“Hospitality” – our how I deal with customer service…

At the Fucking Cool Brunch there was a gentlemen there, the mixologist from the bar at 28 Hong Kong Street, who discussed the notion of hospitality. I found it fascinating since generally this is an overlooked topic in the tech industry. What I mean by this is how we treat our users or customers. I call them customers usually cause my goal is to extract revenue while serving them – rather than a user. Who uses. 😉

I stole this line from Wiki:

However, it still involves showing respect for one’s guests, providing for their needs, and treating them as equals.

There is so much in that line.

Respect – how many times have you been talked down to or berated by a customer support person? Remember that feeling next time you interact with one of your customers.

Provide – Customers have needs. The goal is to provide for them – sure you may not be able to and some of the needs may be silly but the idea is to try where it fits with your product goals.

Treat as equal – this kind of is like the first line – respect but the idea is to get off your tech high-horse and treat your customer as you would expect to be treated.

So given this I find customer support to be a really BIG deal. You work hard to get a customer – it is cheaper to keep them then to buy a new one. Fact.

I have some friends who have newsletter all about techies and customer support – check it out here :: https://twitter.com/TechSupport4Dev/

At Spuul, for now, I still handle most of the customer emails. It keeps me close to the product and the customer’s use of the product.

Generally all the support comes in via email, different channels, and I try to personally respond to all of them. Sometimes they are lengthy replies, sometimes they are check this FAQ and other times they are canned replies since the answer is quite simple. Typing out all of these replies can take too much time – sure shortcuts and textexpander would help but I have something better now – Dispatch. Made by one of the dudes who also makes the Spuul App .

  • I can make snippets and quickly reply to emails
  • I can take emails and save them off to evernote
  • I can use an email to quickly start an asana task
  • Animations are useful and the app is just pretty
  • I can go back and forth from the email and the preview while I type my reply.
  • It works and the whole idea of using my email client as a router to other things is growing on me

App is a 1.0 and obviously will evolve.

Email is not dead folks but only cause of some great innovation by independent  devs.

Customers service is any startup’s secret weapon – now you have a better tool to add to your arsenal.

Next post I will talk about Echelon, getting on TV and gruber.


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