“Our technology in isolation won’t protect the environment or address climate change — it’s only when put into the hands of our customers that we as a company are having the impact we strive for.” – Marshall Moutenot, Upstream Tech
When you’re a mission-oriented company providing solutions to the social or environmental problems that face our world, your product can only achieve impact when your customers are successful.
Upstream Tech was founded by Marshall Moutenot and Alden Keefe Sampson with the mission of innovating in an underserved space: Conservation and water.
With a team of environmentalists, hydrologists, data scientists, and machine learning experts, they created two products to make sustainable resource management more approachable. Lens is a tool that aggregates satellite and aerial data to analyze landscapes, while HydroForecast is an AI and remote sensor technology that helps organizations predictively visualize changing waterways. Both are advanced technological solutions for conservation but can be mystifying as customers first integrate them into their work.
“It’s because of this that we do everything we can to support our customers, often rolling up our sleeves to solve problems alongside them,” said Upstream Tech’s cofounder, Moutenot. “Our work’s domain in remote sensing and AI can be daunting for those who are new to it, and the organizations we work with have a range of skills and comfort levels with technology.”
Upstream Tech provides high-touch service, including several touchpoints and live support to ensure that customers are set up for success. Their customer surveys indicate that their attentive service is a major aspect of their overall customer happiness.
At first, however, Upstream Tech’s customer support was difficult to manage and evaluate. “We had a shared team email address, which quickly became a headache! We spent a lot of time coordinating on the side on who should respond to what,” said Moutenot. That’s when they decided to bring on Help Scout.
“Help Scout allows multiple team members to respond to incoming requests and questions, ensuring no emails are missed.”
Complicated support made simple
What Upstream Tech first noticed when switching to Help Scout was the new level of speed they were able to achieve. “This is important for helping us meet our goal of responding to customers’ questions within one day, in particular during busy periods,” said Moutenot.
They also monitor their support speed and performance by noting pending and closed conversations, preventing customer conversations from slipping through the cracks.
Implementing Upstream Tech’s products has also been made easier with Docs, where they’ve created an easy to navigate library for their customers. Docs are also integrated with Help Scout’s shared inbox, where they can find and attach documents to customer emails without leaving the conversation.
Moutenot has found that Help Scout’s reporting tools have helped identify areas where customers are facing similar questions or challenges. “Help Scout’s tracking features help us know which topics customers tend to be most interested in or most often need more information about,” he said.
The team also easily tracks feedback over email using conversation tags. “We use a ‘customer feedback’ tag to track feedback we receive. We review this tag on a quarterly basis to reflect on what we’ve been hearing from our customers and try to channel any useful feedback into product improvements,” said Moutenot.
“All of these strategies ensure that our customers feel supported and confident to reach out to us as they are learning how to use our products and integrate them into their work.”
Beyond customer support
In addition to creating attentive, seamless customer service playbooks with Help Scout, Upstream Tech has found several creative uses to understand and convert customers.
Upstream Tech is able to more thoughtfully curate the content of customer webinars and training with Beacon messages that announce these events.
“It’s helpful to track the views and clicks on these messages,” Moutenot explained, “as it shows us which topics are most interesting to customers and therefore where they might need more information or guidance.”
Upstream Tech also uses Help Scout’s live chat Beacon to speak with potential customers who visit their website and are looking to learn more. Chat allows Upstream Tech to easily communicate with these prospects to book discovery calls or demos.
Another unique use of Help Scout for Moutenot and his team is providing a better hiring experience for new applicants. As a growing company, Upstream Tech fields many applications for open positions, which was difficult to sort and manage out of a regular email address.
“As soon as we migrated over, our hiring process became more responsive, and many applicants were thankful for our quick turnaround times,” said Moutenout.
“Our customers love how our products make technical and complex subject matter approachable and friendly. We publish our methods and research, creating a transparent and collaborative relationship with our customers. This is all backed up by — and we are not just saying this — really great customer support which our customers applaud all the time!” – Marshall Moutenot, Upstream Tech