Mo McKibbin has been a force of nature in the movement to have support recognised as a potential profit centre, rather than a cost centre. Until last year, she lead the Support Driven Growth initiative at Help Scout. Now, as Head of CX at Brightback, and also heading up her own coaching practice – Support Driven Growth Coach – Mo continues to change the world, one leadership team at a time. In this episode, we talk about where every organisation needs to begin on this journey..
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Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to Episode 72 of customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is support contributing to revenue. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I would like to welcome to the podcast today for the first time Mo McKibbin. Mo Would you like to introduce yourself?
Mo McKibbin 0:39
Yes, of course. My name is Mo McKibbin as a as introduce. And I am currently head of customer experience at Brightback and then formally led an initiative called support driven growth at help scout which is a help desk software.
Charlotte Ward 0:55
Thanks, my great pleasure to have you and you’ve joined me on the perfect week for a topic that I is very dear to your heart support contributing to revenue. I wonder if we can start at the beginning of that journey and thinking about where do we begin?
Mo McKibbin 1:10
You know, I hear time and time again about companies that want to invest in customer service, want to invest in customer experience, but nobody really knows what investment that takes. Um, so a statistic that I ran across recently that was really eye opening was that 80% of companies believe that they deliver super customer experiences, and only 8% of customers think they receive super customer experiences. So that
Charlotte Ward 1:52
was the difference like like, I know the difference is 72% I can do the math. But what does that mean? Is it that they’re talking about different things?
Mo McKibbin 2:03
I do think that customers have a lot of really high demands. So I really break it down into seven different tenants. So I think of it as helpfulness, do you actually solve their problem? expertise? Do you know what you’re talking about? efficiency? Do you help people as quickly as they want to be helped accessibility? Can you help people the way they want to be helped positivity? Can you make the interaction as positive as possible and proactivity can you anticipate needs before they arise? Most people when they think of what makes excellent customer support, they focus on positivity and efficiency. And that eliminates a lot of the other qualities that make a customer feel truly taken care of. And so I think that that’s probably where the delivery gap lies. The problem is that all of these things take Incredible investments and resources that companies do not allocate to customer support, because the perception of customer support is that it is a cost centre. But what is ironic about that is that when you treat customer support, like a cost centre, it becomes one. There’s been statistics upon statistics of companies having like five times more revenue or better retention rates that invest in customer experience than the ones that don’t. So those are the 8% that are delivering excellent customer experiences that get customers that stick around long term and spend a lot of money with them. And it all comes from investing in customer support. If we think about how we persuade the people who hold the purse strings to make that investment,
Charlotte Ward 3:48
it’s still a journey you have to take people on, isn’t it internally?
Mo McKibbin 3:51
It absolutely is. I was really, really lucky. I had I had a playground and help scout we already had a customer centric company. We had only like one little step to becoming a more revenue connected support team really experimenting with this idea of proactivity the very first thing that you should probably do is create a customer journey. When I think about crafting a customer journey, like I think about answering three questions what product touchpoints get my customers to buy? What engagement touchpoints lead customers to buy and or expand and what customer segments are the most valuable, and how do they behave? This is the very origins of when we started connecting support to revenue. I’m manually trapped in a spreadsheet by looking up lists in HubSpot. I created this giant spreadsheet of all of the different channels that we have and ways that we engage with customers and measured how many customers were Participating in those channels, how those channels correlated to a customer becoming a paying customer. We found some like really crazy correlations, like maybe 70% of the customers that engage with us on chat became paying customers. So like, it totally makes sense to when you think about it, because you’re like, Oh, this is somebody who is like they have a problem and you’re gonna fix it like, right in the moment. I think what’s really interesting here is listening to you describe how this really was cobbled together in spreadsheets.
Charlotte Ward 5:29
Yeah, you know, I think people kind of expect a magic bullet somehow to get going on that they expect the tools to be there. And there is no magic answer to this.
Mo McKibbin 5:38
Yes. Essentially, once I cobbled that spreadsheet, then the resources started coming in. We had like a bump in our salaries, we saw a lift and the amount of resources that were allocated to the support team. But we started measuring the way we interacted with customers the exact same way sales measured their interactions that live to closing customers, and we actually ended up seeing like really positive correlations between support engagement and accounts not churning and also expanding. You know, many times when we measure support KPIs, we, we think of them as happiness ratings. And we think of them as response time reply time, we don’t look at engagement to retention. When you start drawing that line from there, which you might have to do manually, it’s absolutely worth it because then suddenly the budget gets higher. So even though it’s sex, it’s totally worth it in the end.
Charlotte Ward 6:42
That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/72 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.
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