First things first, I apologize for the IT crowd reference, obviously this article isn’t as fun as the IT Crowd. Secondly, it’s not just our CEO, it’s all of us.
Put simply, everyone at SatisMeter takes weekly turns to be in charge of our live chat and e-mail support. Sounds mad? I’m going to tell you why we do it, and why it’s great.
At first, our arrangement was born of necessity. While we were just three people, our users kept telling us how awesome our support was, and that it mattered to them. We needed it to be a priority, but we couldn’t hire someone dedicated to it. We came up with the simplest schedule imaginable and took turns handling live chat on Intercom.
I won’t lie, every third Monday when the calendar declared it my week, I groaned a little inside. Managing our live chat support pulls us away from our regular work and interrupts tasks which require focus. Understanding the issues users are experiencing can be difficult and at times frustrating. At least once a week someone wants to have a conversation about whether or not I’m a robot.
Another downside to our system is simply that we don’t all have the expertise required to answer any question. I’m next to clueless when it comes to code, and if someone wants to talk technical I tag Jakub and get outta there (sorry Jakub!). It happens often, so even when we’re not the designated support person, it can still get in the way of other work.
However, as we’ve grown, each time we’ve asked ourselves if it’s time we look for someone to work support, the answer has been a resounding no.
The conversation goes something like this. Support is distracting, it interrupts us, and our way of handling it at times isn’t optimised. But, (and it’s a big but) it keeps all of us focused on our users and understanding the pain points they’re experiencing. That fact is valuable enough to outweigh out all the negatives.
Again and again, we’ve all conceded that our (thankfully less frequent) support weeks are incredibly useful experiences. Whatever our main focus at the time might be, handling support refocuses us on a basic but vital question, is our service working for our users?
Whether it’s a bug that needs fixing, a request for a feature, or uncertainty around NPS best practice, every question a customer asks us teaches us something about what they need. Because we have such fantastic users, they’re normally willing to give us a little more of their time. We get to ask them why they want certain capabilities, how they’re planning to use that filter, or why they need to segment accounts like that.
Being an NPS company, we also automatically integrate all our customer feedback with Intercom, where it appears as live chat. This keeps us on our toes when it comes to addressing users concerns about our service, and solves their problems faster. In the long term support tickets are lessened, because we’re dealing pro-actively with critical feedback.
We learn so much, and because the learning is up-front and requires action, the lessons really stick with us. A chart detailing our most common support topics by plan size is a useful thing to have, but it lacks the direct personal impact of a week spent working with users to solve problems.
We’re a company whose aim is to help businesses focus on their customers, to find out their loves and hates, and build better things for them. It’s vital that we practice what we preach, and that’s why if you need SatisMeter support, it could well be our CEO who answers.
thanks for reading 🙃
How does your Startup handle support? Want to try integrating it directly with NPS feedback? Learn more here.