The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

86. Hiring for Soft Skills, Training for Tech Skills w/ Richard Myers


When your tech-oriented customer base is growing faster than you can hire your customer support staff, you have a big CX problem.


Obviously, the solution is to create an internal training program from scratch, right?


In this episode, I interview Richard Myers, Vice President of Customer Support & Success at Linode, about developing his CS training team.


What we talked about:


- The integral part that CS plays in customer experience


- Ricks’ decision to create a internal training program from scratch


- The 72-day onboarding process for new hires


- How Linode’s core values equip CS to problem solve for customers


Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:


- Rick’s post on “Why You Need a Support Training Team


- Rick’s shoutout to Steve Clemens


- B&H Photo Video is a place doing customer experience excellently


Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or Google Podcasts, and find more episodes on our blog.

If it's right for the customer, if it's right for the team and if it's right for the company, do it. You don't need to ask questions. You're perfectly empowered and able to do that thing. The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. The good news. Your customer base is growing fast, faster than you're hiring into your customer support team. Then not so good news. All of these new customers still need some support, and self service support options aren't much, slowing down the ticket queue. Plus, your customers are highly technical, so hiring and ramping people to support them can be a challenge. And one of your competitors is Amazon, so the entire customer experience must be excellent. Today's guest face this problem and he's here to share with us his solution. He spent nearly a decade with Lenode, the largest independent open cloud provider. They make cloud computing simple, affordable and accessible to everyone, to help foster innovation and to help people build cool stuff. My favorite thing about is ten you're with, lennode, is that he spent it in six different roles, progressing from a frontline customer support specialist to currently Vice President of customer support and customer success. Rick Myers, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thanks you. Thanks for having me. This is really exciting. Yeah, I'm really excited to get into your story before we do it. We're recording this in midmay. It's not going to release until some time in the summer. But I'm in Colorado, you're in Philadelphia. What's the situation there with regard to the coronavirus pandemic? How's it affecting you or your team or your customers? Just kind of give me a quick pass on what's going on for you. Sure we were already partially remote, so from a workplace perspective and from a remote working from home perspective, that hasn't been too much of a change for us. We just kind of transitioned into complete work from home. There's been challenges around that, I think mostly kind of the socially or just not being able to see people, and that's happening in your personal life as well, so it's it's even harder. What you wouldn't get from working in the office you would usually get with your friends, with your family, and you're not getting that either. So I think it's tough, but I think that there's a lot of positivity coming out of it to in terms of making sure that your colleagues, your friends, your family are doing well and kind of checking in on people a little bit more often and making more of an effort, which has been nice for our customers. It kind of runs the gambut. Some people are seem kind of a boost and what they need, because we provide infrastructure for people. Some people need some more infrastructure and some people are getting it hard. So kind of depends on on what you're doing. Overall. It's just very weird. It's very strange and I think the easiest or the most healthy thing, at least for me, it's just to take the one day at a time and try to stay off news or or moon the amount of news that you're you're watching really, really good call. Thank you for sharing that and I agree tapped to bottom with it. We just did a survey of our team members at bombomb and it's like seventy eight percent of people gave it the most favorable rating, like they love working from home, but that in the verbatim feedback. The themes are exactly what you talked about, but I had not thought about you know, we all miss our team members. We miss the spontaneous conversations, the kind of in the hallway stuff or like the you know, conversations you didn't plan in your day that just make it either more fun or you get a new insight or these kinds of things that we all miss. I had not thought about the complicating factor of less exposure, of course, to other people who could potentially fill that need for you and... you are customers are of all kinds and they're all affected differently. Some of them are doing better than before, some are doing worse than before, and so, anyway, thank you for sharing that. What when I say customer experience to you, rake, what comes to mind? What do you think about when you think about customer experience? I think that's a really good question and it's almost indefinable. But when something's indefinable, I think think that sometimes it helps to frame that it's like a feeling and I think that that kind of sums it up. Your customer experience is kind of feeling that customers have when they're interacting with you or when they're just thinking about you or considering you. I think that experience and their feeling comes down generally to how easy or or pleasant it is to deal with your company, and easy and effort are kind of the same thing to me. So one thing that we focus on a lot at Linar is is customer effort. We measure customer effort. That's that's how we measure our interactions with our customer Bas and makes a lot of sense to us. People are more likely to have a good experience and and be more likely to want to reach out and become promoters if, when they have a problem or they need something or they need to find something, it's easy for them. That effort is very low and I think that the one of the other neat parts about measuring effort or ease is that it's it works everywhere in the customer life cycle, from Presales to purchasing to onboarding, using the product, getting support. There's there's things you can do in every part of that that help lower customer effort and create more effortless experiences. So when I think about customer experience, it's it's really about how easy it is to use or consume your product or your support, where your your companies, your company's offered is love. It at the two layers. They're they're super super critical and they've both been themes. It's why I always like asking people from different disciplines the same question. Is a frictionless or ease and then the feeling like that, the experience itself leaves you with a feeling and that is the foundation for all the things that happen from there. Do I how do I think about it? What decision? Do I repurchase? Do I renew? Do I expand? Do I refer in all those other things? That all starts with the feeling that you leave people with. So one observation there. Talk about measuring effort. How do you measure effort? Yeah, we use customer effort score, which is sort of a competitor or sometimes a use sidebyside with MPs ors t sat just as a measure of just another customer satisfaction metrics. So the way that we do that with customer effort is just surveying customers after an interaction and literally asking the question, how, how easy was it to solve your problem? And I think the problem with every customer satisfaction methodology is the question. So some of them better than others, some of them better than others just in design, like MPs, asking whether or not you prefer a friend or a colleague to use the service, or a customer effort, asking how easy it really depends on someone literally answering that question, as opposed to the maybe the default feeling where I just want to answer how happy I am right now. So it's really important that that actual question gets answered to be able to measure it. And when you dig into the comments and when you dig into the ticket that it came from, the phone call that I came from, you can kind of get and you can kind of get a feeling of like, okay, this was really answering a question of effort, or maybe it was just more like I'm upset or angry or what have you, something that may or may not be within your control. But yeah, surveying through tickets that are closed. We also, side by side,...

