I’ll be speaking at this year’s Customer Service Professionals Network - CSPN Conference.
#Toronto #Mississauga #Markham #Pickering #custserv #callcentre #customerengagement
I’ll be speaking at this year’s Customer Service Professionals Network - CSPN Conference.
#Toronto #Mississauga #Markham #Pickering #custserv #callcentre #customerengagement
VIDEO: upgraded to @AmexCanada Platinum Reserve card. Got access to this lounge before our flight! Free food and its curry night.
#custserv #gratitude #parenting (at Amex Platinum Lounge YYZ Toronto Int’ Pearson Airport)
First thing you need to know if you’re going to write to Customer Service is that your envelope will probably be discarded before it gets to a Customer Service representative. So, make sure you remember to write your Full Name, address, and account number (or other identifying information) on your letter.
Second, try to keep in my mind that your letter is not going to “the company” - it’s going to a low-level employee, probably struggling to make ends meet, who had nothing to do with whatever made you angry (if that’s why you’re writing). So be nice. Anyway, if the representative gets to make a judgment call, it’s better not to offend.
I always get looks when my friends learn that I am working in support next to my studies. One of them even tried to hook me up for a product engineer job right after we had a short catch up at a party. They are always very impressed at first when I tell them I work for WeTransfer. They imagine I am doing some graphical design stuff there, which is obviously cooler than support?!
But I don’t think they are right. I never wanted to do the ‘same’ for side work as for what I study because it will kill your creative energy for design if you over use it. Also product designers aren’t really graphic designers, even if we have to know how to make Illustrator stuff and pretty reports in InDesign, I find it hard to compete with trained ‘real-deal’ graphic designers. But back to my point: I always want to have a job that is meaningful for me in some way. So of course I applied for the WeTransfer job because it’s WeTransfer - but also because I thought: ‘Hmm, support, it’s about users right. What is the job of a designer? Create meaningful products for people. Who are these people? Well guess what! Users! Let’s learn how users behave.’
I think working in the support team at WeTransfer was one of my best decisions in the past years.
Working in support taught me that users are important. It’s a cliche right. But if you really do experience it, you will really understand it.
So this is how I became a user centric designer.
You should never underestimate the power of a designer’s design decisions. It changes how we behave, how we interact. Just think about the most banal things like smart phones? Facebook! Twitter! Didn’t it change our lives? Didn’t it change how we commute? How we plan? How we express our opinions? Who watches the news on TV these days? Who sends RSVPs on post cards?
Every design decision has this butterfly effect on people’s life who use it and even on those who don’t but are connected to those who do. And this is true for everything: a smart device, a chair, a coffee machine or an app.
So it is essentially important for every designer to understand that they have to be able to think with the users’ mind. They have to be the users. And they have actually go out there and talk to the users. I mean after all who the heck’ will use your products?
But let’s get back to support. Everyone thinks that support is something that those do that didn’t have anything better to do, or who just got saved from a reception work at the shitty hotel in the corner. It is so not true. Support agents are highly emphatic and very sharp people with incredible communication skills. [I am mostly talking about my colleagues now, not trying to polish myself hehe-haha]
Just think about it, today support agents are the connection between the nerds and the real people. They have to understand both sides. They have to be able to translate crazy mumbling about DNS servers to every day people. They have to adjust their tone of voice to each and every user, they have to sympathise and be emphatic with everyone. They need to be able to connect the dots, see things in a structure and be able to talk in everybody’s language.
Support also gives you energy, you’re getting feedback, you’re helping someone, you’re solving issues. It is one of the most satisfying jobs for sure.
Nonetheless people in support are not mindless robots answering emails all day, they care, they think, they want to change the world for the better. They’re going to write articles, help centres, tutorial, make statistics, fight for the users’ rights in a company. They’re literary. They need to be fun to read, fun to interact with, and they have to be clear. They have to know how to trigger certain reactions, emotions, understanding, acceptance… And sometimes they have to calm down a user and solve their problem in as short as a Twitter post.
A great support experience can define a user’s perception of your product. As well as a bad one.
Well of course support at WeTransfer is quite technical and it’s a startup, and we don’t have phone support, so of course I’m talking from this point of view. But all I am saying is that never underestimate support. People in support are smart and fun. Working in support should be one of the coolest things in the rise of the startup era.
