Last week on LinkedIn, we shared a behind the scenes look into our Service Experience (SX) team, how it has progressed into an award-winning function and the innovative leader behind the evolution, Jason Chin. Jason, SVP Service Experience and Digital Operations, leads a customer experience team of more than 400 within Cengage Global Technology Solutions. This group spans a range of functions -- employees at our contact center, quality assurance engineers, system analysts, content architects, incident management, customer-first operations and product platform operations; across roles, everyone works together on the front lines to support customers and better understand their experiences. With eight years at Cengage under his belt, Jason joined us because of our mission to transform education.
Jason admits, “I love our combination of scale and speed, and how it enables us to impact the education industry. Whether in software development or support services, we can identify a new way to improve our students' experience and deploy it to millions of learners in days. Not many people can say that the things that roll off their fingertips on daily basis can have the scale and visibility to help transform an industry that can change the world.”
Read on to learn more about Jason’s approach to customer service, in his own words.
Emotional Hotpoints Guide Our Service Experience
“It’s more than just a transaction - our service experience team strives to addresses customer concerns in a way that is emotionally fulfilling. The education industry has a reputation for disjointed experiences that confuse customers. I wanted Cengage to break that mold and create a service experience that is empathetic, authentic and endearing.”
Today these five “Emotional Hot Points” guide our service experience behaviors to ensure we treat our customers right.
Reliability – this is table stakes - something we must meet at an absolute minimum. We've evolved beyond that to respect modern SaaS service expectations.
Money – we respect a person’s money as precious to them.
Time – we respect a person’s time as invaluable to them.
Dignity – we go into every interaction aiming to earn customers’ respect by respecting their intent as positive.
Success – we only focus on the job at hand, enabling our customers to successfully achieve what they are trying to do.
Customer Relationship Management Institute (CRMI) Award
“We were honored to receive the Customer Relationship Management Institute (CRMI) NorthFace ScoreBoard Award for excellence in customer support for the fourth consecutive year. Since this award is based solely on feedback from customers, it carries a lot of weight for us, especially during this challenging year.
Prior to COVID, our contact center was office-based. When the pandemic hit and Cengage shifted our entire support workforce to a work-from-home model in days. Competitors shut down access to their support teams for a period of time when they chose to close their offices, but our change was completely seamless to our customers as noted by this award and our CSAT score. The move was not just a physical thing, it required quickly revamping our communication, training, and coaching protocols. Not only did our teams pull together to overcome these challenges, but they rallied to deal with the additional 20% volume that came from first-time faculty who shifted to digital learning solutions as a result of COVID. Their efforts helped countless faculty and students maintain a quality learning experience while adjusting to life during this unprecedented year.”
Cengage’s Culture of Learning
“I've always tried to build a consistent culture around collaboration and skill development because technology changes so quickly that nobody should be expected to know everything. I’m proud that Cengage has invested – both financially, and in terms of employee time – in allowing me to create skill development programs. From problem solving frameworks to emotional intelligence and communication best practices, these programs help us approach our work in a more fun and efficient way.
Recently, our technology organization embodied our Ethos “Put Learning First” with the first annual Skill Up – a week focused on learning. Employees had opportunities to focus on areas of personal interest, take foundational courses and explore free learning resources. We got creative. I led a course to help employees improve how they communicate with others by understanding their personal social style, how to identify the style of others, and then how best to approach communicating with them to have a positive and productive interaction. In a business that moves as fast as ours, we can't afford to miscommunicate or have unnecessary friction because we have different personal social styles. Additionally, my team put our colleagues in the shoes of our customers by creating a "Customers 101" course and delivering it the way our students take their courses, via our MindTap courseware platform!”
Making an Impact
“I am lucky to work at an organization that encourages us to make an impact. Working in the education space allows me to help people better their lives, and it’s important that I continue that same mission in my personal life as well. I usually have a short, clean cut hair style, but throughout the pandemic, I grew my hair out to my shoulders. Instead of just getting a regular haircut, I decided to let my children buzz my head to raise money for kids with cancer, kids who don’t have the choice to lose their hair. After sharing the fundraiser with my personal friends and work colleagues, I was overwhelmed with the support I received, raising more than $5,000 in one week. My Cengage teammates donated, left encouraging messages and cheered me on – and I couldn’t have been more grateful to be surrounded with people who are focused on making a difference in the lives of others.”