Patience, passion, and a desire to please, are traits that make our customer support team outstanding. Besides answering questions and solving issues, we strive to make our customers smile and “feel the love”.
How SurveyGizmo Creates a Positive Organizational Culture
A lot of factors go into our organizational culture, but we start by:
- Believing that the customer is always right
- Hiring the right people (those who are service-oriented)
- Empowering our employees
- Humbly sharing our knowledge
- Building an organizational culture that supports and encourages each other to be our best
- Listening and acting on feedback
- Being transparent
Additional Elements of a Positive Organizational Culture
Customer Retention Requires Trust
We trust that if our customers say they have a problem or issue, they are right. We either failed to make the tool intuitive, properly document it, or thoroughly test it.
We also trust our employees to make the right decision when it comes to making our customers happy. That means that if they need to credit an account, send goodies, or swag to brighten a customer’s day, they can do so without permission or any questions asked.
Some may view this as a costly expense, but we see it is as an investment. We are more than willing to invest in our customers because at the end of the day, customer retention improves our bottom line (and our day).
Soft Skills are Required
Trust is just one of the attributes we look for when hiring employees. We highly value other soft skills such as listening, empathy, and creativity. These skills are mandatory – technical skills can be taught.
And this we do. All employees start with a two-week training session to get them acquainted with the tool. They then spend a month in support, even those whose who won’t be working in a support role, so that they come to know who are customers are. Knowing our product also lets us back each other up if the call volume gets heavy!
Those who stay on in a support role, continuously learn new technical skills while on the job. We offer custom scripting classes, CSS, PHP, and the likes so that they can advance their careers. Go figure, but many of our past support heroes are now developers!
Our support team takes a humble approach while providing expert advice. We recognize that while our survey software is a DIY tool, not everyone is well-versed on research methodology.
When you call our support team about your survey project, we listen to what it is you need and then we dig a little deeper to fully understand the issue. By understanding the goal of your survey project, we can assist you not only with the features of our survey tool, but offer best survey practice tips to ensure that you are collecting meaningful data.
Instructing our customers on why they should rephrase a leading question, or change a question type so that they get clean data, allows our customers to look like rock stars in the eyes of their peers, boss, and clients. By making our customers look like heroes, we become heroes. We even wear capes to remind us of our mission!
We love learning about our customer’s projects and survey needs. Our features are based on customer requests and we continue to make enhancements based on their needs.
Our CEO, Christian Vanek, answers support calls himself on a regular basis. I personally think he is a better CEO for it. Being directly involved allows him to experience the pain and joy of the tool so that he knows how best to improve it.
Listening and Acting on Customer Feedback
Being a survey company, we of course, value feedback. We seek it from our customers after each support interaction with a satisfaction survey. We ask our customers about their overall satisfaction with the product as well as with our support staff.
Internally we refer to this as the Wow survey since we get so many high scores. We share these comments in our daily newsletter, The Daily Bull, which Christian emails to all employees every morning. He shares the good and the bad, but 90% of the feedback is positive. Being a competitive lot, we strive to out do each other in the number of Wows we receive each month. There are no slackers here!
We seek feedback from each other as well as from our customers. Candid conversations are encouraged as a way to provide constructive feedback. This is a great way to clear the air and help each other and our teams grow.
Weekly one-on-ones with our team leaders are also encouraged. These brief meetings allow us to communicate if there are any issues or ideas that need to be shared. Everyone benefits from them as we seek for ways to work more effectively and efficiently and grow in our careers.
SurveyGimo’s mission is to provide great survey software and great service to businesses and organizations around the world, but it starts here at home. Christian treats each employee as a customer and does all he can to create a corporate culture where great service is provided internally as well as externally.
He frequently shows us his appreciation by keeping the refrigerator stocked, providing gourmet teas, coffees, pizza, and beverages. He even purchased bikes so that we can get out for a spin.
By taking care of some of our more basic needs, he keeps us charged so we can carry on. More likely, he knows that happy employees make happy customers. So he really tries to make us happy. And that is okay with us!
Christian’s generosity and appreciation trickles down through the ranks. We appreciate each other by making mentions in the Daily Bull when someone goes beyond their normal duties or performs a random act of kindness.
There is nothing better than sitting down with a cup of coffee in the morning and reading these. It brings a smile to my face and gives me the jump-start I need to accomplish the multitude of tasks at hand.
Another corporate value we believe in is transparency. We share. We share a lot. Every Tuesday afternoon we have a company-wide huddle where we go over revenue, expenses, goals, challenges and other stuff. It allows us to get on the same page and brainstorm ideas and solutions.
We also share mistakes. We share them internally and externally.
The most important thing is that when we make a mistake, we admit it. It is not easy, but we recognize that the only way we, as individuals and as a company, can grow is to learn from it.