain an intimate understanding of both the operational and organizational concerns of our clients. We want the solutions to be right, voices to be heard and needs to be met.
  • There is never enough time, budget, or resources to accomplish all possible opportunities for improvement/automation during an initial implementation effort. Our Customer Success Team works with our clients during and post-implementation to develop an adoption roadmap that supports continued progress, indefinitely. We review adoption roadmaps with our clients on a regular basis, multiple times a year.
  • To optimize ROI for our clients, ProLink highly recommends appointing an internal “ProLink Lead” who partners closely with us to prioritize initiatives, engage business users, and increase system adoption.
  • ProLink’s Customer Support representatives are major contributors to our clients’ Customer Success experience. Timely, responsive, and personal support to our clients is what we strive for.

With speed, accuracy, accountability, quality, and transparency, our Customer Success program aims to build a strong and long-lasting partnership by providing our customers with extraordinary service, support, and the assistance needed to help drive product adoption.


If you are interested in learning more about implementation methodology, we are hosting a webinar on the topic of what makes a good Customer Success program on Wednesday, April 5th at 3 p.m. EST. You can sign up by clicking here.

Post-Implementation: What to Expect Down the Road

When an organization makes the decision to acquire new software, it’s typically because there is a need: Your business is growing? Manual processes are overworked? Your staff are becoming harder to manage? Software sprawl is impacting your cost of doing business? No matter the reason, the ultimate goals are to increase efficiencies, streamline processes, reduce cost, and increase ROI. To that end, your team does the hard work: preparing the business case, putting out an RFP, selecting the software and going through the software implementation process.

Now you are live, and then what? What happens post-implementation? Oh yes, get back to work! The project team is disassembled, team members are back to their normal operations and are expected to use their new software and show results. Now, fast-forward five years. What do you see? In my career I have seen and experienced two scenarios:

The first scenario, and honestly the most common, is where I receive a new software selection request and the justification is that the current system does not satisfy the needs of the business.

In my career as an Enterprise Project Management Office manager, my aim has been to help the business unit and leadership prepare their business case and make sure the company investment was needed and justified. What I found was that after several years, key employees left the company and took with them their knowledge and expertise. Members from the original implementation team were gone and as new employees are being hired, and we as a company were not doing a good job at documenting our processes and training new employees on the systems. With institutional knowledge gone, we realized that the existing system was underutilized by as much as 85% and there was no collaboration or partnership with the software provider.

The second scenario is when I received request for an extensive system customization.

When presented with this request, as part of our due diligence we would review the business units’ processes that had been impacted by the requested customization, in addition to previous change requests. What I found is that in most cases, due to the loss of basic system knowledge and lack of software adoption, the business units were reverting to their original processes and were trying to change the system to fit those processes. After discussing the business needs with our service provider, we were able to streamline their processes by using the system properly. We were also able to reduce their customization cost which, if you are in IT, you may know that maintaining system customizations is a very expensive and cumbersome process.


If your agency is currently facing one of these scenarios, don’t despair! there are things ProLink can do to help your situation. Your first step is to reach out to ProLink Customer Success and schedule a meeting to discuss your needs and challenges.  At ProLink we understand that a successful software implementation does not end when our clients go live. To support our clients and as part of our customer success initiatives we have created the following services:


Software Adoption Evaluation

Our change management and software adoption experts will collaborate with our clients and ProLink Professional Services team in the Analysis of  a client’s software utilization data, will conduct research via interviews, surveys, and virtual working sessions to understand users’ motivations, needs, challenges, environments, beliefs, complaints, and reasons why users don’t adopt, in order to provide a software adoption evaluation assessment and recommendations.


Process Improvements Gap Analysis & Adoption Scope definition

Our Process Improvements/Software Adoption and Product Experts will work with our clients’ subject matter experts to gather the client staff’s high-level Voice of the Customer (VOC) feedback (grouped by operational processes) via working sessions, interviews, and shadowing sessions to understand users’ needs, challenges, areas of process improvements and training needs, as well as convert feedback into high level requirements.

We will also identify critical to quality items to identify and develop best practice recommendations as well as develop a high-level roadmap to implement the product suite based on the discovery held within each department.


Process Training Evaluation

Our Training and Product experts will work with our clients’ business units to conduct a training needs discovery consisting of a system demo, one-on-one interviews with leadership, and a training opportunity survey. ProLink will provide assessment results, a training plan, and recommendations.


These services were developed with our clients in mind. The deliverables will provide our clients the data they need to make an informed decision, in how they can support their business units and staff to make them more efficient while realizing software benefits and improving their ROI. Our client’s success is our priority and as your business partner we will help you develop a software adoption and strategy that will make sense to you and your staff.



