customer service scaling timeline stage 3This is part of our ongoing series on Scaling Customer Service, based on our Customer Service Scaling Timeline. This month we're covering Stage Three.

Congrats! It’s Stage 3 of the Customer Support Scaling Timeline, and you’ve successfully launched your product and established regular customers. You’re now a company, abiet a small one.

This is the point where formal systems are going to help you. As your customer base grows (hooray!) the number of issues will too (boo!). As a founder you can no longer do customer support of the edge of your desk…in fact, you can’t reliably do it at all, as your urgent priorities are going to relate more to business than customers. Tools and employees will help you ensure customer happiness without focusing entirely on it.

Here are some of the changes we recommend you consider making during Stage 3:

  • Have someone (not a founder) focused on providing great support. They can have other responsibilities, but keeping the support queue empty should be a top one. (We'll be digging into this in depth.)
  • Implement a support ticket system so you don’t lose track of customer issues in an inbox (if you haven’t already implemented one).
  • Start using canned responses to save time when typing the same thing over and over (we’ll talk later this month about how to avoid abusing these).
  • Implement basic reporting so you can shape your support instead of firing blindly.
  • Provide your customers with documentation so they don’t have to wait for you to respond every time they have a common question (we'll be discussing how you can make this happen as a time-strapped startup).
  • Continue to collect feedback from customers, but make sure that stability and reliability are just as important.
  • Stop using live chat if you were – for most teams it won’t scale past Stage 2.

Stick with us as we dig into this stage in detail this month!