And if you ever want to have your own company, it’s even better if you know one or two about people and user interactions. I bet you’ll be doing customer support in the beginning ;)
One more addition: never underestimate any job in particular. Every job has it’s challenges, and if you put the effort and knowledge in it, any job can change lives and rock worlds.
Well, we’ve come to the end of our 52 Weeks with the Fanatic Factory. When I decided to start this blog 52 weeks ago, I thought to myself “what’s the point?” I mean, blogs are fun, they give your readers an inside look at the company you work for, and it’s a chance to brag about your employer. I mean seriously, I work for the best company ever! This business is exciting, positive, growing…and I come to work every day loving my job! Back to my original question, why do a blog?
My #1 goal was to connect with BIGGBY fanatics, coffee drinkers, and other customer service professionals on a personal level. Did I accomplish that? I like to think so. I like to think that each person who read any of our posts thought to themselves, “BIGGBY sure knows how to connect with their customers in a fun way!”
So much has changed in the last 52 weeks, and while that simply comes with the territory when you work at BIGGBY, it’s been a wonderful thing for our team. Most notably, we’ve expanded our responsibilities to include a franchisee hotline, which also resulted in our team growing by 2 people! This new job duty is in place to support BIGGBY Nation, to be available to offer assistance 24/7 with one central place to reach out to. BIGGBY is dedicated to its stakeholders with fierce loyalty and our franchisees are right at the top of that list. Now that I’ve done copious amounts of bragging, let’s get into the meat and potatoes—er, espresso and steamed milk—of this last post. And we’ll get it started with a quote from arguably the most successful franchisee of all time…
The world doesn’t stand still and we don’t deserve to be where we are unless we stay ahead of things and take the necessary steps to remain competitive. –Fred Deluca, Co-Founder of Subway
Staying ahead of the competition, and being different, is one of the most nerve wracking and exciting parts about working for a small business. It requires that you be (or try to be) on your A-game every single day. There are so many systems in place that support this basic need for BIGGBY and the Fanatic Factory has been lucky enough to be involved in many of these undertakings. Being a franchised company, some of our systems directly support the customer and some of them directly support the franchisee. They all support the brand though and that is one of the main things I’ve learned to ask myself. Does this idea that I’m proposing support the brand as a whole? Will it help us create more fanatics who will actively promote us to others?
I know that I’ve talked about a couple of our Core Values in other blog posts, but today I want to bring them all together, because they are an integral part of staying ahead of the competition and making BIGGBY COFFEE the best it can be!
S – Simplicity through systems
T – Top line driven; Revenue solves all problems
E – Energy, excitement, and enthusiasm
A – Always have faith, confidence, and courage
M – Maintain long term sustainability through profitability
E – Engaging the community; Giving is getting
D – Dedication, desire, and dependability
BIGGBY is a company built on systems. Ya know how people used to joke “there’s an app for that”? At BIGGBY, we literally preach “there’s a system for that”. If you are able to systematize your task, you can remain consistent, accurate, and you also have the wonderful ability to teach it to others very easily.
I read something in Conscious Capitalism the other day that really embodied T of STEAMED (which can be hard to talk about sometimes) for me: “Profits are an essential and desirable outcome for business. Indeed, it is socially irresponsible to run a business that does not consistently generate profits.” They go on to explain how profit=growth, which allows companies to fulfill their higher purpose. P.S. Read the book, it’s inspiring.
If you are energetic, excited, and enthusiastic every day, just think of what you can accomplish! You’ll be more apt to come up with fun and quirky ideas, you’ll keep team morale up, and your passion will be contagious. E of STEAMED is a huge one for the Fanatic Factory because while we have phenomenal baristas, not every experience is perfect. If you keep a positive attitude throughout a frustrating customer phone call, you’ll ensure that the customer hangs up the phone in a better mood than when they called—E of PERC people.
Faith, confidence, and courage will be there to catch you when you stumble, because we all stumble. You need to believe in yourself, your coworkers, and the vision of the company and if you do that, everyone will thrive together. There are good days and bad days but faith, confidence, and courage will get you through both.
M of STEAMED goes hand-in-hand with T of STEAMED. In order for your company, and your involvement for that matter, to be sustainable, there needs to be cash flow to support it. BIGGBY growth and enhancement depends on baristas, managers, franchisees, Home Office employees, and of course, customers. We need to build sustainable relationships with each other to foster that growth.
