Scaling Customer Support in the Cloud

Yesterday, I had the good fortune to host a panel on scaling customer support in the cloud at CloudBeat 2012 with Adrian McDermott, SVP of Product Development at GGV portfolio company Zendesk and Gavin Blair, Director of Technology Operations at Patch, a Zendesk customer.  These guys are at the cutting edge so there was a lot to learn.

My three highlights that all growth stage entrepreneurs should learn from are below:
Customer Support is Changing - While customer support metrics used to be all about productivity and keeping cost down – response time, number of support requests per agent, etc, the modern company recognizes that support is now more about quality.  Customer satisfaction is key.  Happy customer, happy company.
Your Customer is Your Biggest Opportunity - In today’s social and mobile world, customers tweet and post to Facebook.  An unhappy customer can amplify their displeasure with the megaphone of social media.  Conversely, happy customers can become powerful brand advocates.  More powerful than any paid marketing campaign, brand advocates can spur growth.
Culture as a Weapon - The most forward thinking companies are weaving a focus on the customer right into their formative DNA, just like seeking product/ market fit.  Zendesk trains every new employee on customer support and has each man the customer support role as part of company training.  For customer support, Patch seeks to hire empathetic people with improvisational skills rather than traditional call center representatives.
There you have it.  Happy customer supporting!
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