How We Keep Farmers Our Focus: A Note From the VP of Customer Experience

Written by Heidi Craun, VP of Customer Experience
November 15, 2016

As someone who’s passionate about creating amazing customer experiences, my favorite thing about FarmLogs is the fact that our customers are the core of our business.

In fact, it’s the company’s commitment to caring for its customers that attracted me to the job to begin with. If I'm being honest, when FarmLogs first approached me to join the team, I wasn't looking for a new job and was happy in my current job. But after a few conversations with Jesse, our CEO, I couldn’t help but be blown away by his vision and mission to invent the future of farming.

I was even more inspired by the authenticity and genuine care and empathy that he has for our customers. He simply “got it,” and that’s a quality that can be difficult to find in a CEO: he didn't just want to build a successful business. First and foremost, he wanted to create a better future for farming and for growers like his dad, brother, and uncle.

Jesse wanted his personal investment in farmers to be a fundamental aspect of FarmLogs culture and how it does business.

Eager to work with a CEO who felt so invested in his customers, I accepted an offer to become the first team manager at FarmLogs. I only mention this because I think it's very telling that the first leadership position Jesse filled was not a Director of Engineering or Head of Sales role; instead, it was the position that would focus on creating a best-in-class experience for farmers.

In the last few years, I’ve been lucky and honored to help build and grow a full Customer Happiness team at FarmLogs. And we’ve purposely built the FarmLogs Customer Happiness team to be pretty different from your average customer support team.

We don't do the bare minimum to help a customer in an effort to save the company money. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

The folks on the Customer Happiness team are called Customer Advocates. Our job is to listen to your insights about our product and then advocate for our farmers throughout the rest of the organization. (By the way, whether you have a free Standard account, or you're using one of our premium products, at FarmLogs we consider all of our users to be customers.)

Whether we're pitching your feature requests to the product management team, sharing your ideas with designers about how to make our app easier to use, interacting with engineers to resolve app issues, or helping interview and train our sales team to ensure that they give you great care as well, the Customer Happiness team exists to build meaningful relationships with you and to ensure that the entire company is putting our customers' needs first.

The team is empowered and expected—in every interaction—to exceed our customers' expectations of what it means to get customer support.

FarmLogs Customer Advocates get together weekly to closely examine how well each person on the team is doing at providing white-glove quality experiences. The best part about this is that the team does it as a peer-driven exercise. It's not something that I do to evaluate their performance. Instead, it’s done as a group, because we care about our customers and want to ensure that everyone who contacts the Customer Happiness team gets a consistently-amazing experience. They know that what they do matters, because our customers matter and we genuinely care about them.

So what does this look like in practice? Here are a few examples:

Recently we heard you tell us that you wanted a way to pull your information out of FarmLogs to create custom reports. As a result, we launched our Data Export feature earlier this year.

This feature allows you to export your FarmLogs information into a CSV file and analyze and share it how you want.

Another recent example of how the Customer Happiness team works cross-functionally to improve your experience is that we worked closely with our Sales team and corporate attorneys to simplify, clarify, and improve the language in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

We wanted it to be crystal clear that we don't sell our customers' information.

Another example is from this summer, when we worked with the engineering team to make it simpler for you to manage the kinds of emails that you receive from us. This feature always existed in FarmLogs, but we kept hearing from our customers that you couldn't find it. So based on your insights, the FarmLogs team made it easier for you to do this.

A project we're working on now is rolling out a process to ensure that every single FarmLogs employee spends a day with the Customer Happiness team and, therefore, with you, our customers. We think it's imperative that every FarmLogger—engineer, office manager, accountant, and agronomist alike—get to know and understand you, your operations, and your needs.

Of course, all of these initiatives are great in theory, but they’re only meaningful if we hear from you that you feel cared for.  In order to know how we’re doing at meeting your customer support needs, we ask you! And so far in 2016, 97% of you report that you’re satisfied with the support that you receive from the Customer Happiness team.

On average this year, we've responded to our customers in less than one business hour and fully resolved their concerns in about four business hours.

These numbers are all better than the industry average for software companies of our size. And we care about the numbers, because they’re an important signal into whether we're doing the right things by you.

That said, just like in every other part of our business, the best insight we receive comes from what you tell us directly. Here are just a few of the messages that you’ve shared in recent weeks:

"You guys are the best. Y'all go above and beyond any other group I work with."

"As usual, the support and service is prompt and exceptional."

"Best service of any app I have ever used."

"You are always here for me. Thank you so much."

"Actually wasn't very surprised with the quality of follow up on my comments. I had once talked earlier (months) to a staff member and he was very helpful. That is the reason I shared my information with you."

That last comment might just be my favorite. This is for a couple of reasons. First, the employee the customer references is not on our Customer Happiness team; rather, he's one of the many FarmLoggers who genuinely care about our customers. Second, the customer wasn't very surprised by receiving exceptional service; instead, he has come to expect it from us. To me, that's what building a customer-driven culture and creating a successful customer experience are all about.

We earnestly work hard to delight you every time we interact with you, and that involves going above and beyond what you might expect when you reach out to a company.

If you ever have a question about your FarmLogs account, I encourage you to start by visiting our Support site, where we answer frequently asked questions and provide a long list of tutorials and video guides. Can't find what you're looking for there? Email us at support@farmlogs.com. We'll be on standby ready to go above and beyond for you and your farm!

 


Heidi Craun, VP of Customer Experience

Author

Heidi Craun, VP of Customer Experience As an established voice in the Customer Experience field, Heidi leads FarmLogs' Customer Success and Customer Happiness teams. Prior to joining FarmLogs, Heidi created and built the global User Happiness team for Expedia's mobile division. Her small team supported 20M+ app users, while maintaining a high standard of user satisfaction. Heidi also worked for Arbor Networks, where she helped establish a user experience team and wrote the user help system for the company's flagship product, which manages and protects more than 90% of the world's internet traffic. Heidi holds degrees from University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University. She is the cofounder of the Ann Arbor Customer Experience (A2CX) group as well as Intermitten, an arts and technology conference focused on exploring creativity's role in innovation.