At Sprout Social, one of our core values is open communication—both with our team and with our customers. To that end, members of our customer support team are often the first to respond to questions about our app, and in doing so, they get a lot of #SproutLove. For this installment of our Meet Team Sprout series, we interviewed one of the core members of that ever-helpful group.
Jen Juang started at Sprout as a Customer Advocate and was recently promoted to Customer Support Team Lead. She has been integral in training new Customer Advocates, who communicate in English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese while providing support to all of Sprout’s customers around the world. Jen grew up learning about customer service at her parents’ restaurant, so it’s no surprise that today she approaches her professional role with as much passion as her love of food.
Name: Jen Juang
Started at Sprout: December 2014
How did you get interested in customer support?
My parents own a restaurant, which they opened before I was born, so I’ve always been in an environment focused on customer service. Growing up, I remember my dad telling me about what it’s like to run a business and how you have to work with customers—the customer is always right, and you want to make sure they have a really good experience.
My first job in college was at a hotel, which was very customer service oriented. I realized that I liked working with people, and I was pretty good at it, so I continued down that route. The job that I had before Sprout was more tech support related, and I really enjoyed that. Sprout offers the best of both worlds: You get to work with people, but you also get to work out your analytical, creative and critical thinking skills.
How would you define exceptional customer service?
One of the hallmarks of great customer support is responsiveness. When you email support and you don’t get any response for weeks on end, you feel like you’re in dark. It isn’t a great experience even if they ultimately reply and resolve your problem.
As a Customer Advocate—my role at Sprout before becoming Customer Support Team Lead—it’s important to be on top of everything and make sure you’re responding to the customer as soon as possible. When you get back to them, you need to give them a meaningful response. You’re either resolving their problem or explaining why you can’t, if it’s a situation you aren’t able to resolve.
At Sprout, what does a member of our support team do in a typical day?
We’re on the front lines of communication when people reach out with questions or issues. We handle support phone calls, emails and chats when people have questions about Sprout or how to troubleshoot.
How is your team structured?
We have Customer Advocates as the frontline. They communicate with customers on these platforms. Our Support Engineers work with us and the engineering team to identify trends and targets if a fix is needed. We all sit together with our director so that communication happens fast and we can provide the best for our customers. We also have a remote team that covers overnight support, so we can be as responsive as possible to customers around the world.
What is the most common question you get about Sprout?
People generally have a lot of questions about their reports. There’s so much information available within our reports, and while there are a lot of really great resources in the app, if you don’t know where to find them—like by clicking the little question marks—you might have questions. People ask about specific metrics or about interpreting their data. Others are normal customer support questions: billing, account status and stuff like that.
What is the most challenging thing about your role—and the most rewarding?
The most challenging thing is also the most rewarding: You don’t know what to expect every day. Each day is different. It’s also rewarding that you’re helping customers figure out what’s going on, and that reinforces your confidence in your own skills.
What makes someone a good Customer Advocate?
You have to be patient. Sometimes you have to ask a lot of different questions so you can really dig into the issue and figure out what’s going on. You also have to be really organized so that you can take different pieces of what someone is telling you and put it together into a cohesive story. Multitasking is another necessary skill; you need to be able to juggle email, chat and phone calls while making sure to take care of everything.
Finish this sentence: At the end of a successful support experience, a customer feels…
Appreciative. That’s usually when we see the hashtag #SproutLove—people saying, “You guys are the best! Thanks!” And it’s so sweet. That makes me feel loved.
I’m sure you have some challenging days too. What do you do to relax and have fun outside of work?
I’m a foodie. My social life revolves around food. I love going out to eat, going to restaurants and discovering new dishes. I like to work out a lot; I’m kind of an endorphin junkie. I like fashion and playing pool, but I wouldn’t consider either a hobby.
So as a foodie, what’s your favorite snack from the Sprout kitchen?
I eat a lot of beef jerky, and every morning, I eat an English muffin with peanut butter. Probably the best thing in there is the fresh fruit, especially the avocados.
Do you have a favorite social network?
I’m kind of old school. When Facebook came out and everyone started using it, I was in high school. I really stick to Facebook, but Instagram is fun too.
What’s one thing about you that might surprise your coworkers?
I’m classically trained as a coloratura soprano.
Is music something you studied in high school or college?
In high school and college too. I took some private voice lessons when I moved to Chicago, but then I stopped. Singing for fun is still cathartic and an emotional and creative outlet.
What’s at the top of your bucket list of places to go?
I’m a homebody, so being away from my family so much as an adult means that whenever I have time to travel, I just go home. If I could go somewhere else, it would be Hong Kong.
Jim Conti: Jim Conti leads Sprout Social's ambitious talent team. Affectionately known as the "Cruise Director" while in the office, Jim can be found exploring the streets of Chicago and planning his next international adventure when not growing and caring for Team Sprout. Give him a follow @SproutJim.