Customer service has always been a top priority for LiveU. Over the last year, this function in the organization has undergone a transformation, with “Professional Services” becoming “Customer Success”. This change isn’t just semantic – it represents an important new mindset and a fundamental shift in approach.
So what does this really mean? To explain it further, we’ve turned to Assaf Shisha-Halevy, LiveU’s Customer Success Manager, who is a passionate advocate of the methodology and is driving the transformation in the company.
Assaf, what is the main difference between customer support/service, and customer success?
Good customer service is of course highly important from a purely business standpoint. Happy customers stay with you longer, refer others to your company and generally increase cash flow to your business.
However, customer support/service is basically a PASSIVE concept, usually revolving around open issues and problems; it is not striving to make sure that the customer is successful in its business, initiating contact throughout the journey.
Customer success is more PROACTIVE, providing a holistic and wide approach for everyone in the company, to “maximize the value the customer generates from utilizing the solutions of the vendor” (Source: Wikipedia).
Once a customer buys any product, whether it’s a smartphone, computer or non-technical, they have some expectations. Most companies aren’t really aware of their expectations or “desired outcomes”, i.e. what did they want to achieve by buying it?
With Customer Success, companies try to engage with the customer, making contact to see what can be improved (analyzing all the statistics etc.) to make improvements in the usability of the product and to understand fully the desired outcomes. Customer Success managers try to know their customers better, understand why he or she had this feedback, what needs to be done about a particular feature/capability etc. and what may be missing from the onboarding process.
What steps did you take when you first came to LiveU?
When I first arrived, I tried to know as much as I could about our types of customers, and their specific roles, what they expect to achieve (i.e. their “desired outcomes”), and whether there are any gaps. We sent out two customer success surveys, one to our customers, and one to be used by our partners with their end-users, entitled “Helping to make 2018 an exceptional year”, taking the feedback we received and actively implementing it into our processes (and roadmap).
If we see a gap, we do everyone we can to close it, which can involve training, software and hardware development and more. We constantly ask our customers if they’re happy with our solution, reviewing and learning from their input.
Most companies aren’t as familiar with this approach as we are. They know about customer retention and churn, but they don’t follow this approach.
Why is Customer Success so important today? What does it mean for LiveU and its customers?
In general, products are becoming more similar. Just providing a product isn’t enough. In the "Era of the Customer", it is becoming harder and harder to differentiate between different elements produced by the same company. If you "produce" exceptional customer service, people will naturally assume you have exceptional products. It goes both ways.
When you take the time to courteously and effectively take care of your customer’s issues, it shows them you truly care about them. Empathy drives engagement and retention. In addition, by introducing a “voice of the customer” methodology, you’ll get valuable feedback on your products as well as gauging customer satisfaction.
Of course, we truly believe that our flagship HEVC solution is best in the market (and not just because we think so but because of the quality and reliability it’s been shown to provide!) however we also aim to exceed expectations in our relationships with our customers and partners, being constantly proactive, and always following up afterwards. We never close a case without the customer’s consent. The case will only be closed with their agreement.
Customer Success is about going the extra mile, feeling the customer’s pressure and empathizing with their situation. This is crucial is our industry which deals with breaking news and live event coverage. With live coverage, you simply can’t get it wrong and we do everything we can around-the-clock to get the desired outcome.
Transparency and trust are also critical. Customers need to be treated with respect. We constantly let them know what we are doing to resolve any issues, contacting them to tell them what is happening.
What are you, and LiveU, trying to achieve in the short and long-term?
We’re aiming to make the difference, striving to exceed our customers’ expectations all the time. For example: our response time is immediate for calls, now also with Chat, and between 6-8 minutes for emails. This applies 24/7/365, with an immediate, personal response from a team member. We also replace equipment before we even get the other equipment back as part of our RMA policy
We have put in place Key Performance indicators (KPIs), carefully selecting (1), implementing (2), monitoring (3), analyzing (4) and learning (5) from them.
Our aim is keep an open communication channel with the customer, constantly engaging with them, via updates, newsletters, visits, events, social media and more.
And lastly, where does your personal passion for this come from?
I guess I’m a people’s person, it’s in my nature. I truly care about people and have always been service-oriented. I think that people always deserve more. I try to be empathic at all times, ready and willing to go that extra mile...