Luba: [00:00:03] Well, welcome to the Cordless Interview Series, where we talk with customer support leaders about the best practices and the trends of the industry. And today I'm very pleased to introduce Malik Andrey, a customer success lead at Loop. Thank you so much for joining me today.
Andrey: [00:00:19] Hey, Luba, it's a blessing to be here and it's an honour. So I'm super excited. Yeah, super excited.
Luba: [00:00:27] Thank you. Um, just to kick us off, maybe you could say a couple of words about your background and your career in customer support so far.
Andrey: [00:00:35] Yeah, absolutely. So a little bit about me. I've worked at Loop actually. It will be a year next month. Um, you know, it's been a blessing, an opportunity to work for such a great company that is big on disrupting the insurance industry. You know, one of the key things that we do is we don't look at credit, which has been something that has historically been used for. It's an archaic method that's been used by multitudes of different insurance companies for quite some time. But the way I like to put it is that guess we're mavericks in a system that's really stringent. Um, but yeah, so in addition to that, I've worked at Loop for about a year. Besides that, I've been in insurance for a couple of years, about three, four years now. I've been in customer service for a long time, ever since, you know, coming out of high school, just getting involved, um, whether it's like the local grocery store or, you know, um, like a Walgreens. I've worked there too, or other sales, um, positions I've had over time. So I've been in the industry, the customer-facing industry, I'd like to say for a long time, very long time. But yeah, that's a little bit about me.
Luba: [00:01:50] Um, and given all of this experience, what is your view? What are the, you know, what is the most important thing that makes customer service a success?
Andrey: [00:01:58] I think the most important thing about making customer service such a success is really understanding your customer. I think it's super important. A lot of times the concept that we tend to forget is, is we're in this a service space, right? So coming from a place of servitude. Being able to understand, really relate to the customer and do what's best for them while trying to further a product is really the goal, right? That consultation piece. So I know it's kind of like I guess to directly answer it just coming from a place of service servitude, right? Making sure that we're finding a way to take care of the business that we're representing, but at the same time consulting at a point in which the information we're providing to the customer is so great that the experience is something that they walk away with, you know, forever, I guess. Yeah.
Luba: [00:02:55] Makes sense. Um, guess talking about Loop right now, which customer support channels did you decide to offer your customers and why? And guess if you have multiple, it can be quite hard to balance and make them work well together. Um, how do you make this work at loop?
Andrey: [00:03:12] Yeah, absolutely. So some of the channels that we use, of course, we have phone systems per usual, right? Just like any other company. And correct me if I'm, if I'm mis answering the question, but like phone systems, of course we use text messaging is something that we also implement as well. And then email communications as well as something we've incorporated on our side is chatbots, right? Providing forums to our customers to where sometimes, you know, you may have a customer that wants to do it on their own. So it's about just providing those resources to them to where it's accessible, but then at the same time offering live support, whether it's with the team that I, um, that I deal with where we were, our goal is to sell policies so new member services. Um, what we do is we focus on providing that consultative conversation to the customer in real-time and then following up with items like email, text and, you know, just appointments, you know, so we use CRM platforms, things like that as well too.
Luba: [00:04:12] Mhm. Sounds like you have a very well-thought-through process of how you combine these different channels and points where you have to follow up.
Andrey: [00:04:20] Yes, ma'am. Yes.
Luba: [00:04:23] Um, I guess with a large team sometimes it can be quite hard to maintain the quality of support. How do you deal with this and how do you work and coach your team?
Andrey: [00:04:31] That's a phenomenal question. It's so relatable to it's a phenomenal question. So the biggest thing that I've learned is that you have to be able to prioritize in real-time. There's some things that you're able to address that really, I would say like a category four out of five, right. Something that you have to put out right then and there. And then there's other things where you can actually say, okay, let me deal with this first and then, um, circle back to this issue. Another aspect of that as well too, is sometimes it's just about building such a great infrastructure to where like as a lead, my agents have the ability to use certain resources and be able to see in real-time instead of me providing the support, they're able to use that documentation to solve the problem. So I would say just between the two, that's how you kind of manage that or mitigate that.
Luba: [00:05:24] Do you do any quality assurance afterwards after the interactions on a regular basis? Or it's more like when your team needs you?
Andrey: [00:05:34] Um, I love that question too. That's a really good question. Um, honestly, for me, in my position, it's about being proactive. The keys to my team's success in the way I explain it to everyone is their success is my success, honestly. Um, but the key to my team's success is being able to be proactive. So whether it's using our phone system in the data and statistics and using technology to figure out when optimum times are in terms of opportunity for our agents to sell policies and then building infrastructure procedures so that they can use that. Um, and then as well as doing that, remaining available to them in real-time for support and things like that too. So it's just a combination of both, honestly.
Luba: [00:06:20] But um, I guess so it sounds like you do both like sales and customer support in terms of customer support. I mean, customers come to you with problems and issues and it's a form of feedback on the product, of course. How do you make sure that you pass it on to the rest of the company and make sure it's actionable?
Andrey: [00:06:40] Absolutely. So one of the biggest things that we try. Well, I'll put it to you like this one of our number one value at Loop is putting people first. And I think sometimes it can seem arbitrary when you're looking at the values and things like that. But in reality, it's so important from that aspect of understanding what the customer is looking for or being able to really take a moment in an opportunity to understand that what the customer is offering in terms of feedback can be valuable to improve your product. And just addressing that, it just comes down to taking a moment or just taking a beat and listening to them air their concerns and seeing how you can best help them, right? So for some customers, the way I like to explain it is we have to be a one-stop shop, right? If the customer comes in and it's, you know, for example, our agents have a book of customers that they've sold to and their customer feels comfortable enough to reach back out to the agent to ask for advice or ask for guidance or ask for a solution to a problem. I always tell them to keep me, keep me involved. Let's work through it to make sure we're doing what's best for the member experience and keeping that a priority. So just like a one-stop shop, does that kind of answer it?
