Meet Darren Hockley, our new Global Head of Support

At the end of June Darren Hockley joined the dotfamily as our new Global Head of Support. Now Darren’s got his feet firmly under the table, we caught up with him to find out his plans and ambitions for the dotmailer support team.

1. Why did you decide to come to dotmailer?

dotmailer is a seriously cool company that’s going places – one box ticked. The platform is amazing and getting even better – box ticked. The Senior Management Team members I met at my interviews were dynamic, inspirational people – another box ticked. The job they outlined was the most amazing opportunity, so I just had to join the party here at dotmailer. In short, it was everything I was looking for and I’m loving life here at dotmailer.

2. Tell us a bit about your new role

My role is to make sure dotmailer customers get a high class support service We have support experts in London, New York and Sydney. My goals are to delight dotmailer customers with the support service they’ve helped us shape and to help make them super-successful in using our platform. We’ve got a solid foundation to build from and 2016-17 is about taking our support service to the next level. We’ve fired up the engine and buckled ourselves in, now it’s foot to the floor…

3. How do you define really great support?

Great support is about being fast, efficient, accurate, flexible to meet different needs and delivering it with a smile. Support experts who feel supported, love what they do. When they know that their managers care about their personal development, they will always make customers happy. It’s a bit of a cliché, but happy employees make your customers happy. It can be easy to focus just on getting the answers correct and forget about how your team makes your customers feel. Your support experts can bring your support service ‘to life’.

4. What did you learn from your days at moo?

My time at moo.com was massively important and great fun too. I learned loads from awesome people during my time there and one of the most valuable things was what you can achieve by acting on your customer’s feedback. It’s not difficult to gather feedback data, nearly every company does it in one way or another. It’s what you do with the data. At moo.com, I learned how to put customers in the driving seat by using feedback to drive change. We put customer feedback center stage in the business and we drove improvements from the data (and it was totally backed by Senior Execs). We achieved amazing results and were even recognized by industry experts for our dedication to customer experience in a number of award competition.

5. You’ve been at dotmailer for 4 weeks now. What are your observations?

There’s just so many people who are terrific at what they do. It’s such an amazing feeling knowing you’re surrounded by high caliber people at the top of their game. No matter what I need or who I ask for help, I’m always wowed by the people I work with. They’re enormously committed to making dotmailer brilliant in every way. It makes the job so much easier when you’re working with an All-Star team.

Darren Hockley

Darren Hockley – the newest member of the dotfamily

6. What are your plans for customer service and support at dotmailer?

In the first few weeks here I’ve met lots of people and tried to absorb as much information as possible. Now, it’s about mapping out our ideas to make our customer support even better. We’ve already got some great ideas of what would take us from good to great. Over the next few months, we’ll be working these ideas through and putting them into practice.

Everything we do will contribute to faster responses, enhanced quality, improved completeness in our resolutions and making customers successful using our platform. Of course, we’re going to have plenty of fun along the way too.

7. You recently launched new third line support team. That sounds pretty fancy. Can you tell us what it is and what it really means for dotmailer customers?

We have customers who are using our platform in really creative and innovative ways. Often, they’re integrating our platform with other systems to help them achieve the results they need. We needed to be able to support customers with these complex situations which sometimes need significant time dedicated to resolve. This meant we needed to create a team with an extremely high level of expertise and a clear focus. They work very closely with our Development Teams meaning they can get the most challenging queries resolved for customers. Our 3rd line support team was launched earlier this year and has been a tremendous success.

8. You’ve been doing customer service for more than 15 years now. Do you remember your first customer service call?

I remember being mega-nervous! After a couple of weeks of training and job shadowing, it was time for me to take my first call. After waiting what felt like forever, the call finally came through and I launched into action with my greeting (I must’ve rehearsed it 100 times in my head). From that point onwards, it was a blur of what the customer needed help with and what I did. But, it was a big moment at the time, getting through my first ever customer service call. I often think about the feeling you get when you really help a customer and you can tell they’re over-the-moon. The buzz from helping customers still spurs me on all these years later.

9. What do you believe/hope will be the next big innovation in customer service?

This isn’t so much as a big innovation, it’s something ever so simple, but it’s often overlooked. I believe making your support service ‘easy and quick’ to access is even more important these days. Delivering awesome customer service and support seems to be more complicated than it’s ever been. With so many options around technology, routing, team structures, process and sometimes focusing too much on business goals not the customer’s goals – customer’s experiences are often an after-thought.

I’d say the next big innovation should be about ‘keeping it simple’ and making sure it’s incredibly easy for customers to access your help when they need it. You can translate that in many ways. If customers prefer to find answers themselves, your self-service offer needs to be easy to navigate, provide variety (video based and text), contextual and not them divert from the journey they’re trying to make. If phone is preferred, your support telephone number should be easy to find. This should be followed up with a speedy answer time and precise, complete answers from a helpful, engaging support expert.

10. Tell us a bit about yourself – favorite sports team, favorite food, guilty pleasure, favorite band, favorite vacation spot?

I’m a massive soccer fan! My team is Arsenal FC (in the English Premier League). I usually get to the Emirates Stadium 4 or 5 times a season to watch a game. The other games, I’m cheering them on from my sofa at home.

My favorite food has to be pizza! As long as it’s super-spicy with heaps of jalapenos, I’m in heaven. Of course, followed by an ice cold drink to put out the flames.

Favorite artist on playlist right now has to be ‘The Weeknd’! I really hope he releases some new tunes pretty soon as I’m definitely wearing out his old ones.

I’d love to head back to New Zealand for a vacation. I dream about spending some more time in Mount Maunganui in the North Island. It has the most amazing beaches and the best chilled out surfer-vibe. Such a cool, relaxing place.

Are you looking for some support right now? Our support portal is the best place to start.

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