toolsLargely, people seem to like our Customer Service Scaling Timeline. But the #1 piece of feedback I get is: “some of these tools could be implemented sooner.”

Absolutely. Every tool we list in the timeline is useful, and most could be useful for any company at any stage.

But just because a tool is useful doesn’t mean you should use it (even if it’s UserVoice). Your company is a living, breathing thing and each tool has upsides and downsides for different companies.

For example:

  • If you’re not sure if your company will make it until next June, spending serious time implementing a CRM system doesn’t make sense. The benefits to this tool are long-term, while you need to focus on short-term. A solid ticket system so you don’t lose any customer service emails might be a better investment.
  • If you have 10 high-paying customers instead of 1,000 customers, a ticket system might not be the best use of your money. Instead, you might want to focus on a great phone presence, or taking customers out for drinks.
  • If you’re hiring a Community Manager in the next year, you might not want to invest a bunch of time in a social media tool – they’re likely to change it when they’re hired.

So use our timeline as a guide, but first think about:

  1. Will this tool benefit our customers?
  2. Will this tool last us for at least a year?
  3. Does this tool fit our company culture?
  4. Does this tool make sense considering our runway?

How have you deviated from our timeline? We’d love to write about you! Shoot an email to evan[at] with your story.

Tool photo courtesy of ThinkingStiff.