Mike Redbord believes you can build the scope of Support by saying “Yes” as much as possible!
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Charlotte Ward 0:13
Welcome to Episode 115 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 back to the podcast today. Mike Redbord. Mike, it’s lovely to have you back after a short intermission. And this week you’re here to talk about support remit, right? And so this is my language really for what falls inside the scope of your support team and what doesn’t, and how you manage that.
Mike Redbord 0:53
I love this topic, Charlotte. It’s just I think it’s so close to the core of life philosophically. drives, great support, and in some ways separates great support from just everyday support. I think this is actually a really, really important topic for folks to think about. And to try to understand how support fits into their company and the value you provide your company, your customers. So when I think about the support, remit, there are a lot of different ways to try to cut it and try to understand starting points. And, you know, you read a lot of documents that especially larger companies have, right public companies, big support teams, and you know, they have a support charter or sort of in scope out of scope. We do this, but we won’t do that. We’ll give you one of these, but not too if you have a question about this go over here. And I think for large, large organisations that have you know, they’ve done millions or 10s of millions of tickets, you start to pattern match. And I think I think those are, you know, at the very least are normative, right. I think for most folks listening to this podcast in our conversation here though. Probably not At a public company, worth a bajillion dollars, and you’re probably trying to figure out for your relatively small support team and your customer base what to do. And I think in that case, but you want to try to figure out what your support remit is how can support add as much value as humanly possible without breaking yourself in the process, to your customers, and to your company? Those are I think there’s two stakeholders to think about. So that’s like, the guiding question that I like to think about is how do I add as much value as humanly possible to customers and to company? And really, when you get down to it, if you try to really walk the walk on that you’re gonna end up saying yes to a lot of stuff. And I think that, in fact is the right place to start is by saying yes, not by guarding against, you know, things that might sort of create problems down the road. But by saying yes, inviting more interaction with your customers inviting more workload from the company and trying to Figure out as you get that workload and get those questions how to handle it in a way that makes sense.
Charlotte Ward 3:05
Yeah, that’s actually really interesting. And in some ways, that’s a situation that I’m trying to manage right now is, is when you get to the point where you’ve said yes, a lot, is how you manage that. And at what point do you stop saying, Yes, at what point do you actually say, you know what, this is a hell of a lot for us to manage, right? And and when everything that your support team is doing kind of becomes this pretty nebulous, a morphus blob of responsibilities, because you’ve spent a long time saying yes, it’s how you manage it and how you how you begin to give some shape to it. And one of one of the exercises I’m just kind of going through right now is almost defining exactly what it is. So we’re crafting and as his This is what we do. That feels like a good place to start which would you Say there? Or would you say there are other tactics you should employ?
Mike Redbord 4:03
I love that, I think starting by saying how can we do the most? How can we contribute the most value? You know, your first step is yes. And then once you kind of have an operation underway, I think it’s good to take stock, essentially, what you’re suggesting of where you are, and say, like, you know, we have a set of activities that we do, let’s take an inventory, and see what it looks like. And you can explore case data, you can begin to understand, you know, the distribution of customers across across that data and are, you know, are you really spending 80% of your time with 10% of your customers? And should you be thinking about things differently, or, you know, are those 10% of your customers 80% of your revenue, because if they are, maybe you shouldn’t change things up. And, you know, you can begin to explore sort of the shape of the thing once it’s once it’s underway. I think this is the place where folks go wrong, is they have certain categories of tickets that, you know, perhaps the team really doesn’t like. And because they’re really amorphous, they involve A skill set that is harder to acquire or harder to hire for, right. And what ends up happening is those types of tickets end up getting labelled as bad. And I think when you when you start there, as opposed to starting with the customer or the company, and thinking about the value providing, you end up in a place where you start to weave a story, that’s not going to lead you to the path of truth and justice, right, it’s going to lead you to the path of just starting to use no as a tool to protect the team, as opposed to using Yes, as a way to create value for the customer of the company. And so sure, you are gonna want to set boundaries, and say no to things as you grow. But the mindset that you want to set those boundaries with is one of I want to maximise the amount of value I can create for my customer in my company, as opposed to I want to protect my team from something or I want to take out the cases that have, you know, too many back and forth emails, well, maybe they have a lot of back and forth emails because the product needs to get better or because they Seems to be upskilled or something like that. And so I think that starting mindset is really, really important. Start with Yes, not with no.
Charlotte Ward 6:07
I’m just rethinking everything I’m doing right now. It’s an amazing place to be. Because, you know, my tendency has been to say, you know, what I am in any organisation that I’ve been in that you want to protect your team as, as support leaders, it’s our natural kind of place to, to, once you’ve got to a place of definition and certainty and as predictable as it ever is some kind of predictability around the role and the growth and everything else that, that you want to protect that and actually, when, when you’re saying yes to everything, it’s hard to protect that. But actually, maybe it may be saying yes to everything is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to, as you just said, maybe improve the product. And maybe it’s an opportunity to grow the skills of the team or the size of the team or any number of other things right.
Mike Redbord 6:58
I think that there’s another element have, you know, there’s sort of the remit and the charter of what you say yes to from support. But then there’s also just the way that work moves around a company, especially as you get bigger. So you know, when you’re small people tend to be generalists. As you get bigger, everybody gets more specialised, especially post sale teams and customer success team. So where support is often apart, so support on our lives over here on one side, then you’ve got Customer Success managers, perhaps, and maybe you have some renewals, folks, or account managers, sales reps a little involved, that’s kind of constellation of humans that work with, you know, work with your customers. And if I’m a customer, and I’m confronted with that, it’s just confusing, and I really want one place to go. When I when I need help with something when I want to raise an issue, and I want the company to react to me. And so there’s, there’s ways that you can think about support with this perspective, as a great simplifier of customer experience, and therefore an accelerant of customer value. And so put that Like mindset on of saying yes to things again, if there are things that you can take from your customer success team and move to support. How can we say yes to that maybe it involves more staffing, maybe it involves like creating a little team within a team and support maybe involves, you know, like having a conversation with your executive team or something like that. But that type of movement where the more you can put in support, the better so those other teams can be specialised in what they need to do. That tends to serve companies really, really well in the long term. It’s something that I’ve had a lot of success with. When I ran support at HubSpot, we just moved everything we possibly could to support we ended up with a giant support team and a bunch of other specialised teams that handle specialised things in a much more proactive way.
Charlotte Ward 8:41
That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/115 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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