As a CEO, this is a very dangerous post to write – it might come back to haunt me a few years down the road. But hey, if Riddle’s quiz maker customer support is ever NOT rock star-awesome, I want people to point this post out to me and get us back on track.
(This post is by Boris Pfeiffer, CEO/founder of Riddle.)
If you rather listen or watch than read, check out our podcast episode on Riddle’s approach to customer support.
I have started many companies over the years – including customer support teams. Until we launched Riddle’s online quiz creator, I was doing the standard corporate approach to handling customer inquiries – cut cost with as little human contact as possible.
Quiz maker customer support – how NOT to do it
We’ve all see how many businesses treat customer service – it’s a chance to save money by doing it as cheaply as possible.
Many of our competitors treat quiz maker customer support as a chore, not a chance to engage and learn from their customers. Here are some of the tricks of the trade:
- Make it as hard as possible to reach customer support by gating the support form with lots and lots of FAQs
- Try to reply using templates as much as possible
- Outsource support to inexpensive workers
- Separate support staff from the engineering team so that engineers do not get bothered with customer requests.
Does this sound familiar? Annoying, right? It is probably how quiz maker customer support is handled at a lot of companies (especially the part about making it hard to reach a living/breathing person for help).
Quiz maker customer support – the Riddle approach:
Here at Riddle, we are doing things differently. Our online quiz creator is super intuitive – but we know people often have questions the first time they make a quiz.
That’s why our quiz maker customer support team is super easy to reach. Just click on the support chat icon in the bottom right of the screen and start talking to us.
Our entire team races to respond to custom questions, so unless we’re asleep (we’re based in Europe – online from 7am to 10pm GMT), we will get right back to you… often in under a minute.
(We’re not kidding about the racing part – we’re all big quiz maker customer support geeks. We actually have a monthly competition – the person who answers the most tickets gets a beer… and BIG bragging rights.)
Sure, if we happen to be sleeping or on weekends, it just might take a few hours for us to catch up and get right back to you. But we also post our support email (firstname.lastname@example.org) pretty much everywhere. If using our chat service is not your thing, please just drop us an email.
Quiz maker customer support – DON’T hire a support team
According to eMarketer we are on the right track with Riddle’s quiz creator.
Most internet users just want support to answer their questions quickly. If that happens, 89% of the users feel more positive about the brand and 61% will tell friends and family about the experience. These numbers should be all it takes to convince management that great and immediate customer support needs to be a top company goal – not an annoying by-product that someone eventually needs to deal with.
The bigger difference at Riddle is about who replies to your support inquiries.
We have no dedicated support team.
Management, founders, engineers – we all pitch in with support queries about our quiz maker. In fact, we’re massive customer service geeks and often try to race each other to answer a customer question first. The team member who answers the most inquiries every month gets our informal ‘beer trophy’ – we’ve found that cold beer and pride are good motivating factors.
Sure, I realize this will be hard to uphold as we grow, but I want to keep this way of answering in place as long as I can. If you make product managers, CEOs and engineers all respond to support tickets, bugs get ironed out amazingly quickly.
Most engineers will rather spend two hours fixing a bug than responding to the same inquiry twice. And best of all, our “everyone handles support” philosophy means we’ll ship more bug-free code and make using Riddle’s online quiz creator as simple and easy as possible.
Lastly, we try to avoid templates. A good reply to a customer should always be personal, which templates rather seldom are. It is a bit more work, but customers notice that they are talking to a real human.
Quiz maker customer support – customer reactions
Since we’ve started Riddle in 2014, we have received pretty good reactions from our customers for our support helping them make an online quiz.
And it pays off in so many unexpected ways. Of course we try to avoid bugs, but we’ve found that being super-fast with honest answers often turns an angry customer into a massive fan.
Obviously, we will have to find a way to deal with customer support a few years from now, when Riddle has millions of daily active users using our quiz maker – and our current approach might not scale.
But with that user growth, our team will also grow.
