96: Process Improvement with Denise Twum

96: Process Improvement with Denise Twum

Denise Twum believes the value in improving processes isn’t just in creating greater efficiencies. It’s about joy!


I’d love your thoughts on this episode! Comment below, and like/love/share/support if you found this inspiring, thought-provoking, or useful!

Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to Episode 96 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is process improvement. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I would like to welcome to the podcast this week, my very good friend Denise Twum. Denise, would you like to introduce yourself?

Denise Twum 0:40
Sure. Hi, everyone. I’m Denise. I work at smugmug and I’m the support Process Manager which is a really boring title. I have been trying for three years to come up with a sexier one, but I haven’t figured it out yet. So I’m open to suggestions. Please send them into Charlotte and she will make sure I get them but more My role involves making sure that the support team has everything they need to do their work well. So this involves the tools that they use, the processes that we come up with to make sure that we’re delivering world class support. And the relationship between the support team and the other team to make sure that the whole company is delivering on what we say we want to do.

Charlotte Ward 1:20
So Denise, the topic for this week is support process improvement. And this is your pitch it Yeah, I knew it. Yay. This is your particular skill and forte, right. So I am waiting for some nuggets of wisdom to just come pouring. So give it to me.

Unknown Speaker 1:39
I, I hope I have some nuggets for you. I love process improvement. I think support is one of those areas where oftentimes the company’s just like, Oh, we have customers, let’s support them. But then there is the.in between right. So you start Okay, we’re doing email support, and then you just email them. But if that it was that easy, then everyone would have amazing c SAT scores. Right? So yeah, I I particularly enjoy trying to figure out what are the trends of the incoming support? Because usually you’re gonna see different cases coming in, in a cadence, right. So that’s usually one of the first things I look at, how can we improve our support? When I use Zendesk, I really loved looking at the searches for the help centre, you can see what is the most search term and which one has zero results or which one has the most results, all that good stuff. And I love doing that because then you can actually see the search might stay the same, but now their results. And so the corresponding number of tickets coming in for that particular case, you know, goes down, and that’s always one of my joy seeing that. Yeah, backing that up. thing that happened at my previous job, because it was a online publishing platform, we had a lot of copyright takedown cases, because people may or may not know that you’re not allowed to put up stuff that doesn’t belong to you.

Charlotte Ward 3:12
I’m sure they all really know. I’m sure.

Unknown Speaker 3:14
You. I mean, sometimes people might buy a PDF of a thing and think that because they, they purchased it, they can put it up online, which, right? No, you can’t. That process was one of the things I really enjoyed improving because I tried to figure out where the case is coming from, what is what are we supposed to do? And is there a way to automate it and we were very lucky to get a back end engineer who helped us set it up. So basically taking the manual process figuring out all of that, how long it took and then automating, that meant that the copyright process was just so much smoother, so much easier. Joy, so much joy,

Charlotte Ward 3:52
joy, joy, happy, happy Joy, joy automation. So, right. So on the automation front, I have something Have a leading question for you, which is in the in this overarching banner of process improvement, I know you’re very data driven. I know you’re very data driven. Is all process improvement to you? Ah, do you see it as increasing efficiency? Are there? Are there other aspects to it?

Denise Twum 4:24
No, it’s not all about efficiency. It’s about Joy.

Unknown Speaker 4:28
Joy, yeah. It customer joy and the support agents joy, right? Because there’s some things that you have to do for work that don’t necessarily make you excited. Because there’s so many steps in there. So is a task that needs to be done as part of your job description. So how can I make it as painless as possible so that you’re like, Oh, look, I am clearing these tasks. You know, I am I’m kicking not What is it? Nothing out of the park. Turn. Yeah, it’s not Just about efficiency, I think the efficiency is definitely a big part, but also the joy, because often the tasks that you want to automate as a task that are that are very manual, and they just drudgery and boring, but you need to just,

Charlotte Ward 5:17
I think that’s Yeah, I think that’s important, actually, that maybe the efficiency and the joy go hand in hand, because

Unknown Speaker 5:23
you get to do more, you can do more. And for me, what it means is that, for instance, if you’re able to automate this copyright stuff, which, to be honest, the customers who are filing the copyright takedowns are not your customers, right? In our case, you’re not a customer. So that has taken a lot of time, from us actually providing support to our customers who want to learn how to use a product. So it’s the efficiency but then it’s freeing us it’s freeing up time for the for the support agents to actually do the work that we’re hired for, which is support our customers provide right so yes,

Charlotte Ward 5:59
Yeah, that makes sense. So your, your, as part of that efficiency drive, decreasing the drudgery, but but actually also freeing up important time where the joy is not necessarily directly related just to the fact that drudgery has been removed more free time.

Unknown Speaker 6:15
Exactly. And to explore other avenues of improving our support, you know, the thing I love about process improvement is that I don’t have to do all of it, when you free up the time. Now your agents have time to think about, well, how else can we do this better, and that is exponential. And, yeah, that means that everyone wins.

Charlotte Ward 6:41
That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/96 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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