Sharpening the saw: Exceptional customer support starts with employee well-being

Customer Support at Contentful interacts with customers and organizations 24/7. The foundation of a thriving team like ours is a supportive work environment.
Published
January 25, 2024
Category

Culture

Topics
Workplace

Every week, Customer Support at Contentful collaborates with hundreds of customers and organizations. In fact, we average thousands of interactions per quarter through our dedicated team spanning three regions, operating on a 24/7 follow-the-sun support model on standby whenever our customers need us.

As a global leader, my mission revolves around fostering and nurturing an environment for a diverse team of senior managers, managers and technical support engineers as well as dedicated technical account managers. We've been crafting and executing a support strategy that goes beyond boundaries, delivering unparalleled support to our valued customers worldwide.

I am passionate about enhancing our customer satisfaction with Contentful, whereby our focus extends to cultivating operational excellence, ensuring that our services are not only efficient but also deeply empathetic.

Our people are equally as important. We understand that managing a global team across different time zones comes with unique challenges as leaders. And from an engineering perspective, the teams are equally challenged and often face intense pressure to resolve complex issues swiftly while ensuring the overall customer satisfaction. However, we believe that a supportive work environment is the foundation of a thriving team. 

The empathetic link connecting customers with solutions

Our Support team is unique. We aren't like Sales, for example; we serve as the empathetic link connecting customers with solutions in the moment. While Support focuses on problem-solving, the Sales team identifies opportunities, constructing the foundational relationships which are handed over to us and we continue to build on.

We read all our customer satisfaction surveys and based on internal data have averaged a 95% satisfaction rating quarter over quarter for the last two years.

I think the mission statement we have in Support really sums up the ethos: Customer Support at Contentful exists to help maximize both product/platform adoption and customer retention, through the delivery of timely and effective solutions of product-related questions and technical issues. 

“I am grateful for the journey with Contentful, where new challenges become a stepping stone for professional and personal growth. The recognition of the impact I contribute to the team and our customers is truly empowering and adds significant meaning to our shared journey” – Dasha Elson, Product Manager Customer Support

But to remain effective in our roles also requires “sharpening the saw,” a technique which Dr. Stephen R. Covey proscribes as the active maintenance of the greatest asset we have — ourselves. As a key habit of highly effective people, “it means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.” So how does the Customer Support team approach this?

How the Customer Support team prioritizes work-life balance

Here's some of the ways we are ensuring the well-being of our team members:

1. Flexibility in work hours

Life doesn't always adhere to schedules, and we get that. We maintain flexibility during work hours, allowing our team members to balance their professional and personal commitments seamlessly. Need to do that school run? No problem... Need that afternoon time slot with the dentist? No problem… We have back-ups in place to cover them.

2. Open-door communication

Communication is key to our success. We foster an ”open door” environment where every team member is heard. We are more than just colleagues; we are a family. Positive or negative, any situation is addressed in the moment, ensuring a supportive atmosphere.

3. Supportive company culture

Our company culture prioritizes the well-being of our employees. We encourage breaks, vacations, volunteering, and days off. Taking care of our team's mental and physical health is a priority, which is why we offer comprehensive health and wellness programs as well as workshops focusing on topics like unconscious bias.

"Receiving consistent recognition and appreciation for the work I do at Contentful makes me feel valued and provides me with positive reinforcement, motivating me to continue putting in my best work to drive better performance for the business whilst enhancing the customer experience."– Champa Sharma, Senior Customer Support Manager

4. Peer support networks

Despite the physical distances, our Support Team stays connected through peer support networks. We provide mediums for team members to share experiences, tips, and technical support. This sense of community strengthens our bonds and enhances our problem-solving capabilities. "We are all in this together."

5. Respect for personal time 

We respect the personal time of our team members. It's crucial to disconnect after work hours to recharge. We actively discourage sending non-urgent emails or messages during their non-working hours, to ensure a healthy work-life balance and prevent burnout. Obviously, there are times in Support where out-of-hours work occurs and we ensure that when this happens the outcome is beneficial to our engineers.

6. Recognition and rewards 

Exceptional performance deserves recognition. We celebrate the dedication and hard work of our team members at all management levels and have tools internally that promote this. Acknowledgement not only boosts morale but also makes every team member feel valued and appreciated.

“In the past year, the acknowledgement of my efforts has been incredibly humbling. Contentful has given me numerous opportunities to expand my knowledge and grow my career. It’s a gratifying feeling to know that your hard work is not only seen but also appreciated, making every challenge worthwhile.” – Kylie Senn, Customer Support Engineer.

A happy team leads to exceptional customer experiences

In our fast-paced, ever-changing world, we recognize the paramount significance of employee as well as customer relationships. Our dedicated team operates with unwavering commitment, seizing every interaction as an opportunity to inspire confidence, offer reassurance, and provide innovative solutions. 

At Contentful, we believe that a happy and well-supported team translates into exceptional support for our customers. By fostering a culture of understanding, open communication, and mutual respect, we continue to overcome the challenges of a global support team.

“My manager has been supportive, giving me helpful feedback on things I am working on. The team is always celebrating everyone’s achievements, no matter how small it is, making me feel very appreciated.” – Fajri Hanny, Customer Support Engineer

Together, we thrive, learn, and achieve remarkable milestones. Join us in embracing a workplace where well-being and work-life balance are not just words but a way of life. Together, we make a difference! 

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Topics
Workplace
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