Giving is getting is one of my favorite Core Values. I love the story that Nicole, our Director of Marketing, tells in Discovery Day. She talks about how one of our BIGGBY locations was looking to expand their customer base and they chose to partner with 1 organization each month for 12 months—this could range from sponsoring a little league team to donating coffee for a 5K. The store ended up growing their customer base by 20% each month. Being part of your community really makes a difference. A big difference.
Last but not least, we have dedication, desire, and dependability. I’ve heard Mike, President of BIGGBY COFFEE, say a million times “we’re not going anywhere” and this really embodies how we view our relationship with BIGGBY Nation. We are in it for the long haul. Working for BIGGBY is rewarding, challenging, fun, and exciting, which makes it easy to be dedicated each and every day.
So let me bring this post to a close because, good grief, it’s at least twice as long as my normal blog posts. Thanks for starting this journey with me. I hope you’ll stick around to see what BIGGBY has up its sleeve. I know I plan to! ;-)
As always…B Happy | Have Fun | Make Friends | Love People | Drink Great Coffee
+Ryanair Shame on you for your Nicke and Dime tactics. Our first experience was terrible. I will NEVER fly #RyanAir again. We got your email about online checkin Requirement in advance and checked in online and downloaded your #mobileapp Thank god, because that mistake would have cost us 70 Euro’s per ticket. Figured we could checkin with the app #saveatree and not waste printing a paper ticket. NO… We got charged 30 Euro’s just to print the boarding pass we already had on the app. What a poor experience. All the while 3 other people ware shamefully unpacking their luggage to save 2 kilo’s to avoid another BS charge. Walk 10 minutes to ticket office pay wait in line with 10 other angry customers, pay via credit card only to have to return to finish boarding. #custserv FAIL. +European Parliament +European Commission
One of my absolute favorite things about working for BIGGBY COFFEE is the company’s ability to make changes for the greater good. It’s too easy to lean on “that’s just the way we do things” or “it’s been working for us for the last 20 years” when there may be a better way. Michael Eisner was right, there is no good idea that cannot be improved on.
Since I started working for BIGGBY in 2010, there have been many changes made that improved not only the customer experience but the franchisee experience as well! For example, we have cut our franchise fee in half. Yes, you read that right, in half. We’ve also cut our new store construction costs by 30% for drive thru and 23% for non-drive thru. A decrease in the initial investment means that a store will cash flow quicker! More money in the franchisees pocket also gives them a better chance at stores 2 and 3 coming along sooner than we had all planned. ;-) The Franchise Development Team has also established their playbook in the last 12 months. This playbook streamlines the process from signing a franchise agreement to the store’s grand opening so a new franchisee will feel confident in our system and be able to check things off their list with ease. Happy franchisees=happy customers!
Speaking of happy customers, when it comes to improving the customer experience, that all began—for me—with the Fanatic Factory expansion. The Fanatic Factory, our Customer Service Department at the Home Office, is becoming the go-to group for anyone in BIGGBY Nation with a question, comment…anything really! Since 2010, our team has grown from 1 person to 6 people! When it was 1 person, the Fanatic Factory worked Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm and we would respond to customer calls and emails. Now that we have 6 people, our team is in the office 7 days a week from 5am to 10pm Monday-Friday and 9am to 5pm on the weekends! We are also not only handing customer calls and emails, but we also run the BIGGBY COFFEE social media platforms, handle initial franchise inquiries, and run the Franchise Community Line.
But anyway, back to happy customers. Our consumers aren’t our only customers—we service our BIGGBY fanatics who visit our stores, our franchisees and baristas, and our potential franchisees! Expanding our team gave us the ability to take on more and be more efficient. We also dropped our average response time from almost 2 days to 5 hours! Hooray!
Another effort that the BIGGBY Home Office is making to cultivate customer happiness relates to C of PERC. If you haven’t read about PERC (our operating philosophy) before, here’s a quick lesson:
P – Perception
by customers that we respect their time and move them as quickly as possible.
E – Every customer leaves the store in a better mood than when the customer arrived.
R – Recognize each customer as an individual.
C – Consistently produce a high quality beverage.
C of PERC has been falling short for a while now. Yes, that’s very transparent and it’s a tough pill to swallow but as long as we’re making strides to improve, I don’t see anything wrong with sharing that with you all. Our customers know what we offer when they drive by our stores—coffee. I mean, our name is BIGGBY COFFEE, is it not? But what they also expect is a great cup of coffee, or whatever else they leave our stores sippin’ on. At BIGGBY, the customer experience includes every letter of PERC, but at the end of the day, if the customer’s drink isn’t great do you think they’ll be back? That’s why we’re so focused on this letter of PERC right now. We want to make our customers happy!
