Zeni Bandy joins me for our first one-to-one chat, where she recommends setting boundaries early for support teams.
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 112 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is the scope of support. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I’d like to welcome to the podcast today’s any Bandy. Jenny, would you like to introduce yourself?
Zeni Bandy 0:39
Thank you very much. I’m glad to be here. I have been in customer support for over five years. I started as a freelancer and I am once again a freelancer. I my last two companies that I worked for were both in San Francisco but I now live in Paris.
Charlotte Ward 0:56
Awesome, thank you this week. We are talking about Support remit. So this is how you define or when you define what your support team should and shouldn’t be doing what’s actually in scope and what’s out of scope.
Zeni Bandy 1:11
At right, thank you very much for having me. And I’m excited to talk about this topic, because support is often the most overworked as part of the company. Of course, there are many people who work long hours, but support can be quite exhausting. So really, setting up appropriate boundaries for your team is crucial to prevent burnout.
Charlotte Ward 1:35
Yeah, absolutely. So how happy? Well, I guess the first question is when right when do you think it’s appropriate to start having those conversations?
Zeni Bandy 1:45
I actually think it’s best to start them from the very beginning. And it’s really important to sit down with leadership and really get an understanding of what their expectations are for customer support. Because as customer support leaders, we are Often we’ll put too much under our umbrella, and actually over like, go over the expectation. So that’s really just the first place to start is really understanding what’s expected what’s needed. And really creating these cross functional partners at the beginning who can advocate for your team? Because the reality is, is in support, you’re always going to need advocates in your company. Yeah,
Charlotte Ward 2:29
that’s that’s a really good point. And finding the cross functional partnerships really early those cross functional analyses is makes the conversations less difficult later down the line, even if you’re not really being too specific early on, I guess.
Zeni Bandy 2:45
Right, exactly. Um, so for example, at one of the last startups I worked with, and support often does technical calls, right. It’s really a standard a standard support function. But what we would do is we’d actually bring on the head of product to do these types of calls with customers. And so he would actually do the troubleshooting. So after maybe five or so minutes with somebody from the support or customer success team could not help. The customer that had a product would drop whatever he was doing to troubleshoot with them. And, and so it’s actually something that can be very interesting. A lot of larger organisations have a separate technical support. So when you’re a small company, it’s actually something that you could consider not doing and working with other partners in the company to help with customer with technical support specifically.
Charlotte Ward 3:49
Yeah, I guess, resourcing It is one thing and getting those expertise is a great way to build those allegiances as well early on, right About as you go through the the sort of awkward Growing Pains stage, the conversations where you start to put boundaries around it. Yeah, I used to be quite Sorry. Sorry. And we start to put boundaries around it. Um, do you think that needs to be quite processed driven? Do you think it needs to be quite formal? Do you need to start drawing, drawing lines in the sand between all of that hard work in between all of those relationships that you’ve built up?
Zeni Bandy 4:29
Yes, I do. I think it but I also have a lot of experience working remotely and so I’m biassed towards that because you just really need it and those types of organisations and I guess many people are working remotely now. So it’s even more relevant. But it does, it doesn’t make it easier if things are really spelled out in a very clear and that there’s, there’s clear processes. So for example, if you have a partnerships team, really, you know, sitting down with whoever’s leading The partnership initiative and understand what their expectations are for your team to assist with support on that. And if that if it’s not something that they can handle themselves, but really do encourage them to handle themselves and even get provide them some basic training on how to do it, using, you know, providing formatting or you know, scripts that they can use, like working with them to give them the resources, but then allowing them to do it themselves. And so you create these little playbooks for them because the demand is low. It’s, it’s not that big of a deal, and then they’re able to quickly adjust and adapt their own programmes and getting to talk to their own customers directly.
Charlotte Ward 5:40
Yeah, I like that actually creating little playbooks for other parts of the organisation that are kind of doing support that can take some of that load and getting other parts of the organisation to take some of that load is one of the benefits of having a really well defined remit, isn’t it? What do you think of the other benefits of putting The effort into this.
Zeni Bandy 6:02
Yeah, so I would I already touched on a little bit. But burning out the team, I think is a really is really something that needs to be considered. And especially as your company’s growing, you’re off, you’re often at such high utilisation rates but people, people aren’t able to finish all of their work in a day. It makes it much
Charlotte Ward 6:25
just just makes it much more predictable, doesn’t it?
Zeni Bandy 6:28
Yeah, it does. And and then it also leaves room for your team to also maybe take on other things. So by delegating away some of the responsibilities that naturally could fall to other other groups. You give your team space to do more critical thinking and thought provoking type of work so that they don’t always have to spend time on tedious things that really aren’t in their scope.
Charlotte Ward 7:00
That’s it for today, go to customer support leaders.com forward slash 112 for the show notes and I’ll see you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
A little disclaimer about the podcast, blog interviews and articles on this site: the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text and podcast belong solely to the author or interviewee, and not necessarily to any employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.