126: Support’s Relationship to Product with Simone Secci

126: Support’s Relationship to Product with Simone Secci

Simone Secci and I talk about strategising with Product on how to use customer feedback.


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 126 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. This week we’re talking about supports relationship to the product team. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I’d like to welcome back to the podcast today Simone Secci. Simone,, lovely to have you back again, and we’re talking about supports relationship to product this week. So I think this is one of those relationships in a business, which can be one of the best investments that a leadership team can make. Right? If you get this relationship is functioning really well. I think that the loop that you have between support and product can be so valuable to the business content.

Simone Secci 1:06
Yeah. And, you know, I think that also, there’s a circumstantial sort of aspects away, right? I think that you might be an organisation from the beginning, and then you follow a little bit of the different environments get organised, or you might step into a leadership role where this dynamics already exist in, it’s a long standing company, for example, like, you might not end up in connection with the product team directly, which poses a little bit more of an obstacle to this path of connecting with them. Right? If the support team might be organised, under the guise of the sales team, or, or, or the marketing team.

Charlotte Ward 1:51
Yeah, and Dev and definitely as, as organisations mature, just the amount of hoops that you have to jump through to to reach the relevant parties to it becomes more distant, doesn’t it? As organisations grow? Historically, the bigger organisations that I’ve been involved with, just have, you have, you practically have a suggestion box, for an artist about requests, right. And that’s your only feedback mechanism to product, you have no no visibility as to what’s happening internally, and how that other half of that relationships working.

Simone Secci 2:26
Absolutely, but I’m happy you mentioned visibility, because then, you know, from the sort of faithful acts aspect of it, we can go to the to the What can I do about it aspect of important the practical like aspect of it. So it is definitely something that you can build, in terms of like, creating a bridge with with the product team, which is enhancing the visibility of the players involved and building your team in a way that sort of mirrors the needs of, of the product s as it’s built by, by the company. I mean, there’s no product, it’s three that is just finished, right? It will, it will dynamically grow as your you know, as you are in the role and things take shape. So I think that within that you can create both roles within your team and initiatives that are beneficial to the growth of the product that take into account things like the okrs of the company, and they okrs that are that actually link with the product. And so how can you serve this okrs and by doing that, creating a bridge and a two way street with the with the birth team where you’ve been included more as you as you do more things that they see as interesting, useful, also do what they’re trying to do. So I think that it’s built no matter what that you are in a position that it’s like here, like the one I was where I was working in a company where the support team was already under the product team, so to speak. So we had that relationship already go in and you know, there were meetings, they were really including the support teams and things like them or not. So either way, I mean, there is a structure to build there.

Charlotte Ward 4:27
Yeah. And the structure i think i think the structure is exactly as you describe it’s a bridge is a bridge with a two way street on it. Right? Because I really love that analogy because I think it’s I think product teams generally potentially, anyway, have a propensity to operate as an island. You know, I think I think that they I think I don’t want to target all product designers and product managers with the same brush. But nonetheless, I think that unless you are regularly refer back to your customers needs and wants and desires is easy just to build the pretty stuff, isn’t it all the clever stuff and, and aim for what you believe your customers want. And so that, that bridge that communication between your customers through support, to product, and back again, that kind of that, that two way process is really key to ensuring that what the product team builds is really what your customers want.

Simone Secci 5:30
Absolutely. And to use another analogy, just like you do in when you’re trying to understand what type of conversation you’re gonna have with somebody you don’t know, you’re trying to find common ground. And so this is similar thing where like, you used to think, Okay, what does the ultimate goal, the support team and the growth team have in common and what things that we’re both looking at, you know, in, in, sort of, like building our strategies, and one thing is obviously, customer feedback. So, customer experiences, both are very important for product team and for support team, right. So you have that in common. So I might as well try to build a common strategy there, because you can provide a lot of free non Amazon card the reward needed to know, you know, UX, research, profound customer free customer feedback that comes flowing into sport, as we know, and even just, you know, box ups nicely and make it you know, come in and centralised in a way, in a common place where, you know, perfect team can be organised and you can meet part of that conversation and actually part of that conversation. So that’s one way that’s one common ground. Right, and probably the most fruitful relationship can be built around this common ground.

