How To Scale Your Startup On Minimal Customer Service


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Written by Ajay Goel, Founder of GMass

Hi HypeNation,

My name is Ajay Goel, I am the founder of GMass. GMass is a plugin for Gmail that turns your Gmail account into a powerful email marketing platform. You can send email campaigns right from your Gmail account, rather than an external tool like MailChimp.

While many SaaS platforms make providing excellent customer support a central principle of their business, GMass does not. GMass’s users are expected to support themselves for the most part.

How do we get away with not providing support?

To be clear, we do support our customers. We just don’t make it a focus of our operation. Over time we’ve figured out how to anticipate a user’s questions, and we’ve written content to answer almost every question imaginable. We also provide lots of contextual help within our user interface. For example, if you’re hovering over an option in a form that we know can be confusing, we’ll offer a tip as you hover over it.

We target a more sophisticated email marketer than the typical platform, and that leads to more self sufficient users.

Then what is the focus?

The focus is on building an awesome product with awesome technology. I’ve discovered that my inner awesome (shoutout to the former name of this podcast) is building software—not building support teams, so that has become my focus.

Don’t users get upset?

We try to set users’ expectations by telling them upfront when they subscribe that support isn’t a central tenet of GMass. Many users don’t read all the documentation that we send them, and we don’t blame them. Nobody likes to read stuff. Generally people expect software to be self explanatory and intuitive. When users get upset about our slow or inadequate response times, we point them to our support philosophy, which is at gmass.co/g/support. If they’re still upset after reading that, then they’re not the right customer for us, and sometimes we’ll even recommend a competitor to them.

How do we keep support running efficiently?

We’ve written an article to answer in-depth every question we can imagine a user asking. When a user asks a good question that we don’t have a pre-written response to, we write that response and turn it into an article. Often times, a user will ask a question, and we will respond with a simple URL to an article. It won’t even be a complete sentence. Again though, this is the expectation we try to set with all of our subscribers from the outset.

What does the support team look like?

GMass support is handled by a team of two who work virtually for GMass in the Philippines. They’ve been trained on most aspects of GMass, and therefore can handle 90% of all questions. The 10% that are too technical or complex for them to handle bubble up to me. Because I’m generally focused on our software development and growth initiatives, I only check into our support system once a week, and then, I’ll handle any tickets that are assigned to me. This does cause frustration amongst our users, because if they have an issue that must be handled by me, they end up waiting up to a week for resolution. But again, most users know the deal when they sign up for GMass.

I dive deeper into all of this and more with RajNATION on Startup Hypeman’s Discover Your Inner Awesome Podcast.

I’m excited for you to listen!

Ajay

I’m excited for you to listen!