Doing Customer Support Right: The Prey Way

Here’s the first of several blog entries telling about our company’s inner workings: How we nailed customer satisfaction making it one of our core values.

June 20, 2015

You probably know Prey as a world-class anti-theft application that helps you track and recover your lost or stolen electronic devices. That's our product, after all, so you'd be 100% right. What you probably don't know about us is how satisfied our customers are that they chose Prey as their security solution, and how we do to make them so. Here's the first of several blog entries telling about our company's inner workings: How we nailed customer satisfaction making it one of our core values.

Prey's been around for a while now, and the more time a company's been around, the more stories you know about how well or how wrong they do things. Just as a quick Twitter or Google search can get you to learn how tasty the new burger from your favorite joint is, we want you to find how your relationship with Prey will be... and we want that to be great. While our main focus has been always to provide the best laptop and mobile devices tracker software available in the world, there's another dimension of business that we value more than anything else, and that's customers.

Why? First, because that's the right thing to do. Second, because we love to give back to those supporting Prey. And third, because it's healthy for any business.

Have you ever dealt with a company that was so ridiculously nice to you that you couldn't help but to tell your friends about your experience? You might have had a question or a problem, or maybe wanted to share an idea, and they overwhelmed you with passion, kindness, and an open ear to your needs. You know what? Like Zappos, we want to be that kind of company for you, your friends, and everyone. We at Prey talk about customer happiness instead of support or service, a term inspired by our friends at Buffer. You can take support from granted; our team will make you happy while helping you.

Understanding the challenge

Prey is a small company. We're 17 people distributed in three countries. Considering that we serve software to practically every country in the world, and that we have a couple million users, that leaves no room for slacking off. In 2015 only, 9,809 people have contacted us, totaling 11,262 conversations. The daily average is 73 conversations, which leaves some fun facts:

  • Since we work 5 days a week, we would take 8.52 working hours a day to answer to everyone if we only took 5 minutes per conversation. We average almost 11 minutes, which leaves our 3-people happiness team on a constant flow of work.
  • For unknown reasons, Tuesday is our most busy day. You could wait a bit if you write this day.
  • For obvious reasons, Friday is our least busy one. Try it in case you want to say a quick "hi" :)

Despite the high volumes of workload, our customer happiness team has solid numbers regarding their commitment to both paid and free users. From the ones who rated our answers (about 20% of all who contacted us):

  • 76% thought that we did a great job.
  • 15% thought that we did an OK job.
  • 9% though that we did a bad job.

From those who rated our help as bad, 60%did because they didn't like our answers, so about only 4%think that we do a bad job. Compare that to any other company around and you could understand why we feel so proud, but still craving for a perfect 100%.

How do we do this?

Caring. Listening to your needs, reading, and answering from the heart. Our customers are never a number in a queue; we do what we can to get to know them, and we're always glad to read back from them.

Being fast. Our average reply time is 4 hours, and it takes us an average of 5 hours to solve our customers' problems.

Empowering the team. Every customer happiness agent has full control over the help flow, so you'll never be put on hold because there's somebody else who can help you better. Our agents can assist you on how to setup Prey to a Linux server, can sell you a custom plan for 10,000 devices, or provide guidance on how to approach your local police when reporting the theft of your laptop. We don't believe in halves, and thus anyone at Prey can take care of you at any time.

Helping, not selling. When you can't end your Prey subscription we do it for you. When you think that you were mischarged, we'll issue a refund. When you need to downgrade your plan, we'll take care of it. No questions. After all is set, we'd want to know more about what drove you into the decision so we can make Prey better, but that only happens once your issue was solved.

Being honest. When Prey doesn't work we'll be the first to admit the fault. When a bug prevents you from doing what you need, we'll be there to fix it or (figuratively)die trying. We'll never blame you when the problem is ours, and you'll be compensated when the trouble affects your workflow with Prey.

Solving things. Our team is always on the watch to make Prey better every day. Whenever there are bugs or room for improvement, our engineers comply with our reports ASAP, so we're not only the ones apologizing for the trouble but also the bearers of good news once they're fixed.

Being human. We're a team made of people, serving people, and we always consider your feelings and ours. When write that we're sorry for your sick uncle, we mean it. When we say we're happy that you recovered your stolen phone, we damn mean it. And when you send us funny gif to confirm that Prey is working great on your school setup, we laugh our asses off. Oh, please do.

Is that all?

Of course not. This is the first post from many. In the next one I'll tell you a bit about what tools we use to take care of the millions of users trusting Prey. Stay tuned!.

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