Customer success best practices: a pro-active approach
We recently talked to Hilary Harvey, a Project Manager at Arekibo about what happens once a project such as a website has gone live and how she assists with the transition to support. Today we are talking to Jordan McGovern, Customer Success Manager at Arekibo about what customer success means and how we help clients succeed.
What does customer success mean to you?
Customer Success is different from Customer Support or Customer Services because, while reactive means an issue must occur first, Customer Success is proactive. It is about finding problems and opportunities early, so customers have a better experience, gain more value from your service, and build a lasting relationship with you. Success is training a client to understand our product or service to the fullest to create their success. You must figure out what success means to your customers and then deliver that value. It involves having full transparency with the Project Managers and Sales team to understand the client's needs, and it is crucial to know what they need to be successful.
What are the tools you use to help clients succeed?
We use Zendesk's Explore tool to track data on our client's requests to pinpoint issues where customers may need guidance or extra training. This tool also reports all analytics for the quarterly reviews with the power to build a custom dashboard to suit your own needs. Additionally, we have created custom support portals in Zendesk for our service license agreement (SLA) clients, including a personal dashboard to review their teammates' requests, create training articles and how-to video tutorials. Our time and material (T&M) clients would have access to a general queue where they can see their history of tickets.
What does your day-to-day job look like?
Each day is different, but usually, I start by reviewing tasks, checking on the of open tickets, following up on emails from clients and plan a schedule for the day by prioritizing tasks. Afterwards, I would join a project management meeting to discuss resourcing. I would then review Zendesk to see open tickets and reach out to understand the client's needs and what they are trying to achieve. I approach this by setting up a call where we breakdown the request together. I make sure that the client team members involved are being updated continuously throughout the process. Each day I work closely with the developers and PM's to help solve ongoing support issues. Every couple of weeks, I'll onboard clients, set-up video training and analyze data to create weekly reports.
What information is required for you to comfortably assume the role of supporting client issues?
The SLA requirements are essential for supporting a client, so I understand the inclusions, scope, priority response and resolution times. This document is my bible for this client's expectations from the beginning. If a client doesn't have an SLA, their request is added to a general queue where we will estimate the time required for their proposal, manage their expectations and then schedule the work to be done.
How do you empower your customers to create a culture of customer success at their businesses?
That's a very important question. There are many things we do at Arekibo to help our clients succeed. Firstly, we empower the client's success with the education and training that we provide, and the trust of knowing help is only an email or call away to assist. We support our clients by creating a training manual for them. This manual helps me to get to know their product or service inside out.
Secondly, when the client is ready, I would usually sit down with their content teams, run through the product, and make sure they have a full understanding of how to get the most out of it. The more knowledge the client has of a product, the more successful they will be using it.
Thirdly, as mentioned above, customer success is proactive. When I receive a support problem from a client, it is never my wish just to fix the issue but to first figure out what they want to achieve and see if there may be an alternative to the problem that not only fixes but improves the overall outcome. Then let the client decide what option is best for them and make sure they have a good understanding of the new process and can acknowledge how to make sure this does not occur again.
Do you encourage feedback from the clients?
Yes, absolutely. Monthly reviews and Quarterly business reviews are where we receive our feedback from client's. These reviews give our team and me a good understanding of what they like/dislike about the support and how we can improve. Communication is a crucial part of mutual growth, relationship development and leads to a tremendous client success outcome.
As a success manager, what do you like best about working at Arekibo?
I love customer success because it combines:
- Sales - using technical knowledge to upsell a request to get the best experience for the client.
- Data science - using client history through zendesk to know when to make upgrades and support websites.
- Training – educating the client from the beginning on how to master their product.
- Digital marketing – understanding marketing tools, working with clients to improve traffic and combine social media.
- Project management – scheduling, resourcing and managing small projects for clients.
I have experience in all those areas, and I genuinely enjoy them. Customer success combines all these skills with one goal: creating and capturing value for clients. Having worked with customer support for a couple of years now, I see how this proactive way of dealing with customers makes the process exciting and pleasurable. The entire focus of customer success is value.
Furthermore, working in Arekibo, one of Ireland's biggest digital platform agencies, I get to work across multiple industries, learning every day and adapting to their way of thinking. I'm super appreciative of collaborating with the talent and creative minds of my Arekibo colleagues. Some of our clients are essential businesses, and it feels good to assist them, primarily through the pressure accelerated by COVID-19. When their websites suddenly became the most valuable communication channels, Arekibo was there to support them.
We know that choosing a digital partner who will support your digital 24/7/365 is one of the most important decisions your organisation will make. Contact us to discuss your plans and meet our team.