In this episode of TFiR: Newsroom, Swapnil Bhartiya sits down with Rick Myers, Senior Director of Customer Support at Akamai, to talk about accolades the Linode Customer Support team received at this year’s Stevie Awards.
Key highlights of this video interview:
The Stevie Awards celebrate sales and customer support across all types of industries and across all types of verticals.
For the third year in a row, Linode garnered the People’s Choice Stevie Award for Favorite Customer Service. The company appreciates that the industry and customers recognized its support team as a leader in the customer support space, since that was its intention when it was built.
It is especially significant this year because of the recent acquisition by Akamai. Customers (and maybe some folks internally) feared that the things that made Linode special would go away or that they would get overshadowed by competing priorities.
Aside from the People’s Choice award, Linode also won the
- Silver Award for Customer Service Department of the Year – Computer Services. This is for the overarching customer support experience, that holistic view of customer support within the company. Linode actually got the bronze last year so this means the team was able to show improvement.
- Bronze Award for Customer Service Training Program of the Year – Technology Industries. This very unique program was built from the ground up. It brings in folks from different industries who don’t have the background in technical support and trains them to deliver exceptional customer support in a highly technical field.
Linode partnered with Hopeworks, a local nonprofit serving underprivileged youth in Camden, South Jersey and Philadelphia. The company worked with the trainers at Hopeworks to help bring folks up to a baseline point where Linode can hire them as interns in customer support. They then finish their training at Linode and eventually hire them as full-time employees.
What do the awards mean to:
- Linode Customer Support? It realigns the team and reconfirms that they’re really good at what we’re doing. It also motivates them to go back out and continue to perform.
- Linode customers? They can see that Linode never stops after getting an award. Rather, it becomes an accelerator that helps the team push even further. The People’s Choice award means that customers continue to see the work and they come back to vote for them as the best support in the industry.
- Myers? Every person on the Customer Support team has been able to maintain that core vision that Linode had at the beginning up until the Akamai acquisition, and after. That makes me very proud.
Myers’ message for his award-winning team: Never settle for good enough. There’s always a little bit more we can push for, there’s always a little bit better that we can do, there’s always a little bit beyond the baseline expectation that we can get.
Advice for companies to improve their customer experience:
- Make sure that you have a holistic view of what you’re doing, not hyper-focused on a metric, a situation, or an initiative.
- Make a decision, execute, measure, iterate, and improve.
- Don’t slow down, just get better at measuring and get better results out of iterating.
- Make sure you’re aligned with your core values and your mission statement.
- Make sure that you’re staying true to your company founders’ vision, the original kernel of an idea.
This summary was written by Camille Gregory.