Driving Customer Success
Charli Land, aql’s new Customer Success Director, talks about her observations & service improvement plans.
I joined aql at the start of the year and manage the main departments that interact with our customers including Account Management, Support, Porting & Service Management. My primary mission at aql is to ensure your experience of being an aql customer is the best it can be. Since I joined, I’ve seen plenty of encouraging things - we’ve got a motivated team full of friendly, ambitious & skilled people who care about customers, alongside great quality, highly reliable products.
However, there’s also lots of ways we need to improve. You may have seen an email I sent out a couple of months ago requesting completion of our customer survey. Thanks to everyone who completed it. The feedback in general has been really useful in terms of expanding the customer experience plans I have for the year. I'll be sending out a further survey later in the year to gain feedback on the changes we're making.
Here are the main things I’m focusing on this year:
Ensuring we’re appropriately structured and staffed.
I spent my first few months reviewing our structure & ways of working to understand how effectively we were setup to support excellent customer service. After this review I took the decision to merge our customer facing teams into a newly formed Customer Success team. The formation of this team will allow for closer working particularly between Support & Account Management which will allow for a more streamlined & co-ordinated experience for you.
During the past few months the demand for our Porting service has increased dramatically. This has meant our customers have encountered delays with porting and this was echoed loudly in the feedback from the survey. To tackle this we have hired 2 new porting technicians so we can handle porting requests much more quickly. We have also seconded a member of our Support team to the Porting team to help tackle the backlog that has been created due to the sudden increase in demand.
We have also bolstered out our Service Management department by adding an additional Service Manager to the team who is joining aql next month. This will enable aql to be able to monitor the service we are providing to you, provide more detailed reporting as well as work with you to understand our processes and escalation paths.
Building a closer partnership with customers.
Before I joined aql, I managed the Partnerships team at a leading clinical systems provider to the NHS. Working with customers to collaborate as partners is in the DNA of how I work. If you’re a channel partner, we want to have a true partnership relationship with you so we can support you in accelerating your sales by providing support, training & advice. If you are a direct customer of our services, we want to work with you to understand your current business needs and strategy as well as your future plans. This enables our Account Management team to understand where aql can support you as well as providing aql with insight of our customers potential future needs and feed this into our Product Management team for consideration.
We’re introducing regular account meetings with our customers and your Account Manager may have already reached out to you. However, if you would like to meet then just let me know and this can be arranged. In the account review we aim to understand your business and business needed, cover your current products/services with aql & discuss any other relevant services with you. It would be great if we could visit our customers at their offices to get a feel for their business and meet some of the employees we speak to regularly!
Re-engineering our processes around the customer.
Too often in companies, processes are setup for the benefit of easing a certain departments workload rather than for the benefit of providing a slick customer experience. We don’t want to work that way - we want to structure our ways of working by first asking the question - is this way of working the best way to deliver excellent customer service? With this in mind we have started a project to review the full end to end customer journey of companies dealing with aql with a view to improving and optimising all steps. I will update you on progress of the project over the coming months via updates in this newsletter.
Making aql’s account team your trusted advisor around our products and the industry.
We want to provide you with up to date industry information and expert product advice & support. We’re investing in significant product & market training for our customer-facing teams, and recently completed a 2-day offsite with all of our Account Management and Product teams on our products and the industry, and regular training sessions are being arranged throughout the year. All of our customer facing teams now have to complete a ‘aql quiz’ every 6 months, testing them on aql’s products and industry knowledge, with a minimum 80% pass rate. This means you can trust us to provide consistently expert support & advice moving forward.
I’d love to hear any more ideas you’ve got on how we can provide better service, and I hope to meet you at some point soon. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my mobile number is 07840 058 778 if you want to get in touch.