Care (noun): serious attention; inclination; liking; fondness; affection.
CARE IS A HUGE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Big Companies don’t care: established companies are so big that they treat individual clients as liabilities to be managed en masse. Additionally, there is no customer service culture in Europe, as care is considered a luxury feature. But clients care: people want to feel that there are real humans behind a website, that they are close to the company and the product they’re using. At the beginning, your luck as a startup is that you have few clients and so you can do things for them that no one else can. Caring makes you special. Extreme care can be the reason why people talk about your startup and even a way to transform haters or disappointed people into fans. People always remember care.
CARE OR DIE
Care about your customers at a level they don’t deserve or you will die because you will never stir up any feelings in them or give them the urge to fight for you. Care not only for your clients but for any person in your community: employees, investors, partners, suppliers… you’ll create a virtuous circle of positive vibes.
The winning trio for successful entrepreneurs: personal, sincere, honest.
Be ready to reply, quickly, anytime.
Never delegate customer support and customer relationships. Everyone in the team, all departments, should receive every customer support email and read it, so that no one forgets along the way that the company exists only because real people on the outside are using your solution.
Make gifts a habit: gifts are the best marketing expenses you can have. Make your clients happy, whatever it takes.
SCALE THE ACQUISITION ALONG WITH THE CARE
You have to be aggressive, violent in your sales campaigns, but never mean or disrespectful.
TREAT PEOPLE WITH RESPECT
Ask for forgiveness rather than permission. Spam, but with fine-tuned emails and apologize sincerely if needed.
REPLY TO EVERYONE
Emails should be sent by a real person. Email addresses in “no-reply” are forbidden. Always use the tone your customer used to write to you. Consider every customer writing to you as a potential friend. As soon as you have a little traction, you’ll have haters / Internet trollers / crazy people writing to you. Just ignore them: the upsides of a close dialogue with users are more important than the downsides. But don’t hesitate to reply harshly to false accusations and jerks. Care is not about being nice with everyone.
UNSUBSCRIBE PEOPLE YOURSELF
Never ask a user to do something you can do yourself.
CARE IS NOT JUST TO ENROLL NEW USERS
You also need to care to keep them: retention is as crucial as acquisition.
EMAIL IS YOUR FRIEND
Email is a very simple way to keep in touch with everyone. Keep replying and make it quick.
SUPPORT IS EVERYONE’S JOB
People cannot be kept waiting. Never refer a problem to someone else, everyone is responsible for fixing problems. The only possible answer to a problem is, “We screwed up as a team and we will fix it”. Don’t find excuses or scapegoats. And as usual, it begins with founders. Lead by example.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EXISTING TOOLS
There are thousands of tools that exist to scale customer support: learn how to use them. The golden rule: make it look human. Care has a necessarily high cost.
GIVE THEM YOUR OWN NUMBER
Answering your phone is a part of your job. It can sound impossible but being a great entrepreneur cannot come without a great level of commitment.
CHECK TWITTER AND FACEBOOK CONSTANTLY
Do not leave that to a community manager.
DISCOVER WHO YOUR USERS ARE
Events are another way to create proximity and sincere relationships with your customers, to understand what they want and make them understand who you are and how you define yourself.
DON’T LEAVE ANYTHING TO CHANCE
A good event is prepared: it has an agenda, it starts on time, everything feels right and people are happy to be there.
Do not send anyone other than the core team to events. Be present even if you don’t speak on stage, do at least the introduction or the conclusion, show that you are there and you care.
Make people feel comfortable: offer nice food and goodies, for instance.
HELP THEM CONNECT
Be sure to help the attendees get value from your events.
GET REAL FEEDBACK
People feel more comfortable saying tough truths in a group.
ADAPT TO YOUR CROWD
Gathered feedback is an opportunity to learn and evolve.
EXECUTE TO EARN RESPECT
Show how to do it instead of just explaining what to do. Once again, lead by example.
RESULTS ARE ALL THAT MATTERS
Care is not about making people feel better when they fail. Accept it and move on.
LOVE YOUR USERS
It is a collective responsibility and you must show the way.
BUILD YOUR CULTURE
Caring for your users and your internal team results in your culture. If you care for your team, your team will care for your customers. Your inside is a reference for the outside. By the way, your employees and you yourself should be deep users of your solution.
JUST CARE 🙂