Team Talk: Naming Our Customer Success Team
16th June 2017
In this first edition of Team Talk we hear from Teri, Trussle’s Head of Customer Success, about the subtle but crucial differences between Customer Support/Service and Customer Success/Experience.
I’ve had the privilege of working with many different customer teams in a variety of industries throughout my career. While they’ve shared some common themes, the names of their departments have varied a lot!
When I joined Trussle back in April, I became part of the then-named Case Management team. Our team’s responsible for the wellbeing of our customers, as well as assisting our Adviser team in liaising with lenders and solicitors.
We knew we wanted to change the name of our Case Management team to better reflect our focus, culture, and workflows. However, in an industry that sees Customer Support, Customer Service, Customer Success, and Customer Experience (to name just a few), there wasn’t an immediately clear answer as to what we should pick or why.
I’ve found most departments with a Support or Service title are very reactive: they’ll wait for a customer to call or write in. Once in contact, there’s a heavy focus on fixing the issue or answering a specific question, with the intention of resolving the concern as quickly as possible. Call or live chat scripts will quite often be used to try and make things even more efficient.
Departments with this kind of structure tend to value measuring things like volume, speed of answer, or revenue, and most of the daily interactions with clients are completed with these metrics in mind.
There are benefits to this: it’s easy to maintain in very large companies (if you imagine call centres supporting thousands of customers every hour) and the scripting helps ensure most clients have a similar experience.
The downside is that you can often feel like a number instead of a customer, and it can be challenging to get help for unusual circumstances if your request falls outside of the support scripting or workflows.
Customer Success/Experience departments are a newer structure for customer-facing teams, and are designed to move away from the traditional Customer Service/Support model. They’re generally more proactive and focus more on the overall customer experience.
Agents within these teams are often given general guidelines and are trusted to make their own judgement calls and speak in their own voice; depending on the company, some clients may even have a dedicated representative who guides them throughout their entire journey! By nature, interactions might take a little longer and be less consistent than a traditional service/support structure, however, they’re tailored more closely to each client.
This kind of approach works well in smaller, more agile teams, especially when you put energy into hiring the right people and giving them the support they need to be successful.
Instead of valuing volume and speed of answer, these departments tend to focus on measuring things like Customer Satisfaction and Net Promoter Score. Not only does this help them understand the overall experience, it gives incredible insight into what clients love (or don’t love!) and this is invaluable when looking for ways to make a company even better.
A team by any other name…
Though the approaches across all these department types can be quite different, they share the common goal of helping people. Regardless of name or approach, they should all strive to be easy to contact, helpful in providing a resolution, and respond quickly when you reach out to them.
We wanted to move away from the Case Management name at Trussle because we found it represented one of the things we do instead of why we do it. It was for this reason, combined with our customer focus, that we decided to rename our team to Customer Success. Case management remains an important part of our work, but it’s now one piece of a broader customer journey.
While we track several metrics at a high level, Net Promoter Score and TrustPilot reviews remain our primary focus and we love hearing our customers speak of their experiences, especially when we deliver above and beyond their expectations:
“We’d previously spoken to a standard mortgage broker and a bank. It was very tedious, but with Trussle you feel as if you matter as a customer.” - Tom, a Trussle customer
On any given day, Trussle’s Customer Success team is available on a variety of contact channels for both quick enquiries and longer-term guidance throughout the mortgage application process.
Whether you’re a prospective customer or a customer-for-life, looking for a mortgage or just looking for an answer, we hope we help you find your success. And while a customer team by any other name may do the same, we’re happy to now have a title that so closely reflects our passion.
Psst, we’re hiring! Take a look at our vacancies - we’d love to hear from you.