...measure ce sat and we do that. We do that for a different reason. We use that for each update in a ticket so we can identify issues early in a conversation and kind of intervene and write the ship before the TI tickets closed or the phone call gets answered or what have you. What, in your opinion or experience, what is the relationship between CX AND CS? I think that CST has a big responsibility ensuring that you're having an appropriate customer experience. There's a lot of it that's within our control. It's how you talk to customers, how you solve problems, how easy it is to solve problems, how quick you answer a customers phone call and stuff like that. But there's a huge chunk of it which is just in taking information that's a customer support team may not have control over collecting feedback, holding it in the right place, getting it to the right people and then closing the feedback loop afterwards to so it's it's kind of unique the responsibility cus has over sex because there isn't chump that we can take care of. But being the team or one of several teams that talk to customers, there's a much bigger responsibility to customer experience, to just being the liaison between the customer and the teams. That can change the experience. Yeah, really good, those last two steps. They're getting the information to the right people and closing that feedback loop. Is Really we're so much value could be, I guess, retained rather than just like to wash out of the organization because we're all collecting this information, but the collection is not surely as useful as as doing something with it. As really good for folks who aren't familiar, before we go farther, just give me a quick take on Leno. You know, who are your customers generally and in what do you do for them? What do you solve for them? Yeah, leto is cloud computing companies. So we provide infrastructure. Our customers kind of run the gamut. We give you the primitives to build things on, and what our customers do with it is everything from just running a web side or running a mail server or a game server all the way up to being the complete infrastructure, back ends and front and to a very large web application or or a clients or something else. So it really does run the gamment from the smallest to the biggest. Thing. We like to think of ourselves as kind of like the utility company. So we give you the components and then you can build whatever you want. We add a layer on top of that. Yes, several layers on top of that, but one of those is a support team that will help you build those things, help you solve problems while you're you're designing and building things and kind of just be in an open ear at least, or a problem solver at best, for providing guidance and solutions while you're scaling. Really good. And that tea's up the problem solution scenario, the kind of the story we want to tell here, and then extracts some takeaways from it. So you have technical customers. Sometimes you go beyond and we do the same thing with with the way we support our customers. Sometimes we're solving problems that are not related at all to our own software, our own offering, but it's somewhere in that, in that zone between you know the problem that they have or the goal they want to solve and you know if they're on the phone with us, we're going to help them get there. So anyway you need some technical folks. I laid out the situation in the introduction, but briefly describe it in your own words, like what was the challenge that you were facing when you went down this road of developing an internal training program yeah, the the first steps that we took were to solve sort of a different problem that we ended up solving, but we ended up solving more than just that problem, which was just that we didn't have enough people to answer all of our customers inquiries.

