Holy Macros! How We’re Scaling Our Product Support For Our Users

Home Depot Customer Support

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

Zendesk banner

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

Rafflecopter - 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:

Big Bird needs help!

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author

Josh

Josh Couper is a Customer Happiness Agent at Rafflecopter, the world's easiest way to run a giveaway online. Check out his adventures around Colorado and beyond on Instagram at @joshcouper

  • sophie

    I haven’t yet had to contact Rafflecopter for help–I hope I’m not jinxing myself by sharing that my experiences have, so far, been problem free. Reading this post makes me feel like, if/when it happens, it WON’T be at all like dealing with Comcast …

    • http://www.rafflecopter.com/ Greg @ Rafflecopter

      Ha – well hopefully that’s the case :P

  • KenB670

    Great article!

  • http://elliedi.com/ Ellie Di

    I’ve had minimal interaction with customer service, but what I’ve seen so far has been great. I’m also fascinated by the new model – customer service should be good for everyone, and you’re on it.

  • Classic

    I used support early on before it was completely automated, and I have to say that the service was outstanding. My questions were answered immediately and I was able to fix the problems without further ado. Thanks.

  • Kendra Fletcher

    I’ve had no reason to contact support either, but companies that offer stellar CS always keep me coming back!

    • http://www.rafflecopter.com/ Greg @ Rafflecopter

      I suppose not having to contact us isn’t necessarily a bad thing :P if you ever do need to, you know where to find us :)

  • http://www.janiscox.com/ Janis Cox

    I haven’t done my first Rafflecopter but I know you guys will be excellent. Heard great things about you.

    • http://www.rafflecopter.com/ Greg @ Rafflecopter

      thanks! whenever you’re ready to give it a shot, please feel free to give us a shout :)

  • http://www.DialMforMoms.com Deborah L Melian

    I haven’t yet needed to use customer service but from what I see, there is an extensive network in place to help out wherever necessary. Kudos!–Deb at DialMforMoms.com

    • http://www.rafflecopter.com/ Greg @ Rafflecopter

      you bet! thanks Deb :)

  • http://ychi.wordpress.com/ Yahong Chi

    This is really nice to read about! Cool to see the macro system at work. Great customer support is always one of the things I remember the most about a service. And so far, Rafflecopter’s been stellar. :)

    • http://www.rafflecopter.com/ Greg @ Rafflecopter

      glad you liked it – the macro system saves us a lot of time! appreciate the kind words as always :)

  • posh007

    I love Rafflecopter and wish there was an annual package OR the option to purchase X discounted giveaway uses, when we don’t need a monthly feature.

  • jk1m

    Always look forward to Rafflecopter giveaways! Cheers! :)

    • Josh @ Rafflecopter

      **dances** Really excited to hear that!

  • http://www.mychildscloset.com Kim

    It was interesting to read about your customer service macro. So far, I’ve been able to figure out everything I needed from the information you’ve supplied online. The best customer service = making it possible for the customer to figure out things easily on their own!

    • http://www.rafflecopter.com/ Greg @ Rafflecopter

      Kim – that’s the truth! we’re here if you were to ever have a questions though :P thanks for reading!

  • Becky Ryan- Willis

    I enjoyed reading all about your process(es) and how you are handling all of your emails. I agree that customer service is very important, and as you grow so is knowing how to manage it!.

  • Wanda B

    Rafflecopter is the BEST in giveaway services!

    • Josh @ Rafflecopter

      Woohoo! Thanks!

  • Gord

    I think you should make the “Terms and Conditions” box area a compulsory area to be filled out when setting up a giveaway. It should include all pertinent information for the giveaway and include what countries are permitted to participate in the giveaway, right at the very top.

    • cathyincanada

      I agree but see this as a fault of the giveaway poster, not Rafflecopter. It seems like sometimes people forget that the internet is worldwide not just available in their own country.

  • Jason

    I’m an entrant but my wife uses your copter for giveaways. I would love to be able to click a button and have my tweet sent and verified rather than having to copy and paste. It would save time and be less of a hassle for entrants.

  • Michelle Willms

    I am both. Rafflecopter is too dependent on FB. When FB goes down, which has been frequent here, for some reason, the entire questionnaire is useless. This creates loads of problems.

  • virginia b

    I am an entrant and I have never had any issues using rafflecopter and I love it. Won some pretty good swag using rafflecopter :)

  • bigguysmama

    I have had a quick and thorough response with the few emails I’ve sent. I feel like the “ticket” has been actually read by a real person! They’re never pat answers that leave me wanting more or getting frustrated because I have to write back and ask the same question again! You guys have always been on top of things!