Luba: [00:07:51] Um, I guess, do you have any kind of process around that where your team speaks to a customer and then certain issues accumulate like, okay, actually this is quite frequent, so maybe I should let our product team know.
Andrey: [00:08:01] Yes. Okay. Yes, absolutely. So one of the one thing, for example, I would say is, for instance, if there's a situation where there's a bug in our app, right. And customers are having an issue with being able to log into the application so that, you know, so that they could access the information. One of the processes that we follow is, um, actually have the ability to directly reach out to different members on different teams. The cool thing about Loop is that we're, we're pretty tight-knit in terms of how we operate. So it's not so much like, Hey, you got to fill out this document and then wait a couple of weeks before you get a response and so on and so forth. Um, one of the great things that John Henry and and Carrie implement or recommend or really just foster as a culture of cross-team integration. So in other words, it's really as simple as me just reaching out to, you know, those who work on the app and saying directly, Hey, this is some of the feedback that we've received and just linking with them is thinking, Oh.
Luba: [00:09:04] That's good. Um, guess what is your biggest challenge right now? What keeps you up at night?
Andrey: [00:09:11] Um. I'll be honest with you, Luba, one of my biggest challenges, what keeps me up in my up at night is just making sure that I can be as. The best could be for my team. That's pretty much it. I'm very one of my, I guess a little bit. You know more about me. One of my one of the greatest athletes of all time, in my opinion, somebody that I look up to is Kobe Bryant. Right. So the whole Mamba mentality is something that I embrace and envision day in and day out. And I just try to pass that along to my team as well too. But with that being said, I just try to make sure, you know, what could I have done better or what could I have done differently to be more efficient, to be quicker in response, to make sure that I'm removing certain obstacles from them so that they can do the best that they can do each and every day. So yeah, that's what keeps me.
Luba: [00:10:01] That's a great attitude to have. I try that hard as well. It is. Cool, I guess these days everyone's talking about AI and how it will change everything, how it will change everything that we do, and especially customer support. What is your take and is there anything that you are implementing and trying with your team.
Andrey: [00:10:23] So, um. My take on AI is that I think it can add. It can add. I'll put it to you like this. I think it could definitely help. In certain processes to automate or adapt or improve. But I think I really feel like there's something to be said about that human touch and being able to actually have a live conversation with someone and know like AI has been building and building to where it's a little bit more autonomous and it's a lot more like it seems more like a human being. But I think one of the things that will one of the obstacles that may present itself is, you know, companies will always have to kind of like disclose it. You know, it's automation or so on and so forth. Um, and I just feel like, um. Or really what we've learned here at Loop too is you can have a process that's so seamless, but some people just want to have that conversation with the human being, like they just want to talk to people. But as far as with Loop, what I can tell you is it is something that we're aware of. And being in insure tech, right. You know, it's no secret to anybody. It's something that we are looking into. I don't want to disclose too much as far as where we're going or what we're doing, but it is something that we're fully aware of. And, you know, it coincides with the industry that we're in. So.
Luba: [00:11:49] Yeah, you mentioned that you use chatbots already, is that right?
Andrey: [00:11:52] Right. Correct. Correct.
Luba: [00:11:55] Is it how well is it working for you?
Andrey: [00:11:57] It's been very it's been very great. It really has helped us reduce, you know, some of our intake for care calls because it's a lot more seamless so the customer can get their answers or get things fixed almost instantaneously. Um, just a smooth, smooth interaction, you know? So really good, though. Really good stuff.
Luba: [00:12:18] That's great. Um, and final question, actually, can you tell me about a company that has a customer service that you admire?
Andrey: [00:12:29] Absolutely. Kind of. I'm not gonna lie to you. I kind of have three. Can I have three? Yeah.
Luba: [00:12:33] 100%.
Andrey: [00:12:35] Okay, so, um, I'm actually from the South. I'm from Georgia, so my number one would be, um, my number one would be Chick-fil-A. That's one. Um, just because they always I mean, they make jokes about it, they make memes about it. But Chick-fil-A, you know, people that work there are just so extraordinary in terms of their customer service, always willing to do what's necessary for the, you know, for the customer. Um, another one for me is Delta. Um, in the reason why is I think Delta has set such a, a status for airlines that it's hard to compete with. I know. Um, I think I don't want to mispronounce it, but Lufthansa I know is another one. That's a European airline that's really well. Um, that a lot of people speak about at times. I know they're kind of like on strike, but I know people speak of that company as well too. Um, but Delta to me has created this brand that's very difficult to, not, to not, you know. Um. Recognize. Right? And then guess the last one for me would be Royal Caribbean. And the reason why is because I think Royal Caribbean is a combination of Delta and Chick-fil-A on a ship, right? You're going through the Caribbean and you're just enjoying yourself and people are like, Hey, is there anything else that we can do for you to make this experience even better? And you're like, Wow, this is incredible, you know? So, um, those, those three companies to me really set a clear expectation of what customer service is supposed to look like. Um, and of course that's outside of Loop too, because I think we got best-in-class customer service. But you know, um, three other, three other companies, those three companies to me set a great expectation for customer service.
Luba: [00:14:21] Thanks so much. It's really great examples. Well, thanks so much for joining me today. I really enjoyed the chat.
Andrey: [00:14:26] Same here. I know it was quick. I appreciate you for having me. I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it.
Luba: [00:14:33] Me too. Thank you again.