Jun 20, 2005


Dan, who’s in charge of customer service here at MailChimp, sent me this feedback from a customer he helped…

"You SAVED MY LIFE.  I actually thought to myself, this email will never be
answered.  Not only was it answered, but you actually helped me out.  Who
says that online customer service stinks.  You have proved the critics
wrong." – Michael

Now that’s some nice feedback.

It’s worth noting that the customer we helped was sending a newsletter about "Online customer service" being in a dismal state, and some technology out there that’s designed to help.

That reminded me to post some details about enhancements we’re going to be rolling out soon at MailChimp…

We’ve begun work on MailChimp v2.2, and along with some major new functionality (which I’ll detail in another post), we’re going to be rolling out a couple of Customer Service tools to help make the overall MailChimp experience even better:

  1. Enhanced Knowledge Base. No matter how simple you try to make your product, there are always questions. And when you have thousands of users, you get lots of questions. So it’s really important to have a tool in place that lets our entire team add answers, research, hints, tricks, and tips online super fast. The knowledge base will be chock full of articles, open to the public, searchable, and available online 24/7.
  2. Live Chat. This one’s exciting and scary at the same time. We’re always looking for ways to make contact with our audience. And our audience—the "design-it-yourselfers" as we like to call them—don’t like telephones, don’t use fax machines, and they don’t know morse code. These hip young whippersnappers like chat. Chat can be a huge time-saver, but it can also be a huge time-waster (remember the first 2 months after you got your grandmother setup on instant messenger?). Until we work out all the kinks and get our process down pat, we’re going to take this one in slow, deliberate phases (don’t worry grandma, you can chat with us too).
  3. Issue ticketing. Yeah, we all hate those, "Need help? Submit a ticket…" systems. They’re so canned and impersonal. But it’s the best way to track issues, and to make sure every single customer is helped. We’re going to try to make our ticketing process as seamless and personal as possible. Email us. Chat with us live. Call us on the phone. Every single question or issue is going to get answered. Fast. By a human.

We realize a lot of companies implement measures like this to "reduce call volume" or "cut customer-interaction costs." But we’ve never had a problem with that.

The whole idea behind these enhancements is that we actually want to increase customer interaction—we don’t consider it a cost at all. It’s an investment. Anytime we can come into direct contact with a customer—either on the phone, or by email or chat—that’s an opportunity to learn more from our customers, and to spread the joy that is MailChimp.