So we were in a small town in New Jersey and the type of customers that we have, the questions that learn themselves to those types of customers are super technical, very specific. Sometimes it's not uncommon for a support specialist at Luna to receive a particular phone call or about something that they never even heard of before. But, like you said, we do set really great expectations that we don't solve every problem for you. Right, we're not your developer, your systems administrator, but we're at least going to push in the right direction and gave you something, a jumping off point to get there. So you have to have a really great technical skills to be able to at least know what people are talking about or at least in what direction they're going. And then also you have to have all the great support and service skills. You have to be a people person, you have to be in path, and sometimes those things don't match up with everyone. There's a kind of left brain right brain things and not everyone has both of those. So as we were kind of getting under water with our weight times, something had to change. And when we thought about those two very general skill sets, the technical part and the support part, we thought, well, one of those things is far more easily taught than the other, and that's the technical piece. So if our hypothesis this was that if we can get people who have great customer support experience, have great customers service experience and have an aptitude towards the technical side of things, well maybe we can invest in an internal training program to get them up to speed. There we don't have to worry about the other thing that's way harder to teach, and we can increase the pipeline so much, the amount of people who are coming in, that we have all these candidates and we be able to hire more people and get back to the time to first response that our customers come to expect and we want to deliver, and that's what we're doing. The results of the which have been astounding they've been better than than we thought it would be. To be honest, I really like this divide, like you realize, and I've encountered this many times. It hired a lot of different roles over throughout my career and you know, there's always this tradeoff you have to make, typically with the latter roles, especially, you know, early on when you need someone that is a little bit more general, and so you're going to say, like about this person needs to be able to design and develop which skill and my kind of favor in the scenario. And so for you it's the you know, it's all the natural cs stuff, problem solving, empathy, the a passion for helping people, etc. And then, of course, the steep set of technical skills. So I love that you just walked it down, got honest with yourselves and said we're going to favor this side and teach the other side. So take it from there. Like how far away from technical skills were some of these folks and what were what were some of the first steps to helping bridge that divide so that they could listen, talk back, ask good follow up questions and in still, this is a really interesting part of the CX feeling, in my opinion, is people feeling confident that you are the right solution for them. Obviously it's in already established. You know, your team is the frontline team there, someone that the customer directly interacts with, and so you want to leave them with this feeling of confidence as well. And so talk about what it takes to get kind of the raw material you were getting, favoring the the CS skills or the or the people skills or the empathic skills. How did you get them technically adept? Yeah, the first thing that we set out to do is to create a curriculum of what we needed to teach people, which that feels like a really easy task when you set out to do it and quickly becomes the most intimidating thing...

