We all know what it's like to be a user at the other end of an online chat, an email exchange, or a phone call. Too often, users are left hanging with an overall feeling of helplessness. I can't tell you the number of times I've been irate after waiting way too long to speak with a customer service rep only to be disappointed by the robotic, canned answers I receive.
So when we started Routific, I vowed we would be different.
For starters, we speak human. No canned answers. No technobabble. We listen. We empathize. We connect, human to human.
Today I'm introducing you to one of Routific's humans – our Customer Support Lead Sophie Ellis.
Conversation with Sophie Ellis
Suzanne: How do you measure customer satisfaction at Routific, and how happy are our customers so far?
Sophie: We actually just ask our customers if they are happy with our customer support! Most of our communication with our customers happens right in Routific, using our online live chat. So whenever a conversation ends, they are prompted to tell us how we did in solving their issue, or answering their questions. They rate us on a scale of emojis, which has a range of angry, sad, neutral, happy, or really happy!
We strive for over 90% of our users being either happy or really happy with their experience when reaching out to us. Currently we are above that goal sitting closer to 98% for the past year!
Suzanne: 98%. Wow! That’s great to hear. How do you think you were able to achieve that?
Sophie: I’m very proud of our team. The key to it is being personable. Understanding that people want to talk to real people. We have some fantastic characters in our roster. We’ve got Chris, our Customer Success Manager, who is just such a lovable charismatic guy. We have Jian, our Account Executive, who is so knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile. We have some fantastic people who really make us shine.
Suzanne: And you of course, Sophie! So, as you said, at Routific we’re real people talking to real people. Sometimes a customer might not be happy with us. What do you do when that happens?
Sophie: My go-to action plan is to first identify the issue – really hear out the customer. They are my priority, and if something isn’t right, I want to make sure it gets fixed! Then I set up a clear course of action. I let them know what I am going to do to help, what they might need to do in the meantime as a workaround, and of course when I will be getting back to them, and I stick to that impeccable agreement! I might not always have answers right away, but I find, that as long as a plan is made and followed, it gives everyone peace of mind.
To be really honest, I have worked in customer facing roles for over a decade, and I have never had clients that are as consistently kind and happy as I see here at Routific. I don’t know if it is simply the last-mile delivery industry, or if Routific just attracts incredible people, but most of the time, talking to a client is a really fun experience.
Suzanne: What are some of the most memorable customer interactions you’ve had so far?
Sophie: We had one customer who pivoted to delivering gourmet meal kits for their restaurant during the height of the pandemic. They only needed Routific a short period of time, so we gave them access to Routific for free. They were really thankful so they suprised me with a lamb dinner. The restaurant happened to be in my neighborhood, so the food was delivered fresh to my house! It was delicious; certainly something I will never forget!
Suzanne: Being on the front lines of customer support can be draining because you’re constantly trying to help/please others. What are some things you do for yourself to fill your own cup?
Sophie: It can certainly take a lot out of you being the first point of contact in support. A lot of the companies we work with are small businesses. Every minute and every cent counts. And the team and I definitely feel the weight of it.
In my previous roles, I found people reached out with simple technical issues. But in this role, a lot of our users are already quite tech-savvy. They’re not reaching out about how to right-click. Most people reach out with issues that require a lot of problem solving. Some of the questions I get are related to workflows and business practices.
To fill my cup, I try to de-stress by doing something creative. At work, I like to join our designers workshop, where anyone can join and learn more about software design. It is an interest of mine, and I love collaborating with another team of Routicians!
Outside of work, my idea of relaxing is painting. And that can mean painting a picture on canvas, painting a room in my house, or re-staining an old piece of furniture that I find at the side of the road. I like to keep busy with creative projects that get my hands dirty – it makes me feel fulfilled.
Suzanne: You are a singer and a trivia enthusiast. Tell us more about your hobbies and how they help shape you as a person.
Sophie: Haha. I think that it is safe to say I am an extrovert and always have been. Singing in a jazz band made me confident in my voice, and taught me that what I say matters. Music is a discipline, but jazz has a lot of room to improvise. So, it taught me to take risks and come up with new ways to do things – which ultimately helps me a lot in life, and at work.
As for trivia, I am drawn more to creating trivia for other people. Teaching might just be my first love, and trivia gives me the opportunity to teach in a fun competitive way. It also is an outlet for all of the strange facts my brain seems to want to retain.
Suzanne: It makes sense that teaching is your first love! You’ve been so great teaching our customers how to best leverage Routific in very complex situations. And, I think at least 98% of our users would agree. 🙂
Suzanne Ma is a former journalist and published author turned co-founder at Routific, a route optimization platform. She loves to capture inspiring stories from small business entrepreneurs, and share their journeys of growth alongside Routific. As a Product Marketer, she ensures that the community stays up to date on the latest innovations at Routific.
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