Why having new employees answer support tickets could be the best thing your company ever did

Why having new employees answer support tickets could be the best thing your company ever did

April 30, 2013
Why having new employees answer support tickets could be the best thing your company ever did

You’ve heard the same mantra from every VP of sales for the past decade: “Everyone is in sales.” Today, there’s a new mantra inside fast-growing startups: “Everyone is in support.”

At Twilio, we like to think of ourselves as a company of DOERs. Everyone in the company needs to know and understand what the heck we do. It doesn’t matter what role you play in the company—you need to understand our products, what our customers are doing with our products, and the challenges our customers face.

This is easier for companies that sell something tangible, like hamburgers or oil changes. But when your business is a telecommunications API platform like ours, you find that even technical people can have trouble grokking what you do.

This is where support comes in. In addition to a more traditional employee orientation program in which new hires sit in a room and listen to presentations by old timers, every single new hire at Twilio spends two weeks working live support tickets. No matter their role or department, they’re going through support bootcamp. Everyone does it, from hard-core Java and Python developers to product marketing managers to channel sales representatives and even our CFO!

This is the real meat of their training. They get to learn how our products work; how people are using our products; and most importantly, how we can make better experiences for our customers.

When they finish their support ticket training, new hires have a better handle on why some of our customers are so fanatic about Twilio, and how they can make a difference for other customers who might need some hand holding to be equally successful.

They know what is working— and what we are working to improve— and why. And, most importantly, they’’ve personally experienced the difference that outstanding support can make in learning to use a powerful new technology.

Today’s guest post features the wisdom of Jason Nassi, Director of Customer Support at Twilio, one of Zendesk’s awesome customers and partners.

Read the Twilio customer story to see how they’re using Zendesk