By Mike Althoff, Director of Customer and Member Success, K4Connect – In my previous blog post I discussed how the Customer and Member Success Team is vital to the overall success of K4Connect. Rather than simply walking customers through a script, K4Connect Advocates strive to provide Members with the best possible care and compassion when assisting them with their new K4Community application.
This is because at K4Connect, our definition of “success” goes far beyond the traditional norm:
- Success is not a Department – every Advocate at K4Connect has a passion to serve.
- And for those Advocates who more directly interface with Members and Customers strive, they first to:
- Recognize the person’s dignity.
- Feel empathy.
- Be available.
In the end, for K4Connect:
Success is not a Department, it’s a Culture
Being a technology company whose end-users are often (mistakenly) thought to be anti-technology provides us with the opportunity to define what Success can and should look like. A happy Member is someone who is comfortable using, and finds value in, K4Community. That does not mean training them to use our technology but rather designing and developing technologies that are meant specifically for – and with – those we serve.
Ask any K4Connect Advocate a question they are not able to answer, and I can assure you what they WILL NOT tell you is, “let me pass you off to the Customer Service Department.” No such thing here, and more importantly, we believe it is the responsibility of any Advocate to track down the answer and drive towards a resolution on our Members and Customers’ behalf. Sure – we have dedicated Customer and Member Success teams – but did you know that over half of the issues they address on a monthly basis are initially raised by another K4Connect Advocate? That means that our developers, installers, sales team members, and education partners are all first Advocates, and secondarily responsible for completing their job responsibilities.
Dignity, Empathy, Availability
Three tenets that any of us who work directly with K4Community members strive to follow are to recognize the person’s dignity, feel empathy as you communicate, and be available to them – in time, language, and medium. So, let’s break down what these mean in more detail!
The picture above hangs in the Executive Director’s office of one of our Customer communities. I saw it last week as I was stopping in to review K4Community data with her. I couldn’t imagine a better pictorial explanation of ‘Recognize Dignity.’
Our Members – no matter their age, no matter their health – are people. Full stop. We believe everyone deserves to speak with an Advocate who treats them with respect, and communicates with patience, intelligence, and clarity. Providing members with opportunities to teach us through their stories, asking questions, even laughing is how we can do our part to recognize their dignity.
We very intentionally use the word Empathy at K4Connect. While we certainly expect sympathy – caring and understanding for the suffering of others – we strive for empathy: the ability to experience the feelings of another person.
It is not possible for our Advocates to ever know exactly what else might be going on in someone we serve’s life. However, it is also not possible to advocate without adopting that person’s feelings and applying the best solution to the issue at hand. We believe it is our responsibility to love your parent (the Member), as much as you do. Empathy enables this responsibility.
Lastly, we seek to be available to all with whom we engage. This obviously speaks to being respectful and empathetic, but also means we cannot measure our engagement by standard “customer support” measures. We believe in People, not Bots!
We DO NOT measure ourselves by ‘tickets per agent’ or ‘tickets per hour’ because we want our Advocates to have the time to be available for the person they’re supporting.
We DO NOT use industry or product jargon with the expectation that the person on the other end should know the words we’re using. “App, home screen, reboot, settings, protocol” – all these words might have no meaning to a member. We strive to identify when this is the case and use language that enables comprehension. Instead of ‘reboot,’ we say “turn the device off and then turn it back on.” 10x more words for clarity. Be available.
Lastly, we DO NOT funnel members to a specific way of communicating with us. Phone, email, chat, in-app calling, in-app messaging – our success team is available through multiple media so that a Member, Customer associate or staff member, or anyone else can reach us however they like.
At K4Connect, we recognize the dignity of, feel empathy towards, and strive to be available to anyone whom we might have the privilege to advocate for and with on a daily basis. It is core to values, and what we believe drives our continued success.