Working in a small team is always a whirlwind, no job is too big for anyone and equally no job is too small. Everyone will have their specific strengths, but splitting up the odd jobs is the only way to get things done.
This can sometimes feel like a burden – but sharing the load can have some hugely positive effects on your team, your business and, most importantly, your customers.
At GoSquared, one of the most important jobs we share is our live chat channel. GoSquared Assistant encourages visitors to our website and our existing customers to start a conversation with us when they need help or have questions – and each one of us has a slot, twice a week, where we’ll be there to answer those questions.
When we originally decided to experiment with this, most of us were reluctant – it felt like it would be a burden and a distraction from our day to day. It felt like it should be someone else’s job. But in reality it has had provided some incredible insights and strengthened the vision and direction of our business.
So what has all-hands live chat changed?
When everyone is speaking to customers, new ideas form and you can build on these to refine your positioning and have everyone in your business telling the same story – so they can advocate for your product every chance they get!
Having each person on the team on the frontline of dealing with customer questions and frustrations has made us all more thoughtful about how we can help them be successful. It’s enabled us to think more strategically about the advice we offer and become experts in our space.
When everyone in the business understands what your customers want, it makes conversations about your roadmap much more transparent to prioritise. Feature requests and customers pains aren’t being fed second hand back through sales and customer success, product and engineering are dealing with them first hand which makes for a more holistic solution to your customers problems.
Sharing live chat across the team has helped us align across sales, customer success and product. That alignment has enabled us to clearly define the vision for our business and the problems we want to help our customers solve. Our vision guides us in our decision making, gives us our “True North” and helps up move at a lightning pace so we can keep growing.
How do we make all-hands live chat work?
Set out designated time, like a weekly rota, so everybody knows when their live chat hours are.
Accommodate for people’s primary roles, if sales have a client meeting or product are pushing to meet a release deadline – have another team member jump in on chat.
Know your limits
Know when a question goes beyond the scope of your expertise and make it ok for another member of the team to jump in and help the customer.
Use features like “Out of office” and “Typically replies within …” to let your customer know how soon they should expect a reply.
All-hands live chat is not just for small teams
We’re a small team but there are lots of ways bigger businesses can implement a similar philosophy to improve the customer experience.
- Adobe’s engineers speak with their customers through live chat every week.
- Cafes, restaurants and retail stores often have an induction course for office and support staff so they can work on location, serve customers and get closer to the day to day.
- Eventbrite has an open door customer support policy where anyone can help out at any time.
You can make it part of the on-boarding process or have an ongoing programme to help keep employees across all aspects of your business as close to the customer as possible.
Are there any jobs you’ve shared as a team that have been make or break for your business? We’d love to hear about them – tweet us!
If you’re interested in learning about how live chat can work for your business, get in touch with us!