So let’s go back to the quote that started this post—there’s no good idea that cannot be improved on. While I work for BIGGBY COFFEE, I vow to always be open to change with the understanding that ultimately, change will grow this amazing company into a nationwide, celebrity-endorsed, no-need-for-marketing, success.
Hi! I’m Doug and I’ll be one of the many contributors to this blog, which will be used to post on all things Customer Care related at Galaxy Digital. For our first post, I think it makes sense to start at the beginning and focus on the launch of a new Get Connected site.
WHAT MAKES A LAUNCH SUCCESSFUL?
The answer is never straightforward but I’ll try to talk about some of the stuff I don’t always get to talk about in my normal launch initiation calls.
HOW WILL PEOPLE FIND YOUR GET CONNECTED SITE?
This decision may be an easy one for some, but is not one that should be taken lightly. What you decide here sets the tone for the entire user experience you are creating for your agency managers and your volunteers.
You may need to convince some people at your organization that some space on the homepage of your website needs to be made for a new button or a new link. If volunteerism is an important part of your organization’s mission then this should be a no brainer. You may need to remind some of the folks in your office of that mission. If you want people to go straight to your Get Connected site rather than an existing website, do you have the time and resources to market a brand new domain name. How will that affect the timing of your site’s launch?
WHAT WILL THEY DO?
Now that you know how your agency managers and volunteers are going to find Get Connected. Think about what they will do once once they arrive. Is there specific information you want to ask them when they signup? What about when they enter their volunteer hours? Making these decisions up-front ensures your site’s data is clean and consistent from the very beginning.
Attend the trainings you need to attend. This part should be obvious but it is worth re-stating. You have some great new tools at your disposal. Learn how to use them. You wouldn’t operate a new piece of heavy machinery without first learning how it works. Admittedly, Get Connected is not a piece of machinery but it does have some very powerful tools and I would argue that the same concept applies. Simply put, learn how to use your tools before implementing them.
AND THEN …
The part I really want to talk about when it comes to learning your stuff is what happens after the trainings. Did you block off any time on your calendar for Get Connected after your training? You should. Take some time to follow up on what you just learned. There are some parts of the site that need to be adjusted by you anyway so block off time to do those things. Revisit anything that seemed confusing and take notes on questions you want to follow up on. Once you are ready, send us your questions and sit back while we craft the best, most thoughtful answers you will ever get from a Customer Care team (not trying to brag, well maybe a little, but we do have a really good team).
WHAT ABOUT MY AGENCIES?
Once you are an expert, your agencies will begin their trainings. Follow up on their progress and offer your time to those who need some help. I know from my experience in software support that when you take the time to help those who struggle the most, they will often become your biggest fans. By the way, “need web helpers for local non-profit” is a great need title that I encourage you all to use.
GET THE WORD OUT!
Don’t do all of this work and then drop the ball on promoting the site to your community members. Agency managers are the lynchpin of your site. They post the needs volunteers to respond to. However, if you fail to tell your community about the site, those agency managers won’t get many responses to their needs and as a consequence they won’t see the value in spending their time on the site. Improving a community is a collaborative effort and no single piece of software can do it on its own. Good tools require proper use if they are to be effective. We will always give you the best tools and the best support we can provide. How these tools get used is largely up to you.
If you got this far, thanks for reading. There will be more to come in the future so follow our feed or simply check back whenever you need a break from improving your community. Cheers!
Welcome back to 52 Weeks with the Fanatic Factory! :-) It’s time for another round of Meet the Home Office Team! Without further ado, I would like to introduce you to…
Hi, my name is: Beth
I’m knows as the: Marketing Manager
What that really means: I work with new BIGGBY COFFEE locations prior to their opening to help them put their Grand Opening Advertising in place. I continue on to work with stores on their marketing efforts until they are about 13 months old and they graduate to working with another member of the Marketing team. I also oversee system-wide Graphic Design projects. B artistic!
My Twitter handle: @BIGGBYcreative
My fave BIGGBY bev: Irish Bog!
I’ve been a BIGGBY fanatic since: 1999
I’ve loved my job at the Home Office since: January 2012
Stay tuned for more Home Office bios in the future and more reasons to B a BIGGBY fanatic!