Software Implementation: Why OCM and Adoption Plan Matter

When talking about a successful implementation, the questions that immediately come to mind are:

  • Why do we need it?
  • What are the requirements?
  • What are the tasks we need to complete?
  • How long is it going to take?
  • How realistic is my level of effort, resource allocation, duration, schedule, and expectations?

Sometimes companies become so deeply enmeshed in the technical and financial aspects of a software implementation that they often forget how important the people side of the equation is. Having a successful software implementation will result in the ROI that goes beyond the numbers.

The people side of the equation, better known as Organizational Change Management (OCM) and software adoption, should not be treated as an afterthought; it should instead be a core part of your business case and procurement process. The main focus of OCM strategy and a post go-live software adoption plan is your staff.

When looking for a software provider, you should take into consideration how the provider is incorporating OCM into the implementation process:

  • What type of methodology does the provider use and recommend?
  • Is there any additional cost for change management and software adoption consulting services?

It takes time and effort on your part as well as strong backing from your organization’s executive team in order to ensure not only that your software is implemented properly from a technical perspective but also that software adoption is successful with your internal staff members as well as your organization’s customers. Remember, even when new software is the right business decision, your employees might not be ready for the change that will impact their day-to-day activities.

The Adoption Plan

Let’s say the implementation was done on time, on budget, and within scope. So, what’s left? This is perhaps the most overlooked stage of an implementation. From an executive and leadership perspective, you don’t want to find yourself asking this 6-9 months after the implementation.  Why haven’t we achieved benefit realization and ROI? Why does staff continue to use workarounds? In most cases, it’s because of the lack of planning for post-implementation activities. This is why selecting the right software provider is so important.


You need a business partner, not just a software provider. 


An Adoption & Reinforcement Plan helps ensure that your staff will continue to use the adopted changes after the project is over. The right software provider should help you develop your adoption and reinforcement strategy.

Here at ProLink Solutions, we want you to think of us as an extension of your organization—a business partner, someone you can rely upon to help you implement and manage your new system to support your business operation.


If you want to learn more about how to ensure a successful implementation, join our webinar on Wednesday, February 1st at 3 p.m. ET. Click here and register today.


Highlights from ProLink Technology Live 2022

This year, ProLink Solutions held an all-virtual conference, ProLink Technology Live 2022. The conference featured a number of guest speakers from all areas of the affordable housing industry and was split into two separate tracks, one for ProLinkHFA (multi-family) and one for ProLink+ (single-family). In total, 20 affordable housing organizations were represented in the audience. Our speaker lineup consisted of 6 employees from ProLink Solutions, as well as 8 industry experts from various affordable housing organizations.

Keynote – Washington Update

We started the conference with a special keynote from Jennifer Schwartz, the Director of Tax and Housing Advocacy at the National Council of State and Housing Agencies (NCSHA). Jennifer provided an update on Washington, and also touched up on a variety of topics including:

  • FY 2023 HUD Budget Appropriations
  • IRS’ final ruling on Average Income Test (AIT) in October 2022
  • The IRS extending the Housing Credit Placed-In-Service and other deadlines at NCSHA’s request.

You can watch the session recording here.

Panel on 8823 Updates and Average Income Test

Kelly Encinias, the HFA Senior Product Manager at ProLink, was joined by several industry experts for a panel discussion on 8823 compliance and AIT final regulations released by IRS in October 2022. As part of this panel discussion, Virginia Housing’s Erica Etterling presented how the AIT final ruling is going to affect Virginia’s Average Income Guidance currently in place, including how property owners’ AIT reporting to the state is going to change.

You can watch the session recording here.

Procorem Use Cases Panel

Ryan Kim, VP of Sales & Marketing at ProLink, was joined by panelists representing different industry roles to discuss  a number of different Procorem use cases. Danny Escuder with Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) presented how the agency is utilizing Procorem to support the agency’s Multifamily Application submission process.

You can watch the session recording here.

In addition, we had six other software training sessions tailored to ProLinkHFA and ProLink+ products. You can access all session recordings here.

What to Expect from ProLink in the Coming Year

In 2023, ProLink plans to host a brand-new webinar series beginning in February. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest news from ProLink as well as news about the affordable housing industry.



Join Us for ProLink Technology Live 2022!

We are excited to announce ProLink Technology Live 2022! Join us for our annual user conference on November 9 and 10. Registration is now open with additional details available on the registration site. This event is open to all public agencies nationwide. It’s a two-day virtual event with multiple tracks:

  • Track 1 – ProLinkHFA Multifamily is a 2-day track filled with software training as well as two panels featuring industry experts, one on 8823 updates and the Average Income Test and the other on Procorem use cases. Open to all public agencies.
  • Track 2 – ProLink+ HAF is a single day track (November 9) focused on Homeowner Assistance Fund implementation. Open to all public agencies. Learn how ProLink+ uses DocuSign and Amazon Quicksight to assist in the HAF application process.

