Re:amazed by Marvin Strauss: Interview with the Head of Customer Experience

Re:amaze is a company located in San Jose, CA. Their product is aimed at helping support teams make their customers happy through better conversations. The team of Re:amaze believes that the single most effective way for attracting new customers and keeping existing customers happy is to talk to them. And that statement is hard to disagree with.

So, when we started integrating the help desk with our service, the first thing we knew is that we wanted to get to know the person responsible for customer experience at Re:amaze. Without further ado, let's get to know Marvin Strauss and get a peak inside Re:amaze.

Speak about yourself and why you started working in customer support.

I majored in psychology in college and have always been fascinated by human interactions. But instead of pursuing a career in psychology, I had a unique opportunity to join a startup as head of the customer experience. To me, this sounded like a great opportunity to apply my expertise and passion for human interaction in the real world and help build a team that’s also passionate about understanding customers.

By helping businesses understand customers I can help make a real impact on how businesses extract value out of meaningful relationships. I joined Re:amaze in 2014 and have spearheaded lots of innovative ideas when it comes to customer experiences.

Tell a few words about Re:amaze and its support team. What are the core values that drive you and the team?

At Re:amaze we believe in high fidelity conversations with customers. We try to spend time on each conversation to make sure the customer walks away with a satisfactory result. This is because we believe that support is not a cost-center for businesses - it should be thought of as an important vehicle for retention and sales that enhances a business’s relationship with customers.

We believe that support is not a cost-center for businesses - it should be thought of as an important vehicle for retention and sales that enhances a business’s relationship with customers.

What do you think are the essential metrics that support teams should keep track of to succeed?

Some of the most meaningful metrics aren’t necessarily required to be tied to customer service. We like to encourage our customer service team to be revenue driven. Revenue is a trickle-down metric, meaning it can impact a lot of other metrics like response times, follow-up time, resolution to escalation ratios, per channel volume, etc. Because we’re a SaaS company, conversion rates, churn, and LTV matter above all else. By focusing our customer service and customer experience team on these metrics, our goals as a company is aligned across the board. The conversations we have with customers all must direct impact these core metrics.

Does your team have a special ritual or a tradition that helps to improve teamwork and keep the spirit up?

It might sound cliche, but we definitely like to bond over dinner and drinks. I think spending time with your colleagues in a non-work environment and discussing non-work issues and topics can help create cohesion.

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What do you like to do in your free time to recharge?

We have an 8-month old baby boy at home which takes up all of my free time now. Ironically, playing with him actually recharges me. I do enjoy watching reruns of old TV shows and movies like Friends, Mad Men. And when friends are free, we’ll play some video games together. I guess there’s nothing too earth-shattering here.

Imagine that waking up tomorrow you could gain one skill. What would it be and why?

I believe I’m an empathetic person, but having empathy for people is a truly valuable skill so that you can understand them from their unique perspective. It allows you to be reflective and gives you opportunities to improve yourself, your people around you, and your general environment.

The best way to stay current on industry news and trends is by attending conferences and app partner events. The next best way is by actually talking to customers. Customers vary in all shapes and sizes. And they do a lot of research. When they come to you with requests or questions, it’s likely they heard about it from somewhere meaningful. For fast consumption of news, Facebook is very good. There are lots of Facebook groups that provide valuable content. For slower consumption, I subscribe to a lot of Apple News feeds on my iPhone which gives me a good overview of the things that interest me.

Who is your personal hero?

My personal hero is Walt Disney. And of course, everyone has their flaws. But Walt Disney had an enormous vision and made an impact on the world in more ways imaginable. His philosophy on customers is unparalleled even today.

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