Dos and don’ts of a customer success pro @ Basecamp

As part of our series on customer success pros (read the first and second episodes), we interviewed the amazing Chase Clemons of Basecamp.

Chase Clemons

Chase is part of the stellar support team at Basecamp, a Chicago-based company that created the insanely easy-to-use project management app helping over 9 million users in their daily jobs. Chase also lies behind Support Ops, a weekly podcast to help customer success pros deliver a better support experience to their customers.

Customer success is part of Basecamp’s DNA. In their own words:

“Treating people right is fundamental to how we do business”

In order to meet their standards, Basecamp has invested heavily in help-guides, free webinars, and other self-service resources. And for specific questions, whether on twitter or by email, customers get an answer in less than 3 minutes!

Support at Basecamp

So let’s hear from Chase, whose fingers fly over the keyboard.

Do: Answer every complaint

The very aim of our job is to answer their questions and help our customers get the full value of our product Basecamp. But from time to time, a customer will send an email the length of a short story, to complain about something. Whatever the topic and the tone used, answer each and every message you get – it’s the very least you can do since they’ve spent the time telling you what’s not working for them.

Don’t: Make promises you can’t keep

If you tell a customer that the order will be there by Friday, it’d better be there by Friday. If you can’t guarantee that, don’t promise it to the customer. It’s better to say it’ll be there by the weekend and then have it show up a few days early than have a customer expect it one day and disappoint him or her.

Do: Help even if it’s not your product

While not aiming at doing other people’s job and solving world hunger, if you know you can help a customer, just do it!

I get emails occasionally about a customer’s Outlook not working or their phone getting Twitter messages as texts. While it doesn’t concern the product I provide support for, I still help out if I can. Customers do remember the people who help them.

Don’t: Forget to draw the line & know when to stop

Especially if you provide online customer support, it can be tempting to answer emails any time of the day. Sometimes you just need to disconnect from it. Don’t get burnt out answering emails all day long, because it will show up in your interactions with the customer. Like any other job, you need some time to relax in order to begin the next day and be fresh as a daisy.

Extra: Throw in a lagniappe if you can

While not aiming at lining up with Zappos and throwing a pizza party to all our hungry customers, we still try to go the extra mile and give back some love to our customers. For instance, when someone pre-pays for 12 months at once, I usually throw in the 13th month free as a surprise. Customers love it!

A recap of Chase’s insight from Basecamp

Thanks to Greg Lefort from Azendoo, Jeff Vincent from Wistia, and now Chase Clemons, we’ve gathered some really cool pieces of advice on customer success:

Recap do's and don'ts

Do you have other tips you’d like to share? Please do in the comment section.

And if you’re interested in customer success, subscribe to our blog!

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