October 3, 2016

What AMS Customer Success Should Really Be About

What AMS Customer Success Should Really Be About

When I was asked to write a blog post about our Customer Success team, my gut reaction was “Won’t that take my time away from working with my customers?” (Yes, it did). My second reaction was “Let me guess - you want me to make fun of cable companies.” But, instead of sounding like every other blog post on the internet about customer service, I’m going to stray away from the cable company metaphor. However, for the record, I hate my cable company’s customer service.

I feel like in order for this post to be effective, I should lay out my own personal expectations of what customer service is and acknowledge the fact that without customers, my career is nonexistent.

Here’s the deal - if I am paying my hard earned cash for something, I’m going to have expectations of service. I expect my questions and comments to be addressed. I expect a level of collaboration when working on a problem. And I expect transparency. This is the spirit MemberSuite brings to the table with our Customer Success Management team. More on that later.

I’m just not a negative guy, so instead of telling you about a negative customer service experience I had (cough cough, cable company), I’m going to focus on two positive customer service experiences.

My Pleasure

First, I’m going to talk about a company that provides an incredible customer experience every single time I visit - because the experience is so great I continue to return. This is the type of experience I strive to lend to my own customers. In a wild twist of events, this company is in an industry that is typically known for indifferent employees with little care for the customer - fast food chains. Without further ado, let me introduce - Chick-fil-A.

I’m from Atlanta, so it’s not uncommon to see a Chick-fil-A on many a corner. Their delicious chicken sandwich is just one reason I frequent there - the other is their customer service. When I visit Chick-Fil-A I am greeted with a huge smile, a warm welcome and swift attentive service. After each request of mine, instead of saying “You’re welcome,” “Sure thing,” or “Yep,” I hear “My pleasure.” It’s the smallest detail, but it makes a difference. Instead of feeling as if I am asking for a minor inconvenience, it emanates a sense that the employee, in essence my Customer Service Representative, is happy to help me.

Can I have a free refill? "My pleasure." I love it.

When you become a MemberSuite customer, you are assigned a Customer Success Manager (CSM) and we strive to provide world class service as opposed to asking if you want fries with that. Your CSM is essentially the Swiss Army Knife of your project with MemberSuite, but most importantly we act as your advocate internally. We are involved from day one of the project when you come on board as a customer with us to ensure you have a resource that is familiar with your business process as well as how you intend to use our system. This gives you a voice within our organization that understands your needs, can help shape the direction of our product based on those needs, and ensure you are receiving value. My team wants you to keep coming back to us for conversations because the experience is positive. We are your ally and resource for furthering your knowledge and engagement with the software.

I Like to Say “Yes”

Another example of fantastic customer service that warrants return visits is when customers make outlandish requests and a company follows through. Take, for example, an unusual request from a hotel patron to have a blanket fort built and an elephant made with a towel upon check-in (I stole this idea from my own client, Bill).

Most places would call this a ridiculous request and ignore it, but true customer service is taking a customer’s request and finding a way to say ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ - even if it means going the extra mile or spending an extra dollar. In this particular instance, the hotel followed through and I am willing to guarantee this patron will be back to stay again with the chain.

Here at MemberSuite my role as your Customer Success Manager is to find a way to say “YES!”

I want to say “yes,” instead of defaulting to “no” or sending you through a brutal series of scripted questions. Fortunately, we get to say “yes” often at MemberSuite thanks to our talented team and a system built on an open API. This not only gives us the ability to get creative with customer requests, but bring business processes to life in our software. It eliminates much of the red tape typically found in old school databases.

One thing I have learned working as a Customer Success Manager at MemberSuite for 2 years is that no single association runs their project the same as another.

This gives the Customer Success team broad exposure to various uses of our software that we hadn’t even imagined before. Pair this with our already deep knowledge of how the software works and you have a recipe for endless possibilities to make your project work the way you need it to along with a dedicated resource to help you accomplish the desired outcome.

Your relationship with your AMS vendor shouldn’t be agonizing.

With a Customer Success Manager at MemberSuite you aren’t just getting someone to call about something that’s not going right. We have a Technical Support team to help you with that. You have someone with intimate knowledge of your business, how you use the software and how you intend to use the software in the future. We work with you to develop your knowledge and uses of the system to accomplish precisely what you need and make you happy with your AMS. We can get you to where you need to be. Not many other AMS companies out there can say that they provide this level of Support and we are proud to do so.


Thomas Coleman

Thomas Coleman is a Customer Success Manager at MemberSuite.

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