Jake Peters

How Surprisingly Good Support Wins Us Customers

Jake Peters on

At HelpDocs we’re kinda great at customer support. If you’ve ever sent us a support request (or just a hello) you’ll have seen this yourself.

Almost all our chats are replied to within 30 waking minutes. Usually way quicker.

It’s safe to say our customers love our support. And our software of course. But mostly our support. 🤓

In fact, our support’s so good we get messages like this every day:

Wow! The quality & speed of your support leave me speechless, really! :-)

Come for the knowledge base, stay for the support.

Often, though, people assume our customer support’s great because we’re a huge team. I mean, sub-5 response time means there must be a full-time support team, right?

Wrong.

It’s just two guys in a shed in the UK. Long story…

And if you have some passion (or a shed) you can do it too. Here’s how we deliver surprisingly good support at HelpDocs, and how it wins us customers time and time again.

The Magic of a Sub-5 Response

It’s not uncommon for us to respond immediately to leads and support requests.

Recently we had an incident with one of our providers. It was stopping people from signing up. The worst kinda incident, for sure!

People started letting us know pretty much right away, which was great. We got to work immediately, and sent out emails to all the affected users within minutes.

Sweet – that sub 5 response time is gold standard!

Less than 10 minutes later the problem was fixed, but the thing that stuck in people’s mind wasn’t the fix itself. No. It was the communication.

Today people want a reply now. And there’s never a case where waiting is better. Acknowledge the problem / ticket / request right away, then sort it out quickly. Your customers will love you for it.

Go the Extra Mile

Since we added custom HTML templates to the Pro plan earlier this year, we’ve been getting a ton of cool companies making their HelpDocs look super custom.

But customizing everything takes time. Time that some companies just don’t have.

We saw the problem and launched a done-for-you template service. We build the whole thing from scratch, add the CSS, HTML and JavaScript to your account, and you have a custom knowledge base. Best of all, that’s usually in less than 24 hours.

We don’t make a ton of money from it. In fact, factoring in our time it’s probably a loss-leader. But making great templates in no-time-flat gets us feedback like this.

Thanks Jake! You kind of rock 😏

That’s the kinda comment that makes it all worth it.
All it takes is a little extra effort from you. Do one little thing above and beyond what the customer’s expecting.

Always Overdeliver

Running a SaaS company we’re asked for new features all the time. Everyone has slightly different requirements, so it’s difficult to figure out the right things to work on.

I’d love to make everyone happy and build the things they want, but adding too many features to HelpDocs would leave us with a bloated, crappy, platform.

Working out which features to build is a whole other blog post though. The point is you need to deal with customer feedback the right way.

Often I’ll give feedback or feature requests to other companies, and I’ll be told something like “that’s a great idea, I’ll discuss it with the team!”.

That loosely translates to “err, we’re never going to do that”. And you’ll probably never hear back from them.

A better way to deal with suggestions and feedback is to set expectations right away. Say “great idea! That’s not something we’re looking at building right now, but I can at least look into it for the future.”.

If you’re literally never building that thing, just say so. Customers would rather be told a definite no than an irritating maybe.

And if you do say you’ll talk to the team, actually talk to the team. Then send a followup with some kinda plan. It doesn’t have to be concrete, but at least it’s progress.
Set reasonable expectations of what your customer can expect, then overdeliver on those expectations.

Tying it All Together

Great customer support doesn’t have to be tough, and it doesn’t take a team. All it takes is fast replies and careful word choice.

Make your best effort to delight your customers, throw some emoji into your support messages, and you’ll do great. 🎉




Jake Peters Cambridge, UK
Jake runs Product at HelpDocs. When he's not obsessing over customer feedback or hacking code, you'll find him in the nearest artisan coffee shop doing, err, probably more customer support.