Internet start-ups make extended use of cloud computing, including SaaS solutions. Services like
Google Drive and Amazon EC3 help young internet companies save on setup fees, while most
importantly being scalable solutions, allowing them space to grow.

If your business model implies a big stack of customer requests you need to know about CRM, VoIP phone Systems, live chat services and ticket management / help Desk. When composed properly, these tools enable even small teams to offer high quality customer support (CS) to a large customer base with the possibility to scale up virtually without boundaries. At Kreditech we chose to do so from the start.

A professional CS is data driven: KPIs like response times, average time until tickets are resolved, average call duration, and percentage of calls answered should be tracked to increase operational efficiency. The CS tools produce easy to grasp reports in numbers and diagrams, making your CS division transparent. Below you can find an example of a statistic from the Live Chat Tool snapengage.

Besides quantitative measures qualitative aspects have to be taken into account if you want to deliver a premium service. For quality assurance your CS agents require coaching sessions from time to time. A coaching session requires call monitoring for at least 30 minutes, together with an agent. Afterwards the calls get discussed to help the agent improve his communication skills. Additionally you can use sample mystery calls to review the performance. If you want to show your customers ratings and reviews publicly, trustedshops is a simple solution. In the picture you can see a snapshot taken from our Polish website, which for better understanding is translated into English.

When it comes to making the decision, you won’t get around checking different providers to find the best setup for your company. Highrise CRM, by 37signals, for example focuses on easy, intuitive handling, while companies with special requirements might be looking for a highly configurable CRM like Sugar CRM, which is available as a hosted version.

Placetel, nfon and sipbase offer VoIP services around the world. Whether one of these or another provider suits you best depends on your companies specifications, such as the country where your headquarters are located. For US-based start-ups a local provider like onsip.com will fit better than the German-based firms mentioned above. And if you want to internationalize you have to make sure that the services you are using are multilingual and work in your desired markets.

Ticket Management as a part of Help Desk software like Zendesk or kayako let you track and solve the requests of your customers. This way you will always be able to see, what requests a customer had, who helped him and if there are open requests that are currently unresolved.

The goal should be to get all the customer interaction integrated and logged in the CRM: mails, calls, live chats and customer documents. Most of the CS Tools come with add-ons to smoothly exchange data, but it can be interesting as well to use different services from one Provider, in order to keep complexity low. Whichever solution you choose to implement, these services are an investment in your relationship with your customers and can help you to distinguish yourself from your competitors.

Not entirely linked to the cloud topic, but still business critical, is how you handle your customer
data. The worst case scenario would be for customer data to get leaked to the internet. In order to
avoid this you should consult professional services to adopt your IT and operational processes. The
key points here are limiting access to the designated people and assigning user roles in the systems,
data encryption, passwords, SSL, and nondisclosure agreements for your employees.

For more in depth knowledge, the sales person from any provider mentioned in the article will be happy to help you.