Charlotte Ward 7:05
Yeah, absolutely. I think that the the other thing as well is the, the quantity of conversations that we have with customers is, is so high, even if even in a support team, where the volumes are pretty low, the your support team are talking to your customers more than any other part of the business, almost almost invariably, I would say more than sales more than implementation, probably more than success, your support team is talking to customers more often. And I think has a better and more holistic record of the needs of your entire customer base in a way that’s different to success success, have the needs of individual customers at heart. But I think that there is such a lot of data available. And I know we’ve both had conversations before about data and about the kind of things you can extract and how you can extract them from from those conversations. But I think just that quantity of conversation, if you get that if you’re able to extract the main themes is very easy to quantify and prioritise, it’s very easy to find the common ground between what as you said, what what your company’s okrs are, what your product team is, ideologically kind of what to do with the product, but what your customers need, right?

Simone Secci 8:36
Absolutely. No, I mean, you mentioned one of my favourite subject data. And, you know, I thank you for it. And, you know, the very act of of quantifying and measuring this, this feedback involves, like, you have been a growing interest in understanding of, of what kind of data you can you can leverage and what kind of data you can also, just really cause in a way, because it’s just sort of like a passive attitude towards sort of, like, looking at, like, the raw data of the interactions and the dance structured data, like just the comments, that occurring word recording terms and whatnot, and, and sort of like taking a dnn classifier, but there’s also like, Okay, what can we actually sort of find out? That that is there, what can we stimulate, in a way as sort of like, sort of feedback, right, so I know this sounds like a little bit cloudy and stuff like small here, but what I mean by that is, for example, all the way under you structure your your cset exam, what I see in the cease and desist, obviously just my opinion there But I see that there’s several types of surveys that you’re going to have to get customer feedback. You have your MPs, your, your customer effort score, and, and then you have, you know, cset. And there and you I’m really trying to measure the performance of my team. Mostly right. But then there is what I call the accidental feedback there can be just as precious, which is mostly obtained from actual, like negative outcomes into T sec. But so you can let those negative outcomes weigh you down. Or you can slide those negative outcomes with, with questions where you really understand what this negative reaction to, or performance was about. And that’s where you can say you can ask you as a customer actually upset about your experience with the product. And it’s your turn that sees that into an M score.

Charlotte Ward 11:07
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think I think I really like the the observation that negative actually is really informative. I think that if there’s one thing I’ve observed, and I think we should aim to do in our relationship with product, and I say one thing, it’s really two things. The first is we should endeavour to tell our product teams, what our customers are trying to do with the product. But then we should also tell our product teams, what our customers want to do next. And and I think they’re two quite different things. And I think that, you know, what they’re trying to do is essentially, you know, probably a missed expectation, I think that’s probably the extraction of the negative comments and negative sentiments that you’re talking about, it didn’t do what I wanted it to do. Versus I love it, I would like it if it could do this for me next, even if it’s not the customer actively telling you that if you can extract those sentiments, and I think that comes more from positive feedback and questions, whereas the the not meeting expectations side the what the customers wanted it to do that it didn’t do right now is it is it is in the negative feedback, isn’t it? And I think that those are the two things, I think we should aim to deal with product

Simone Secci 12:25
salutely and what you mentioned can definitely inform a better customer experience about it flow, which are all things that product design are very important, you know, and can inform that and then can be beneficial. Like Like I said, it’s a two way street, where you can have those fruitful conversation about this type of feedback. And you sit down with a designer and you’re thinking about the position and shape of an one by shape I mean, like the design of tooltips for example, like above, bro the CLI now can you redirect those tooltips to your to your help centre. And by that also cutting down in interact with possible interaction caused by the absence of that excess of the customer experience that helps you and your team in deflecting a lot of possible. You know, tickets.

Charlotte Ward 13:33
Yeah, it’s as simple as that isn’t it’s finding the gap and getting that gap bridged in product results in fewer support tickets. That’s the two way street. Closer. Yeah. That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/126 for the show notes and I’ll see you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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