On November 9 at 11AM Eastern, we will kick off the conference with a special keynote from Jennifer Schwartz, Director of Tax and Housing Advocacy with the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA), who will be providing affordable housing industry updates from Washington!

All session and speaker information can be found in the registration site.

The event is free. Check out the site and register today!

Charitable Giving Matters

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2022 and has last been updated on December 16, 2022.

In the context of the Great Resignation and a tight labor market, our industry is no exception to the difficulties many markets are seeing today. More studies are showing that Gen Z and Millennials care deeply about company culture and are more likely to quit if they don’t agree with a company’s culture. To shape a positive company culture, one of the things that organizations can do is increase their charitable giving and to become more proactively involved in local nonprofits that support various causes.

For ProLink Solutions, as a key technology player in the affordable housing industry, we are at a crossroad between technology professionals and housing professionals. As we are headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, a few miles south of Denver, we have supported various local organizations over the years, such as Saint Francis Center  and Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. We have also recently discovered and started supporting STEMblazers, a local nonprofit based out of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, whose mission is to promote girls in the STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

STEMblazers envisions a world where women feel they are equally represented in the STEM workforce, and it provides them with the resources and mentorship they need to pursue a career in STEM. They partner with local middle and high schools and provide mentoring opportunities between students and local professionals. Women are underutilized in the STEM workforce and STEMblazers aims to help remedy this by getting more women involved in a variety of STEM employment opportunities, and in generating interest when it comes to women in STEM.

As EVP for ProLink Solutions, I frequently notice the lack of female representation, not only employed with tech firms already, but also qualified and available for hire. I’m proud that over the last two years, the majority of ProLink’s new hires have been female—but it takes a lot of work to find them compared to equivalent male candidates. Getting more females interested and educated in STEM fields is where the foundation must be laid to achieve a more equitable, diverse and female talent pool in the future.

On July 28th of this year, we had the honor of partnering with STEMblazers for their 6th Annual STEMblazers Golf Tournament. We are aligned with the vision that STEMblazers has for women in tech and are happy to support them.

Affordable Chicago Video Featured at NCSHA Housing Credit Connect 2022

As a Platinum Sponsor at the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA)’s Housing Credit Connect conference in June 2022, ProLink Solutions premiered the “Affordable Chicago” video. The video highlights three affordable housing developments that were built in Chicago during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose behind producing this video was to show how resilient the affordable housing industry has been through even the toughest times.

Chicago Housing Trust, a non-profit organization who manages various housing programs in Chicago, particularly the city’s Inclusionary Housing program, assisted the selection of the following developments featured in the video:

  • The Seng (a part of the Big Deahl) developed by Structured Development: 34 ownership units affordable for households at 100% AMI, created under the city’s Inclusionary Housing program.
  • Fifth Avenue Apartment developed by Interfaith Housing Development Corp: 72 rental units affordable for households at 60% AMI, created with 9% LIHTC.
  • Archer Center developed by SkyRiver Archer Development: 12 ownership units affordable for households at 100% AMI, created under the city’s Inclusionary Housing program.

We invite you to watch our video about these exciting affordable housing developments in Chicago below. If you are interested in learning more about any of the projects, contact ProLink Solutions at

Tennessee HAF Program Highlighted in the Treasury’s Article on Promising Practices

In mid-April, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released an article on its websitePromising Practices for HAF Programs. In the article, the Treasury focused on two topics—Helping Homeowners Determine Their Best Options and Strategic Outreach—and listed early promising practices the Treasury has witnessed among several states.

Helping Homeowners Determine Their Best Options

Under the first topic, the Treasury reiterates the importance of involving housing counseling services in Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) implementations. One of three state programs listed by the Treasury as a promising practice was the state of Tennessee. The state’s program, known as TNHAF, uses the state’s network of HUD-certified counselors for early intervention to review loss mitigation options with homeowners.

TNHAF has two objectives in their use of counselors. First, counselors educate homeowners about funding programs and loss mitigation options beyond the HAF program. Second, counselors prepare homeowners for the time when assistance ends. The HAF assistance is temporary in nature and therefore it is important to set homeowners up for success in the long run.

In the recent HAF webinar hosted by ProLink Solutions on April 20, Denise Hutchinson, Assistant Director of Mortgage Assistance and Compliance with Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA), gave an example of how they provided a homeowner with a sustainable, long-term solution, combining both HAF assistance and a loss mitigation solution presented by the homeowner’s servicer.

