On a scale from 1 to ‘stepping on a lego’, how painful was your last customer support experience with your cable company? Chances are it was higher up on the spectrum:
“In 2004 and 2007, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey found that Comcast had the worst customer satisfaction rating of any company or government agency in the country, including the Internal Revenue Service”. (source)
Ouch… worse than the IRS.
We never want the customer experience to be painful when trying to get in touch with us. Actually, our goal from day one is for people to enjoy the process. Back in 2011, Rafflecopter had only a handful of users and was run out of a two bedroom apartment. Providing that enjoyable one-on-one experience was relatively effortless.
Today, we’re processing tens of thousands of giveaway entries every hour through tens of thousands of users (… and growing more each day!). While there have been some growing pains, we’ve had the opportunity to figure out how to provide exceptional product support to a rapidly growing user base. We’re excited to give everyone a peek into how we approach this undertaking and tips describing how we’ve managed it.
Scaling Customer Support
You know when you open an email and say, “you know… I’ll get to that later”. And then a new email comes in. And another one. Yeah – we know that feeling.
We try to avoid that happening at all costs. And instead of a few emails coming in here and there and piling up, we have thousands of emails a month that we’re managing. On top of that, we average an hour response time for almost half of all incoming emails and a 24 hour response time for more than 90%.
Because of this outpouring of emails we’re continually receiving, we needed something that Outlook or Gmail couldn’t do for us. That’s why we use Zendesk as the backbone for a customer support pipeline. Zendesk’s customer service software is so intuitive that our support team consists of mainly two people; it provides a framework that amplifies our customer support efficiency and allows us to focus on the things that matter. It provides us with a great framework to support our current and potential customers by allowing us to focus on things that matter instead of things like lost emails or slow response times.
How We Use Zendesk: The Basics
When an email is received, Zendesk allows us to view it as a ‘ticket’. Zendesk allows tickets to be passed from person to person within Rafflecopter that can either best respond to the requester or best identify the problem the requester is having.
When we initially receive an email it shows up as a ‘new’ ticket that we categorize as an ‘unassigned’ ticket. Essentially, this means that the ticket has no owner. Since most of the email we get are either general Rafflecopter questions, troubleshooting issues, and potential user questions, the overwhelming majority of the time the person that is best qualified to solve the ticket is myself. If the nature of the question requires the attention of Greg (biz dev / marketing related) or Justin (developer / engineering related), I can easily assign the ticket to one of them.
When I assign them the ticket I can opt to include myself in the ticket and include a private note to them (a note the requester will never see). In this I can say something like, ‘looks like this a bug’ or ‘have you seen this issue before’? They then, can decide to respond back to me in a private note, or, respond back to the requester directly if they chose. All the while I’ll receive every message from the ticket owner and the requester to be as updated on the situation as possible.
Scaling Beyond 100k+ Users: Our Two Secret Weapons
Manually supporting 500 users for an app is manageable. Supporting more than 5k gets a little tricky. But when you start talking about how to manually support 10k or 50k users, you’ll need something in place so everyone can get help they need when they need it.
That’s why we have a knowledge base as part of our support process and utilize macros in our support emails every day.
Our Knowledge Base
From troubleshooting to tips to common questions, our knowledge base is a location for comprehensive information about Rafflecopter. It’s a self-serve help center. Our hope for this aspect of our service is not to avoid interacting with users but rather to empower them. We’re confident in digital ‘know-how’ of our users and we’ve provided you with the answers you need as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The Use of Macros
With as many users as we have, it’s very common to get the same questions frequently asked. Examples include ‘can I upload a custom fan gate image?’ or ‘can I post my giveaway in multiple locations?’. No matter who is asking these questions, the answer is the same. Using macros allows us to embed answers to common questions that we can populate in emails quickly and efficiently.
For example, when getting the aforementioned question, ‘can I run the same giveaway in multiple locations’, check out the animation below to see how Greg helps one of our users:
Of course, we’ll add some personality to the response to give the answer a feeling of engagement of character (and to avoid sounding robotic).
Why All The Trouble?
We take customer support very seriously. We view customer support as a marketing tool, a feedback outlet, and a key ingredient into making Rafflecopter a well-rounded experience. It doesn’t stop at sending emails; it’s about engaging our users, listening to their thoughts, and providing them with the ‘WOW factor’. Yes, the ‘WOW factor’. That means providing with such amazing customer support that they can’t help but say, ‘wow!’. Whether that’s joking around in an email, taking credit for a mistake we made, having an amazingly fast response time, or simply take time listen to feedback.
So often in this age of technology you call or email and it feels like you’re taking to a machine, even when you’re talking to an actual person. Companies get caught up in official ways to talk to customers they forget that they’re talking to another person. We don’t have scripts or handbooks for customer service. Our mentality is simply treat the people you’re talking to like a person. We’ve found that often times that simple rule will take you a lot farther than you think.
Give Us Your Feedback!
What’s your experience been like emailing our support team at Rafflecopter? Comment below! Speaking of feedback, below is a giveaway we’re running that will give you the opportunity to provide us some feedback (additional details). We’d love to hear from you!