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Station F – 6 tips to improve customer service in your startup

Gathered at Station F, multiple startups took up an invitation from the HEC and The Nest by Webhelp incubator to learn more on the following topics “How to develop your startup while maintaining the customer as the focal point and how to utilize data to optimize your performance”. During this workshop, 6 main tips were delivered by Gobeyond Partners, the consulting entity at Webhelp which regroups 350 people focused on the optimization of customer relationships, data consulting and IT (omnicanal / CRM).


1- Place your customer at the heart of the action

Ok, it’s a well-known mantra… The customer must be at the heart of every action taken by both founders and employees. In practice, it appears that the best way to achieve this comes from the following two hypotheses:

  • My product or service will not be as well understood and adopted as I would think: the scenarios of use and the paths of customers imagined will not be perfect and will evolve throughout my products lifespan.
  • My customers are right: the vast majority of them are rational and well-meaning people, and it’s worth trusting them: a customer’s request is always legitimate.

Many startups – and large corporations – have been successful by basing their project on these foundations!


2- Clarify your relationship offer

In a competitive world, your relationship promise can become a differentiating asset, even a competitive advantage … As long as you are clear about your relationship strategy:

  • do you give priority to reactivity (an answer within the hour, not very formal and fairly generic), or to quality (neat and personalized answer, within a day)?
  • what is your channel strategy: hours of availability, type of care provided depending on the channel, etc.?
  • what degree of importance do you give to customer relationships in your company’s culture?
  • more generally, it is advisable to clarify your relationship offer, then to compare it with the measurements taken on the customer journeys.

And it seems fundamental to consider that Customer Service is not a separate or annexed entity: it is the mission of everyone in the company, from the deliverer to the accountant!


3- To manage the omnicanal: think data first

Before choosing an omnichannel tool, more or less sophisticated, it is recommended to think about data. Otherwise, it may become complex to aggregate the data collected. We can therefore start small, with only 1 or 2 channels, while focusing our efforts on the quality of the experience and the responses provided.


4 – Create exploitable, short and long-term data

All startups have understood the strategic interest of data. However, experience shows that startups and large corporations encounter difficulties in producing and exploiting them.

A common mistake is to separate: the use of the product or service, on one side, and customer’s questions or comments, on the other.

On the contrary, we must give ourselves the objective of making this universe of data a single entity, that is to say, to unify the knowledge and the history of the relationship.

Because the richer the customer files, the more we will be able to do analytics, AI and personalization over time – which are generally not a priority for a startup, at least in the short term, as long as it does not have a large amount of data.

In practice, it will be necessary to know how to build a multi-channel environment meshed with CRM. Your base will be enriched as you interact. This will give you a favorable terrain for AI – even if the number of convincing cases is still small in this field of research.

In short, data is key: it allows you to confirm hypotheses or processes related to customer journeys. It will also allow you to detect insights coming from your customers. Your growth will be based on your ability to link behavioral data, consumption data, and sometimes external data (weather data, for example).


5 – Make of selfcare a true source of economy and customer satisfaction

Nerdy and frustrating FAQs? Not sure … As long as they are well designed, for example by drawing inspiration from models like those developed by Smart Tribune (among others), it is possible to give them a lot of efficiency. This will sometimes involve analyzing the customer journey, to identify such a needed information at such a point in the journey.

More generally, selfcare must be a field of permanent experimentation, value creation, and a source of savings. In particular, it seems vital to associate with it the expertise acquired by the Customer Service teams, internally or externally.

(To find out more: Selfcare… towards the end of customer relationship centers? Selfcare & Customer Experience – Total Direct Energie, Oui.sncf, Europcar and Blablacar share their experience)


6 – Think of webRTC as a vocal and intelligent way to engage your customers

Nothing could be simpler: place a call button in your mobile app or on your website, as Snapcall offers for example. This button will be placed wisely, on the right pages, after optimizing with A / B tests for example. For the customer, the process will be more straightforward – even if the concept of “talking to a computer” will feel unfamiliar to some.

But through this technique, your startup will find 2 advantages: a reduction in telephone costs and, above all, the possibility of recovering the navigation context of the call at the time (see The 5 major advantages of WebRTC).


Do not hesitate to contact Edouard de Ménibus or Thomas Duermaël to attend the next workshops for startups.