In addition, THDA has also deployed a homeowner education video and requires homeowners to watch it as part of their HAF application process. The video educates homeowners on loss mitigation options as well as regular and crisis budgeting. Click here to watch the video on YouTube.

Strategic Outreach

Under the topic of strategic outreach, the Treasury reiterates the importance of reaching low-income and socially disadvantaged homeowners in HAF implementations. TNHAF was again highlighted as one of three promising state programs. TNHAF program managers can monitor the impact of HAF dollars in real-time, using the executive dashboard built into ProLink+, a HAF deployment technology solution provided by ProLink Solutions. The access to real-time data and analytics enables THDA to assess the impact of the program particularly in high-need areas and to refine their HAF deployment strategy on an ongoing basis.

You can learn more about ProLink+ by clicking here.


Software Procurement Best Practices

Whether you like it or not, Request for Proposal (RFP) is likely an integral part of your software procurement process, particularly if you are with a larger organization or  government agency. Writing an RFP is a daunting task as you’re trying to incorporate all your organization’s procedural requirements while developing functional requirements across multiple teams that will benefit from the new software.

However, before diving right into the RFP itself, you might want to consider a couple of steps to help save time and effort down the road. We’re talking about the Planning Stage and Business Analysis Stage.

The end goal of the Planning Stage is for you, as business lead, to get a buy-in from the committee or the executives. Start with writing a plan that outlines what you are trying to achieve with the new software you are seeking; call it a value prop. If a project intake process exists in your organization, you will use the intake form to document your business case. You should describe how the new software would help your organization achieve its business goals. Include business and operational objectives, measurable outcomes, and estimated budget. Don’t forget to identify potential stakeholders, sponsors, and resources you will need to successfully implement the project. Keep it at a high level. Take advantage of sites such as or to get a sense of products on the market and price points. Use your market research to sharpen your case.

The committee or executives should review and approve this plan before you move to the next stage, Business Analysis. In this stage, you’re diving deeper into discovery. Gather functional requirements from the impacted business lines and technical requirements from your organization’s IT group. Start working on your organizational readiness and change management strategy. Anticipate that many of your team members will undergo a cycle of emotional responses in reaction to changes in business processes due to the new software.

Once you take these steps, you will be in a much better shape to take on the actual RFP itself. Your software procurement journey will move faster, with less challenges.

If you would like more information about software procurement best practices, contact ProLink Solutions.


Highlights from ProLink Technology Live 2021

This year, ProLink Solutions held an all-virtual conference, ProLink Technology Live 2021. The conference featured a number of guest speakers from all areas of the affordable housing industry and was split into two separate tracks, one for ProLinkHFA (multi-family) and one for ProLink+ (single-family). If you participated in the event, you can use this link to access the Attendee Hub for up to 90 days after the end of the event.

Keynote – Washington Update

We started the conference with a special keynote from Jennifer Schwartz,  the Director of Tax and Housing Advocacy at the National Council of State and Housing Agencies (NCSHA). Jennifer provided an update on Washington, and also touched up on a variety of topics including:

  • Using the Housing Credit to finance housing for extremely low-income households
  • Preserving housing credit properties
  • HUD programs and the Home Investments Partnership Program

8823 Compliance Panel

Kelly Encinias, the Customer Adoption Manager at ProLink, was joined by several speakers for a panel discussion on 8823 compliance and asked a number of questions, including:

  • Are there financial implications for agencies if a property fails to meet compliance?
  • What are some challenges that have been reported with maintaining compliance from property managers to HFAs?
  • Has compliance gotten more complicated over the years?

During this panel, Josh Brown, the Director of Strategic Initiatives at E&A Team, addressed various challenges that are inherent in compliance and affordable housing programs. “Generally, the nature of program compliance is that it continues to increase in complexity, and it’s constantly evolving. Programs will also compete and conflict with each other, adding to that complexity”.

ProLink+ What’s New and HAF Lessons Learned Panel

Bri Kreuter, the Executive Vice President at ProLink, was joined by several panelists to discuss the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) and lessons learned during the implementation of their HAF programs in Tennessee and Arkansas. Ro Arrington of Arkansas Development Finance Authority spoke passionately on the subject: “Let’s talk about people that are losing sleep at night because they are worried about losing their homes. And I’m fool enough to think that what we are doing here makes a big, big difference. And if we don’t have a sense of urgency, think about what one day, one week, and one month means for the people who we’re trying to get the money out.”

What to Expect from ProLink in the Coming Year

In 2022, ProLink plans to host a brand-new webinar series beginning in January. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest news from ProLink as well as news about the affordable housing industry.