As Helcim grows we adjust our team's focus and priorities to adapt to the needs of our merchants. We do this because providing excellent customer service has always been important to us. This week in the vlog we took an inside look at why we are combining our sales and customer service teams.
What Customer Service is Not
At Helcim you're not going to experience the customer service that has become commonplace at many large organizations. Often when you've signed up with a large organization it's the long-term contracts and hefty fees that keep you locked into your relationship with them. When a problem arises, you have no choice but to work with their customer service as best you can to resolve your issue. It is simply too cost-prohibitive to walk away.
When you do call for help, the customer service agents aren't able to resolve your issue effectively. The customer service agents might be undertrained, unprepared, or not aligned with the company that they are delivering service for, resulting in a poor customer service experience.
We understand how frustrating that type of experience can be and that is why you won't find customer service like that at Helcim. This is also why we do not have cancellation or early termination fees. We want you to be our customer because you want to be.
This is also why our Support Team is such an integral part of the company, they work closely with all the other teams to ensure they can resolve issues if they come up and get you the answers you need as quickly as possible. Our focus on customer service is often mentioned as a memorable aspect of the Helcim experience:
"The customer service provided by the Helcim team is second to none. I've used them for the last 3 years and would highly recommend them to any business looking for great rates & service." - Dave
"Super-duper customer service. Really. We switched over from another provider primarily because of the rates, and then I was very pleased when the customer service was way better also! Calls are always answered promptly by real people. Running a lodge can be quite busy, and frankly, I don't like spending my time on hold. I am also very pleased with the ease of the online interface. Kudos to this company and its staff!" - Spencer
Merging the Teams
When switching up the structure of teams it's not uncommon for team members to need some time to adjust to new tasks. We know that we have the right people in place who will follow Helcim's core values and continue to provide exceptional service and sales support while they work through any growing pains associated with merging the teams. Having the teams combined provides more support internally if a team member is away on vacation or out sick, and externally as Helcim merchants can have the same point of contact throughout their entire relationship with us. This is important because we're focused on building long-term relationships with our customers, not quick sales.
Compensation Dictates Behaviour
Part of creating an environment that delivers great customer service is making sure your heart is in the right place, and that place is not in your wallet. At Helcim we believe that compensation dictates behavior. This is why our sales team does not have sales targets or commissions but instead is part of the company-wide profit-sharing program. All team members are motivated to ensure the company grows over the long term because that is what is best for everyone.
As Aaron Skonnard explored in Inc, Pluralsight did not have success with commission-based sales because they were bad for the customer. Skonnard noted that "You can't really prioritize customer needs if you're focused on commissions, because you're thinking about your own bottom line." Furthermore, Pluralsight found that commission-based sales also negatively affect company culture because they don't encourage the sharing of knowledge amongst the team.
Embracing knowledge is a core value at Helcim and we want all team members to share best practices and successes with other members of the team, not keeping their best strategies to themselves so they can make more sales.
The Magic Formula
When asked what elements make up great customer support, Aaron from the Support team (soon to be Sales and Support) said, "Listening, finding solutions, and solving the problem." If you have people on your team who can complete these three tasks each time a customer reaches out for help, then you will be consistently delivering excellent customer service. Of course, to be able to do this you need to have people in place who are committed to customer service. Aaron believes that the Helcim team is made up of the right people. They are strong communicators, who are committed to the company's core values, follow through with what they say they are going to do, and are determined to find the solution.