...that you've ever that you've ever tried to do because of the just the vast wide subject matter that you have to cover. You don't think about that because when you have the pre pre requisite knowledge, then that lends itself to figuring out sort of the more obscure or or specific things. But we weren't even starting with that level of knowledge, so we had to go even we had to go layers backwards to be able to teach the things that we thought you had to know. There was no basis, there was no foundation for for our curriculum. So we dune back. We created a curriculum that was it's still evolving today, but we surrounded all around our set of court values that we've had for a long time, which did something a little bit special in that it empowered our frontline support agents and not have to know everything, but it empowered them to be able to know where their resources were and to ask questions and to split problems. So we knew exactly what we were looking for. It's it's because we had to kind of go a couple layers back. We started not with the most technical thing, but but really how to dig, dive all the way down and then kind of build back up to get to a solution. That's still still evolving today. We're still finding holes and opportunities for education and continuing education. The cool thing about creating a curriculums that it's it also rended itself to creating modules. So you can kind of take a module and say we're talking about web servers today and you can just teach that Web server module that day. But that also means that you can pluck that out of the onboarding curriculum. Are Sixweek training and you can run everyone on the support team through that module again as a continued education class, because we've identified that, for example, our ticket categories are tickets that have been categorized as web server questions have a very low sea sat score. So we know that those aren't there's opportunity. There's a little seecests for that. There's high time to first response or it takes a lot of updates for us to resolve the ticket. So that that was an unforeseen advantage that we had by kind of doing it that way. Your other question was really interesting. The type of people that we started getting and we've had. What we have ended up getting our a lot of career changers. So we have social workers, we have chefs, we've had rooferst we've had equestrians, all kinds of people, but their common thread is that they have had a customer facing experience in one way or another. We've assessed that they can talk to people and they have that piece, but maybe when they got done their job roofing or social working, whatever it was, those are the people who are going home and they were fiddling around to computer year, they were messing with servers, they were messing with Linux. They were obviousts and maybe they're obvious for a very long time and we could interview to be like to get to the point where, like, okay, this person has the baseline. Let's accelerate them up to where they can answer our our customers problems. And that group of people have have made our team so much better than what we could have imagined just hiring technical people with some customer service background. So many group follow up questions for you that I'm excited about and I'll just say them so that we don't forget and maybe maybe we hit them all, maybe we don't want I'm curious about your core values to I would love to know kind of the shape or the depth of the curriculum at this point. I assume you've been you've been undertaking this for a couple of years now, and so you know what are...

...the prerecks and how it like? Is it a in my mind it's is fully developed curriculum. And then the third the third category I'm interested in is kind of where you just are there. I mean you have this diversity of background experience, I would assume, diversity of age perhaps, and maybe the values and benefits of bringing all those people into one team and how many, maybe unexpected, positive consequences came from that. So can you quick pass on your company core values? Sure is so. Our core values are sort of a mix and between a mission and vision statement and also the how behind the behaviors that exhibit that mission and vision and values. So they run everywhere from we come to the work being better than we were the day before and that we create the environment we want to work in, all the way to very specific things like we read a ticket fully and understand it before we answer it, where that we answer every individual question in a ticket, or that we admit our mistakes and we are honest with our customers and tell them we might not have an answer. I think that goes back to what we were talking about a minute ago, about setting expectations and also our scope of support, which it sounds like we're both familiar with customers who reach beyond our scope of support, how to deal with that and how to tell a customer I am one hundred percent here to start you off and to lead you in the right direction, but we're not the people who are going to be able to answer that question for you, but but here's how they get started. So our our core values, we really do live and die by them. We say we hire and fire by them. They they are kind of the lifeblood of what we do. But the core purpose of them is, with such a big team and with the wide variety of issues that we face, is you should be able to look at a problem, whether it's a customer problem, whether it's an eternal problem, whether it's a problem procedure of policy, and you should be able to say, I don't know where to go with this, and then look over our core values and they will guide you to exactly what you're supposed to do. So one of the most valuable ones that we have, that we that we talked about all the time, came from came from my time at Apple, which is if it's right for the customer, if it's right for the team and if it's right for the company, do it. You don't need to ask questions. You're perfectly empowered and able to do that thing if it hits all three of those items, so that they really are the kind of our guiding light and drilling them in and remembering them and thinking about them has been one of the most important things when the most important tools we've had to be able to scale. I like that alignment in particular of customer, Team Company. It's like a no brainer, like don't go do it so good. Give me a pass on kind of how this curriculum shaped up and I'll just tee it up a little bit more. I'm going to assume that this is above and beyond the on boarding itself. And how are you delivering it? How much of it is? You know, these are maybe on an internal website, or these are training videos or these are in person sessions and we do them once a month. They're like how are you teaching? The material and houses material kind of stacked up for folks that maybe want to start imagining in a more practical sense how they might do something similar. So are our training starts? Right now we are doing a training class at the on the first Monday of every every other month. So our training class take six weeks. Internally, it's all in person. Eight hundred and twenty five. It consists of videos, it consists of presentations, it consists of pretests, post test examinations to make sure that people are understanding and retaining the data. A lot of practical stuff. So we're talking about...

