Good Customer Support Pays Big (Data) Dividends

Back in June, we received a lengthy email from Splurgy‘s Michi Kono. At the time, Splurgy was kicking tires with Treasure Data via our Heroku addon, and Michi had several questions about pricing and scalability.

At 500 words, the email felt long. Also, I read it on my 4-inch iPhone screen, scrolling multiple times before reaching his signature at the bottom of the message. It also didn’t help it was at 9PM on a Saturday after a hearty dinner.

“All right. I will read and respond tomorrow morning.” was my initial reaction. After all, it is 9PM. But then I remembered Jay Levinson’s advice from Guerrilla Marketing:

If they send you an e-mail, respond within twenty-four hours, though two hours is far better, and two minutes is best.”

Okay, it’s been more than two hours since Michi emailed us. I’d better respond ASAP. I opened my laptop and started writing my response. In 300 words, I wrote a detailed answer to each of Michi’s question and clicked “Send” at 10:08 PM.

Michi got back to us 12 minutes later.

Remember, this is 10:20 PM on a Saturday! It was clear he cared about our service. When I read the sentence “Very appreciated on the transparency,” I knew I did the right thing.

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In the next few weeks, we exchanged several more emails, and Splurgy decided to continue using our service beyond our public beta. When we finally went GA on Heroku, Splurgy was the first to upgrade to a paid plan. Finally, Michi came to our launch event and vouched for our service in front of a room full of journalists and investors.

So, take customer support seriously. Treat your customers the way you want to be treated. If your customer cares about your service enough to email you on Saturday evening, you should care about them just as much.

Good customer support is like fitness: While its benefits may not be apparent at first and you need to put in sustained effort, it pays off handsome dividends down the road.

Kiyoto Tamura
Kiyoto Tamura
Kiyoto began his career in quantitative finance before making a transition into the startup world. A math nerd turned software engineer turned developer marketer, he enjoys postmodern literature, statistics, and a good cup of coffee.
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