The UK’s National Customer Service week is always a great reminder of the work that goes into delivering an outstanding customer experience (CX) – and of the work that it takes to do so. But just because that week has now passed doesn’t mean we’re putting the brakes on our customer experience work here at Tyk. Far from it!
Building a coherent, positive customer experience means various teams all pulling together, with our users’ needs as their ever-present focus. It’s not always an easy task, so we wanted to take a closer look at how our hard-working Tyklings are making the magic happen. This week, we caught up with Partner Consulting Engineer Yaara Letz, to find out how she builds a CX focus into dealing with technical issues.
What do you do and how do you focus it around enhancing the customer experience?
My role is hyper-focused on our users’ needs, as I deal with all of their technical interactions with Tyk. If they have extensive technical questions, discuss user flows, need a deep dive session on their use case or debugging a complicated behavior, I’m here to help. I work on a lot of big-picture questions, such as Which authentication flow would you recommend, how does Tyk help to manage my APIs, which architecture should I use for my use case etc. I help users to understand how Tyk can fit into their business, support (not take over) their digital transformation and make things easier for them.
Every interaction is a chance to support a user and to provide a useful service that can contribute to a positive customer experience.
This CX focus also involves working with users to capture their ideas on how to make the product better. We work with some inspiring clients, so being able to feed their ideas into the product team and the delivery/design/UX teams is a golden opportunity to enhance the client experience over the longer-term, as well as on a day-to-day basis.
Documentation is another key focus, so part of my role involves driving forward improvements to that. It’s behind the scenes work, but it can do a lot to improve the user experience, for example by including things like more accurate and relevant examples and troubleshooting sections in our documentation.
Finally, there’s an external element to my work as well. I attend events both in person and virtually (these days, mainly the latter!) to give talks and workshops. The goal is to share knowledge, helping people to learn about APIs, API management and the open source gateway/community model.
What do you do to make individual users’ experiences of Tyk better?
So many things! It’s all about making the user’s life easier, so there’s plenty of potential there. One important way that I can make things better for the user is to explain and demonstrate Tyk in simple terms. It’s a complex product, so translating the technical side of things into simple concepts is always helpful.
But it goes further than that too. If something isn’t easy, I’ll also check the code or talk to the product team and see if we can find a way to make it easier and thus enhance both Tyk and the user’s experience of it.
Listening and learning from each client is also really important. It’s not about forcing a standardised solution on them, but about understanding what their use case is and what they need to achieve. Their requirements drive the way that I demonstrate the product and its features. I focus on the features that will help them, rather than rattling off a set list of functions. It’s a very personalised approach. It puts Tyk in their context, and means that our service is moulded around their needs.
Ultimately, my role is to solve our users’ problems and that means really listening, taking on board their feedback and understanding their goals. Doing so provides the opportunity to enhance the customer experience for each and every client as well as driving forward improvements that can deliver benefits to all of our users.
How does that personalised approach work in practical terms?
A lot of it is about communicating clearly. It’s important that our clients know that they are being heard and that they aren’t just one of millions. We know them by name and understand what their use case is and why, so if there’s an issue then it’s a personal service that they receive. We communicate clearly – there’s no room for canned answers here! – and check up on them regularly to ensure that everything is moving forward as it should be.
Another part of delivering personalised interactions is ensuring that we don’t give up on issues. We work through things alongside our users, making their problems our problems. We listen, we fix and then we listen some more.
Transparency is the other element of this approach. We’re very open. We have an open source repository, which means that users can follow us, see our bugs and enhancement requests and watch what we’re merging into the product. In the open source world, it’s so important that users see the results – it helps to build up trust and deliver a better CX.
Building relationships really matters to Tyk. What elements are key to building them?
Building up personalised, trusting relationships is all about listening and about being transparent.
We don’t pitch anything without really listening. All of our interactions are focused on what our users need. It’s not a case of selling at any cost. For example, if Tyk isn’t the best fit for a client’s use case, we’ll say; or if the client doesn’t need our high-end product, we won’t try to sell it to them. It’s about supporting our clients to get the product and features that fit them best.
That’s one of the reasons that Tyk’s consulting engineers work so closely with our account managers. It’s about building a generous, committed support function that delivers an enhanced customer experience at every stage – because it’s based on a culture of being helpful.
What’s the focus of your role right now?
My role is very busy right now, so I’m spending my time jumping onto calls with users and building our relationships into real partnerships. It’s always a good feeling when you can laugh with a client and connect with them as you do with colleagues.
I use a variety of methods to get users to engage. That could mean creating open source tickets, working with them on some kind of PR (pull request) activity or building some documentation. It’s about acting as a partner, rather than a supplier.
We want our users to get involved and be able to see how things work first-hand. If we roll out an important upgrade, for example, our users know that we are only ever one call or one Slack message away. We’re here to give them as much time and support as they need, in a flexible and responsive way. We’re here to give them an outstanding customer experience.