...web servers. It's one thing to understand how web servers work. It's another it's a build your own from scratch and to have it up and running and for it to break and for you to have to fix it. So big shout out to our our training team, who really, really deeply believe in practical training and now I do to. So it's six weeks. We learn everything from the technical stuff to our core values, to how we interact with customers to more basic things like, you know, what does the marketing department do and who's in finance and how does product communicate with customer success and a lot of the inner workings of Lennode as well as the support team at the node. It goes six weeks and then we move on to a mentorship. So we have a number of we have training specialists who are full time trainers and then we have training experts who are part time trainers and they meant for our trainees for usually around stix or eight weeks. Over John Boarding time right now, from the day you start until the day you're on boarded, is about seventy two days and on boarding. What we expect is that they could take a schedule by himself. Since we're twenty seven, we have a rolling schedule of people starting and coming off the schedule every hour. You should be able to take a schedule, take a shift by yourself and and have very minimal need for not for asking questions or not understanding you something or not relying or peers, but really not knowing, like I don't know how to do this. You know, I don't know how to do this thing. I don't know how to find this resource or what have you. Really good. I love that. I love the full scope of the organization as an element of it because that's consistent with the is this good for my team? Is this? You obviously know if it's good for the customer, but like, is this good for the company and or the resourcefulness required to if it's, yes, yes, yes, go act on that. You know that. Just a fuller scope obviously helps people be able to do that. I guess the last kind of practical question here. You mentioned a couple full time trainers, a couple parttime trainers. How many people are devoted specifically to this training program and how did you find those folks? Did you hire educators or were these already lennot employees who had an aptitude for this? Like, how did you what is what is just the training organization, sub organization look like, and how did you build it? Yeah, so one of the things that I am most proud of our team for doing. Since since Lena started, we've had any commitment to internal promotion. So in the support team specifically, we actually make very few outside hires. Almost everyone has come in as a support specialist and then grown into another role. A lot of those people have grown into other roles outside of the support organization, into other roles such as product development or marketing, documentation, all kinds of stuff, and and that's something that we're super committed to. That's true within the department as well. All of our trainers, we have a training team lead and we have three full time trainers and I think we have six training experts. All of those people started this support specialists and have grown into that role. Some of them have backgrounds and education or training. Our Training Team lead was a trainer at Apple. A lot of our a lot of our team came from Apple. We take home a lot of we take a lot of liberty and taking things from from Apple. They because they do customer support so well, obviously, but all of our trainers were in the support organization. They went through the training program they experienced training themselves, found opportunities and then into time, as they developed those competencies for training and education, they were promoted into training roles. Really good. I guess the last element that that I would like to double back on is again you're hiring people from a wide variety of backgrounds based...

...on the core set of skills that you want to see and then, obviously, using this the core foundation, I'm sure these trainers are continuing to build modules and update modules in those types of things. Talk about the benefits of getting people from a variety of backgrounds. I mean I would assume that there are some. You know, it's probably a little bit more fun, a little bit more interesting and there's probably some benefits to the rest of the team. When we started this training program we were looking to get more people, but what we ended up getting were people from by backgrounds and and careers that we would have never considered before. The diversity of backgrounds and diversity of thought has manifest is manifested itself in by far the best team we've ever had, because there's no one needs to explain why these things are good. But when you see it in action and and you see that someone came from a career where they did something tangentally similar but they had kind of a different take on it because of that industry year, because of that their needs or what have you, that you would have never even considered, and they can come in and and and have those conversations and and impart those experiences on us, where we're so much greater than the some of our parts now, because we're not all the same. We don't all have you didn't all come up doing Sass so support or what have you. We didn't expect that. We didn't necessarily shoot for that to happen. We knew that we would get a more diverse, candid a pool, but the effects of those things just can't be can't be described. It's unbelievably beneficial for us to have this, this really unique support to you, but I don't think a lot of other support teams look like that. Yeah, it's good. Ours, ours is not. We have a diverse set in like you, there's so much kinship here. And so for folks who are listening, if you know someone who fits some of these softer side skills, the human skills, and they're out of work right now, and there are a lot of people out of work, there are a lot of Sass companies that are successful even in this environment, that are growing and you know, while your program is absolutely unique, I know that there are opportunities for people that listeners may know to engage in a company that may not be as good at it as you all are, it may not be as formal or well developed, but people are looking for good people and I think good hiring managers, good managers and effective business builders recognize what they can train and what really needs to be inherent in the person from the get go. And so there might be opportunities for you or people you know, if you're listening to this, that were maybe unexpected before, and I don't want that to be a missed opportunity. Like you, we have hired out of Apple. I'm thinking of a couple employees at bombomb that we hired out of apple and they do they have great onboarding and training and so you know you're getting a you know, just some really good habits that are built. Another place we've hired well out of in support and elsewhere is starbucks. Starbucks is very, very formal and highly repetitive, and so some of these customer service skills are good. There's a there's a company out here all over the West called Dutch Bros Coffee. I had a couple of their VP's on the show several months back and they same thing. They have a very aggressive program of building into people. Right, not hiring this role or managing this role, but building into people, and so there are a lot of opportunities out there and I really appreciate what you're doing with with your team. I'm glad to hear that, hey, you were able to overcome the problem that you were facing immediately and be that it provided so much growth and benefit. I also love you answered several questions that I had just kind of in passing it. You know, I just think it's really cool that you've been in six different roles and obviously you spoke to that, not necessarily as an explicit core...

