Valentina Thörner Interview – Customer Support Insights and Tips

Valentina Thörner Interview - Customer Support Insights and Tips

Hi everybody, we took a one-month break from publishing interviews on this very blog but we are back now with our guest Valentina Thörner tackling customer support, a discussion I personally enjoyed much. Our colleague Chris chatted with her at WordCamp Europe in Berlin and, after posting the video on Twitter, we also wrote up all of Valentina’s answers to share in this post.

Just a quick heads-up, during this one-month break, we temporarily moved to the other blog of ours where we did an interview with Cory Miller about the block editor and mental health awareness in the WordPress community. Don’t miss that one. Also, if you’re interested in hosting-related topics, Joshua Strebel – the CEO of Pagely – answered our questions here.

But right now, let’s focus on customer support and its puzzling secrets. Valentina Thörner is here to tell us more about it by sharing her insights gained from working as a customer support lead for Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and WooCommerce.

When we met Valentina in Berlin, she was part of the Automattic team, but she has since made a leap into the product management world, where she coordinates the people behind the Klaus app, which is a conversation review tool for support teams.

Below, you’re going to learn about unique methods to handle angry customers, how to maintain tight communication with your development team, how to make the most of customer feedback, and how to help your support team grow. You’ll learn from this interview no matter what department you work in.

The interview below is written but you can watch the interview via Twitter if that’s what you prefer (click on the link to the right to expand the Twitter thread and see videos of all the questions).

Valentina Thörner Interview – “Validate the customer’s feeling even if they are wrong”

How do you manage to work remotely when you have kids?

Well, I love kindergarten! With kids, what you need is clear structures. For example, working remotely I can actually put my day into different batches so I work from 6:00 in the morning to 7:30, then the kids wake up and I’m there for the kids. At 9:00 I bring them to kindergarten and they only come back at 4:00 so that’s kind of the core part of my day. Then, some days I’d log back in when they are in bed after 8:00 to get in touch with my colleagues in the US.

Were they the perfect training for dealing with unruly customers?

Kind of. What you learn with kids is that, when they have a problem, this is the most important problem in the world for them. And with customers, it’s the same.

Like whatever they are complaining about, whatever they need help with, this is the most important thing in the world for them because all their focus is on this. So in order to actually get to a solution, you first need to empathize with this – “Okay, I hear you, I know this sucks” or “This is a problem” – and only

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This article was written by Adelina Tuca and originally published on ThemeIsle Blog.

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