Words of Wisdom

This is a part of a continuing series that is also available as a downloadable book. We talked to 35 companies, including Stripe, Twilio, and Mailgun, to get a sense of what it takes to run a great customer support organization. While every company is different, there were some trends that we could identify as benchmarks for great customer support.

Parting Advice

We asked everyone to provide two pieces of parting advice. Here's what they had to say:

Lauren Heminez @ Twice

"Add your personality to create deeper connections so customers know that you have their best interest in mind." and "Communicate more so everyone knows what issues are coming up in customer service and how their job function can help prevent future problems."

Courtney Duhring @ Eventbrite

"Our success originates from the people we identify for certain roles. Fine tune and understand the skills you need for someone to be successful on your team." and "Think of customer support as crafting better experiences rather than thinking about it as damage control. Don’t think of customer support as a team that listens but a team that accompanies, helps, and advises."

Lauren Heminez @ Twice

"Add your personality to create deeper connections so customers know that you have their best interest in mind." and "Communicate more so everyone knows what issues are coming up in customer service and how their job function can help prevent future problems."

Jason Faria @ Ideeli

"Always think about scale for customer support. When implementing any new process, if you can’t repeat it at least ten times over, then it’s not the right process to implement." and "Make sure you get it right in the beginning!"

Jason Nassi @ Twilio

"Absolutely invest in support! Make sure that the company is in touch with customers. The best way to do that is to have a tightly knit support team where founders and developers are doing support." and "As you’re building your team, think about how the teams will interact with each other. You have to think about how the pieces will fit together and not fixate on the best resumes."

Michael Schade @ Stripe

"Quality over speed!" and "Make sure your support team has the technical tools and expertise they need to diagnose novel problems."

Taylor Wakefield @ Mailgun

"Make it a priority early, it will pay off in customer retention and 'free' word of mouth marketing (the best kind of marketing)." and "Make it a personal experience for your customers and treat your customers like partners - their success will fuel yours."

Llewellen @ Oodle

"The importance of speed can't be overstated when it comes to support. Letting a customer know that you've received their correspondence and that you're working on it sets the tone for the entire interaction. Autoresponders aren't good enough here, a personal response is needed." and "If you're ever in a frustrating situation where it feels like there's just no pleasing the person you're dealing with, put yourself in their shoes. That customer is taking the time and the energy to voice their concerns to you. The more they push, the more passion it shows for your product. When was the last time you felt so passionate about a product that you felt the urge to engage in a detailed conversation with the company that makes it?"

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