This is part of our ongoing series on Scaling Customer Service, based on our Customer Service Scaling Timeline. This month we’re covering Stage One.

crowdboosterAs we discussed yesterday, the first stage of the Customer Service Scaling Timeline is not about solving bugs, but rather about understanding needs.

Crowdbooster is very much in this first phase. A social media measurement and optimization tool founded in 2010, it’s only recently that “Chief Crowdbooster” Ricky Yean says they’ve “really figured out what product we’re building”. Up until now they’ve been experimenting in private beta, trying to figure out what product people really want.

make something people want shirtAs outlined in stage one of the timeline, this means talking to as many customers as possible with whatever is handy. “We’ve had a lot of live chats and emails with customers, and when possible sat down with them in person,” says Ricky. “We built a lot, very fast, seeing what stuck to the wall. It’s only because we listened and moved this fast that we now have the vision we do.” Crowdbooster uses Mixpanel and user groups to judge the effectiveness of these new features, and quickly moves on if a new feature doesn’t generate enthusiasm.

Telling Stories

Making this process efficient has been key. At first Ricky would send his co-founders an email summary of every customer conversation, but he quickly abandoned that tactic. “It was too time-intensive. Instead, I developed a talent for absorbing what customers told me and bringing that to our meetings.”

The results of these tactics are tangible. In a market with plenty of competitors, Crowdbooster has shot to 5,000 followers on Twitter (all during private beta) and the tweets about the company show that they are standing out by truly focusing on the pain points of potential customers.

Scaling to Stage Two

As powerful as these conversations have been, we know this doesn’t scale. And Ricky does too. “We’ve been so good about responding quickly to customers and listening carefully, and we want to continue having this being a cornerstone of our business. So, of course, we’re terrified about the challenges of scaling.”

Crowdbooster is already starting to put things in place for Stage Two, however. They’ve implemented UserVoice Feedback as their “expansive” private beta grows. Ricky admits he can’t hold all customer feedback in his head forever, and UserVoice will help record and prioritize those requests. But not at the expense of conversations: “No matter how big we get, I’ll still be talking to customers one-on-one.”

Convinced by Crowdbooster’s great customer service? We’ve got 15 invites for their private beta. Click here to get ’em while they last!