I’m a huge fan of Intercom’s books. They are relatively short, but contain great content and you will learn something from each one of them. And that for just a social share or $5 donation towards Code2040.

This week I read the book on Customer Support. Here’s what I got out of it.

  • Users on a (limited) free plan need support as well and if you ever want to make money on them, it better be good.
  • That said, 1:1 support for everyone at all times does not scale. You need a plan that works for the different types of users as well as your company’s budget.
  • A critical part of this plan should be policies for prioritising and escalating queries. Like users, not all queries are equal.
  • Depending on the product, support staff need both people and technical skills. A rare trade. Treat them well and hire more before you burn them.
  • When you start a company, you will probably work on the product as well as be involved in support. As you grow, better make sure support keeps a seat at the management table and feeds back to product management. This loop is critical to let your product evolve with your users’ needs.
  • The best way to reduce the demand for (personal) support is to use this loop to constantly remove frictions and confusion in the product and provide excellent documentation.
  • Sales & Marketing need to be aware of support’s critical role in Activation and Retention. You’re selling an experience, which is product + support.
  • Visa versa should support be sensitive for queries that provide an opportunity to (up)sell and are better left to sales.
  • There will always be users in need of help and those that are hopeless.

Grab your copy and let me hear what you think.