...value but as a definitely a deep natural way of operating within lenode is. Like we want to do internal growth and you're obviously a great example of that. I was also going to ask about being a MAC genius and sounds like you've got several of them a house. So before we move on a little bit, is there anything else you want to share about that program anything I missed, anything I failed to ask or or something really interesting that you learned or surprising that you learn that you think might be helpful for folks, whether they're in CS or sales or marketing or elsewhere. Yeah, I think the only other thing to to touch on is I think this needs to be a commitment through the through your department. Beyond onboarding and training and continuing education, I think there's a lot of value in creating levels and what we call expert roles. So we have a number of expert roles. The Support Team actually consists of support, trust and safety, community quality control, training and customer success, and all of those have full time roles, but they also all have expert roles where you can do that part time in addition to your support work and you can move into full time roles as well. We also have levels, so there's support level ones, two, three four, there's senior support level one to there's customer support managers, I know you have to grow to be able to justify that number of roles vertically, but I think there's a lot of opportunity to do this horizontally as well, with part time expert roles. Giving people exposure to other parts of the business, whether or not it's in your department, is another great avenue for growing people, which we know is good for the company as well as the individuals. So the training organization, if you have one or if you're considering building what one there is as the launch point. It was onboarding, but there's a so much more you can do afterwards to to kind of continue to facilitate that growth vertically horizontally in the apartment, outside of the department, and contribute to the company as a whole. Really good. I mean I thought about several things during the conversation. I love that ad there at the end and I was thinking, like it probably be beneficial for a salesperson to go through some of these modules and these kinds of things. So I love this cross functional exposure. We've had some sea it sounds like you're doing a lot of things that came naturally to us, but you're doing them in a much more advanced and developed way and at your teams probably bigger than ours as well. This is great and in fact that that up and down, side to side, cross department training sounds like another good conversation we should have here on the show. But where we're basically kind of at times. So I so I want to let let you get back to your day and let listeners get back to their day. Besse. This is there's been tons of great information in here. If you're listening, you've enjoyed this conversation with Rick. You might also like episode thirty two of the customer experience podcast. On episode thirty two I talked to Luke Owen, who is the former director of CX at form stacking. He's currently the principal CS specialist with Sass works, and that one was called meeting customers evolving needs with a CX team, and the reason I thought of that one is that it really is kind of this, a little bit of blocking and tackling. How do we build the team? How do we structure the team? And then another one that came to mind is episode fifty one with Joe Caprio, former VP of sales at chorus dot ai and now a founder at Repris and that one was called how to enable your sales team. Practical tips for sales leaders, and there we talked a lot about sales enablement and sales readiness and you know, in talking before we had this conversation racket this, this made me think about, like see US enablement. You know, this is like a kind of a CS enablement layer, because at sales enablement is it isn't just equipping sales people with great slide decks and pdf and other things they can send out. It's really training. There's a training and development layer... it, feedback loops and building people up. That I think folks might like Joe's perspective on a similar topic, but more from a sales seat. So Rick again, thank you so much. Before I let you go, I love to give you two opportunities. The first one is to give a thinker, a mention to someone who's had a positive impact on your life or your career, and the second is to give a shout out or not, or a mention to a brand or a company that you really respect for the way they deliver for you as a customer. Yeah, I had thought about this and one person came came to minds very quickly, which was my old boss and mentor, Steve Clements, when I when I started at little, like you said, I was a support specialist and I had worked plenty of retail jobs and support jobs, but Steve was my first boss who took an interest in helping me learn sort of the business side of things. I had not had experience with sort of the the higher level, considering a lot of the the stuff that that the executive level, the sea sweet directors need to need to think about, and those kind of the first time I was exposed to any of that that stuff, and it's not something that you always get taught or you always have the opportunity to teach it. I like to think, I like to tell people, when you're kind of an entry level position, all you have to think about is the customer, right, and then if you're a CEO or on the board, all you need to think about is the bottom line. Now, this is a huge over exaggeration and that's not true, but as you move up in the organization, those kind of ratios change and he was the person who helped me even kickstart learning that side of the business, which I had never had exposure to you also a great friend, a great mentor, and I just wanted it to shout him out because he deserves it. So, yeah, awesome. How about a company that you appreciate or a brand or someone that's giving you a great experience as a customer? The most recent great I live for great customer service experiences make me so happy. I get so excited when I have one. I have to call that person's boss and tell them. It's absolutely what motivates me day. And the last one I had was with a company called being Benh. They sell autoio visual photo equipment in New York City and I had ordered a pack of photo development paper for a gift and it came on my doorstep before Christmas, on Christmas Eve, and it was soaked, so to the bone. It was. I'm sorry, was the twenty three and it was no one's faults. They just got left out in the rain and I called them and I said I really need to have this tomorrow. Is a Christmas present. No questions asked, no not no crowding on my part. They said, okay, this is how we're going to do it. They didn't make me, they didn't make me tell them what I needed they told me what I needed to do and then they went above and beyond and said we'll take care of shipping. Don't worry about it, we'll send you another box. You can send the other one back. The number one concern was me having that Christmas present in time and going back to what we talked about in the very beginning of this conversation, they made it so easy, it was completely effortless, so that that was my last great customers support interaction. It's awesome. I send people to be an h regularly when they want to learn what they want to move beyond, like their Webcam for doing videos and things. I say Amazon is a great place to get volume reviews and but when you want to get like the hardcore reviews, you go to Benh. They have a great catalog. It's organized well and I'm really happy to hear that story to things that stand out to me in particular. One is that your goal was their goal. They made their goal your goal get a Christmas gift in great shape before Christmas to the customer. So like there that that just being...

