This week, I caught up with the eminent Eric Ulbrich!
Eric is based in Brazil and Head of Customer Success at Metlycs, a freemium digital marketing platform. He’s been with them, and in leadership, for about a year.
Hi Eric! Lovely to get the opportunity to talk to you! You’re fairly new to Customer Support and leadership, too. How did you find your way here?
It was quite a long journey! I was a reporter and always liked being involved with people – listening stories and writing about them. That’s how I ended up at Metlycs. My good relationship-building skills were something the founders were looking for. But they still didn’t have any Customer Support/Success/Experience areas and so I started to Sales. After a couple of months the founders realised it would be better for me to start building a customer relationship function in order to work with upsells and cross sells. But in order to build that I needed to understand our platform users and that’s why I started answering our support chat with an alias! That was important because I could bring our users closer and, eventually, put them in contact with the Customer Success Leader (me), so he could help with strategies.
For me it was great because I was happier than before. Metlycs benefitted, too, because we began setting up better marketing campaigns, changing the platform’s development schedule and helping users from the start.
You’ve not been on a typical route into Customer Support. Have you found it challenging to adjust?
It was the first response that I found hardest. Every user comes with different questions, of course. But every person comes with a different mood. So how would I make a pattern for the first approach? The answer finally came to me: I shouldn’t make it a pattern. Another conclusion we reached is that we shouldn’t use chatbots. Every user that comes with questions needs to have support from a human. To avoid spending too much time answering chat requests, we are developing useful resources in video and Wiki articles so the user can configure everything by himself.
Have you already figured out what makes a good CS Leader?
I think empathy, and an agility in response is needed. That, and full knowledge of the business, and a focus on solving the client’s problems.
How do you measure success? Are you making early use of metrics?
We don’t have a north star metric yet. We analyse chats and our platform’s reviews (we have a signature on Kmaleonwhere our users are invited to review our platform. We then can measure NPS and analyse critics to improve on any weaknesses). Right now we only have great support reviews, both in Kmaleon and also on our chat platform (tawk.to).
I love metrics, generally. But talking about support, I believe is more important to solve every user problem in the moment he or she reports it. Here at Metlycs I am very proud to say that each user gets personalised help. We treat every user with a human approach and I believe this makes a difference.
Are you able to actively develop yourself and your team?
Every developer, marketing analyst, founder and CS has access to our leads, conversion data, marketing data and chats. We have a daily meeting where we talk about our users and activities, so that everyone on our team knows everyone’s activities. We’re all really proactive in getting questions answered and problems figured out.
Personally, I always seek feedback. This is something we are starting to implement formally here at Metlycs. Every week all the employees give and receive feedback to each other.
How has your learning curve into leadership developed? What’ve been some early lessons for you?
It was a little surprising, how my colleagues react to my decisions. I thought it would be difficult to be a leader, but we have a good relationship and that means I’m not a single leader because every CS employee is a big part of all the process. We all make decisions together and listen to one another.
How to manage each employee’s deliverables has been a challenge. Each one takes different times to complete certain activities, so we started working with Trello to understand where everyone is at.
Do you have any recommendations for our readers?
Trello is great for activity tracking.
But for myself, the most important part is having a balance between work and personal life. In my personal time I find very important to do sports, stay with my family, play with my dogs (a great thing about living in Brazil is the weather, I can always go out in the garden and step barefoot over the grass) and also read professional books.
Can you share any customer stories?
We are a freemium platform. The best experience I had was when I helped a free user with strategies and tips and he saw so much value in this that he decided to upgrade to a paid plan. Conversely, there was a time when I failed to demonstrate our platform’s value to our user and he gave us a really bad review because he didn’t know for what our tools would work in his strategy.
Do you have a favourite way to sign an email?
I always end by saying I am looking forward to his reply and wishing a great day/weekend/holiday!
Thanks so much Eric! I wish you continued success in your leadership journey!
Watch this space for another awesome CS Leader next week!