You might know Mark Sammons from the list of presenters at the 2017 Annual Wynne User Conference, but who is the man behind the Customer Service department? And how will he be incorporating your feedback from the customer satisfaction survey?
Mark Sammons is the Director of Customer Service and will be hosting two classes at the conference: “Customer Care Corner” and “Learn about Your Advocate, the Customer Success Manager”. He brings eighteen years of customer service experience and is excited to give all of you a sneak peek into his classes and what to expect from customer success management (CSM) going forward.
Kara Ashbeck: Mark, it’s great to talk to you today. I’m just going to ask you some questions about your vision for Customer Care in the future and one of your upcoming classes for the 2017 Annual Wynne User Conference. My first question is: What is your vision for the future of customer care?
Mark Sammons: In a nutshell, we want our system to be reliable and fix problems quickly. We’re going to move to the point where Customer Care can be considered invisible, as I like to say because we’ll be fixing problems before customers know they exist.
Then, I envision the Customer Success Managers (CSM) maturing to a place where they can work with customers as expert guides for their business challenges. A big part of my vision lies in creating more avenues for customer feedback, as that gives us more opportunities to prove that customers can rely on us. While I want Customer Care to be considered invisible, that can only happen when customers see that we listen to them, first.
We have a lot of plans for customers in the future, and I can tell you that customers can definitely expect to feel more empowered when it comes to customer care. They will have a real say in our direction.
KA: And how do your current practices and solutions incorporate that vision?
MS: My priority right now is to set a strong foundation for Customer Care.
For 2017, we’re focused on empowering our front lines so we can build upon the relationship between CSMs, Customer Care agents, and our customers. Our agents go through the tickets and address the bugs on a daily basis, and we’re getting faster and better. We’re also creating more frequent and more robust customer surveys so they can communicate to us on a greater level.
KA: So customers can expect to see more surveys in the future?
MS: Absolutely. They’ll be short and painless, yet robust enough so we can act on what they tell us. I really want to emphasize that we do listen to customers and incorporate their feedback all the time. We read every single survey response, so we encourage them to leave candid feedback and be totally open to communicating their concerns to us.
KA: What’s the next step?
MS: Once we set the foundation we’re building, we can move into the next phase of leveraging business expertise to solve real business problems. This means empowering our customers.
For 2018, we want to create a forum for customers. It’ll serve as both a knowledge base for self-help and as a venue for customers to share their ideas with us. This will be a place where someone can ask “How would I solve this?”, and be able to get an answer quickly. Ideally, it will get to the point where customers will answer each other’s questions and even vote on whether we should implement certain ideas or not.
That’s just one example of how we’re planning on empowering customers, and we have so many other plans we’d love to discuss with customers at the user conference. After that foundation is set, we’ll have a ton of time to work on the innovative and fun things that 2018 will bring.
KA: So how is progress going this year?
MS: We’re doing a great job of setting the foundation for what we’re envisioning. Our personnel for processes and training, alongside input from customers, have contributed so much to our performance quality. It shows in our data; we’re at record efficiency for processing tickets, for example.
Our Customer Care managers, Donna Krischke and Jenn Wilson, will be at the conference with me and they are AWESOME. They’re making success stories every day and are a large part of why we’ve been so effective implementing our first phase of setting the foundation of Customer Care. They get it, they’re passionate, and they’re willing to roll up their sleeves to work on the right things.
KA: They sound awesome! Now, I’d like to transition to one of your classes for the 2017 Annual Wynne User Conference. What are the main points you will be addressing in your “Customer Care Corner” class?
MS: Number one: the customer satisfaction survey results. I’d like to discuss what we’re doing to address concerns and what we’ve done over the past year to alleviate those. This is especially important to me because we plan on sending more surveys to customers, so how we go over these results will set a precedent for the future. We read through the responses and we are listening.
Secondly, I’d like to flash forward to 2018 and beyond to discuss what happens after we set the foundation. I talked about this a little already, but we want to focus on customer empowerment. So we’ll be going over creating a user forum as a knowledge base and as a hub for ideas. Customers will be able to tangibly see that they’re making a difference in how we operate, which isn’t necessarily present now.
And lastly, there will be a Q&A at the end for customers to touch base with us directly. They can talk to us during or after the class, and even grab a drink with us one-on-one. Even if it’s just to yell at me, we want to listen to customers and show them that our vision is attainable.
KA: Those are all the questions I have! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me.
MS: It was my pleasure, Kara.
If you haven’t registered for the 2017 Annual Wynne User Conference yet, you can do so here. You don’t want to miss out on Mark Sammons’s class, and we have so much more to offer at the conference. Tickets are $599 until Friday, June 2nd, for the Early Bird special.
About the Author: Karanina Ashbeck
She’d rather go by Kara, but will respond to Karanina. She is a technical writer at your favorite rental ERP software company and loves to write and play video games. She also loves to hear the sound of people laughing at her jokes, unless it is at her expense. Want to get in touch? Shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org