Drago Kassabov, Head of Customer Support for business startup RapidBuyr, is not new to large volumes of customer support. He spent 10 years at The Endurance International Group, one of the largest web hosting companies in the world, managing 11 customer service centers worldwide. So when he thinks about scaling support at the much-smaller RapidBuyr, he’s both empathetic to customer needs and very methodical about how to address them.
Create expectations, then break them
As a new company with offices in a single timezone, RapidBuyr is not yet in a position to provide support over the weekend or after hours. But instead of hiding from it, Drago embraces this. The first thing you’ll see on their support page is their clear business hours: Weekdays, 8-5 EST. They even have a handy lightbox that lists the holidays that they’ll be out.
Frustrating? No, sir. “People like to know what’s going on. We get hardly any frustrated emails outside of business hours – people understand and accept that they’ll hear from us within 24 business hours.” Drago says this also puts him in a position to delight people by outperforming those expectations. He’ll often answer urgent issues off hours, and even provides an “urgent” option in their voicemail on the weekend, which sends messages directly to him.
More employees isn’t the only lever for scaling support. Drago vows that he won’t hire any further support employees until issue and customer satisfaction numbers show that he needs to. Instead, he has and will be implementing structures that mean more happy customers with fewer employees. First and foremost is prioritizing merchants (those providing the goods) over those buying the goods. Why? “A merchant issue could affect thousands of buyers. Better to answer them first and clear up that issue so fewer buyers encounter a problem.”
Drago also plans to hire strategically when the numbers demand it. He’ll be finding people to fill speciality positions; some will live and breathe daily deal support, some mobile support, etc. He’ll also be hiring in specific timezones, so he can expand the aforementioned business hours, resulting in smaller piles of tickets when the USA team arrives in the morning.
Specific practices aside, Drago says the drivers of any support strategy should be two things: quality and customer satisfaction. “If you focus on these, you will always win. Always.”