    • http://www.rafflecopter.com/ Greg @ Rafflecopter

      woot ~ we appreciate your loyalty and kind words! you know where to find us if you need anything :P

  • Juliana Rodrigues

    I’m an entrant and I’ve never had any issue using Rafflecopter, it’s pretty much perfect the way it is! :)

  • Yadira Juarez

    I’ve never won using rafflecopter but I continue to use it. It’s simple and fun!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wakingbug Wanda Tracey

    I use rafflecopter all the time and I’ve had lots of luck using it.I think it’s truly the best.I also like the macro customer service you have.It’s nice to get answers when you need them.

    • Josh @ Rafflecopter

      Thanks Wendy! We’ve found Macros have really transformed and streamlined our customer service. I appreciate you taking time to read my post.

  • Katie Mitchell Thibeault

    I’ve never won using rafflecopter but I continue to use it. It’s simple and fun!Rafflecopter is the BEST in giveaway services!

    • Josh @ Rafflecopter

      Woohoo! Thanks! Best of luck on your giveaways!

  • nsconsumer

    I have used Rafflecopter as an entrant and have not had any issues using it. I like it because it is easy to use. Much easier than some programs companies use that a seem to screw up. It is great the way it is.

    • Josh @ Rafflecopter

      We love to hear that! Thanks!

  • cathyincanada

    On my iPad, it is tedious getting the Tweet URL for those entries. It would be nice to be able to have the entry form automatically confirm or insert it.

    • Josh @ Rafflecopter

      Hey Cathy! Thanks for the feedback. We defiantly understand where you are coming from, however, to automatically confirm that we would need to require all entrants to give Rafflecopter admin access into their twitter accounts. We’ve found that giveaways are significantly more successful when we have entrants verify via the tweet url instead of giving Rafflecopter further access into their social media accounts.

      • cathyincanada

        That is a valid point. Maybe it could be an option for those that are comfortable with it?

        I acknowledge that it is a lot of extra coding for the option. Just something to keep on the back-burner list in case you get a lot of requests for it.

  • John Layson Jr.

    when using rafflecopter on my samsung tablet and ipad 4 it seems to be not smooth unlike when using it on my laptop

  • zeta_mcmillan

    Rafflecopter makes entering so much easier especially the blog contests :)

  • Guest

    Yes, it is very frustrating entering giveaways on rafflecopter on my iPad. Every time I go back to the page after tweeting, or anything, I have to refresh the page. It takes 5 minutes per rafflecopter giveaway, and I enter probably 100 a day!

  • Marjoried

    I like to enter contests using this form, I feel I can trust the sites that use this form.
    You can see your name as a winner on the form if you win and on the other forms you do not see your name. Definitely a very trustworthy product.

  • dorey69

    think there great and so easy but sometimes fb wont let u share for yr entries.

  • Karen Evans

    Since I am still using my vista for a couple of more months, Rafflecopter has always been “kind” to Vista. I am not always big on filling out, stuff I don’t have (instagram(??) for example) I just jump over it. So many programs do not work with my (stupid) Vista, (which will be replaced in a month or 2 ..Windows 8.1 , I all-in-one computer..) Thanks for always appearing the same! :)

  • Rodney Batterman

    Love Rafflecopter giveaways!!

  • Diane R

    I’ve only made entries. Never had an occasion to contact The Support team, so far. Keep up the awesome work!

  • Alex Ohannes

    I’m an entrant, and I would like to see the voting system rolled back to the way it was before Rafflecopter messed it up. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  • Karen Evans

    Is there anymore to this contest?? Just asking as all I can enter is 3 entries and I am thinking that I missed something??

  • Kristine Teston

    It’s easy to enter giveaways/contests/raffles using rafflecopter, because, it’s hassle-free and not time consuming!

  • bunnykisses88

    Sounds great! Keep up the awesome work for awesome giveaways!

  • Firestone Gamer

    I’ve only been an entrant – but – have to say I get happy when I realize the contests’ are using Rafflecopter – it is sooooo easy and quick! Had one contest around Christmas that was 95 or so different things – like this persons’ facebook etc – the entrant drop-down has the ‘like’ button grayed out if you have already liked that page – same with following on twitter – which means that I don’t have to go check because I ‘think’ I liked, followed etc – it tells me. Awesome!! Keep up the good work.

  • Roxy

    I have to admit that i’ve only used Rafflecopter to enter in contests and I find it so was and quick to use! There’s nothing complicated about it so I have had zero problems with it :)

  • John Adam

    I think that there is nothing to really improve! I have encountered and used rafflecopter a lot for giveaways and think its a neat app!