Jessica Rich, End User Support Specialist with a2z, shares some key takeaways from Zendesk’s recent Relate Live event.
Arriving at Relate Live on a Monday morning in the month of October, the energy was palpable. About 900 attendees were in the room for the first session, amped and hungry for knowledge sharing and comradery. We were each ready to connect and learn from each other.
What does it mean to be in the company of customer service and support professionals from across the globe? It means discussing common industry trends, achievements, and innovations with people who share one’s customer service goals and challenges. We were all there with a common goal, to achieve better client relationships.
I came away with many important insights, but the most important ones are the value of human relationships and building trust.
Rethinking Human Relationships & Trust
In his session “I see you: The Power of Human Connection”, Leon Logothetis told an amazing story of trying to live his life solely on the trust of others. In his experiment, he relied on other people for food, water, and shelter. He believed in the good of people helping one another to allow the community to thrive. He found support in the most unlikely of characters and places.
Cultivating trust and human relationships are the building blocks of thriving communities. Helping as well as taking feedback from end users, especially the new users, is an excellent opportunity for building trust and exploring opportunities for future enhancements.
In my case, I was quickly able to correlate this with the vision with which our new End User Support (EUS) Portal is being created. It was also a moment of recognition that my team doesn’t stand alone. EUS flows through each department here at a2z, in a streamlined process for supporting users and answering their ‘how-to’ questions about our solutions, and then collected insights for future innovations.
Tips (No Tricks)
One of the most valuable sessions I attended at the conference was on “The complicated relationship between marketing and customer service”. One of the panelists said, “Marketing is campaigns, Customer Service is contacts.”.
While it was discussed that this relationship in a business may be difficult to develop, I thought back to the experiences I have had at a2z and thought how fortunate I am to be a part of such an innovative and collaborative team. It was no surprise that when our moderator, Erica Marois asked if anyone had any tips for the room, I was able to offer a few steps I had taken to connect across internal teams, including:
– Become engaged with your organization’s culture. Try attending meetings, company lunches, and tuning into interdepartmental communications. Understand how other teams’ challenges affect you and your teams’ goals. Ask questions and listen actively to productive discussions between different departments.
– Develop a communication road map. Ask how the team wishes to communicate regularly and offer a reporting system to share data that other teams would benefit from and vice versa.
– Define your department’s process and make it transparent. Share with the team your insights and challenges along with the process for your team. Ask for suggestions and recommendations.
– Pilot programs and revaluate at set benchmarks. While there does need to be consistency for your end users, don’t be afraid to pilot new ideas and see how they work for your team. Evaluate often, monthly, quarterly or annually, whatever works best for your company needs.
– Knowledge Share. Attend conferences and industry events that can help you develop and bring ideas and information back to your team. Take notes and publish them to your company knowledge share folder.
Sharing One’s Story and Showing Gratitude
Being the new kid on the block isn’t easy. It takes communication, trust and a willingness to work with others to achieve your goals. The company culture at a2z is inclusive and multifaceted. To say that my first year at here has been amazing is an understatement. I am truly fortunate to be a part of this positive and forward-thinking group of people. When asked by my co-participants, my response was simple. “I feel that I am the lucky one. Without the team, EUS would not be successful on its own. It is truly a team effort.” With that, to all of my colleagues here at a2z, thank you for all of your help, collaboration and support. Our work together has truly enhanced the end user experience and the value we provide to our audience. I am so grateful to be able to work with each you.
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