Josh O’Farrell of Spearline shares some key insights into customer engagement and maintaining strong customer relationships.
The role of a Customer Engagement Manager at Spearline is to build a long-lasting relationship with the customer, ensuring they have a positive experience with the company, and that they get the most out of our products and services.
The role entails having regular contact with customers to get to know them and their organization, allowing us to help them achieve their goals and objectives, focusing on key indicators in their telecoms infrastructure.
In a recent episode of the Spearline Podcast, Customer Engagement Manager Brendan Clarke spoke about how the recent change to remote working has actually strengthened his relationship with his customers.
“It has made it more personal. We have more informal contact alongside structured meetings. Quick phone conversations are happening readily,” said Brendan.
“We’re busier than we’ve ever been. It’s just finding different methods of communication rather than having too many conference calls.”
Because of increased pressures on internet services, there has been an impact on the performance of video and VOIP conferencing services at various times. The use of traditional fixed-line or mobile phones for quick check-ins has really increased.
While Spearline was highly proactive in the sudden change to the work-from-home environment, this sudden jolt proved to be difficult for other companies.
“I’ve got customers in areas that did not enter lockdown states as quickly as others and the impact that they were experiencing on their telecoms services was a real shock to them,” adds Brendan. “They were really surprised to learn what was happening in and around the COVID-19 epicentres.”
It is widely known that some countries were affected worse than others by this sudden change. As instability crept into telecommunications performance across the globe, network management had a growing concern about coping with increased alerts and trouble tickets.
Because governments were unsure of how to deal with COVID-19 and lockdowns within their own countries, it was a frustrating time for both customers and Spearline.
“The first few days were extremely busy. It was a case of proactively going out to customers, saying, I’m going to help you by refining your alerts flow and helping your teams focus,” Brendan explained.
He continued to highlight how Spearline’s CE Managers actively reached out to customers, who were updated each hour of every day on which countries were struggling the most.
Fortunately, the team had managed to calm their customers’ worries from the mania of the first few days and ensured they were constantly looked after, avoiding any unnecessary panic from happening again. So far, operations have continued to run smoothly, but the team is ever vigilant.
Regarding the relationships between the CE team and their customers, Brendan shared how he believed that this crisis had actually brought them closer: “Empathy is a quality that you need in customer relations. You’ve got to get into the mind of the customer.”
He further explained that by putting yourself in the shoes of a customer, you must always be aware of the different impacts that any and all issues are having, first and foremost on the people, and also their respective localities.
“If you have customers located in highly populated and congested areas, you’ve got to understand that they may be experiencing the tragedy of this moment,” said Brendan.
“How can you remain proactive by keeping in touch with customers, while also giving them time to handle the issues that they are experiencing? This is key to strengthening the relationship between the manager and the customer.”
Concluding the interview, Brendan shared his opinions about the next step for companies in the wake of the pandemic, particularly what it means for his customers.
Brendan said: “I think it’s going to change the way we look at how we do our jobs. I think if nothing else, we have to realize that there is a whole cohort of people in every country who were previously considered as unskilled workers and were on minimum wage, but these were the people who ultimately saved the lives of others and kept countries operating.”
He added that most companies do not want to put any of their staff at unnecessary risk and that many companies and their employees have gained a new perspective: “I think all of us have taken a step back, reflected, and started taking things for granted less.”
Currently, the Spearline office, along with many other businesses across the globe, is slowly starting to open its doors and welcome staff back.
Brendan and a number of the customer engagement team have cautiously returned to the office, while some remain remote working.
Fortunately, the transition from office to working from home and then back again was seamless, with all customers being looked after throughout the pandemic with continual support from the customer engagement and support teams.
Knowing that customer support is only a mouse click or phone call away is a massive reassurance to customers, and has strengthened Spearline’s relationships with its customers.
Whether remote working is the “new normal” or not, Spearline will always continue to prioritize our customers, ensuring they have the best quality of support at all times.
For further information about Spearline, visit: www.spearline.com