March 27, 2015
Founding a startup in today’s world without the help of technology is practically impossible. If you want to raise funding for your company, build a website, and have any kind of communication with your prospects and clients, you’ll have no choice but to accept the fact that the use of technology is imperative. Unfortunately, simply accepting that fact doesn’t make you a tech expert, nor does it mean that you’ll be able to do all of the technological things that will be required to launch your business and keep it running successfully.
As the founder of a startup you might be working on a limited budget, but you still have quick access to all sorts of free and open source tools and resources that can help you achieve your goals, like WordPress as a CMS and Kickstarter as a crowdfunding platform, for example. On the web your potential is unlimited, but within the confines of an individual website, the same cannot be said.
When a visitor comes to your site and uses your products or services, they are limited to the support your company offers, at least in regard to those particular products or services. This is a fundamental consideration that many startups neglect – what kind of tech support are you giving your customers and prospects at the time of launch?
With that said, let’s look at four reasons why providing tech support from the time of launch is essential for almost every startup:
1. Welcoming New Account Users
When a user signs up and creates an account on your company’s site, you want to make sure they have all of the information and assistance they need to get the most out of their initial experience. Put yourself in the visitors’ shoes – if you signed up for a site only to find out that there was no way to get help with a technical issue related to the site’s features or navigation, would you not be disappointed and upset?
Basic email support within 24 hours is better than nothing, but during the time it takes for you to respond to a user’s email they will have most likely left the site, and they might not come back. Providing several kinds of on-the-spot technical support through chat or phone keeps the visitor on the site and does a lot to give them a warm welcome.
2. Avoiding Unnecessary Complaints and Negative Rumors
During the first few weeks to months of a startup’s life one of the most important aspects of the company’s public relations will be the opinions and complaints of its clients/users. Word of mouth travels at the speed of light on the Internet, and just a few negative rumors about the quality of your product/service can drastically reduce your bottom line and damage the overall reputation of your company. By providing comprehensive technical support from the beginning you can avoid most complaints from unsatisfied customers.
3. Ensuring Proper Product Use and Safety
If your startup is based in the electronic and tech industry, it is even more imperative to provide support to ensure that your products are being used properly and safely. For example, can you imagine if a medical equipment company distributed a brand new type of ultrasonic imaging device to hospitals without providing necessary technical ultrasound support? Obviously that would result in some clueless nurses and hospital technicians being very frustrated with their new equipment.
4. Projecting an Image of Professionalism
Finally, perhaps the most basic reason to offer free tech support from the time of launching your startup is to portray a professional and reputable image to prospects. People expect to see a company provide tech support nowadays, and when they don’t, that’s an instant red flag that says “this company might not be legit or reliable”. First impressions are everything, and launching any kind of company without complimentary tech support leaves a bad first impression.
Image credit: Flickr/Matt Biddulph
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