In our series, “House of Guest”, we go behind the scenes with a few of our team members to find out more about the passion behind their role, team, and projects here at Traction Guest. This week, we feature Joshua Szepesi, a Solution Consultant who has been on the front lines of guiding customers through their visitor management deployment.
Describe what role a Solution Consultant plays in a visitor management initiative.
We help customers configure the Traction Guest platform to address the visitor management requirements of their organization. From first contact after the vendor is selected all the way to going live with their visitor management system (VMS) deployment. We work with customers to help them understand the deployment process, the ins and outs of the product. We also work hand in hand on how Traction Guest will fit into a company’s security and operational initiatives, as well as shape their practices. On top of that, we will aid in training their employees and drive VMS adoption. Our job is to help achieve successful deployment and be as valuable of a resource as we can be.
How do you enable and support customers during the time when many organizations are working remotely.
Across the entire Customer Success organization - Technical Support and Consulting - there have been no changes to the services we are able to provide during the outbreak. As an organization, we’ve prepared for work from home and disaster recovery scenarios and can enable and support customers virtually. For us, the wellbeing of customers is most important and we strive to show that in every interaction whether it’s virtual or on-site.
Visitor management is a mission critical solution for enterprise organizations, this is especially true in essential services companies. Deliveries, contractors, essential vendors need to be able to access facilities in the safest and most compliant manner in the midst of a disease outbreak. Security, health and facility professionals have a huge responsibility to reduce risk to employees and to adjust to the rapidly changing conditions and public health recommendations. It is our responsibility to help them when they need it the most.
Describe your journey in choosing a career in customer support. What ignited that passion?
I have always worked directly with customers in my past jobs. Whether I was working at a bike shop, as a forest tour guide, or a zip-line operator, I was face-to-face with customers. I enjoy every interaction, listening intently to a customer’s feedback and questions, and helping to find a solution to their needs.
Throughout the years, I continued to use my skills with people and to develop deep technical aptitude. At Traction Guest, the role combines the customer centricity, the interesting and valuable product, and the amazing team.
What would you say is in the toolbox of skills and characteristics of a successful customer service professional?
First and foremost, it is caring about the success of your customers. After that, there are a number of valuable skills and traits.
The Customer Success team, regardless of role, is very cross-functional. Given that, there are many hats one can wear in a given day. Product expert, trainer, listener, etc. It is very important to be able to move between those without getting turned around.
How important is it to have an in-depth technical understanding of the product working in customer support/success?
It is very important in most cases. Our customers build best-in-class visitor management experiences, protecting their employees and visitors in a highly configurable and flexible platform. They depend on our expertise to help them understand, build, and train their teams on Traction Guest.
So much about our product is customization. Talk about how creativity comes into play when you come across unique use cases for a customer's VMS?
We get a lot of interesting requests from customers and coming up with creative solutions with our product is one of the most interesting - and funnest - parts of the role. Our team is working across dozens of industries and across all geographic regions, always finding new ways to use the product to solve novel problems. As a team, we are constantly collaborating, sharing ideas and discover new ways we can support our customers.
What is the best advice related to your position you have ever received?
When asked about the title given to our Customer Success team and my previous role at the company, “Customer Success Advocate”, our CEO, Keith Metcalfe, gave some very valuable advice. Essentially, he said the role is described in the title. He said, “your job is to promote the success of the customer by advocating for what is best for them.” It is simple and seems obvious when you spell it out, but I use that to help guide my decisions and actions every day.
What is the coolest thing about working in the visitor management industry?
The fact that for many of our customers, we are a critical part of their operation. It means we have to have a high level of responsibility, but it also affords us the opportunity to have a meaningful impact on their organization. I find it inspiring to support a product under those conditions.
What is the secret to maintaining good relationships with your customers?
There are lots of qualities that can help with this, but the most important one is to do what you say you’re going to do. Our integrity and credibility with customers is everything to us.
At the end of the day, it is just people working with people and all of the standard rules apply. Thinking a customer is different than any other relationship will get you into trouble.
What is your favorite way to reset and disconnect from work?
I play in a regular poker game, as well as a Dungeons & Dragons game with my good friends. These games combine entertainment and challenge that makes it hard to be anywhere but the present.
Traction Guest has recently won an award partly for our workplace environment. What is your favorite part of the culture here?
There are many things to love about Traction Guest, but the best part is described by one of our core values: “Do the right thing.” I am able to trust that everyone is doing their best to do the right thing. The time we save on politics allows us to operate much more efficiently.