Solo Founders: How to Help Your Customers When You Are Only Free on Nights and Weekends

Matt Lo
written by
Matt Lo
last updated
September 09, 2020
Solo Founders: How to Help Your Customers When You Are Only Free on Nights and Weekends

Ideate. Build. Launch.

It’s never been easier to start a new product or business. But that ease comes with evolving customer behavior.

Modern fast-growing and online-only businesses are setting new trends in customer behavior and expectations. There are now different trust factors and signals for when a customer feels “right” before hitting the “Buy Now” button.

The biggest trust factor evolving now is customer support.

Previously, having a phone number on the header of your website was the legitimacy milestone for an online business. Now, you’re marked by whether or not you have a support icon on your website or mobile app. And whether or not your live chat responds quickly or at all.

So you add Drift to your website and call it a day…

…EXCEPT you can’t do live chat at your day job. And you can’t do live chat while you’re working on the product or marketing. And you’re sure as hell not using some A.I. conversation bot that doesn’t talk right.

Most solo-founders with a day job have an average of 4 hours of free time a day, per week. Roughly 28 hours a week on average.

Even if you work on weekends, there are always some days in the middle of the week you don’t work on your startup (like when you have a stressful day at work).

And your post-launch startup activities look something like this:

  • Work on product
  • Work on marketing
  • Work on sales
  • Work with customers
  • Work on administration

So imagine a potential customer wants to buy your product, but has a few questions. Where’s the time to answer?

Here’s the 3-step strategy to win on customer support while also learning about your customers.

  1. Capture questions from anyone who visits your website
  2. Serve answers that have been answered in the past
  3. Report questions without answers in a weekly or daily user report. Use the report to populate more answers into the database so future users that ask the same question have an answer.

How does it help customer support?

In this model, the initial phase is always the hardest, because the answers you provide are too generic. So over time, as users ask more questions, and you add more answers, you start to automate your customer support for 80% of the most common questions.

So to start, you add seed content to provoke the user to ask more about your product. You want 5-10 FAQs about your product, based on prior customer data. If you don’t have prior data, just guess or hire us.

The seed content will kick off a user behavior trait: if the user sees answers, but not answers they’re looking for, they’re more likely to type a question that you’ve never seen before. That is what you’re looking for.

Here’s what the process looks like:

  1. A real user browses for an answer on your website
  2. They find a button to search for questions on the bottom right of your website.
  3. They type in a question which you capture automatically, even if there’s no answer, to populate results
  4. The question is captured in your analytics where you can answer it in your own time, and then the answer is provided for the next person who asks.

The goal here is to build a database full of real FAQs that directly contribute to purchasing decisions.

And while you build your database, you also learn more about your customer without directly speaking to them. The questions help shift how you should position your product in the market place, while also creating an opportunity to reduce customer support time.

With ChipBot, you can install a turn-key solution to having self-service support on your website for free.

To get started, sign up here for free, add the install code on your website, then follow the instructions below.

The first thing to do is seed your ChipBot with some common FAQs or guides. This will help in the following situations:

  1. When you have no seed content, users will open ChipBot, and close right out of it when there’s nothing to browse. Having 5-10 articles in the Knowledge Base will help provide some generic answers while pushing users to ask more.
  2. The content will give you insight into how much you know about your customer. Every article has a feedback system that will allow you to gauge whether or not the content is helpful to them.

ChipBot also offers a service where a team will write the content for you. This is particularly useful if you want to focus on your product or marketing while we help out with your self-service support model.

Next, configure your notification settings for any “Contact Us” events so you get them as they arise. This will still give you lead generation opportunities while not requiring you to be live on the website.

Click Settings on the left navigation, then click Notifications, then change the notification frequency dropdown setting. You can also change the email address if you want them to go to a different address than what you signed up with.

Finally, give your support icon some flair and a design that fits well for your audience. There are 4 main options to work with:

  1. Default Icon – Original support icon button
  2. Text Button – Add an icon and text within a button
  3. A.I. Button – Siri-like animation as a support button

Any of these buttons can be configured to operate on the left or right hand side. You can also change the vertical positioning if you have cookie policies or other buttons.

After you follow these 3 steps, you only need to spend about an hour a week to analyze reports, answer questions, and respond to any “Contact Us” inquiries that come up.

Please share if you liked the article!

Matt Lo
Matt Lo

Matt is a Houston-based entrepreneur with over a decade of experience building highly scalable web-based technology solutions. Knowledgeable in 12 different programming languages and experienced startup veteran; having worked on 6 others. He's currently the founder and CEO of ChipBot. You can reach Matt on Twitter, LinkedIn, or StackOverflow.

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