At VEED we make sure to respond to 100% of the live chat messages we get in Drift. Every single one! Even when brushing teeth, or to the good old “sdfghjkl;” message – and even an odd “F*** this” too (they’re normally really nice people actually, once you get to know them).
Ever since we started charging for our online video editor, VEED has been committed to offering the best possible customer support we can. We do this because, as a startup, we have to work hard to get things off the ground.
Because great customer support is the only thing that startups can and should do really well all of the time.
For us, this means responding to over 600 messages every month, at any time of day.
Here are some of the more…interesting customer support conversations we’ve had recently.
When eating pizza ?
When on the Tube ?
And even when celebrating a good week with friends at the local pub ?
What have we learned from responding to every message?
Selfies can go a long way in relationship building
A website can feel very impersonal at times, this is why we like doing more quirky things, such as taking photos holding a user’s name on a card and then sending it to them. It’s something we did for our first 100 paid users. Sometimes you forget that there are real people behind the website you are using. So when someone is chatting with us, we often send a selfie. Why? Because it’s by far one of the best ways to break the ice. It’s a really simple way to build a relationship with our users and signal to them that we’re friendly humans who want to help them. Besides, it’s always good to put a face to the name and show that there are real people on the other end of the chat.
Chat provides a fast lane to customer feedback and helps prioritize the roadmap
This might sound obvious, but after following up on every single message, we found many more bugs than we initially thought were there. Our users tell us everything – they alert us to UI/UX /Render issues and suggest new features that we otherwise wouldn’t have thought of. For example, we had a transcoding problem for large MOV files. It was something we were completely unaware of. So while we were working on a fix, I asked the user to send the video over to me so that I could transcode it for them myself. Another example is if a user requests a feature that we don’t currently support, I offer to edit the video for them myself. Not only does this help us prioritize our roadmap, but it also helps us build great relationships with our users.
Delivering solutions quickly earns trust
As a bootstrapped startup, our time and resources are limited. We currently don’t have basic features such as simple mobile styling and the ability to rename projects. Crazy right? The other day a user chatted with us and asked why they couldn’t rename a project. So I responded and said, “I will build it by the end of the day.” A few hours later, the feature was implemented. I told the user and they were over the moon. Acting and responding to your user’s needs quickly shows that you are listening to them and being proactive. People expect answers now, but they also expect solutions now. So having the ability to chat with our users when they have problems helps us deliver solutions that much faster.
All jokes and pizza selfies aside, responding to 100% of our chat messages works. We’ve seen a direct correlation between providing amazing customer support and acquiring new paid users. Whenever a user messages us, we jump straight on chat. We answer all the user’s questions and let them know they can contact us any time via Drift chat.
Often, moments after the chat has ended, we’ll get a ping from Stripe confirming a new paid user has subscribed!
So yes. We’re a bootstrapped team of two on a tight budget. But by responding to 100% of our Drift chat messages, we were able to acquire our first 100 paid users in just three weeks.
Sabba Keynejad is the CEO, co-founder, and head of getting stuff done at VEED, the simple online video editor. He is on a mad mission to help individuals and brands build and engage audiences online using the power of video.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Drift customer VEED. Interested in contributing content to the Drift blog? Email Molly Sloan at firstname.lastname@example.org.