Focusing on Customers

In the early stages of your company, it may be tough to do everything you want to do. Especially if you are a small team, it can be daunting to think about all of the different things you should be doing to grow your business with the limited resources of having such a small number of people on hand. I know it is something we have struggled with in the early days of BrightWork as we worked to bring awareness about the platform, build more compelling features, and continue to do outreach to prospective customers. Being a team of two is a challenge and can lead to becoming distracted on items that do not make an immediate impact, but are still vital to growth.

The biggest decision one needs to make in those early days is what type of customer you want to pursue and how you will pursue them. This is the single most important thing to figure out early on as you look to acquire more customer to put yourself in a position to get critical mass. Once you have honed in on who you will focus on you need to make that group very happy. Remember, happy customers can become referable customers. So spend a lot of time talking to those early adopters and what they like or do not like about your service or product. They will be great advocates down the line as you work to solve, not only the problem you believe you are solving, but their specific problem as well.

I have talked about some of the tools we use at BrightWork to help connect us best with our customers, but I will share them here as well. We use a combination of tools. Things like Intercom, Mixpanel, and SendGrid help give us a great sense for where our customers are coming from, what areas of the site they are visiting, and how many are converting from just visiting the site, to activating their tokens. Beyond those tools we offer customers the option of enrolling in our Slack Team to them direct access to the team so we can ensure we’re getting direct feedback about what they like and do not like about the platform. It may seem a bit unorthodox, but this channel gives us the best possible chance to catch problems in the system that our customers are experience and mitigate them quickly. I know a lot of companies do not like the thought of creating a Slack just for customers because it does not scale at some point, but if you are in an early stage this is the most critical tool for customer communications in my opinion.

At the end of the day you want to do all you can to make the customers who are willing to take a chance on you really happy. It can be hard to think that you may end up developing a product outside of your original thesis by getting feedback outside of what you thought you were going to build, but you may find yourself with a more compelling service or product to help really grow your business.

Josh Carter

CEO/Co-Founder @ BrightWork (Techstars Chicago '16), ex-Twilion, Father, US Navy Vet.

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