You satisfy your customers, but can you satisfy our curiosity?
With Giovanni Lepori, Head of Customer Success at Hunter.io.
Please tell us a little bit about your company and what you do there.
Hunter.io is an all-in-one cold email software that includes an email finder, email verifier, and cold email sending capabilities. Our mission as a company is to help businesses get in touch with people who matter to their businesses, while staying compliant. As the Head of Customer Success, I lead a small team of five people who focus on user satisfaction, retention, and engagement.
Which celebrity would be really great at your job, and why?
Keanu Reeves could do really well in a customer success role. His reputation for being down to earth, empathetic, and easy to approach could help him build strong customer relationships and provide exceptional support.
What’s the most valuable thing that working in customer service has taught you?
Treat every user as a top priority, regardless of their subscription level. At Hunter, we’re a tight-knit team focused on speed and innovation, and we’ve realized that attentive user listening and feedback tracking are vital for us.
“Our commitment to making users feel valued and heard drives our growth as a company and our commitment to providing a great user experience”
By actively listening to our users, we’re not only able to gain insights that shape our future releases but we’re also equipped to identify and tackle interface issues proactively. This proactive approach is crucial as it helps prevent these issues from evolving into significant obstacles for our users. To sum up, our commitment to making users feel valued and heard drives our growth as a company and our commitment to providing a great user experience.
What’s your greatest productivity hack?
They are all about teaming up with one or more teammates to handle customer queries – whether they’re new ones, or ones we’ve dealt with before. This way of working has brought our team several benefits:
- Sharing know-how: We’re combining our expertise to solve problems better. Two (or more) brains are more powerful than one!
- Getting on the same page with exceptions: When tricky situations pop up, we’re all on the same page about how to handle them. Keeping things consistent is key.
- Involving the whole team: Everyone’s on board with the same support standards. And here’s the rule: never skip a pair support session! We’re having these sessions every two weeks between support agents, and once a month we’re inviting colleagues from other departments. They offer a fresh perspective that can highlight areas for improvement we might not have noticed within the support team. It’s a team effort to make things even better!
What’s the best customer service you’ve ever experienced?
I consistently receive excellent customer service from Customer.io. This is because the support inquiries I send them tend to be quite technical. As a result, their agents take the time to review and provide precise and thorough solutions. This approach has been consistent over the years, which I appreciate, as I hate receiving canned responses that don’t effectively address my specific concerns.
What’s the worst customer service you’ve ever experienced?
I’ve encountered quite a few instances of disappointing customer service, but the ones that stand out as the worst involve airline companies and broadband service providers. It’s painful when you feel like you’re just a number, and consequently, having high expectations for quality customer support becomes a challenge. Unfortunately, this seems to be the norm in businesses of those industries.
“My top piece of advice would be to genuinely listen to your customers”
What’s the strangest thing a customer has asked you?
Back when I first joined Hunter, something funny happened. We started getting chat and email requests from users who thought we were actually Airbnb’s support. The reason? Well, there’s this popular travel blogger who mentioned Hunter as a way to find Airbnb support emails in one of their blog posts. We decided to reach out to the blogger to clear things up and avoid any more mix-ups in the future.
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to your peers in the customer service industry?
My top piece of advice would be to genuinely listen to your customers. Understanding their needs, concerns, and feedback is vital in creating meaningful solutions. By actively listening, you not only build trust but also gain insights that can lead to continuous improvement.
What’s the best thing a customer has ever said to you?
One of the best pieces of feedback I received was: “You really understood my issue and went the extra mile to help me. Thanks a lot for your time and help.” It’s moments like these that highlight the value of attentive and personalized customer service and the positive impact it can have on users.
What’s your most used emoji in customer chats?
🙂 – when chatting, I make an effort to sprinkle in extra positivity. I know I can communicate in a less formal way when helping users.
What do you wish people knew about working in customer service?
I think it’s important for people to understand that working in customer service is more than just addressing customers’ issues. Especially in smaller companies, it’s all about helping out and building connections with potential and current users. Customer service is like the front stage of the company, where empathy, creative problem-solving, and constant learning come together to give the best support possible.