“What do you do?”
“Oh, I work in customer support...”
Eyes glaze over. The conversation moves onto something else. And I feel like standing my ground.
”You don’t understand! It’s not that customer support.”
I know what they’re thinking: headphones, rote scripts, impersonal interactions, high stress levels and inevitably bad customer service… The opposite to how I spend my days and what we, as a team, work towards in Ex Ordo.
And why aren’t we like that customer support? I mean, it must work right? It is the standard approach for software companies. Try getting a human to chat with you like a human, about your computer or your phone or your wireless support. I’ll bet you have a story filled with rage and frustration.
Does that work for you? It doesn’t work for me.
Here at Ex Ordo, we decided to take it back to basics - why do customer support teams exist? To help people when they have a problem. Simple.
I’m going to be straight with you - things break. Great ideas in the design room don’t work. And we get things wrong.
But we’re here to listen to what’s happened and (at least try) to fix it. And, really, to chat to customers like a human...we all like a sympathetic ear when things are not going as planned. Talking and, crucially, listening to people means they have a better experience and we learn more; both about our team and our product.
Why did we extend our support hours? Because people asked for it. Why can you now upload branding for your conference? Because people asked for it. Why are we releasing a new registration hub? Because people asked for it.
As a small company, we could be afraid of spending long hours on the phone and even more afraid of getting negative feedback. Shouldn’t we be worrying about conserving resources, making sure our customer numbers increase and our response times are low?
Well yes, we’re not mad, we worry about that too, but our support team worries most about whether our customers feel heard. Can they tell us something is not going OK? Can they explain they have two other conferences happening right now so they just can’t remember what that button means and could we possibly help? This is our focus and so we work to make sure our interactions aren’t a chore or a hassle for people but that they get a solution for their problem. Maybe along with a joke (or three). Simple.
This is where we are different. Being in support may sound like I spend my days listening to people’s problems but, in reality, I just get to spend time with people - learning their holiday plans, why their colleague hasn’t been up to scratch with a project and that they just need someone to lean on a little bit. And, when you spend that time with people, it’s not that customer support any longer - it’s not even a job. It’s just two people talking and getting through something together. I will put my hands up though - we do have headphones!
Ex Ordo’s software exists to help people organise conferences so communities of people can come together and connect. We exist to support this connection - why would our support team be any different?