We’re looking for a new person to join our support team (internally known as Team Omega), and we thought we’d let you in on what it’s like doing support for 37signals. It’s not like working behind the customer service counter at Wal-Mart. It’s not like answering calls in a phone bank, or automating responses like an email robot. It’s undoubtedly the best job I’ve ever had, and I hope it’s the last job I have.
I’ve been doing support for 37signals for almost 4 years. I didn’t want to at first; in fact when I was interviewed and eventually hired I was explicit: I will not do customer service. This left me doing back office sort of admin things and keeping myself busy, until one day I had to help Jason out on emails. Then daily I kept taking on more and more until one day I said to Jason, “Stop taking all the customer emails from me!”
They let me take over support full time, and I can’t tell you how surprising it is that I love this job. I love it so much that I’m passionate about it, I fight for it, I push back against very heavy opinions to protect it and improve how we help our customers. So what in the world made me go from never wanting to answer customer support emails to answering sometimes 200 a day by myself? Well, pretty simply, our customers are awesome!
Our customers love our products. They are loyal and fierce about them. They write us for help making sure everything works because they can’t imagine working without Basecamp or Highrise or Backpack. They want new features because they want to do more with our products. They’re funny, they are so kind and patient, they’re opinionated and friendly. 200+ emails a day of that sort? Bring it on.
We take support seriously as a way to educate and help. We use bad experiences our customers have to improve our products and processes, and turn that experience into a positive one. Our support team is a vital connection to our customers other teams don’t have, and we use that link to determine how to make our products better. We let people vent, and we understand their frustration. We stop and think to ourselves, “How can I make this person’s experience better?” Then whatever that is, we do it.
Support at 37signals was not good 5 years ago. It wasn’t and we know it. It took years of us recovering from stumbles in the beginning to be the support team we are today: Enthusiastic, fast, agile, happy to be here and eager to help. Not all of us come from customer service backgrounds, and we don’t think it’s required to do this job well.
What’s required is a will to make people’s day better, to teach them how do to things, to surprise them with speed and accuracy and become leaders in the support industry. And if you think that sounds awesome, why not come join us?
We think you’ll like it here. Plus, there’s often cookies.