While everyone seems to understand the importance of the customer experience, not everyone understands how to improve it.
A number of people I’ve spoken with recently about this topic get stuck on the question of who owns it and until they can determine who should, they are unable to move forward and improve it.
The real answer is simple: everyone in the company owns part of the customer experience. Sales, marketing, engineering, operations, client services, legal, accounting…everyone. If that sounds difficult, it shouldn’t as ultimately the customer experience should be an outward reflection of your company’s culture.
How have we done this at Dyn? We’ve instituted a number of improvements, both big and small. Here are a few that come to mind from my experiences here:
Like most companies, we send renewal reminders to our customers to prevent them from letting their services expire. About a year ago, we started calling these people personally to remind them to renew their services. While we still send emails, you wouldn’t believe how happy most folks are that we took the time to call. Happier customers and more renewals equal the ultimate win-win.
Have you ever gone through the sales process with a fantastic sales rep who was responsive, caring and answered all of your questions, but then after you signed the paperwork, you were handed off to an account rep and support team that takes days (and sometimes longer to respond)? Awful, isn’t it?
While we have never put anyone through that, we did realize that we were doing something that was almost as bad. We had a great sales process, but once you signed, we assumed that you were fine. After all, we did tell you that you could call or email us anytime but you know what they say about assuming things. Now we have our Concierge team email the client, welcoming them to the DynECT Platform and offering our help. If we don’t hear from them within two weeks, we follow up to make sure they are doing well and answer any questions they might have.
One of the coolest features of the DynECT Platform is the zone reporting. Clients can always take a look at their zone activity (measured by queries per second) in a number of different ways. Reporting is pretty slick with our mail offerings too. Recently there was a discussion with our mail team over how the reporting should look. In the end, we decided it should feel just like the zone reports. While you could say this was a product feature discussion, I list it here because the goal was to make the customer experience better. Why make people learn a new way of interacting with reports if we don’t have to? Let’s make it easy.
When we have a new client join the DynECT Platform, we make sure that a number of folks are aware. One problem: we all really care about our clients. How could that possibly be a problem? A client would sign with us and get an email from their sales rep saying thanks, an email from Client Services with account information and thanks, an email from Legal with contract info and thanks and an email from accounting with billing terms and thanks.
It was borderline unintentional spamming! Luckily, one of our biz ops folks noticed and shortened the process considerably. Now when you sign with us, you get a couple of emails and still have all of the information you need. Much cleaner.
Were any of these improvements massive, time-consuming or trail blazing? No, but when you add them together, the customer experience is something that is very “us”. They didn’t come from one person or department and they didn’t need three levels of approval before we could institute them. People saw a problem and fixed it. In the end, we all own the customer experience.
Chris Widner is the Director of Community, Culture and Customers at Dyn, an IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) leader that features a full suite of managed DNS and email delivery solutions for enterprise, personal and small business. Follow on Twitter: @chriswidner and @dyninc and check out his archive of blogs.