Servicing small businesses

In late 2009, I started my Small Business service team at Indeed with a single employee. At the time, I had no idea what it would become, or how much it would eventually mean to me.

Along with that group’s management team, we scaled the SMB service function incredibly, learned how to automate and simplify processes, brought costs down, and generally turned the team into high-performing service organization.

Those are your HBR headlines and they are great. But my highlights live elsewhere.

1. Elevating the role
In building out the SMB function, we wanted a team that made sense in a business that had previously been mid-market to enterprise-focused. This wasn’t easy because we were hiring for roles we never had before, namely employees to handle the high volume of inbound tickets, phone calls and chats we would be receiving. We didn’t want the typical 40 percent turnover for call center jobs. So we worked to elevate every part of the role – higher base pay, regular bonuses, flexible work hours, work from home, perks, team events, free lunches and the like. We didn’t want a typical call center, nor the typical call center employees, so we elevated the job.

2. Servicing the under-serviced
When this team began, there was the belief that the client base could be successful without customer service altogether (self-service concept). While we always worked to make the product as self-serve as possible, I also knew that the SMB client segment is notoriously under-serviced and would be hungry for help with the product and with hiring best practices in general. That proved to be true, and our commitment to SMB service eventually became a brand differentiator for Indeed. When SMB clients made a hire, it was a celebration for both them and for us.

This combination of an amazing employee experience and a “wow” client experience eventually became my model for customer service no matter the client type. But it was this SMB build-out and evolution that really brought it together for me. That’s a big reason why I’m so excited to have joined Justworks, where SMB owners, entrepreneurs and their employees are our focus. I’m thrilled to be able to apply this model again.

Posted in Service team scaling