TurnSocial is a free social toolbar for local business websites. It’s also a side project. Matt Hendrick, who also works at another startup based in San Francisco, spends his free time as CEO of TurnSocial. Considering he has a finite amount hours to spend on TurnSocial, one would expect that he’s limiting his interaction with customers as much as possible. In fact, the exact opposite is true.
Instead of trying to hide from support inquiries and feature requests, Matt makes himself incredibly available: every new customer gets a warm welcome email from him, and the reply-to goes directly to his inbox. Yes, sign up for TurnSocial and you immediately have the CEO’s email address.
You may think that sounds all happy and huggy, but the logistical result of this is actually pretty impressive. “People aren't intimidated to ask for help if they need it, but they also don't needlessly fire off messages with no real purpose.” says Matt. “Having a direct line to the CEO makes people think twice before they hit the send button.” Yes, Matt actually gets fewer emails BECAUSE he gives out his email address.
Putting a Face to the Company
Matt also stresses the personal bond this builds between him and his customers, which is important for a tool like TurnSocial. “We’re asking people to put our tool directly on their website – their place of business – so we have a high degree of respect for their needs. We want them to know that we really do care – we succeed only if we help make their website even better.”
Matt regularly gets messages from customers saying how impressed they are that he makes himself so readily available. “It’s a very effective way to retain customers and win over those who could be on the fence. People are comfortable cancelling their account with a faceless corporation. But when they know exactly who they’re abandoning, they’re more likely to email you and try to work through their issues. And we do our best to help them.”
Are you hiding your contact info in the shadows? Try making it extremely available – it might actually result in fewer emails, and certainly will result in happier customers!
Junk photo courtesy of lady3jane.