Customer Success at Ezra
Ezra's COO, Jack Prevezer, talks about the philosophy of "hypercare" that has led Ezra to lean into the idea of customer success rather than mere customer service, and why this matters.
To solve a problem, we must first admit there is one. And when it comes to customer service, let’s be honest – most businesses could do a lot better.
Just think about what we’ve created in the name of so-called customer service: labyrinths of disembodied automated voices on premium-rate phone lines; call-centers with intolerably long wait times; help desks that need two-week lead times to book a ticket; call center representatives that speak from a script without any understanding of their product or service.
I know it has been a while since we attended a social event with our friends, but think back to the days when we could get together and how everyone would love to share customer service horror stories.
How did we get so bad at this? Often, customer service is an after-thought: a responsibility added onto the long list of tasks to be completed by the people who were selling a product or service. These people are not equipped – both in terms of expertise and technical knowledge – to solve all of the problems or answer all of the questions that arise.
Imagine that a few days after buying a new car you hear an alarming noise come from the engine. You immediately call the person who sold you the car, who hands you off to the service department, where you find yourself talking with a customer service representative who is kind and polite but who doesn’t know a spark plug from a heated-seat sensor.
When you call, all you really want is someone to listen to your problem and tell you whether it’s serious or not-so-serious. Instead, all you get is an opportunity to book an appointment in two weeks’ time with the added knowledge that you’ll have to take a half-day off work to visit the repair shop in person.
Somehow along the way, many of us have lost touch with the essence of customer service and in the process reduced the after-sales experience to the bare minimum of support.
It is time to change the paradigm. At Ezra, we believe in “customer success”, not customer service, and core to that success is our belief in “hypercare.”
The rise of customer success is a direct response to putting the customer first. This means identifying with the customer, understanding what their objectives are and shaping the support to reflect those goals.
We took this approach when we built Ezra. Virtual coaching allows us to do things differently, to release the coach-coachee relationship from the constraints of having to meet in-person at fixed times, and to monitor progress and outcomes for our customers in ways that are tangible and demonstrate return on investment (ROI).
But it also allows us to deliver a different kind of customer service model. Every engagement starts by understanding the client need: what are they looking to achieve with coaching? We then shape a comprehensive team, with specialists to focus on: participant care; technical support; and delivering meaningful insight for the HR buyer. Whether it be the organization or the participants, we are able to provide comprehensive support.
For us, this moves beyond the transactional and enables us to truly partner with our customers to build better managers, better leaders, better cultures.
Do you want to improve customer service at your company? Here are a few steps I’d like to share:
Refocus your recruitment and hiring processes so that you are hiring the right people with the mindset, skills and behaviours to work within a customer success culture. Your people need to be responsive and possess a full grasp of emotional intelligence. And above all, they must be passionate about your product.
Survey your customers to find out exactly what it is they want from your service and whether they are currently getting it. You can’t fix it if you don’t know what the problems are.
Product and service are part of the same parcel. This means removing siloes in your company and ensuring sales, delivery and product work together in harmony. Close collaboration is essential between all the different groups, aided by cross-functional planning tools.
Your relationship with your customer is a partnership. Listen to what they say, care about the things they care about, and respond in meaningful and actionable ways.
If you follow these steps and embrace a culture of customer success, it might mean the difference between just selling a one-off product or service, and winning a long-term customer.
Ezra has redesigned leadership coaching for the digital age to transform your company’s workforce through affordable, scalable and high-impact solutions that promote equitable access through our world-class coaching app. Find out today how everyone can be better with a coach.