Ilma from MailerLite

Ilma4 min readBehind the ScenesOctober 26, 2015

How can you reinvent customer support?

How can you reinvent customer support?

After the year the experiment continues. It brought big changes in our company’s strategy, and I’d like to share this with you.

#1. All team members know the product

First of all, we all have learnt a lot of things about MailerLite. We all know how the product works, what an autoresponder is and how to set up a webform on Facebook. And that’s a lot!

Now all team members are able to talk about MailerLite’s product, its competitive advantages and email marketing trends in the middle of the night. Now, our team is the best advertisement for our business.

#2. Extra bonus for the customers

Having people from other areas in support allows us to see the situation from a different angle. If a designer is talking with a customer, he certainly checks the newsletters’ design and can suggest creating a custom email template for that customer. If I answer the tickets, I take a look at your open rates and can make some suggestions on your email strategy.

How do customers respond to reaching the founder? They love it!

Wow not everyday you call a company and reach the founder!! Highly recommend this service! @MailerLite @ignasmailer https://t.co/CuHjYrQtJS

— Mike Acquaviva (@creatorviva) October 11, 2015

#3. New approach to our feature roadmap – it’s all about the customers

At MailerLite we have a lot of discussions about new features. We all have our opinions about the things our customers need. It used to be difficult to choose priorities. But that changed once we came up with a new strategy for our roadmap.

It’s a spreadsheet in Google Docs. Now everyone writes down their ideas, and evaluates them.

We’ve chosen 4 criteria for evaluating an idea:

  • Speed (5-fast, 1-slow)
  • Visibility to customers (5-visible, 1-invisible)
  • Long term value (5-long term, 1-short term)
  • Requests from customers (5-many request, 1-no requests)

Then we multiply the values and get the prioritized list of ideas.

Simple and works great for us. This year we’ve released lots of small updates that customers love.

#4. Additional motivation for developers

Developers love big and complicated projects. Small updates don’t motivate them much.

At the same time, developers are really happy getting “Thank You!” emails from the customers. The direct communication with customers really effects our developers – effects them in a positive way.

If a developer promises a small update to a customer, he will certainly prioritize it.

#5. The Customer Support Department is the whole company

Screen with Hero of the Day which is visible right after you enter our office

We don’t mind anyone from support going for a few weeks vacation. Because we all can share his or her job and cover for the customer support person.

#6. Remote team works 24 hours

In the meantime we help our customers in 7 different languages 24/5. On the weekends we cover the daytime.

How do we do it?

MailerLite’s team is all over the world. Half of our team works remotely.

Yes, it was a hard decision to hire remote team members. In the beginning, you think you can’t trust someone you don’t see in the office. We know the feeling. But that’s all in your mind. Once you overcome that, you face a big world full of talents. And don’t just limit yourselves with people only from your city or country.

One more secret benefit when using remote workers is that the work itself becomes the yardstick of someone’s performance.

When you can’t see someone all day long, the only thing you have to evaluate is the work. A lot of the petty evaluation stats just melt away. Criteria like “Was she here at 9?” or “Did she take too many breaks today?” or “Man, every time I walk by his desk he’s got Facebook up” aren’t even possible to tally.

(quote from “Remote” by Basecamp. Great book!)


P.S.

How do you deal with customer service? Share your story in the comments.