Good customer service

A series of coincidences has me thinking about customer service today:

In any case, we’ve gotten a number of nice compliments recently on our customer service. Mostly it seems that people are simply pleasantly surprised when we respond within a day to their request. It’s certainly not always possible, but we try. Simply getting a quick response by a real person seems to be as important for a small software company like us as a mega corporation like Citibank.

Second, people seem surprised when we can actually help them solve the problem. Again, we’re not always successful, but if there isn’t a solution in the tool, we try to come up with a workaround. Which brings up another reason for us (as principals) to do customer service: user feedback.

Being a small company, we can’t quite afford to have a customer service department. But echoing some of Joel’s themes, to me rather than being a necessary evil, customer service is an opportunity for a conversation with our customers. It is feedback on trouble spots for the tool, as well as feedback on how they’re using the tool. By having our key design and development staff involved in customer service, we are essentially perpetually conducting user testing and focus groups, all of which inform the refinement of the tool.

posted February 19, 2007 by ben

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