When a customer is onboarded with customer service platform Edify, Client Manager Andrew Larty doesn’t position himself as a customer success manager. Instead, he thinks of himself as an extension of his customer’s team. His mission? To make contact center agents’ jobs easier with Edify’s omnichannel software so they can better streamline communication with callers.
By researching a client company, understanding their pain points and collaborating on goals, Larty said he’s able to get them the most out of any partnership.
When COVID-19 hit, however, relationships were tested. Put simply: Contact centers were underwater.
During the initial outbreak, many people were experiencing unprecedented wait times when attempting to contact customer support for flight changes, credit card questions, unemployment filings and more. Not only were contact centers dealing with increased call volume, they were also experiencing limited staffing due to social distancing measures.
As contact centers struggled with the uptick in business, Larty encouraged his team to first check in on their customers regarding their mental health. From there, they allocated resources toward clients transitioning to remote work and dealing with change management.
More than ever, fostering a human connection is crucial. Not every call with customers has to be an upsell; sometimes a simple check-in shows a customer you care. It can also convince them to renew a partnership.
“Customers typically don’t churn just because a product didn’t do X or Y. Customers churn because you’ve failed to build a relationship with the people in them,” Larty said.
What steps are you taking right now to help reduce churn in your accounts, in light of what’s happening with the coronavirus?
At Edify, we’ve taken this opportunity to show our customers how much we truly care about them and appreciate their business. We understand that our customers are having to react to the situation created by the coronavirus in ways that are totally unprecedented, which is creating a lot of undue stress. A great example of this is the sudden mobilization of entire contact centers to a work-from-home model. This sudden shift is not an easy feat for businesses that weren’t prepared to be set up this way.
Our technology is built to deliver this crucial flexibility and fully enable enterprises to send their entire workforce home without disruption. As a result, we are dedicating all available resources to make that transition for companies as seamless as possible. Whether it’s assigning a project manager to help a customer with coordinating the details of the work-from-home transition or creating change management collateral to help agents organize their new workspace, we’re supporting our customers in any way we can.
How have you adapted your customer success strategy in recent weeks, and what impact has that had on your conversations with clients?
As Edify, employees were asked to work from home early on. We’ve really encouraged our customer-facing teams to not only over-communicate with their customers, but also to also be mindful of their messaging. We’ve asked our customer success teams to touch base with customers to discuss the health of their accounts and to see what new features are on the horizon. CSMs also check in on customers to see how they are doing as humans. We all quickly realized that working remotely can be both isolating and stressful, and any genuine human contact is a welcome change from the ‘new normal’ right now.
CSMs also check in on customers to see how they are doing as humans.”
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned when it comes to reducing churn? Why has this lesson been so important to you?
Customers typically don’t churn just because a product didn’t do X or Y. Customers churn because you’ve failed to build a relationship with the people in them. In the past, I can remember struggling to truly comprehend a customer’s business and the exact problems they were trying to solve. This was an important lesson because it revealed that customers can have a pretty high pain tolerance and they aren’t leaving because of the ticket they submitted to support six months ago. They’re ultimately leaving because we didn’t do a good enough job of understanding why they do business in the first place. There is an opportunity every time we onboard a client to position ourselves as an extension of their own team and endeavor to really understand their goals and our role in helping them win.