Kindness & coffee can change more than you think.

A red Starbucks cup sits on snowy branches. The coffee sleeve reads “Crafted by Hand and Heart.”
A red Starbucks cup sits on snowy branches. The coffee sleeve reads “Crafted by Hand and Heart.”
Especially in 2010, this coffee sleeve was 100% accurate. (Photo by Leah Kelley from Pexels)

When I was diagnosed with lattice degeneration in 2009, I felt like I lost everything. My retinas were detaching rapidly (yes, that’s plural), I had to drop out of my master’s program with just one semester left, I had to put my internship on pause, and my boyfriend dumped me. That all happened in the span of about a month or two.

I was devastated. Less so about the boyfriend, but I digress.

When I woke up from my second surgery on my right eye, I had double vision, no depth-perception, no 3D vision, limited peripheral vision, and a myriad of other complications we don’t need to get into right now. …


How Zac became a Customer Success Consultant at Zendesk.

Zac smiling in front of a colorful background with the quote: “Add as much value as you can to the people you support.”
Zac smiling in front of a colorful background with the quote: “Add as much value as you can to the people you support.”

Service. Yes, we all talk about it, especially in the support world. But how many people actually mold their lives around a dedication to service? How many light up when they talk about the people who have taken the time to support them and get genuinely moved at the thought of being able to give just a bit of that back? Without a doubt, Zac fits this description. Zac is humbled by those that have helped him, and he’s excited about the prospect of helping others. …


How Richard became Vice President of Customer Experience at Stratix.

A man smiling with the quote, ““Leadership, customer experience, and technology have driven my career.” — Richard Greenaway
A man smiling with the quote, ““Leadership, customer experience, and technology have driven my career.” — Richard Greenaway

Richard’s work history is impressive. In fact, he works on such large-scale projects that you might assume he’s too busy to be concerned with individual customer interactions. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Our discussion uncovered layer after layer of deep connection to the customers he has worked with through the projects he’s pursued. Three threads run through each role — customer obsession, technology, and leadership. …


How Oswaldo became a Customer Experience Manager at PayJoy.

A man and his son with the words “You have to make small goals to achieve bigger ones.”
A man and his son with the words “You have to make small goals to achieve bigger ones.”

How did Oswaldo become a Customer Experience Manager at PayJoy? Focus and family. At his core, he is laser-focused on his goals and uses his father’s example to drive him toward success. This attitude has allowed Oswaldo to work on exciting projects with international companies, and often to make something out of nearly nothing — as you’ll see him do throughout his career story.

Family ties

Before he began his journey in CX, Oswaldo watched his father excel as a medical representative, “He was a medical rep for about 30 years, so I learned by watching him and hearing him talk about his job. It was interesting how he was not a doctor, but he could understand everything in medical terms. He would explain things to me, and then I would go with him to his appointments while he talked to doctors.” …


How Curtis became a User Operations Specialist.

A picture of a man smiling next to quote, “I believe so much in the mission and vision of what we do. It’s perfect for me.”
A picture of a man smiling next to quote, “I believe so much in the mission and vision of what we do. It’s perfect for me.”

Curtis exudes a natural empathy that is so deeply ingrained in him he doesn’t even recognize it. At one point in our conversation, I mentioned how clearly empathetic he is, and he paused before responding, “I would never have said that about myself if I hadn’t just heard it from you or from other people who say similar things. My husband says things like, ‘You have one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen.’” To Curtis, it doesn’t seem extraordinary. It’s natural.

I think that’s what makes him perfect for human-focused roles. His innate ability to quickly assess a situation, be present, give solid advice, and still be compassionate is unique. Too often, people either react with their gut, which can lead to errors, or they are overly rational and lack empathy. …


How Tara became a User Operations Specialist.

A smiling woman with her hand out and the quote ”I want to get to know who these people are so that I can adapt to help them”
A smiling woman with her hand out and the quote ”I want to get to know who these people are so that I can adapt to help them”

When I spoke with Tara, she was upfront about her unusual career path, “It’s pretty winding.” Hearing the full story, though, there are common threads in every move she makes. Art, sports, helping people, and perhaps most powerfully, ethics and integrity are always at the core of her work. While she has tried many different roles, her unique path is deeply reflective of her personality and passions.

Discovering her motivations

Tara has always enjoyed athletics, spending much of her childhood artistic roller skating and horseback riding. She also uses art as her outlet, “I just have to be creative. …


How Katherine became a User Operations Specialist.

Image for post
Image for post

Without a doubt, Katherine is the person you want on the other end of the line when you have a CX issue. Or really any issue. She’s brimming with genuine care and concern, and you can feel it when she talks about the field.

While she’s new to CX in the formal sense (just hitting a month at The Predictive Index when we spoke), she’s far from inexperienced. Her journey to support started after college when she realized her degree in Business Management and minor in Entrepreneurship wasn’t quite what she was looking for, “It’s funny because I never want to own my own business and I don’t know if I ever want to become a manager. So it’s a bit frustrating that I got that type of degree for all the wrong reasons.” This is such a common issue today, degrees that don’t resonate with the student when they graduate. …


How Jamie became a Manager of User Operations.

Jamie and her sons by the quote ”You may not be exactly where you wanted to be, but you’re exactly where you’re meant to be.”
Jamie and her sons by the quote ”You may not be exactly where you wanted to be, but you’re exactly where you’re meant to be.”
Jamie and her sons.

Before I jump into her profile, I want to share a story from Jamie’s waitressing days because it captures her perfectly. While pregnant with her first son, she took a job at a local restaurant. Every day, an older gentleman came in, ordered the same thing, and ate alone. His name was Thomas, and after some time, Jamie and the rest of the staff learned that he was a retired widower.

Her team surrounded him with friendship, “He would come and eat out on a regular basis — on Wednesdays — and was just looking for conversation. He always ordered the same thing, so at one point, I knew he’d come at this time and order this, and he’d always sit at a specific table. So we started to anticipate and have things ready for him.” They heard stories about his kids, prepared special meals on holidays, and made Thomas’ experience with them memorable. …


How Natalie became a Manager of Customer Support Operations.

Natalie pic &words “I want to be the mirror that people can look at and see there is so much more opportunity within support”
Natalie pic &words “I want to be the mirror that people can look at and see there is so much more opportunity within support”

While I spoke with Natalie, I kept thinking that she’d make a fantastic mentor. Her approach to success and setbacks, her willingness to advocate for herself, and a deep understanding of support all combine to make Natalie a true leader.

But to learn how Natalie built those skills, we have to go back to her roots in education. She took a unique path, and that’s precisely why I’m writing this CX highlight series in the first place. …


Outstanding customer support can turn a negative experience into a lifelong customer.

Woman working on a laptop outdoors.
Woman working on a laptop outdoors.
Ready to work, even on-the-go!

Don’t get us wrong; every team member in an organization is incredibly important. But have you considered how everything would change without customer support? Imagine trying to change a shipping address, figure out a complex cancellation policy, understand your subscription options…the list goes on.

For a while there, it was hard to get a human on the phone to answer your questions. That created a bit of a stigma that support wasn’t so supportive. Now, companies are opening their eyes to why agents are so critical to keeping customers happy or just keeping them in general. …

About

Alexa Huth

Co-author of Undefined World http://undefined-world.com/.

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