Meet: Customer support / Customer success

We’ve all interacted with customer support in one regard or another. The specifics of customer support support roles tend to be quite different for B2B vs B2C companies. (Here's a reminder on the difference.)

Put simply, Customer Support roles are tasked with helping customers have the best experience with a company and its product. A simple issue might call for you to restore access to a customer who has been locked out of their account, but many issues call for high-stakes problem solving and excellent people skills.

There are two things that make customer support roles a great entry-point to a job in tech. First, customer service organizations are mostly powered by human interactions, which means the organizations can grow quickly. For you, that growth can mean ample opportunities to quickly grow your skill set and scope. The customer support team is also the closest to the customer, so they understand the reality of the business and the customer’s experience better than any other team. This level of insight is valuable to every other team at the company.

The second important feature is that in many companies there is a very clear career progression in this team. Typically, the career progression will involve people management, so it is a great way to build skills that are transferable and desirable for future jobs.

Who hires a lot in this function:

→ Software businesses that have a complex product
→ Companies where losing a single customer is very expensive

*Note – almost every company has some form of customer support. So, we’re highlighting the attributes of companies that have the most numerous and interesting customer support roles.

What's it like?

You'll love it if

→ You enjoy interacting with people
→ You take pleasure in problem solving
→ You want to represent the voice of the customer in the company

You'll hate it if

→ You prefer to work alone
→ You find 1:1 interactions draining
→ You prefer to set the agenda for your day

How we do it

Building a great startup is hard. Really hard. It requires domain expertise, uncommon talent, great execution, great timing, and a little luck. It also requires the ever-elusive great idea. Our team has developed the playbook on how to rapidly validate, refine, and build new businesses.

Sample role

Customer Experience at Loftium

Responsibilities:
→ Managing a high volume of inbound customer support e-mails / tickets

→ Frequent, timely communication with Loftium’s renter hosts

→ Assisting in month-end financial reconciliation of Loftium’s properties, ensuring hosts receive accurate, timely additional rent discounts and landlords receive timely rent

→ Facilitating communication between Loftium renters and landlords

→ Urgent issue resolution (including occasional after-hours) via e-mail and phone

→ Tracking and categorizing support issues and continuously identifying opportunities to improve our process / product for a stronger customer experience

The nitty gritty

Tools
In this role you’ll use software (ex: Intercom, Zendesk), speak to customers over the phone and through text-based chat. You will likely leverage internal “knowledge libraries” and spreadsheets to stay organized.

Your time
On a typical day you will likely spend 70% of your time on customer interactions and 30% analyzing and reporting your learnings.

The job ladder

Entry level

Customer Support Representative
Customer Advocate
Customer Specialist

Requires
Dealing with inbound customer issues, managing the simple ones and ‘escalating” more complex issues.

Intermediate

Customer Support Manager

Requires
Responding to escalated issues that require more experience and problem solving; more technical problem solving, and people management; process improvement.

High level

Director of Customer Support

Requires
People management, strategy and planning for the customer service organization.

Results

0

Ideas Spun Out

In the rarest of cases, a startup idea has great timing, true customer demand, and the market is enormous.

0

Ideas Killed

More often than not, an idea isn't a viable business. Our learnings from our failures make us more confident in the ideas that we love.

Spotlight

Julian Sabado

Julian Sabado is a specialist at Uber’s Greenlight Hub. His role involves working with Uber’s drivers, helping them to get back on the road when they encounter issues that require careful attention. That can include everything from helping drivers get on the road for the first time, to debugging complex app issues to solving compliance issues.

Julian's career path
→ Started his career as a swim instructor
→ Worked in the public sector in facilities, and took on a wide range of projects
→ Became a sales specialist selling cellphones, eventually becoming a team lead
→ Moved to Uber’s Greenlight organization
→ Promoted to manage a team of frontline customer support representatives

How did you break into the technology industry?
“I had no idea how to write code, but I love working with people, and had a knack people development. I started my search by looking for a place that I could leverage those skills.

When I joined a tech company, my fear was that not having a technical background would be a disadvantage. I was worried I would be a black sheep. But I learned there is so much more to the business.  There's workforce management, people management, business management.”

Who's hiring?

See who’s looking for Customer Service on Indeed, or scan the open jobs on LinkedIn.

Careers at PSL

Check out openings across all our portfolio companies.

Studio Investors

PSL Studio is independently funded by top venture firms from across the United States. They form the foundation of a venture network surrounding PSL companies and entrepreneurs. They invested in us because they want to invest in you.