Podcast Ep #3 | How to Measure Customer Success

About this podcast

We interviewed Scott Gilbert, Senior Director of Global Customer Support, of Qumu, Inc. and discussed how Qumu’s customer service is excelling during COVID-19, what type of metrics they measure to make sure customers are satisfied, and much more.


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Interview Transcript

Andrea Palten:
Welcome to the future of customer service podcast. I’m Andrea Palten, from Inbenta. And I will be interviewing customer support and service professionals to see what is currently working well, what issues they’re trying to overcome, and the future success of customer service. Today, we have Scott Gilbert, Senior Director of Global customer support from Qumu Inc. Thank you so much for being here. So Scott, tell us what do you do for Qumu?

Scott Gilbert:
Thank you for having me. I guess if somebody asked me to describe my job there’s my title but really, I focus on being kind of a promise keeper to our customers. We make a lot of claims about how our service helps customers communicate, and I just really want to make sure that that we follow through on that commitment that we make in the sales process. So I kind of look at myself as the chief promise keeper around here and in working in conjunction with our sales team, and in our cloud services team and all the teams that support us, just making sure that the value we advertise the customers, they’re going to get that. And I make sure that they get it once they become a full time customer.

Andrea Palten:
Yeah, I love that chief promise keeper. That’s awesome. I haven’t heard that yet. So at Qumu your title is global customer support. So what countries do you guys serve?

Scott Gilbert:
We’re global. We’ve got customers all around the globe in terms of my team. We’ve got folks in California. We’ve got a team in Japan. We’ve got a support team in India, Croatia, Serbia, and as well as Minneapolis. So we’ve got folks virtually around the globe. And our customers are there too.

Andrea Palten:
Okay, so I sent you five questions. So we’re going to go over those. I ask everybody that comes on our podcast, these five questions. So number one, what have you done to promote great customer service in your organization?

Scott Gilbert:
And this is a great question. It’s truly a passion of mine to just make sure that we provide a great experience. There’s three things I thought of when I was reading the question. One is we try to really focus on our mission and our vision, and getting that right and bringing that down to a ground level for all of the team members. So we have your written exercises, we have the team go through from time to time, where they read our mission and our vision statements, and then they actually write out the types of things they’d like for customers to say about their personal service. And we have them review that over a three week or 30 day period, and then basically say at the end of the 30 days when we say just alright now your sole job here is to go out and actually get a customer to write a review of your work that’s as good as what you wrote. And, and so that’s one way that we do it. There’s a couple other ways that we do it. But that’s one that I think has really helped us over time just staying connected to the mission, staying connected to the vision and and what we’re all about.

Andrea Palten:
That’s a really good exercise. So we know obviously, all companies will have limited resources. How’s your organization managing either the lack of time or the lack of resources on your customer support teams?

Scott Gilbert:
Yeah, This is an interesting one, because, you know, everybody seems to be struggling. I talked with my Help Desk manager for our internal Help Desk the other day and he had opened I think it was on a Tuesday. The previous Wednesday, he’d opened a Priority 1 ticket with one of our vendors. And by that following Tuesday, six days later, he still hadn’t heard anything from them since he’d opened this P1, a system down priority issue. And he just told them to close it. I’ve had other vendors of my own that I’ve relied on consistently over the years, and I’ve seen quality drops and the response times, the follow up hasn’t been there. I’ve got so many other stories from other coworkers. And so for us, we’ve really haven’t had the quality drops and strain that other vendors who have exhibited. Part of that is because we have, we’re a virtual team anyway, and we are kind of armed with all of the locations that we had. We were able to quickly get employees that were working in offices where they weren’t doing that and get them transitioned to the home base situation very quickly. And so fortunately, we haven’t seen those kinds of quality drops or streaming that other vendors seem to be exhibiting. I think that’s also partly because we focus on metrics. We really look at our metrics all the time. And I know we’re going to talk a little bit about that in a second. But, you know, what we’ve actually seen, fortunately, is improvements in the first reply times and the time to resolve our tickets. All of those key metrics that we measure have actually seen improvements in 2020. Surprisingly! But I know that a lot other people are really struggling through this pandemic, and my heart goes out to them. But we haven’t fortunately been experiencing that so far this year.

