The Importance of Responsiveness at a Startup

November 11, 2014 Jon Hearty

Startups are hard. The odds are typically against you, and there’s almost always a strong incumbent with ample resources to make your handful of employees and few million bucks in VC money look a lot smaller.

Luckily, however, you can use your small size to your advantage and create a company that people will love to do business with. Along these lines, there is one thing that every startup can do, regardless of size, talent or resources, to differentiate themselves from the competition: be responsive.

 

Responsiveness in Support

It goes without question that responding quickly to support tickets is critical for any startup. Hearing your customers’ feedback — both positive and negative — is essential to building a product that people love.

But if you really want to make an impact, respond immediately to a customer who asks a question about how to do something or provides their opinion on an experience with your product. It will give them the warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing that the time they spent reaching out was not in vain, and it will give you the unfiltered customer feedback you need to build something people will rave about.

Responsiveness in Sales

“The early bird gets the worm”

In sales, responding to your prospect before your competitor can be the difference between closing a deal and getting the door closed in your face.

By using our live chat solution, Zopim, on our website, we have on numerous occasions won a customer over and even closed deals in a matter of minutes. Earlier this year, a potential customer pinged us on Zopim. A few seconds later, after receiving a response from one of our sales reps, the prospect provided his contact information and was immediately called on the phone. Here’s what he had to say:

“You know why I’ll probably go with Datanyze? Because you understand the value of responsiveness. If I’m hot for your software now, I want to talk to someone about it now!”

We wrote a blog post about this live chat success story, which was eventually shared on Zopim’s blog (read the full post here). Not only did we gain a fan, but we also got some free press!

Responsiveness in Product

Nothing will blow a customer’s mind more quickly than responsiveness in product development. Datanyze Alerts was one of our first features and has undoubtedly been one of our key differentiators. Basically, the product allows our customers to see a list of websites that have added or dropped a technology of their choosing that day. This gives them the opportunity to reach out to the right person at the right time with a message tailored to their prospect’s specific use case.

One of our early customers, however, explained to us that although our Alerts feature was really cool, it wasn’t valuable to her company because her competitors all had 12-month contracts. This meant that when a website either added or dropped her competitor, it was already too late.

Two days later, we developed a product called Countdown, which provided her a list of websites that started using her competitor’s technology 9 months ago — the perfect sweet spot for starting her outreach campaigns to these prospects. Needless to say, she was amazed at how responsive we were to her feedback and how quickly we created the critical feature she needed.

About the Author

Jon Hearty

Jon Hearty is the VP of Strategic Accounts at Datanyze. When he's not whistling while he works, he's likely looking to go low on the links.

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