...a line there. And then the other thing was they didn't, and I see this in so many cases, not just in a support scenario, but it's like, you know, a lot of people come with this. How can I help you, versus hey, here a couple ways. I think I might be able to help write like and again, that's just removal of friction. It's so much easier. It's like are you thinking about this or that? Well, kind of this, but a little bit more, you know, like walk me down the road, like help me a little bit, instead of this wide open like how can I help you, like how can we make this good? They're like, Hey, we're going to do this. How does that sound to you, rick, and like that sounds fantastic. So good, great story. I really appreciate it. I really appreciate your time. Congratulations on your success. Lennode is obviously doing things very, very well for their customers, for your growth, but then also for the team members, for someone like you who is stuck around for years, continuing me to learn and grow, you know, be a part of initiatives like the one that we talked about at length today, and it's just awesome. So thank you for sharing that with us. If people want to follow up with you, rick or with Lennode, where would you send them? My twitter is probably best is rick at lenode. Rick at Lenode I rept website as well. Admires Don me Linkedin. You can find me on there, and Lunos atcom Atli and Ode. Awesome. I will link all that stuff up at Bombombcom podcast. I will also link a great blog post that that Rick wrote on this topic up there as well, and so on any of these episodes. If you enjoy them and you want to learn a little bit more, you want to see some video clips, you can always visit Bombombcom podcast. Thank you so much for listening and again, Rick, thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it. Clear Communication, Human Connection, higher conversion, these are just some of the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance. So pick up the official book. Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience. Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember, the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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