Patricia Wroblewski is a Community Support Hero at Mention, a tool that makes social media monitoring easy. Wine lover and macaron addict, when she isn’t helping customers, she can be found tweeting or pondering the age old question with the rest of her team: what came first? The @mention or the #hashtag?
We managed to catch up with Patricia and chat with her about life at Mention.
How big is your support team, Patricia?
Our entire team does some support at some point or the other. However, I’m the only Community Support Hero.
Where is Mention based?
Paris, France. There’s also an office in New York City.
How many products do you support?
Just the one. Mention.
What channels do you offer support in?
Phone, Social, and Email.
How many queries do you get each day? An average number will do.
A peek inside Design, at the Mention HQ.
So, Patricia, why do you think customer support is a good fit for you?
Having lived in several different countries, I can relate to people from different backgrounds more than if I had stayed my whole life in one place.
One important part of being in customer support is being able to show empathy with people on the other side.
What qualities, in your opinion, are indispensable to a support rep?
As a support rep, you have to be able to relate to each customer.
That, in my opinion, is one of the most important qualities a support rep needs to possess. The red arrow in their quiver. Other than that, I think support reps should be able to keep their cool and be positive, no matter what the situation is.
Keeping yourself motivated day in and day out must be a struggle. How do you do it?
With a lot of jokes and music from the 90’s.
I like working in support, but there’s this point when you realize that you’re answering the same question for the Xth time and…thankfully, we have every team member answer at least one support ticket a day so it livens things up. Doing this also helps us isolate what issues need to be addressed by a product update and what need to be explained better.
Besides doing support, I am also responsible for community management.
I take time off from support to do community work every day. That makes sure things remain interesting.
We have no idea how we’ve functioned for so long without that giant pencil.
What’s the most important metric you think a support rep should aim for?
Besides customer feedback? Response time, I’d say.<
The Mention policy is to make sure that no customer waits longer than a few hours for a response. That’s why it’s great to have part of the team in Europe and another in the U.S. to cover more time zones.
How do you measure customer happiness?
By the positive feedback we receive in return.
When a customer receives a reply, they can rate their interaction with us. There’s a simple three-point survey and a comment section where a customer can add details if they’d like.
I’m going to throw some situations at you. Tell me how you usually deal with them.
A customer requests a feature that’s in the works but it’s complicated and you don’t have an ETA. How do you handle these requests?
I try to be as honest and transparent, as possible, with features that our tech team is working on, without giving any false expectations.
A customer requests a feature that’s not there on the plan they’re subscribed to. They’re willing to pay extra but don’t want to upgrade. What do you do?
We occasionally make one time exceptions and try to meet the customer’s needs. And of course, if enough people request it, we change our plans to reflect the needs of the majority of our customer base.
When things get ugly: A frustrated customer not only threatens to leave you but he also says he’s going to take the conversation public and make sure none of his clients use your product. How do you handle this?
I’ve had a similar situation once. A person tried the product for one day and reacted this way because it was not offering the features he wanted to have. I tried my best to apologize and offered him a prolonged free trial. However, if the tone doesn’t change, I believe it’s wise to end the conversation.
The Mention team never lets the Startup life keep ’em down
One of your support reps makes a tiny mistake that greatly annoys a customer. Do you step in to help them mitigate the situation? Or do you let them handle it?
I would explain to the rep the importance of being empathetic to our customers and help them develop a response and solution that would solve the issue at hand for our customer.
What’s the protocol when a customer reports a security vulnerability?
Fortunately, we have not experienced this. But, if we did, it would be to contact our CTO and tech team immediately, and let our customer know we’re on it and there to help them.
Tell us about your refund policy.
Birthdays are a really serious affair at the Mention HQ
In terms of customer service, which company do you admire a lot?
Warby Parker. They go the extra mile to fulfill their customer’s needs. They even made sure to get a guy his glasses after he broke them right before his baby was born.
Name another rep you’re a big fan of, and would like to see in this series.
Lincoln Murphy, Growth Hacker and Customer Success Evangelist at SixteenVentures
One more question, Patricia. If you could be any fictional character, who would you be? And why?
Sabrina the teenage witch, because life would be so much easier with magical power.
We started the Secret Sauce series to find out more about what makes the customer service of some great companies click. We get in touch with one awesome support representative and we pick their brains. We find out what a typical day is like for these support rockstars, their personal work-philosophy, support process and what inspires them to go above and beyond the call of duty to make their customers happy. Know a customer support rep you’d like to see featured here? Drop us a line in the comments or shoot an email to email@example.com with your suggestions.