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.

With over one million signups through their platform since January, it’s clear that the Launchrock has used their own tool – a platform for user acquisition and engagement which is best known for its beta signup form – to great success. Their system not only allows people to sign up for your project/service, but also has powerful referral abilities that incentivize subscribers to share your message with their friends.

thomas knollHow did Launchrock manage to build such an effective tool? With over three thousand beta testers, how do you decide what to build next? Chief of Product & Relationships, Thomas Knoll says they use two simple tricks: asking why and saying no.

“It’s easy to ask for something,” says Thomas. “It’s a lot harder to explain why you need it.” If a customer asks him for, say, a conversion rate report, he asks “Why do you need this report? What are you going to actually do with it?”

More frequently than you’d expect, Thomas finds that the customer has no idea why they want something. “We’ve got so many expectations burned into our brains that we often ask for things and look for things that we don’t actually use.”

why in blue spraypaint on a brick wall

If they can’t say why, then they don’t need it. Simple as that.

It’s those rare moments when they DO know why that Thomas finds most powerful. “If you can convincingly explain why you want something, it shows a real need. That’s the stuff we need to be building. That’s the stuff we are building.”

It’s hard to argue against this – aside from the massive interest the product as garnered, the beta testers are raving:

“I really like LaunchRock. It’s one of those services that doesn’t try to be more than the problem it’s solving. It just works for what I need it to do, and there aren’t many tools that do that.”Alex Schiff

“We weren’t ready to launch at SXSW, but while on the bus, we registered and threw up a LaunchRock page. Early adopters could tell their friends, and we could easily measure who the influencers were. A few key evangelists brought in a ton of new sign-ups to the service. Big thanks to Launchrock.”Eli Gratz

So, have you asked why lately?

Thomas photo (cc) Kenneth Yeung –
Why photo courtesy of Ksayer1.

No photo courtesy of Abhi Ryan