Starting in the Customer Success Center (CSC) at Railinc gives employees a solid foundation to build on as they work to reach their career goals. In this guest post, Railinc Customer Success Specialist David Puryear talks about the phone calls, the schedule, and the opportunities to learn, grow and make an impact across the company. Click here to find out more about our Railinc Customer Success team.
When I first applied for the Customer Success Specialist position, I thought back on all the times I had spent on the phone with a customer support representative. It had made me a little hesitant, thinking about what it might be like to be on the other end of those calls. I was under the impression that if I took this job, I would only be trained to answer phone calls all day. However, working in Railinc's Customer Success Center is unique.
In CSC, I do a lot more than just answer calls. I'm challenged every day to dig deep into complex customer issues and unlike other call centers, I have endless tools at my disposal to help me troubleshoot. I have access to previously documented solutions for customer problems and am always collaborating with the business analysts and product support teams to determine the most effective way to serve our customers.
CSC is the first line of support for all of Railinc's applications. Much of my job is devoted to learning these applications and how they meet the needs of our specific customers and the railroad industry at large. During my initial three months, I spent much of my time in training and shadowing fellow team members.
"The training process is among the best I've experienced — you don't spend three months sequestered in a room reading through manuals; training happens on the job."
The training process is among the best I've experienced — you don't spend three months sequestered in a room reading through manuals; training happens on the job. You are introduced to nearly everything Railinc does and work underneath a team of more seasoned specialists who are there to train you through immersion. I liked having brief training sessions and numerous opportunities to gain hands-on experience with Railinc's applications soon after.
On a given day, I'll only spend about an hour on the phone. I'll spend another hour of it in meetings or trainings and two more hours of my day goes to corresponding with customers via email. The other half of my day is often spent exploring the intricate issues that have been raised by a customer. I'll talk amongst the CSC, connect face-to-face with product support and meet with various managers to discuss possible solutions to more systematic issues.
My role and responsibilities on our team have shifted significantly throughout my time in CSC. Since completing my training, I have transitioned to leading trainings, facilitating meetings and sharing the responsibility of being primary point of reference for our commercial products. CSC holds monthly meetings with each product team to discuss upcoming releases, training needs and to review tricky cases. We are responsible for hosting a bi-weekly meeting n which we gather together product teams, business analysts, developers and directors prior to new releases. Finally, I've been given opportunities to shadow business analyst work — phone calls with railroad representatives, daily stand-ups and iteration kick-off meetings.
Because we provide 24/7 customer support, there is an on-call rotation. Once roughly every two months, I am responsible for the on-call shift and must be available to answer emergency calls after business hours during the week. I was uncertain about what this would entail when I first started, but it is much less intimidating than I expected. I envisioned waking up 10 times a night to phone calls. Instead, during my most recent on-call shift, I received only one call the entire week — while I was grilling burgers Saturday afternoon. While troubleshooting this item, I had the chance to speak with project support managers and begin developing relationships across the company. I also learned more about our applications and how we support them outside of business hours.
While others on my team are on the IT track, I have been focused on the business track from the moment I arrived at Railinc. This means that I will have the opportunity to move up through Railinc in the various product support and business analyst positions. Because of this, I have had the chance to develop further statistical skills in SAS and shadow business representatives across departments to learn exactly which business and technical skills are valuable in our constantly changing tech sector.
I recently interviewed for an internal position in which the manager informed me that they are looking for someone who has an eagerness to learn. This exemplifies my time in CSC and will certainly exemplify my next position here. Railinc provides ample opportunity to learn broadly and develop skills specifically.
"A Customer Success Specialist must be able to communicate effectively and think critically. The entire day is based upon clear and efficient communication."
A Customer Success Specialist must be able to communicate effectively and think critically. The entire day is based upon clear and efficient communication. Whether with a customer, my team or other teams, I need to be able to consistently pass the right details of an issue along to each team. Critical thinking is also vital, as we often explore the fine details of an application to determine a solution. This might manifest itself in gathering a few members of my team to test how our software acts in different situations or setting up a brief meeting with a product support representative to discuss the development history and goals involved behind the functionality of a product.
At Railinc, our work in CSC is more than answering phones. We work together and dig deep to deliver solutions to our customers and support the work of everyone throughout the company.
David Puryear completed his undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University and completed his graduate degree at Southeastern Seminary. He joined the Railinc Customer Success team in early 2019 and was recently promoted to Product Support Specialist I. Interested in becoming a Customer Success Specialist at Railinc? Apply today.