Listen, I’m not afraid to admit I’m a millennial and we’re all about living life on-demand. From the people we date to the food we want delivered to our doorsteps, we’re able to mandate exactly what we find acceptable in all situations.
Why wouldn’t the same be true of our customers, and what they expect from their Success professionals?
I’ve recently stepped into a people leadership role at Sprout Social, and it’s given me a new lens with which I’m looking at navigating “tough customers” or members of the “Demand Generation” as I like to think of them.
The nuggets of gold dropped by Sergio and Joe this month are spot on – your people should feel empowered by understanding what is expected of them, and must be operating with a level of autonomy that enables them to navigate tricky situations without you hovering over every hairy communication thread.
Part of enabling your reps to feel empowered when navigating the many faces of the Demand Generation is by setting the expectation that every member of your team should be solutions oriented.
To better serve your customers, you should be thinking about interactions as opportunities to solve problems and make lasting impressions. We’re here to say “Hey, I’m here to help – even if I’m not able to solve your problem by myself.”
(You know what’s about to happen – I’m about to drop some acronym realness on you that you’ve probably heard at a workshop at some point in your career. 💡)
One of my favorite resources I like to call upon when operating day-to-day is the H.E.A.R.T method:
Because what we’re really saying if we’re abiding by the laws of H.E.A.R.T (❤️) is :
We’re here and we’re listening
We care about your problems
We understand the exact root cause of your concern
We’ll do our best to “make it go away”
We’re glad you brought this to our attention
And if you’re operating daily at a frequency where components of H.E.A.R.T are being used (let’s be real, you might not use them all at once), you’re building solid credibility of your team, your organization, and your company.
My “Demand Generation” are really out here just looking to be loved: they want to know they’re purchasing/subscribing to companies that value their partnership, they expect a consistent level of product/service availability, they appreciate transparency, and they want to know you care about them and their continued satisfaction and growth. When stuff breaks? They’ll be willing to understand, as long as they have faith that you’ll fix it.
(Wow, that sounds like I’ve described our collective college ex.)
But in all seriousness, start wearing your H.E.A.R.T on your collective team sleeve. Your reps will feel better when they’re met with tough asks. Your customers will feel respected and valued. And you? The “I’d like to speak to someone who can actually help me. Please have your manager contact me directly.” emails will become less and less!
Peace up, A-town down, my friends. ✌️
Jenn Arevalo is one of the co-founders of the Chicago Customer Success Podcast. She is currently a Team Lead on the Account Management team with Sprout Social.