The Secret Sauce to KISSmetrics' support

I'm Megha Derchak and this is how we support at KISSmetrics!

Written by on November 13, 2014

Megha is the Director of Customer Success at KISSmetrics, an analytics platform that helps people identify, understand and improve the metrics that drive an online business. Based in San Francisco, CA, KISSmetrics was founded by Neil Patel and Hiten Shah.

Megha Derchak, KISSmetrics

We managed to catch up with Megha for a quick chat and ask her about life at KISSmetrics.

How big is your support team, Megha?

5

And where are you guys based?

San Francisco, CA.

How many products do you support?

Just the one. KISSmetrics.

What channels do you guys offer support in:

Email. Social media. Live-chat. And in product.

And how many queries do you guys get everyday? A ballpark number will do.

60

The KISSmetrics team in the San Francisco office

So, Megha. What does a typical day look like for a KISSmetrics support rep?

Tickets, tickets and more tickets. There’s usually a whole bunch of tickets waiting for us in the morning, a variety  from trial and current customers. The team works closely with product and engineering to solve the tickets, to stay close to bugs, enhancements as well as any insight that allows them to answer tickets quickly and accurately, with the least amount of back and forth. We also do a weekly standup where we review common issues, trends and outliers in tickets submitted.

How do you motivate yourself (and your team) day in and day out?

We always focus on our successes and our blockers.

Using the data from the highest and lowest rated tickets, we establish what we want to start, stop and continue doing.

In weekly meetings we challenge each other on ways to improve as well as applaud those that had a big win. The desire to always be a stronger team and support both customers and internal teams is a great motivator.

What’s the most important metric you think a support rep should aim for?

Quality of tickets, I’d say. Reps often get wrapped up in average reply and handling time, backlog numbers and resolution rate. Although these are very important metrics and support the success of a closure – the quality of the ticket remains high on our list.

The KISSmetrics team, SF

And how do you measure customer happiness?

Satisfaction rating, surveys and the desire to open cases in the future.

We have seen that unhappy customers will often make sure we are aware but will also be hesitant to reach out to support in the future.

How do you manage taking time off from support?

The support team is large enough to handle one rep being out of the rotation at any time. If multiple reps need to be out on any given day, we request support from another internal team to supply coverage if required.

So, I’m going to throw you some situations at you. Tell us how you guys handle them at KISSmetrics.

1) A customer asks for a feature that’s in the works but it’s complicated and you don’t have an ETA. How do you handle these requests?

For features that will be released in the future, we try our best to solve the issue with a work around.

We keep customers posted on progress of the release through monthly emails.

2) What if it’s a feature that you’re never going to build?

For ones we are never going to build, we try to understand the need, how it pertains to the success of the customers program and then decide if another aspect of the platform can fulfill it or if they actually can move forward without – we never lead our customers to believe something will be added into the product. That being said, any request that is in high demand is always escalated to the product team and reviewed for possible inclusion.

The KISSmetrics team

3) A customer asks for a refund. Do you just issue the refund or do you plug in a sales rep sometime down the process and try to woo the customer back?

Refund requests are sent to our billing department where they review the request, its validity, and work with the customer on resolution.

4) A customer asks for a feature that’s not on the plan he’s subscribed to. However, he is willing to pay extra for just the feature. What do you do? Do you bump him to a higher plan with a discount or just give him the feature ala carte?

There are only a few reports that have access that is plan based. If a customer wants access, they can upgrade. If paying extra is not within their budget, we either find a way to get them the data with their instance of the platform and in some cases allow access for free if the data will support the success of the program.

5) One of your support reps makes a tiny mistake which really frustrates a customer. The rep’s trying to turn the situation around but the customer only seems to be getting more and more frustrated with time. Do you step in? Or do you let them handle it?

We discuss the issue internally and look to see where the response, case handling etc. could be improved. If this becomes a common occurrence, then I try to find the root case and associated solution.

Product challenges could be the need for more training.

Response type could be correlated with a the customer perception of the response vs. the reps intention.

The KISSmetrics team

What’s the protocol when a customer reports a security vulnerability over the weekend?

Engineering responds immediately and then support reps work with any case submissions. They also post a general message to our customer base once the issue is resolved.

What do you look for in your support reps?

I look for someone who has a keen understanding of our space – what we do, why we do it and most importantly how our customers use us.

I look for someone with an interest in the SaaS business and product offering, as well as a personality that can support this type of role. Lastly, a background in programming, customer service or a similar area is key.

In terms of customer service, which company do you admire a lot?

I have received amazing support from Salesforce.

One last question, Megha. If you could travel back in time to a certain era/event, when, where and why?

The team agrees that they would want to go back to walk with the dinosaurs! Why? Because we may not have existed yet!

We started the Secret Sauce series to find out more about what makes the customer service of some great companies click. We get in touch with one awesome support representative and we pick their brains. We find out what a typical day is like for these support rockstars, their personal work-philosophy, support process and what inspires them to go above and beyond the call of duty to make their customers happy. Know a customer support rep you’d like to see featured here? Drop us a line in the comments or shoot an email to love@freshdesk.com with your suggestions.

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