Anyone working in crypto & web3 knows how fast the space moves. Trying to keep up with everything can be overwhelming, whether engaging your community, raising capital, shipping products, watching prices go up [insert wink emoji], or hiring your team. Customer support can often get forgotten and feel like an unnecessary hassle with everything going on.
Despite everything else, getting your customer support process set up early will save a tonne of hassle further down the road. Moreover, it will help you hyper-scale your community more seamlessly - quality customer support is proven to improve customer retention, increase customer referrals and overall customer lifetime value.
In this article, we'll tell you four things you definitely shouldn't do when it comes to customer support and ten tips to help you set up and scale your customer support operation.
Why is customer support important?
Customer support can make or break any business, let alone a startup. Quality customer support can make the difference between onboarding a new community member or losing them to a competitor. Customer support is a competitive advantage.
The bottom line is that customer support is as critical as marketing, product, or any other part of your business; your customer support team represents the brand and is one of the main points of contact with your community. Customer support is increasingly becoming a key differentiator, and that's more important than ever in a bear market.
What are some of the biggest customer support mistakes web3 startups make?
- Delay setting up a customer support process: it's too easy to focus on building products and growing your community and forget about customer support. You may only realize once it's too late, but neglecting customer support at an early stage will slow your growth, frustrate early adopters, and reduce the cadence of feedback gathering, amongst other things.
- Underappreciate the value of customer support: your customer support team are essentially the face of your company; they speak with your users and convey your brand's values. Get it wrong, and you will annoy existing and new users.
- Under or over-investing in customer support to start: don't hire a huge customer support team on day one. At an early stage, the whole team should be involved in customer support; it's a great way to gather early customer feedback and turn your early community members into brand advocates. As you start to scale and the number of customer support inquiries becomes too time-consuming, you should consider hiring dedicated support staff and community moderators.
- Siloing the customer support team: leveraging your customer support team and encouraging them to share information between product, marketing, and development teams. Sharing knowledge, where appropriate, can help accelerate your path to product market fit.
- Not communicating response times: community members increasingly expect quick responses when they reach out to support teams, but rushing to respond without the correct information or having to respond multiple times wastes everyone's time. Communication, estimated response times and keeping customers updated will reduce negative customer experiences and lower the number of duplicate tickets.
10 tips to start and scale your customer support function
Now you know what not to do, here are a few tips to help you get started on your customer support journey.
- Ensure your whole team understands how important good quality customer support is for the organization. At Mava, all new joiners spend their first two weeks providing customer support regardless of their role. This is an excellent way for everyone to gain an understanding of customers' issues and get familiar with the product/service. This helps embed quality customer support within the company culture.
- Create a high-level communication guide: it's normal at an early-stage startup to decide on the 'tone of voice' and communication guidelines as part of your brand strategy. Instead of developing this only with the marketing team in mind, think about how this should feed into customer support and ensure everyone within the organization is aware of this. You should think of customer support as an extension of your marketing team.
- Use dedicated customer support software: relying on public Discord or Telegram groups to manage support doesn't scale. Use dedicated web3 customer support software such as Mava to help organize and scale your community support effortlessly.
- Provide omnichannel support: some people like Discord, but others want to use a different app to speak with your support team. Omni-channel support means your community can open a support ticket wherever they are, whether that's on your website, via Telegram or within Discord. This reduces the amount of effort required by a customer to contact the team, which has been shown to positively improve the customer perception towards the inquiry. Moreover, allowing your customers to create support tickets when they are using your product improves feedback and helps them share more relevant context with your support team.
- Automate workflows: using dedicated customer support software like Mava, you can automatically categorize and tag tickets, assign support agents, and help clients self-serve. Moreover, you can use canned responses to cut down on repetitive tasks. These automations help reduce the team's workload and reduce the time it takes to resolve customer inquiries.
- Manage spam: spam support requests can be a significant drain on team resources, especially within web3. Dedicated support software can help you identify, block and reduce spam support tickets. For some other helpful tips on spam prevention within Discord, check out this article [INSERT LINK to SPAM article]
- Set customer service targets: you should set some team KPIs, monitor, and track them over time. Not sure which metrics to track? Take a look at this article on web3 customer support metrics.
- Team training: once you have set expectations with the team, you should take a collaborative approach to improvement. After you start tracking key customer support metrics, you can begin the process of continuous improvement. You should identify areas of weakness using customer feedback scores and work through good and bad examples as a team.
- Integrate with other productivity tools: Even the best customer support tools can't do it all. It's likely your product and development team uses tools like Jira, Github or Linear while Slack or Discord is used for internal communications.. Instead of using all these tools in isolation, using software like Mava, you can integrate directly with these tools to streamline customer support issues. For example, you can notify relevant team members in Slack of new tickets coming in.
- Regularly review your support operations: whether you are a 3-person or 20+ person team, you should check your customer support operation and process regularly, identify issues and ways to improve efficiency, whether that's more automations, or perhaps product/UX improvements to reduce the number of inquiries.
The quality of customer support can make or break a business, and it's something that founders often overlook. Customers increasingly view customer support as a critical part of the decision-making process, whether they want to join your community, purchase an NFT or trade.
Providing quality customer support has several positive secondary effects, including better retention rates, higher lifetime spend and higher rates of brand advocacy. These are essential, especially for early-stage startups going from zero to one.
Our top tips for setting up and starting to scale a support team include:
- Ensure your whole team understands how important good quality customer support is for the organization
- Create a high-level communication guide
- Use enterprise-grade customer support software
- Provide omnichannel support
- Automate workflows
- Manage spam
- Set customer service targets
- Team training
- Integrate with other productivity tools
- Regularly review your support operations
If you are looking to start or scale your customer support across multiple channels (Discord, Telegram, Web chat etc.), don't hesitate to reach out to Mava, the only customer support software natively built for web3 organizations.