I got a pretty good beating on the blogosphere 🙂 for my post about handling abusive customers. It was well deserved and I’ve learned my lesson.

Another important lesson

In addition to remembering that the customer is always right, the most important thing I’ve learned through doing all the support for DropSend and Amigo is this:

Make it easy to help your customers.

Sounds obvious right? Well, believe it or not, it’s the small details that happen during the build of the app, that will determine how easy it’ll be to help your customers.

Here are some things you should build into your app’s back end in order to make customer service easier:

Simple search for users accounts

You will get tons of emails from customers saying things like “Please cancel my account” or “What plan am I using?” or “Can you re-send me my last two invoices?”, etc.

It’s insane, but I actually have to page through thousands of accounts in DropSend, in order to find someone’s account so I can answer those questions. I can’t do a simple search based on their first/last name or email address.

Building a simple user account search (name or email address) will allow you to quickly help your customers. If it’s quicker for you, you’re more likely to be helpful to your customer because it takes one minute, instead of ten!

Allow token gestures of kindness

There will be plenty of times when a user encounters a bug and they’ll be pissed off.

You can apologize and promise you’ll fix the bug ASAP, but that won’t really make your customer feel any better. If you can easily do one of the following, it’s likely they’ll forget about their frustrations and they’ll keep using their account:

  1. Give them one free month of service
  2. Refund their last invoice
  3. Give them some extra free usage (ie in DropSend, we can give them an extra 15 files sends for that month)

If you can’t easily do these things in your app’s backend, you’ll find yourself dragging your heels when it comes to helping your customers.

For example, if you have to contact your book keeper to refund invoices, instead of simply clicking a button in the app’s backend, you won’t do it as often as you should.

Reduce that friction

Making it easier for you to help customers will dramatically improve the quality of your customer service.

Make sure to spend the extra time on the app’s backend and you’ll see a huge payoff in happy customers!