For the past 3 1/2 years my role at Wildbit was to handle Customer support. That’s it. If it was customer support related, I handled it for all 3 of our products. I was answering emails and engaging in live chats for Beanstalk, Postmark, and dploy.io. All at the same time.
On any given day I was responding to approximately 100 support emails and 15 live chats on my own. It was crazy busy and hectic at times but I always tried to keep calm and never let the customers know or feel how busy I was. There is an art to supporting multiple products like this all at once. It’s kind of like being a waitress at a busy restaurant on a Saturday night where each table has a different menu. You want each customer to feel like they are the only person in the room, tend to their every need and make sure you can easily describe the soup du jour all in a very timely fashion.
It’s challenging when you are trying to tell someone about a deployment workflow in dploy.io while going over Postmark’s inbound processing with someone else and talking about Beanstalk’s code review tools with yet another person, all in live chat, all at the same time. It actually makes me dizzy here just thinking about it! But the payoff always comes in the form of tweets and emails from happy customers thanking us for having helpful customer support. Seeing something like that at the end of any given day always made me smile.
I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this over the years, but my role in Customer Support should mean more than being reactive to emails and live chats. There is so much more I can and want to do for our customers in terms of on-boarding and personal outreach. I want to have the time to make sure that I’m reaching out to all new customers to help them get started as quickly as possible. I also want to implement a system that will help me follow up with existing and long time customers to get feedback on how it’s been going and find out if they think anything is missing from their current work flows we can help with.
There is a ton of new documentation and guides that need to be created and updated. Everytime a new feature is added to the product or a page is updated, chances are a supporting help article will need to be updated as well. I want to have time to stay on top of these things and make sure I’m proactively making these updates before a customer notices somethings off. Another important thing that needs to fit in here is making sure customer feature requests and bug reports get passed on to the team in an organized way for discussion. All in all, I need time to take a step back and see how things can be improved overall.
We believe the Customer Success role at Wildbit is so important because we know it is the first line of contact with the customer. The person in this role knows best what our customers are asking for and what problems they are facing on a daily basis. That’s why it’s vital to be able to have the time to gather all of this rich information and share it with the team on a very regular basis. It’s hard to see the big picture of what’s going on with three different products when our team is so super focused on emails and chats all day. When we can finally come up for air, the sun has already gone for the day... so we pack up and go home only to return the next day and do it all over again exactly the same way.
Being focused on three products all at once just isn’t fair to the products or customers. There is no way I could be giving each product the time and attention it needs so that our customers can see and feel the benefits. Being focused on all three products isn’t really being focused on any one thing at all. Each of our products is so very different and each needs a support person or team who is solely focused on that one product alone.
This is precisely the reason that we are now moving to have dedicated support people for each product. Beanstalk, Postmark and dploy.io will no longer be all my responsibility. To be honest, it’s a little hard for me to let go of, but I know this is the absolute right thing to do. It will help our products grow and more importantly give our customers more of what they deserve — more personalized one on one support and a ton of other stuff that we will now finally have time to work on.
We already added Matt to the support team who has been a tremendous help and has really made me realize how much more we can do with a whole team. We are working on hiring more new people to fill out the rest of our support team now, and that’s just the beginning of so many great things to come. 2015 will bring so many new changes to the support team at Wildbit which I couldn’t be more excited about. I won’t tell you just yet which product I, myself will be working on, but some of you will find out soon enough!