Using a proper help desk at the inception of your business is like using a solid foundation when you build a building.

With Gmail or the like, you miss out on simple tools that facilitate complex tasks, and your business (or building) suffers from the lack of a good foundation.

This is certainly true for SaaS companies. Promising products attract early adopters and, in turn, open the gates to all kinds of feedback and questions. These are fruitful moments of building relationships, gathering feedback, and setting the standard for how customer support will be done.

Jeremy Kratz - DoneDone

DoneDone is a software company that tracks issues and bugs for development teams. As a small team punching above their weight, they’re using Help Scout to grow their product.

I spoke to Jeremy Kratz, who’s one of the main developers and also in charge of customer support.

Here’s how DoneDone does support right.

Setting Goals Is About Making Promises

“A goal properly set is halfway reached,” said the late, great Zig Ziglar.

It’s easy to start using a help desk and not set a goal—emails come in, emails get answered.

But once a team says, “Let’s respond to customers in under an hour,” then a goal is set and a plan for how to achieve it takes shape.

“At DoneDone, our focus is issue tracking for everyone, not just developers. Issue trackers are typically targeted toward developer users who are sort of familiar with the support process,” said Jeremy. “We want to provide everyone with top notch support so that they can very easily resolve the issues they might have. If they have a problem, we want to really help them out and make sure they don’t have any friction at all using our system.”

DoneDone Collaboration

The second goal Jeremy mentioned is to be as friendly as possible.

“We don’t want to appear robotic or sound like we have no personality. We want to make it clear that when you talk to us, you’re talking to a human being.”

Simple goals like this make all the difference; intentions are set, and certain behaviors are expected.

How DoneDone Organizes and Records Customer Feedback

Customer support is the central station for customer feedback. Properly setting up your team to be on the front line allows them to gather valuable insights and empathize with a customer’s worldview.

Every smart company has a process for recording and organizing customer feedback.

DoneDone Jeremy Kratz

“It’s pretty simple. When someone sends in a feature that we want to keep in mind, we tag it in Help Scout so that we can refer to it later. Then have a simple document in Basecamp that we use to break down the suggestions into high, medium, and low priority or things that we’re probably not going to implement,” explained Jeremy.

“Then the team and I regularly sit down and review that document to plan what our next features are going to be. It’s nice with the tagging system, and with the help desk document, as more and more people request the same feature, we put their name beside it or we refer to it with a tag. It’s easy to see which ones are gaining traction or which ones are the most popular requests. That’s usually where we try to focus our efforts when we’re building new features.”

Creating a simple system like this makes all the difference and prevents missed opportunities to meet your customers’ needs.

What SaaS Gains From Doing Smart Support

The question is worth pondering: Why, exactly, is customer support important? Aside from the fact that it’s your customers we’re talking about, why should you care?

“It’s important for us to establish a working relationship,” Jeremy said. “I’d say that one of the main things that’s important to us from a customer relationship standpoint is having that first name recognition with someone. It’s also nice to see their face if they’ve provided an avatar we can see in Help Scout. Establishing that relationship is pretty important to us, and other than that, we just make sure that we’re as responsive and as friendly as possible.”

This attitude makes all the difference in how we approach our work. It’s easy to assume that all companies think like this, but alas, not many do.

Receiving an answer quickly, one that is deliberately friendly and helpful, is the work of an organization that cares about their customers and their product.

It’s not an accident; it’s intentional and foundational.

This intent starts with the tool that’s being used. It then develops with the culture of the company—“How do we want to do this, and in what way?” It all comes to fruition when our behaviors and principles meet the outcome we desire.

Thank you to Jeremy Kratz at DoneDone for being generous with this insight.

Paul Jun
Paul Jun

Paul is head of content at CreativeMornings and a Help Scout alum. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.