Implementation Specialist Job Description
When a client purchases a new hardware or software system from a company, the sales representative who sold it to them simply moves on to the next client. That’s where an Implementation Specialist comes in. Implementation Specialists use their technical knowledge to install, monitor and customize systems for clients after the initial purchase has already taken place.
Essentially, Implementation Specialists are the people who ensure that a client doesn’t just buy their company’s product, but has a positive experience with it, too. To accomplish this, they talk with clients, collect data, customize features, define objectives and provide training sessions. They typically report to higher-level member of staff, such as an Engagement Manager or Implementation Manager, while simultaneously working with a small team of other Implementation Specialists. Although they spend most of their time in an office environment, Implementation Specialists may also need to travel in order to meet with clients or install hardware.
Implementation Specialist Duties and Responsibilities
In order to ensure that each client’s system is properly adjusted and deployed, Implementation Specialists perform a wide array of tasks. We analyzed a number of online job postings to identify these core duties and responsibilities.
Once a sales representative has successfully gotten a new client on board, the Implementation Specialist is responsible for acting as the primary point of contact for that client. And, since the client should never be left hanging, it’s important that the Implementation Specialist initiates the implementation process as quickly as possible.
Assess Client Needs
Once a client’s new system is set up and ready to go, the Implementation Specialist needs to talk with the client to get a detailed picture of what the client wants, needs and desires. For example, one client might have purchased their new system in order to save time and money, while another might have purchased the same system with the primary goal of improving their cybersecurity. For this reason, it’s crucial that the Implementation Specialist identify the unique priorities of each client.
Customize the System
After identifying a client’s main goals, the Implementation Specialist will need to use that information to customize the client’s system to suit their individual needs. This typically involves tasks such as importing preexisting client data, designing custom interfaces, modifying metrics and creating custom reports.
Demonstrate and Train
When a client’s new system has been properly customized, it’s up the Implementation Specialist to demonstrate the system and its features. If the client likes what they see, the Implementation Specialist will then move forward with teaching the client how to use their new system.
Install the System
Now that the client has seen the finished product and has learned how to use it, the Implementation Specialist needs to perform the technical task of actually installing the system and all its necessary components.
Implementation Specialist Skills
Successful Implementation Specialists are detail-oriented, results-driven individuals who will do whatever it takes to meet a client’s needs. They are just as adept at solving complicated technical problems as they are at conversing with clients, and they always maintain an air of professionalism. In addition to these general skills and personality traits, employers are looking for Implementation Specialists with the following skills:
- Customer Service – Since such a large chunk of an Implementation Specialist’s time will be spent directly interacting with clients, it’s important for them to have excellent customer service skills.
- Extensive Technical Knowledge - In order to be able to meet each client’s needs and install each system correctly, Implementation Specialists need to have a great deal of technical knowledge and experience.
- Troubleshooting - During the process of setting up a new system, at least a couple things are bound to go wrong. Because of this, Implementation Specialists need to be good problem solvers.
- Interpersonal Skills - Since setting up a new system will demand the efforts of an entire team, Implementation Specialists need to be able to effectively communicate and work with that team.
- Ability to Multitask - The goal of providing good customer service is to make each client feel like they’re the only customer that matters. If an Implementation Specialist is able to multitask and juggle different projects simultaneously, they’ll be able to achieve that.
Implementation Specialist Salary
According to findings published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer User Support Specialists, which includes Implementation Specialists, make an average annual salary of $48,620 per year. The lowest ten percent earn $28,990, while the highest-paid earn as much as $81,260 or more. Implementation Specialists in the District of Columbia, Massachusetts and California enjoy the highest median salary in the United States, making $60,500, $58,900 and $57,700 per year, respectively.
Implementation Specialist Tools of the Trade
To accomplish their daily goals, Implementation Specialists make use of a variety of tools. If you’re planning on pursuing a career as an Implementation Specialist, make sure you’re familiar with the following.
SaaS - Because Software as a Service, or SaaS, is likely to be the product which the Implementation Specialist is responsible for deploying, they will need to be able to use and modify SaaS on a daily basis.
Telecommunications Systems - Whether it’s via a Skype videoconference or a traditional landline, Implementation Specialists must be able to remotely communicate with both clients and colleagues.
Recent Versions of Microsoft Office Software Suites – Microsoft Office programs such as Excel and Word are essential to the work of an Implementation Specialist.
SQL Database Management Systems - Systems such as MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft Access and MS SQL are frequently used by Implementation Specialists in the interest of accessing and maintaining SQL data.
Additional Implementation Specialist Resources
We put together this list of resources to help you continue exploring your career as an Implementation Specialist.
SaaStr – This massive library of articles touches on nearly every SaaS-related topic imaginable.
Computer Weekly – The latest news, videos, blogs, articles, reports and photos having to do with technology.
Tomasz Tunguz – Tomasz Tunguz is an investor in SaaS companies, and he writes data-driven posts about some of the biggest issues faced by SaaS startups.
CompTIA – CompTIA offers IT certification as well as events, training and conferences for IT professionals.
Association of Information Technology Professionals – The AITP provides its members with regional chapters, weekly newsletters, monthly webinars, a career center and various discounts.
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