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Mike & Boris founded Riddle, quiz making software back in May 2014...

They seem to have solved the growth puzzle and are now steaming past $35k MRR.

How?

This post explains...

  • MH

    Mike Hawkins

    2 months ago #

    Wow - thanks Tom... this is Mike from Riddle.

    Happy to answer any questions from y'all - this approach is working really well for us both in evolving our product as well as word of mouth marketing.

    • JK

      Jamie Kim

      about 2 months ago #

      Hi Mike, it's amazing to read about how you and Boris have used the live chat support as a way to evolve the product and gain loyal users!

      We are a much earlier stage startup so my co-founder and I still reply the live chat support ourselves. But even at our stage, we are often struggling to keep up with replying users on the live chat. Have a couple of questions that I hope you could share more on -- really appreciate it Mike!

      1. How much time per week do each of you spend talking to users on the live chat?

      2. How do you manage the interruptions to your work flow from the live chat, to ensure you are still productive and your other tasks get done?

      • MH

        Mike Hawkins

        about 2 months ago #

        Hi Jamie!

        Great questions... That's the constant challenge - I think we each probably spend about 15% of our time answers customers. It used to be higher, but we've been leverage Intercom's tools and a better FTE to solve questions from first-time users (such as 'how do I create a quiz?'). Now we get more specific product questions, bug reports, and best practice issues.

        Work flow - we haven't really mastered this to be honest. We're upfront with our users so they know we aren't as fast in responding on weekends and late at night (EU-time). But the benefits far outweigh the difficulties - we learn so much from our users that it's completely worth it.

      • BP

        Boris Pfeiffer

        about 2 months ago #

        Hi Jamie,
        adding to Mike's comments below. A key outcome of the core team answering support questions is that your software gets better a lot faster. This then results in fewer support chats in total, even if you are growing fast.
        One of my previous jobs also included running a very large customer support organisation for a games company. A lot of the first level support was outsource and none of the game developers or product managers would ever touch a support question. The common response was that time spent on developing new features would make more money than fixing bugs. If we would have put that developer on answering support chats for 20 minutes each day, I am sure the reply would have been different and many bugs would have been squashed really fast, resulting in less support inquiries and possibly more money. This always bothered Mike and me, so when we set up Riddle, we wanted to take a very different approach, mostly inspired from the "everybody helps" approach at Basecamp (https://m.signalvnoise.com/everybody-helps-the-evolution-of-all-hands-support/)

        So bottom line, yes we still spend about 15% of our time answering support questions, but even with ever increasing numbers of signups, the time spent on support is going down as Mike points out.

        As far as interruptions go: If the developers help out on support - which they do in tough cases - they will focus on that case and take a break from coding. When non devs go on chat, it's usually not that hard to switch in and out of what you were doing. And yes, sometimes it means to just finish a task and make a customer wait for a minute :)

      • JK

        Jamie Kim

        about 2 months ago #

        Thanks very much Mike and Boris for fleshing out more details - really helpful input for us to better manage our live support as we continue to scale!

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