Andrea Palten:
Yeah, it’s funny, because it’s not just customer service, which you expect with the influx of customer service requests, but even sales, which you usually don’t expect that they’re dropping the ball, but I was working with a company on translations for website, and a couple of companies actually didn’t write back at all. So everybody is struggling right now. It’s crazy out there. So you started talking, Scott, about some of the key metrics that you guys are testing. So can you repeat the ones that you mentioned? And what other success measurements do you have? And how often do you look at it?

Scott Gilbert:
The kind of picture we look at is sort of a little bit of a journey. Like you’re on a trip, you’re going on a plane, there’s a process, and what do you want at the end of the process, you want to get to your destination, safely and fast. And those things kind of translate into the support world as speed. Time is speed. But safety represents the satisfaction that you have going through the process. And so those are the two things we really measure for speed and quality. And when it comes to speed, we’re really looking at things like the average speed of our first reply. So a customer submits a ticket, how many minutes? In how many minutes we are responding. We look at other things like one touch resolution. So how many times out of the percentage of tickets that we bring in? How many times are we able to just reply to that ticket and resolve it with just one one answer? And then finally, is average ticket resolution time. So that’s from start to finish, how long does that take? And so that kind of focuses on the speed side, the quality side is scientific, but it’s also a little bit intuitive. So, customer satisfaction ratings definitely after every ticket, we polled our customers to see if they’re satisfied, and deal with unsatisfied customers. Also escalations are they come from the sales team or from other folks with an organization is something that we track and measure. And kind of have watched decrease over time, fortunately. And then finally at the highest level their reputation. We’ve recently had some executive changes here. We have a new CEO who came in and he was actually doing a broadcast for us last month. And one of my team members asked him, what are you hearing from customers and our partners? And, and the first thing he said is, what a great support customer support team we have. And that type of thing gives us confidence that we’re doing what we need to do in order to provide a great experience for our customers.

Andrea Palten:
Yeah, that’s really good. And then how often did you say measure that?

Scott Gilbert:
We measure daily. We’re looking at the stats. I mean, it all rolls up weekly, monthly, yearly, but we’re looking at it daily. And not only as individuals like myself managing the team, but by managers, as a team, we actually come together and look at those stats, bi-weekly. And, and we also send out to kind of encourage the team in a positive way, we send out leaderboards that show who’s doing the best in terms of all of these types of statistics. And, and it kind of drives some friendly competition and it doesn’t have any impact on people’s pay or anything like that, but it drives some friendly competition. Somebody sees that somebody who is doing well in one area, and they maybe want to outdo them. So, but it’s all in a fun way and not in an overly focused way.

Andrea Palten:
I like that. All right. Scott, you’re a leader in the industry in customer support and customer service, I just want to ask you, how is artificial intelligence changing customer service?

Scott Gilbert:
I think it’s to the point where we probably won’t even recognize customer service and technical support as they exist today in the future. Somebody mentioned this the other day, they said 75% of the jobs that will exist in 10 years don’t exist today. And I think that’s very true of what you’ll see in customer service and technical support. It’s only going to make it faster. It’s only going to help to make it more personal. And I think that’ll make customers happy. So I think huge changes are afoot with respect to AI.

Andrea Palten:
Yeah, I obviously agree with you, working at Inbenta. Alright, so now I have a last question for you, Scott. What is the number one advice you have for customer service departments?

Scott Gilbert:
You know, for me, there’s three things that I really focus on. The number one is just making sure that you create a great culture on your team. It’s really all about the culture. I actually was on a call with a customer today and they said, your happiness is determined by your coworkers and your manager. And I just endeavour every day to come in and, and promote a culture within my team that people are happy to show up to work. They come in, they do their time and by the end of the day, they’re happy. They’re as happy as when they woke up in the morning before they got to work. And so that’s really key. Culture is the key one for me.

Andrea Palten:
If you have unhappy people, that is just going to come across on the phone and even when their chats. That’s really great. Well, thank you, Scott. I really appreciate your advice and your time. I think that this was really awesome. And I might have to do a follow up with you. So get ready.

Scott Gilbert:
All right, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Andrea Palten:
Bye. Thanks so much for tuning in. This podcast was brought to you by Inbenta. Inbenta’s symbolic AI implements natural language processing that requires no training data with Inbenta’s extensive lexicon and patented algorithms. Check out this robust customer interaction platform for your AI needs. From chat bots to search to knowledge centers and messenger platforms. Just go to our website to request a demo at Inbenta.com. And if you liked what you heard today, please be sure to subscribe to this podcast and leave us a review. Thank you!