When we heard that customer support and customer success go hand in hand at PlayVox, it got us thinking. Curious to find out more, we interviewed their Customer Success VP Joseph McFadden and got his whole team talking. Here’s how they do customer support at PlayVox.
Hello, Joseph! First things first. Tell us a little about PlayVox and your support team.
PlayVox is a quality assurance software for customer service teams. By using PlayVox you can manage all your quality operations to easily pinpoint customer service issues and take real-time action such as coaching, training and motivating agents to drive continuous improvement. It enables you to centralize, filter, and prioritize all your interactions to identify where the real problems are.
We maintain a ratio of 50 customers to each dedicated Customer Success Manager / Support Manager to address day-to-day inquiries on product use and questions. On the other hand, tier 2 level technical support is provided through dedicated support engineers.
How has customer support evolved over the years at PlayVox?
We moved from a time-focused response philosophy to an emphasis on accuracy and the quality of response. Over the long term, this approach supported efficiency and controlled the cost of support. And of course, we started creating a better customer experience with better, smarter support staff.
What’s your idea of a typical customer success manager (CSM)?
Our CSM has three core responsibilities:
1. Effectively onboard new customers and align our services with the business and operational objectives of our customers.
2. Continue to work with our customers to add value to their investment in PlayVox over time. Regular customer site analyses. Recommendations for improvements. Best practice sharing. Opportunities to add/expand the application suite.
3. Work closely with our customers to assure the highest levels of user adoption to maximize value from their investment in PlayVox.
Do you follow a standard process when training your support agents or prefer to have a flexible approach?
It’s been important from the start that we continually refine our onboarding and support services based on learnings from each deployment and customer. So, we train our teams using standardized best practices and methods. We keep reviewing our processes and tools based on our prior experience.
What do you expect to see in your customer support team?
We are at a high growth stage with a high demand solution. As a team of product experts and customer advocates, we expect the new hires to ramp up quickly with the tools we have in place. They must have the ability to support customer interests and deliver value to our customers.
Do you have ‘monthly targets’ that your team has to achieve? What does it look like?
Our monthly targets are driven by our customer monthly targets and goals. We look at:
1. One month customer site analysis and recommendations.
2. Trending goals for the number of agent quality evaluations per month conducted by a customer.
3. The minimum frequency of uploads for agent performance data on a customer site.
4. Average response time to customer inquiries.
What does your support team have to do with the product training given to your customers?
A live training session is offered as an option and is generally required one time initially with Platform Administrators only. The live training sessions with administrators are recorded and archived by customers for reference. The course content is focused on initial configuration tools for user management, application configuration, and best practices. Also, a video instruction library is provided along with a complete library of online user docs.
Regarding the training of team leaders, quality analysts, and call center agents: instructional videos and user documents on the help center are sufficient to successfully train and onboard these individuals.
How does your team handle customer interactions which require interdepartmental support?
Our approach is a team-based ownership of customer support needs. Sales, Customer Success, Support, Engineering, Professional Services — there is a collective team approach to service solutions.
Do you have any specific time-bound SLAs that your support teams need to adhere to?
No limits are set on the time to close a conversation. Our highest priority is to respond first time with the right, best answer. We make sure that we have a clear understanding of the customer inquiry before responding.
Now for the star question. What’s the secret sauce to customer support at PlayVox?
Our secret sauce to customer support is our people. We have a very high emphasis on troubleshooting skills and discovery skills among our CSM / support teams. These skills allow us to assess the customer issues quickly and diagnose the problem accurately the first time. On the whole, we place a very high premium on the quality of customer interactions and rely on diagnosis accuracy to minimize the number of engagements.
How’s your PlayVox’s approach to support different from others?
We take a holistic view of support by including issue resolution and query response. However, it also includes our goals to minimize the customer questions and issues. For this purpose, we have a customer success philosophy which is a broader set of programs beyond customer support. This makes sure that our customers realize the value of our solutions right from day one.
Sounds interesting. So, how do you minimize the customer questions with your customer success philosophy?
Most of our support inquiries (95+%) are on how to use features and services with only a few inquiries (2%) which escalate as technical issues for resolution. We maintain a low record of technical issues with our three strategy approach to User Experience and Onboarding:
1. Intuitive product design
2. High-quality review process prior to each release
3. Latest support tools for users
Which tools does your team use?
– Online Help Center with documentation and instructional videos
– Recommendation engine for user documentation to satisfy customer inquiries
– Ticket management software
– Analytics on customer platform usage
– Product management tools for capturing customer enhancement requests and communicating product release cycles
– An embedded chat channel for support
How convenient is an embedded chat channel for your customers?
It is the most preferred tool of our customers as they are embedded within our platform. The chat tools offer many user support functions including help center, analytics, integration with other channels used within the PlayVox organization.
Have you faced customers who had a tough time understanding how PlayVox works? How does your team explain the product to them?
Not often since PlayVox applications are quite intuitive by nature. Even if it comes to explaining, most inquiries are resolved with one direct explanation for how to use a feature or how a feature works. That’s why we focus on first contact resolution (FCR) as one of the key metrics for our support team. It helps us strive towards quick yet accurate responses. It helps us win back unhappy customers.
Tell us about one such instance where you won back an unhappy customer.
There was a time when a large account had particular needs on how to handle employee designations on our platform. We reviewed the requirements as a team and compiled a set of work around options based on their business requirements. We provided a direct, open set of enhancement options to the customer which made them happy.
You mentioned that FCR is a key metric for your support team. What measures do you have in place to improve this metric periodically?
We have an ongoing training for support teams on product and best practices. We also evaluate the quality of customer interactions regularly.
What’s the biggest challenge your team has faced in PlayVox?
Our biggest challenge and one that we are great at achieving are to understand our customer’s operational needs and work with them to configure our services so that they get the most out of our solutions. Once we clearly understand our customer’s operational needs, configuring and implementing our solution becomes a lot easier.
If you want to change one thing about your current customer support model, what would it be?
Improved AI around chat and user documentation recommendations.
How did you identify that this is something that needs to be changed?
The analytics of our chatbot responses indicated that a high percentage of recommendations for user documentation did not satisfy the customer question or inquiry. As we looked further into the details it was determined that our keyword search criteria were not precise enough for higher positive response rates.
What’s the best part about PlayVox? How has it made your customer success better?
Customers tell us that PlayVox has transformed their quality review practices with an immediate direct impact on the quality of customer interactions and the customer experience. Our tools address highest priority agent deficits to improve the quality of responses to customers.
The fun finale question. If you could live in any fictional universe, where would you go?
Now that the interview is over, let’s top it off with a customer support quote from PlayVox team.
“The best thing about the support and customer success at PlayVox is the commitment to offering the best customer service possible. We support customer success by offering help efficiently and in a friendly manner. Resolving the customers’ issue is our priority. We support our customers throughout the entire onboarding process, until they master the platform, and get the best out of it. Our main goal is to enable our customers to succeed in reaching their own goals through the utilization of PlayVox. Customer satisfaction is our obsession and top priority.”
– Juan Manuel, Customer Success Manager
We started the Secret Sauce series to find out more about what makes the customer service of some great companies click. We get in touch with one awesome support rep and pick their brains. We find out all about their support process, what inspires them to go above and beyond the call of duty to make their customers happy. If you know of a customer support rep you’d like to see featured here, drop us a line in the comments or shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org