A diverse team helps make a startup endure because people with different backgrounds, perspectives, and skills keep a startup fresh and relevant. By contrast, when an emperor runs a kingdom of sycophants and clones, the product will deteriorate.
“Populating your startup with a diversity of people and capabilities is a powerful way to make a startup endure.”
Ideally, you’d like people of different ages, genders, races, economic standing, religions, and educational backgrounds as part of your team. In addition to these obvious differences, you also want people to play different roles.
Populating your startup with a diversity of people and capabilities is a powerful way to make a startup endure. There’s no such thing as too much diversity in a startup that’s staffed to last.
Take Care of Your Friends
Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.-Martin Luther King Jr.
Taking care of your friends by providing awesome customer support can make your startup endure because people will stick to by-products that aren’t the latest and greatest if they’re well supported. For example, Derek Sivers believes that his company, CD Baby, succeeded is not because of its features, design, prices, or partnerships. He says the number one reason was customer support.
Here are the key elements of awesome customer support:
BE GENEROUS AND TRUSTING.
Great customer support, according to Sivers, comes from a mindset of generosity and abundance, and lousy customer support comes from a mindset of scarcity. The ramification of a generosity and abundance mindset is that you provide human telephone support, allow people to use your restroom without a purchase, and provide free Wi-Fi access.
No doubt a bean counter will tell you that if every customer called for technical support if everyone used your bathroom, and if everyone with a broken product got a free replacement, you’d go out of business. This is probably true if, literally, everyone did, but everyone will not. So be generous with your customer support and see if the upside of an awesome reputation can exceed the downside of higher customer-support costs.
PUT THE CUSTOMER IN CONTROL.
Have you ever shopped at Nordstrom? If you want to learn how to provide great support, you should. When you shop at Nordstrom, you are in control: you can buy items at any department in the store and pay for them in any other department. When you want something gift wrapped, they don’t send you to a line behind the men’s room. They wrap it, always cheerfully, at the sales counter.
Most companies have rules against refunds and exchanges, sending out free samples, or accepting collect calls. The right way to treat customers is to do what’s right for them, not adhere to rules, so put your customers in control and let your employees do the right thing.
Underpromise and overdeliver for the great support.
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR SHORTCOMINGS.
Bad support refuses to take responsibility for a company’s shortcomings. Good support takes responsibility for a company’s shortcomings. Fantastic support takes responsibility for the customer’s shortcomings.
People who view working in support as a goal, and not as a means to a goal, are the ones you want.
Support people should know and love your product. Hence, one of the best sources for finding support people is your installed base of customers. The best Apple employees were people who already used Macintoshes before they started at the company.
EXPOSE EVERYONE TO CUSTOMER SUPPORT.
Many organizations all employees on support lines to understand the issues that customers face. Instead of having employees review numbers and charts depicting the state of customer satisfaction, get them to spend a few hours in support-that drives the message home. For example, new-employee training for all positions at Go Daddy involves a course about the customer support function as well as a visit to the customer support area to listen to calls.
INTEGRATE SUPPORT INTO THE MAINSTREAM.
Support should not be the butt end or lowest tier of a business. Unfortunately, many companies consider support a necessary evil and staff it that way. Support should be a heralded and celebrated group-not an unavoidable part of overhead. It influences sales as much as your packaging, advertising, and PR, and it’s much cheaper to retain a current customer than to win a new one.
We have always emphasized the importance of having a good website for your company because it can act as your best tool for marketing and sales. A poorly designed website can repulse people from your business and can cause you to lose customers before you even have them. Get in touch with HyperEffects to work on creating, enhancing, and making the website of your company more user-friendly.