In our last installment of “A Spotlight on Customer Experience”, we heard from Jason in client services. At Dyn, we have a handful of different departments under the Customer Experience umbrella, so today we move to the Customer Success team to speak with Dave Mandell.
Kelly: How long have you worked at Dyn and what position do you hold?
Dave: I’ve worked at Dyn for 3.5 years. I’m currently the Customer Success Manager, but I originally started as a sales rep. Interestingly, I started here at Dyn because Jeremy and the rest of the senior leadership team would frequently have lunch at the restaurant that I worked at. I was pretty familiar with Dyn and a friend of mine started working here so I eventually got an interview myself.
Kelly: What made you make the move from sales to customer experience?
Dave: When I was in sales, I realized that the part of the job that I most enjoyed was building trust and relationships with my customers and I wanted to expand upon that. I excelled when there were issues that I could address.
We eventually got a director of Customer Success, so I started asking questions and there you have it. Here I am.
Kelly: What was your favorite experience working with a customer as a sales rep?
Dave: Every time that a non-business conversation happened during a call. It’s great to be reminded that these people that we’re selling to are all people. Yes, they’re going to help out our bottom line, but the best part of the business relationship is making the connection that we’re all people at the end of the day.
I loved the 30-minute calls with 15 minutes of business talk and then the rest a personal conversation. Some highlights were talking with a boxer who was trying to manage his kid’s gymnastics team or discussing extreme weather and tornadoes with a guy who lives in South Dakota. He was If I feel like I know them personally, it gives me that extra push to go above and beyond to help them out with their issues. By issues, I mean their Internet needs where we (Dyn) truly help people/companies with their Internet Performance needs.
Kelly: How have you been able to connect with customers as a Customer Success Manager?
Dave: On the Customer Success team, we’re behind the scenes a lot and one particular area is with Net Promoter Scores (NPS). When we get the scores back, I reach out, melding my technical background and customer focus for quicker resolutions. For low score detractors, I get to offer them help by pointing them in the right direction of who they can talk to to fix what’s going on.
One guy gave us a 10 (perfect score) and his comment was that he loved us and wanted swag. When I called him the first thing I said after I introduced myself was “What size shirt are you?” It was a great way to break the ice and then we got to talk about why he likes Dyn (as well as swag).
Kelly: What is a successful day on the Customer Success team?
Dave: Move forward with one item, make a difference with one person, and get that family time in.
Kelly: So work-life balance is a big thing?
Dave: Yes, and Dyn’s great at understanding that. From everything from unlimited PTO to understanding that if Willow (4yrs old) has a dentist appointment and I need to be there, I can take the time because they have enough faith in me that I’ll get my job done. You can’t put a dollar amount on that. It’s really helpful that I can just work from home if my wife is sick.
It also gives me great perspective on our customers. I understand that a person can be having a bad day. I’m pretty good at hearing it over the phone. If someone’s very short in conversation, maybe they don’t want to talk to me right now. And if they’re concerned, they can tell me. That’s fine. They appreciate me acknowledging and trying to make the day a little bit easier (even if that means not bothering them).
Kelly: So what do you do when you’re not at Dyn?
Dave: Of course, family. Willow is our oldest at 4 years; Tessa is 1.5; and Alyssa, my wife, is funny, smart, and beyond beautiful inside and out. We all like dancing, cooking and playing outside. Also, when the kids are “challenging”, I do pushups instead of yelling. It’s very healthy for me and the kiddos.
I am also a semi-professional chef who enjoys making his own beef jerky. I am a part-time wedding officiant (weddings #21 and #22 coming up). Plus, I’m really into extreme weather; tsunamis, landslides, earthquakes, tornadoes, you name it. Anything I can experience on YouTube, I want to experience in real life. I’ve been through two tornadoes. Horrifyingly amazing.
Kelly: What do you think makes Dyn’s customer experience the best in the industry?
Dave: We care. We understand that our clients are people. We understand how people can be, but we’re not pushovers. We’re smart in understanding our customers and engaging with them. We do the right thing regarding Dyn’s needs as well as our customers’. When a problem arises, we figure out the details and if we missed something on our end, we want to fix it and make it right for our customers. If it’s on their end, we’ll do our due diligence and try to come up with the best solution for everyone. We want to put our customers first and by bringing world class products to our customers and our customers end users.