#HumansOfSupport is a storytelling series by Help Scout featuring support professionals sharing their experiences working in customer service.
Group Effort

A customer who presented me with a challenging issue, reminded me why I’m grateful to have a support network.

I work at Olark, a chat support software, so the customer reached out wanting to create a chat widget in his platform for an event he was planning.

He had a lot of questions, and it was a fun to learn what he was doing, how he was doing it, why he wanted to do these things, and we got into a great conversation about his event and how he was using our tool. However, what it really came down to is that he wanted our tool to do something that it didn’t do. He wanted it as a foundation for what he was building. It was complicated, and while it was doable, he was basically writing a whole new product.

I thought surely someone already does this, so I hopped into the Support Driven Slack chat and said “Alright, is there a product out there that does X, Y, Z in this way?” Someone responded immediately saying, “Yeah! Totally! Here’s the person you need to talk to!”

I got to go back to the customer and say, “I know you’re building this tool, but I found someone who already built it, and I know him! So, here’s the name of the contact and he’ll get you all set up.” The customer was blown away. Not only because I took the time to understand what his actual needs were, but because I had this great network outside the company that I used to find him the app.

“You didn’t even sell me your product,” he said, and I replied, “No, because our product is not what you needed!”

Ask the right questions along with a strong support network helped me save someone from doing all this complicated work and instead offer him something he could simply turn on.

Sarah Betts

Sarah Betts

Sarah is a Feels Herder at Olark, where she focuses on understanding the customer experience. Connect with her on Twitter or on LinkedIn.