We make cutting-edge web apps, but is our customer service stuck in the 20th century? I interviewed Brett, who leads our Customer Strategy department, to find out how our company is leveraging technology to build trust, engage with users, and connect on a human level. What's your definition of good customer service? I think the key to good customer service is understanding the customer's need and being able to connect with that person as an individual, not as a number. This means getting to know our customer as much as possible, to better understand why they use Lucidchart and how we can help them get the most out of their Lucidchart experience. It also means making things as easy as possible for the customer, so they can have as few (or as many) interactions with us as possible. Sometimes that means more work on our end to research and troubleshoot any issues before responding to a request. Basically, we want people to find help in the channel of their choice, whether that's a Youtube video, live webinar, text tutorial, social media post, or an email to our support team. Is it difficult to connect with users without face-to-face interaction? Sometimes, but again, it's much easier when you figure out the user's needs, whether that's a business need or a personal one. Why are they using Lucidchart? What are they trying to accomplish? Sometimes you have to read between the lines a little bit to figure out how and why they're using the product. But the more we understand the context, the more we can customize the messaging and solve their problems.
How does technology help? I don't know about other people, but when I have an issue with a product, my natural inclination is to search for answers online. So if I contact customer service, it means I'm frustrated, I've exhausted my resources, and I want an answer fast. Some people instinctively go to social media to complain, or compliment, or ask a question. That's almost like throwing down the gauntlet. They're challenging us in front of the whole world and daring us to give them an exceptional experience. So we make sure we monitor those channels and respond quickly. Whatever people are looking for--a joke, a straightforward response, or something else entirely--we try to provide as much value as possible. With frustrated customers who email us as a last resort, we're proactive about providing answers before they even hit "Send". When you submit a ticket at support.lucidchart.com, an auto-prompt will scan your subject line and suggest existing resources--blog posts, tutorial pages, webinars--that might help. If your question isn't addressed by those resources, go ahead and hit send--we have an internal policy of replying to all tickets within one business day of the request. In fact, our average response time is 12 hours, which is even faster. We also use screencasts to make custom videos, which walk users step by step through more complicated issues. When you submit a ticket through Zendesk, there's a link at the bottom that allows you to easily attach a file or record a screencast. This option is great when users want to show, not tell, and we've had really positive feedback so far. However we connect to our customers, it's always important to do three things: 1. Be as specific as possible. It can feel pedantic at times, but often, the information I was going to leave out is exactly what the user needs. 2. Give links to specific tutorials or resources that will help them solve their issue. 3. Recommend relevant features that might surprise and benefit the customer. What's the best way to contact Lucidchart support? Customers can simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, but we recommend visiting our support portal to submit a ticket. This portal is powered by Zendesk and it gives both users and employees more control over the interaction. There are the perks I mentioned earlier, plus the convenience of having everything at your fingertips: feature requests, troubleshooting docs, and Community responses. If a user is looking at their ticket, they also have the ability to chat with us. Do you have any plans for the future? Absolutely. I want to see advanced chat servicing so we can increase the ease of contacting us and improve our level of interaction. We can chat with users right now, but only if they're looking at the ticket. We also want to ramp up our video outreach to conduct even more demos and webinars. I'm a big believer in the power of visual communication, and that belief is reinforced every time I have a dynamic interaction with a customer.