My name is Sierra Hays and during December 2020 I tackled a month-long project that challenged me to learn three new operational skills so I could build a better customer success platform for Equifax.
The three operational tools I learned were Drift, TextExpander, and Wix.
By learning how to operate and navigate these operational tools I have gained a better knowledge of how to tackle the world of operations in any business.
Below is a detailed outline of everything I did and learned while working on this project!
- Project Outline: How To Build A Better Customer Success Platform
- Week One Update: Learning How To Build An FAQ Page
- Week Two Update: Learning How To Create A Chatbot
- Week Three Update: Learning How To Use TextExpander
- Week Four Update: Creating A Landing Page
Here’s What I learned This Month!
Over the last three weeks, I have documented my journey by creating how-to and informational blog posts along with loom videos demonstrating step by step what I have learned from each operational tool.
- Identifying Excellent Customer Success: What to Look For
- Creating an FAQ Page: All Questions Answered
- Building a Chatbot Using Drift
- Cutting Down Response Times: Creating and using TextExpander
- Worst to Best: Three Steps to Building A Better Customer Success Platform
An Overview Of My Month
This month proved to be extremely challenging both in my professional and personal life. But with all challenges good or bad I welcome them with open arms as they are an opportunity to grow and learn.
And boy did I learn!
I spent the month learning three new operational tools. However, I wanted to take what I was learning and apply it!
My goal was to use all three operational tools together to improve and build upon an already existing Customer Success Platform.
I spent my time during week one learning what it means to have excellent customer success and how you can replicate that in your own business.
I learned the importance of FAQ pages and how they are the backbone to a strong Customer Success Platform.
I used Google Docs as a “whiteboard” and planned out an ideal FAQ page and transferred that information over to Wix creating my own customer success platform template.
When researching information or planning how you want information displayed, Google Docs is a great tool to use. It helps you with organizing your thoughts while also allowing you to share your documents with co-workers and peers so they can provide feedback in live time.
Wix is amazing for taking your ideas and plans and bringing them to life. It shows you what your project could look like. This is extremely helpful for pitching ideas or demonstrating mock write-ups.
If I am being completely transparent I was a little nervous to use Drift. I had worked with it previously in the past but found it really challenging and overwhelming. I wanted to take another swing at it and I’m so happy I did!
Drift is my new best friend. I absolutely love how you can have conversations with people in real-time all on one platform. This is great when you want customers to have multiple resources when communicating with representatives.
Another great thing about Drift is that it’s extremely versatile; you can embed the chatbot onto any website. The playbook allows you to customize your welcome message along with responses.
Out of the three operational tools, I learned this month I have to say TextExpander was my favorite!
Not only does TextEexpander save you time when communicating with customers it also saves you time when you are typing an email, creating a grocery list, or writing a blog. You name it TextExpander is a great tool for it!
TextExpander was quick to learn and easier to use!
However, if it was sounding a little too good to be true then you already know that there’s no such thing as a free lunch! TextExpander does offer a free trial however once that trial ends you do have to sign up for a subscription plan. There are two offers, the first one you can pay annually for a one-time payment of $39.99 or you can pay $4.99 monthly.
Compared to other subscription plans I think this is a steal!
As I approached the end of my month-long project I wanted to spend time reflecting on everything I learned.
I felt and still feel that when learning new skills it is important to truly understand the importance of what you learn so you can apply it to all aspects of your life.
While I enjoyed challenging myself these past few weeks and learning new operational skills I have to say week four of my month-long project was my favorite.
I am a problem solver. I love looking at situations and asking myself “how can this be better?”
Being able to follow something all the way through is crucial when approaching situations whether it's in your personal or professional life.
The End Results
Click here to view my mock customer success platform on Wix.
Looking back over the last month I wish I would have taken time to learn an operational tool like Airtable or Zapier. While I loved using Google Docs and Notion to manage my tasks I would have loved to have included another task management software in my project.
I am always curious to see how other operational tools operate and if they are all the same or different. I think it would have been fun to compare them and possibly discover a new favorite.
All in all, I believe that I grew tremendously while working on this project. I learned how to look at something and ask myself “how can I make this better?” Just because something already exists doesn’t mean that it’s good or cant be improved on.
I challenged myself to think creatively and push the envelope on what the “normal” customer success platform looks like.
So, no regrets.
Was My Project Successful?
I am happy to say that I wholeheartedly believe that my project was a success. My goal was to learn three operational tools that would help me build a better customer success platform for Equifax.
Not only did I complete the goals given to myself at the beginning of this month but I also established and accomplished new goals throughout my project.
- Gained a better knowledge of Customer Success
- Became more comfortable with writing
- I challenged myself to think more creatively
My project was a success because not only did I finish what I set out to do but I also learned more about myself and the operations of Customer Success