As a regular feature our blog will include guest posts from different departments around Administrate including Account Management, Business Development, Customer Support, Development, Executives, and Account Executives, so you can get a real insight into how we work as a company.
When I made the move from a multi-national organisation to my first startup, a colleague with startup experience gave me some advice, “Startups pull you from pillar to post, make sure you’re as adaptable as humanly possible”. Having been in a relatively stable environment, I took his advice with a pinch of salt. I’ve been an Account Manager for Administrate for a little over 2 months now and I can appreciate what he meant.
The world of startups is extremely exciting, fast paced, and as I was warned, can change very quickly. Although this change can be slightly frustrating, it is amazing to see a product and a team evolve so quickly. What’s important is that my values and the core values of our company have not changed at all. It is these values that can make or break a company, especially a startup.
With a lot of new companies growth is welcomed, but with it comes a responsibility to hire the right people, provide the right training, and put them on a realistic development path. With such a small Customer Success team when I arrived, it’s amazing to see the focus and growth that has been put into the team in such a short time period.
So, how do we deliver excellent customer service? It starts with transparency within the team. Once we are all aware of each other’s roles it makes it easier to delegate customer issues so we can solve them as quickly as possible and keep our customers being successful. This honesty and transparency lets us share our workloads more effectively, reduces stress, and keep everyone motivated within the team. At the end of the day, if our team isn’t happy, how can we expect our customers to feel happy too? However, there will always be frustrations, but sharing these between the team is never a negative, as it's better to get it out in the open and let everyone help each other.
So once you have your team working for each other, how can we get a better understanding of our own roles and what is expected of us? We clearly defined what each person’s job role was and what was expected of him or her, and then shared it internally with our entire team. This has two benefits:
- Everyone can check to see what is expected of each particular role.
- It makes for a smoother on-boarding process when new staff are hired.
Now we have a successful, hungry team, and we want to make our customers successful. Having noted our customers’ issues and problems, we recognised their main frustrations were with implementation. New software is great, but many customers need to be guided in setting it up to the needs of their training company or training department. We decided that a team dedicated to this task was necessary to get our customers using the software successfully as quickly as possible. We also hired an Implementations Director so they could take some of the burden off the current Customer Success team.
Once our customers are successfully implemented, we want them to grow. They are then passed back to one of our Account Managers who can show them aspects of the software they may not know how to use as effectively as possible including Marketing and our Sales Opportunity system. Now we have dedicated Account Managers, they can listen to the customers' needs and advise them on how to get the best out of our software. Our software has many different strings to its bow and being able to analyse a customer’s journey and then point out areas that will help them is of the utmost importance.
So now we have 3 key elements within our department to grow customer success;
- Implementations to get them off the ground.
- Account Managers to help them grow.
- And of course our excellent Customer Support team to deal with any technical questions.
Adaptability has never felt so rewarding!