Everyone Should do Support
What would happen if the founders, designers, and developers in your company continued to support your users indefinitely?
Lot’s of startups experiment with all-hands support, but it rarely seems to stick. I feel like that’s a tragedy.
Clearly, the founders would have to lead by example. Else, I’m positive it would never work.
But I’m curious, with direct daily feedback from actual users:
- would the designers design better products?
- would the founders stay more in tune with users, thus prioritizing feature development more effectively?
- would developers be more motivated to find creative ways for users to resolve their own problems?
- would designers & developers instinctively fix more bugs?
- would the overall product and user experience be better as a result?
- would it be sustainable & scalable?
NOTE: I’m not trying to diss anyone in dedicated customer support roles. To the contrary, many of you are some of the hardest working, untiringly empathetic, and all around coolest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with.
On top of that, I have no doubt that support professionals are better equipped to provide support than founders, designers, or developers. Candidly, I assume that the overall quality of support goes down when others get involved. That said, I think the benefits still outweigh the potential downside.
My hypothesis is that by having founders, designers and developers share the support load—and not pawn it all off on someone else—chances are that:
- founders and designers would have a much clearer vision of what they should be building throughout the life of the business.
- your product would be better, because designers and devs would experience the pain users go through more frequently, and they’d tend to fix more things along the way.
- your customers would get answers to their questions faster, because your developers – seeking to automate repetitive tasks – would invest more time in solutions for users to solve their own problems. Thus reducing the support load by reducing the number of support tickets that get created in the first place.
I don’t do comments on this site, but if you have thoughts, I’d love to hear them. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.