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Customer Support at Beyond Code

Sebastian Schlein

Selling software and video courses to thousands of customers comes with a lot of customer support and responsibility. Some customers don't understand where they can download a product, others have technical questions and some want refunds.

At Beyond Code, we take every support request as an opportunity to get in touch with a customer and have dedicated channels that depend on the support request itself.

Technical support requests, that don't include sensitive data usually go into our public GitHub repositories, that we treat as issue trackers and forums. We are selling to developers and so they already have a GitHub account and can create issues pretty quickly. This process allows them to track the progress or find other customers with similar issues – ideally, the previous requests have answers and so they don't create an issue anymore. If we have to build a fix, this gets a reference to the public issue and so the status of a bug is publicly available.

Billing issues, refunds or other requests go into our HelpScout inbox. This inbox is connected to a dedicated Slack channel and I get instant notifications if something happens in this inbox. We share this inbox so that I can escalate technical issues that need specific expertise to the team, but my previous work as developer and general overview of our apps allows me to solve more than 90% of all support requests without talking to the team.

We aim to answer all support requests as quickly as possible and I mostly respond within minutes if the request only requires a few minutes of my attention. This speed is highly appreciated by many customers and some even express their excitement publicly.

As mentioned above, we treat every support request as an opportunity to improve our product offering and this is why I don't understand companies who outsource this. If someone is not able to find the download of a product, they are not stupid – we have a flaw in our process. The same goes for customers who buy a product and need a refund because they expected something else – that is usually an issue with our copy.

If you plan to sell products to many customers, be prepared to get support requests. They are an important part of your job and an opportunity for improvements.