And we’ll make sure that everyone we hire knows that customer support will be part of his daily tasks – so we should be able to keep this up indefinitely. Quiz maker customer support will always be a part of our culture at Riddle – it’s too important NOT to do.
Below, I pasted a snapshot from our conversation with a customer who ran into a bug on Riddle in their free trial. Okay, first the bad news – we could not immediately help him as his bug required a new site release to fix.
But the good part? By getting back to him quickly and acknowledging that we made a mistake, we turned a grumpy customer into a happy one.
Really fast and personal customer support is doable, even when you have millions of customers. Don’t believe me? Check out this great piece on how American Airlines handles support by Marsha Collier.
Quiz maker customer support – extra benefits
Another nice side effect of this ‘everyone handles customer service’ approach is that we force each person in the company to use our product every day. From tips about quiz lead generation to the best ways to create a personality test to qualify potential leads online for your marketing funnel, we’re all experts in our quiz maker.
Sounds obvious, right? But you’d be surprised but this doesn’t happen in a lot of big companies. Managers, sales, and even engineers often don’t use their platform.
Since you can only respond to customer inquiries if you know how your own product works, this means that our entire team have to use Riddle’s quiz builder frequently – this clearly benefits the entire company.
With everyone at Riddle involved in quiz maker customer support, we spot bugs and suggest user interface or feature improvements on a daily (heck, even hourly!) basis.
And location is no barrier – we answer customers no matter where we are – in the office, at home, or even the side of the road as we cycle into work!
The other benefit? Our customers have become our biggest fans – and spread the word to their contacts at different companies. We’ve often seen a company sign up for our quiz creator from a new vertical. Within about two or three months, we’ll start to see other companies in the same space sign up – as the word starts to spread.
This is awesome – and shows that quiz maker customer support can be a powerful marketing weapon… happy customers are your best brand ambassadors.
Quiz maker customer support – our favorite tools
What’s our quiz maker customer support tech stack?
I once heard of a company installing a red support phone in the engineering office, which would not stop ringing until an engineer picked it up and responded to the customer complaint. Not surprisingly, that helped the company to fix pretty much annoying bugs in record time.
(Don’t you wish your cable and phone company would do the same? Our lives would be a lot better that way!)
As the days of the trusty old phone seem to be somewhat over, we use a handy web service called Intercom for our quiz maker customer support. Intercom is very easy to learn and has a great mobile app so we can reply to inquiries even when we are on the road and on weekends.
The best part about Intercom is that it provides chat and email support in the same interface. If a customer has to move on to something else and then comes back to Riddle later, the replies to his inquiry will pop up right after he logs in again.
With LICEcap we can quickly record on screen video into an animated GIF, which is brilliant for explaining our quiz creator features to customers.
If someone asks: “How do I collect emails from quiz takers?”, all it takes is a few seconds of animated GIF recording to show the steps. You could probably do the same with a quick screen share, but we have found these tools always a bit difficult to set up for the customer. The image quality is sometimes rough, but the files tend to be very small and totally suitable for a quick show and tell.
Loom is even better – providing seamless screenshare video capture (with your accompanying voice over). You quickly can talk a customer through how to use a new feature – and they love real-time personal contact. Best of all? No pesky large file to upload (GIFs can be memory hogs sometimes).
The users love the approach – and have often asked us what software we’re using so they can use these themselves.
That’s about it – I want to you to challenge us. Please, please, please call us on it if we ever fail on these promises:
- Questions from all our Riddle users and potential customers are handled super quickly (when we’re awake – 7am to 10pm GMT / 2am to 5pm EST)
- There will always be a person on the other end of that internet connection – never a bot.
- The same people that make Riddle’s online quiz creator great will be the ones answering your questions – not outsourced to a low cost provider just to save money.
Are we crazy? Would this quiz maker customer support approach work at your company? Let us know via support chat or at email@example.com.
Founder / CEO
PS. One other example – my co-founder Mike Hawkins was recently hiking up steep Blencathra mountain in the UK’s Lake District – and responded to a new customer in under 30 seconds.
(Of course, personally, I just think Mike was happy for the excuse to take a break!) 😉