Entire companies have shifted to remote working in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, support teams have been overwhelmed by sharp peaks of activity. Customer success has to deliver exceptional customer communication at scale, something that is a struggle to do even in normal times. Teams that fail to do so risk disappointed customers and high levels of churn.
We teamed up with Front in our latest webinar to share how we’ve managed conversations over the past few weeks. If you missed the webinar, you can watch the replay right here:
The dynamic for the Front and Livestorm teams have been varied, but the main principles have stayed the same. We’ve both been focusing on building a strong sense of teamwork while remote, managing priorities, and communicating transparently.
Livestorm has been remote-friendly since the beginning. Over half of our team has been working fully remotely since our founding. So we had many systems already in place to keep the whole team on the same page while working remotely. Our daily standups report transparently what tasks each teammate is working on. These priorities are echoed within the platform asana which tracks progress during each sprint. The weekly team webinar keeps everyone informed, and silos at bay.
At Front, many of the same techniques are employed to keep the whole team on the same page. Daily standups track progress on a micro-level. And for the big picture, they rely on asynchronous communication to keep things moving forward.
Both teams have risen to the challenge of maintaining good spirits. At Livestorm we’ve been taking breaks together and virtually get together for Friday chats. And teams at Front participate in plank challenges and virtual game nights.
Both Livestorm and Front have adjusted their approach towards maintaining customer relationships. A sharp influx of incoming conversations has made it more difficult to keep response times short. Reaching out to customers can help to keep communication flows open. Identifying key challenges and patterns within conversations can help during one-to-many conversations. Both of these tactics help to identify the “red flag customers” who are at risk of churning.
At Livestorm we use NPS, but it can be any other metric that you follow to measure customer happiness. Make sure to look for any fluctuations as detractors mean possible churn. Paying attention to NPS helps you to analyze your customer’s needs.
Keeping NPS high might require you to scale your team. When doing this, learning what your team can achieve in a day is the first step. Then, take measures to scale: growing your team through hiring, rethinking your support “offer” and redefining your customer communication channels, and improving your self-serve help content.
Analyzing your customer communications will help you see what you can improve on. Don’t be afraid to test and experiment with new systems to see what works best. Ask yourself: Why do customers contact us? Is anything missing in our product (features, or reliability) or is it due to lack of knowledge? You can set up support documents to answer these needs.
At Front, they pay close attention to customer satisfaction. For them, the moment that signifies that a customer is happy with their product is when the customer logs on for ten days in a row. So during their initial client onboarding, if this benchmark isn’t met, Front investigates why. Reaching out and making contact can help them see if features are missing, or simply understand the point of view of their customers.
A crisis should not apply to just one team, it should apply to the whole company. We’re all in it together. At Livestorm we work with the product team to define main features to build into our product to alleviate the support volume and make the overall experience better for our customers. We also hold regular support sessions across the company. This improves our overall accountability and our company’s responsibility to our customers. In times of crisis, a large volume of conversation can show you the areas you'd need to improve on and can actually push you to make those improvements faster.
Livestorm and Front have a few tricks of the trade to help improve customer relationships.
We’ve adapted our communication to serve our customers, whether we need one to one communication or one to many. Part of this meant increasing the number of webinars that we present to our entire user base. We’ve launched French webinars in addition to our English webinars to respond to the high volume of interest that we’ve received from our prospective clients. In addition, we have reformatted our product demo webinars. We used to have the same product demos for everyone, regardless of whether they were customers or prospects. We’ve separated these and kicked off a new training webinar series for premium customers.
From a content perspective, analyzing conversations you can define pain points that customers are facing. You can then come up with your webinar format and baser your webinar content on your customer’s needs. We always try to engage with our audiences during a webinar. Q&A’s are great to get questions answered live, instead of creating more conversation in your CRM. Polls can be a valuable feature to ask your attendees/customers, what kind of material you should produce next. You can even use the replays as on-demand content and add them to your onboardings, your knowledge base, etc. At Livestorm, we keep our webinars to address big groups at the same time, but we also continue personal 1-1s, meetings for our Enterprise customers.
At Front, being responsive is the key to customer conversations. To avoid missing any incoming communications conversations should be centralized in one platform. Traditional email doesn’t allow for a high level of collaboration. It is hard to be accountable for conversations and there is a risk of duplicated answers. Plus, it isn’t possible to add integrations. Front solves these problems by bringing every customer conversation to one place. Individual inboxes can be categorized with inboxes for teams, giving everyone a consolidated view of customer conversations. It is even possible to connect CRMs and project management tools. Finally, at Front, they design tailored workflows for their projects which helps them to scale and collaborate.
Canned responses are part of this scaling process. These customizable texts allow for more consistent communication and faster response times. Another way to reduce friction is to integrate your calendar into your email. This prevents the back and forth that occurs when trying to define a meeting time and automatically creates a meeting in all agendas involves. Finally, snooze and read receipts help remind you to reply to your outbound customers. It can be difficult to remember to follow up and keep track of conversations. These automated reminders keep the conversation going.
Livestorm and Front have worked to blend one-to-one and one-to-many communication techniques. During a period of increased activity, this strategy has helped to keep the volume manageable. Hopefully, these tips can help you maintain your communication flows and deliver personalized help when it is needed.