When I ask John Servinis, Senior Developer, what the early days at HotDoc were like, he laughs and says, “The first office? It was really just an old house. We were on the top floor. There was a bathtub in the middle of the space. I guess you could say it was impromptu.”
Dave Ryan, Head of Sales, says, “We all sat around the same table. It meant it was impossible not to know what everyone in the company was working on. There were a lot of conversations around what if, what next type stuff. There was this sense that we only had 3 or 4 months of runway left and we were really up against it.”
The early days of HotDoc’s customer service
For Christina Petrakos who was the only person in customer service in the early days, things were just as challenging. She says, “There was a lot of ‘making it up as you go’.
“One of the biggest challenges being the only person in customer service was that it was up to you to fix a problem. You couldn’t have another team do a task for you. I saw new problems every day and I had to work really hard to find solutions to them.”
Christina joined HotDoc in 2012, the year the company started. She had been working as a medical receptionist and practice manager for around a decade before she decided she was looking for a change.
At the time, she was working at a clinic run by Dr. Ben Hurst’s mum, Dr. Sally Lapin. With a glowing endorsement from the CEO’s mum, Christina stepped into a full time role at HotDoc.
Her role was to provide support to clinics who had gone live with HotDoc. Although, being a start-up, Christina was also tasked to do a lot of odd administrative jobs.
She explains, “As well as doing customer support and training, I did tasks like registering a tax file number, setting up payroll and super, paying bills, and doing software installations. All the typical tasks required to set up a business.”
A growing customer experience team
Since 2012, HotDoc’s customer experience team has grown from just Christina to a whopping 27 people. Within that group are 12 Customer Success Managers.
HotDoc Customer Success Managers help clinics do two things: (1) get the most value out of the HotDoc platform, and (2) grow.
When we say ‘grow’ we mean helping a clinic achieve a goal or several goals. For some clinics that means getting more new patients. For others, it means improving systems for scalability. For others, it means improving health outcomes. And for many, it is a combination of all three.
When a clinic is assigned a dedicated HotDoc Customer Success Manager, they’re essentially partnering up with a business buddy. Someone who’ll not only show them everything they need to know about the HotDoc platform, but can also give them Google My Business and website tips, strategies for increasing new patient bookings, and strategies for encouraging existing patients to visit the clinic more often.
Among HotDoc’s Customer Success team are Christina, Callan, Leanne, Lauren, Cheri, Julia, Tauba, Kris, Lauren, Georgie, Rebecca and Kath.
Lasting and meaningful relationship builders
Louise Lysaght, Head of Customer Experience, says, “I think all of our Customer Success team members really exemplify the HotDoc value: always be empathetic. They really understand that customers don’t just want to be heard. They want to be understood.”
All of the team, take ownership over the customer feedback and customer experiences they have. They bring our customer’s viewpoints to every conversation. As well as helping customers, this helps the product team prioritise what to work on.
When I ask Louise what she looks for when hiring a new customer success team member, she says, “We hire for attributes over direct customer success experience. We’re interested in finding people who have a track record of building lasting and meaningful relationships with their customers. Team players who think outside the box and have a growth mindset.”
Louise says that one of the most exciting things the customer success team gets to do is visit overstate customers. “We like to send Customer Success Managers interstate to meet some of our longest standing customers. It’s an opportunity to put a face and a physical encounter to a voice really.
“These kind of customer trips really put a spring in the step of the team and motivate us to deliver even more to our customers.”