Your All-In-One Is Broken part 2: Customer Support

April 11, 2016
TLDR;
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This is an ongoing discussion about why the “All In One” business model sounds appealing but generally will leave customers in a worse place. We’re discussing this to explain our thought process behind why we decided to ditch Workout Tracking and focus on our core system.

Today we’re going to talk about Customer Service.

One of the key components of our philosophy is to provide stellar customer support to our clients. As a gym owner you know, the number one way to create a client for life who refers all their friends to you is by exceeding their expectations both in your product and in customer service. The same goes for us.

We want you so happy about our product and our attention to you, that you’re screaming from the top of the mountains about how awesome PushPress is.

To make sure this happens, we’ve pledged to keep a customer service rep to client ratio that allows quick and meaningful customer service to continue, no matter how large we grow. We also try to design and build super intuitive screens to keep our clients from even having to deal with customer service.

The fundamental problem with trying to offer too much product, is you increase the amount of support you have to provide.

And the even bigger issue with the workout tracking platform we were designing is: we would go from supporting gym owners and coaches to supporting gym owners, coaches AND every member of every gym.

In quick math we would go from supporting 7 people at a gym to supporting 140. Or a 2,000% increase in the amount of support we would have to provide.

I’ll discuss in a later post about why building workout tracking would have decimated out engineering output as well.

It doesn’t take a Harvard MBA to understand that kind of increase can crush a company’s ability to have fast, meaningful customer service.

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Where Most Go Wrong

In the early stages of a company, it might be sustainable to maintain this level of customer support. Just like your gym, the demands of the business change as you ramp up in members.

It’s easy for a company, without proper foresight, to load themselves up with a product that might buckle their very own support system down the road. It’s easy to build every feature and product your clients demand without really thinking thru the consequences of it later. It’s easy to think “we will cross that bridge when we get there”.

It’s hard to clean up that mess once you’re there, and it’s almost impossible to rebuild customer trust and goodwill once you’ve lost it.

It’s also hard to tell your customers NO. This is what we’ve decided to do about the workout tracking, because we decided it’s better to deal with it up front and find alternative solutions for our gyms than to have our clients stuck on a capsizing ship later.

Zendesk made this pretty nice infographic about the impact of Customer Service. Something to chew over when you think of your image as a gym and the image of companies you might do business with. How does their support for you make you feel as you look at this?

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