What I learned doing customer support from my car

Sorry I missed a post on Tuesday. It was my first missed post since I started blogging Tuesday and Thursday each week. My schedule may change - it may not. Depends on several factors, but I'll keep you guys posted. Anyway, let's talk about yesterday.

I just finished up a meeting with a possible investor at 4:00pm and hopped in the car to drive to my next afternoon errand. Before I turned the engine on, I took my phone out to check my email. I've learned I obsessively check my email when I get out of a meeting. Usually there's something from a newsletter I signed up for and maybe a critical email. Well, yesterday, there was a critical email.

It was from one of my Gredio users. She's in her trial period, so it's operation "impress-the-hell-out-of-her". Andrew and I pounced on it, but we couldn't replicate it. I'm frantically trying to replicate it on my phone, Andrew has a local copy, and we've got nothing. I have two messages into my customer to help out. We'll get it resolved.

This will likely happen more often, as we get more users. And I will likely be in my car driving between meetings with local customers, business people, and other well-connected individuals. So, I thought I'd jot down what I learned from handling customer support from the cushy driver's seat of my Honda Civic:

1. A better mobile experience is priority

Yes, I successfully trouble-shooted the problem on my 4" screen, but the app wasn't the best experience. People are going to be using this on much smaller screens than a desktop monitor. We've got to make our mobile version sexy as hell.

2. Let the customer know you're on it...even if you can't be

You can't exactly screen share from a smartphone. This means you've got to let the customer know you're at least looking into their problem (oh, and apologize, too). Finding out as much as you can before you contact the customer shows you're at least on your game. The least you could do? Commit to a deadline to follow-up about the problem.

3. Carry a large notepad in the car

I was lucky to have gone from a meeting into customer support. I always have my notepad for meetings because you never know when you're going to need to write something down. Case and point? This same customer above called back and let me know I needed to call a different number. I'm not a pro at remembering 10-digit phone numbers. That's what my notepad is for. And if you're thinking about getting one, get a large one. The small ones don't have enough white space for your brain to process what you're writing down. However, that's my personal preference.

This is start-up life, guys. You do support from your car. Have you ever done customer support from your car? What was it like?

PS: I can't imagine what I would have done if I didn't have a smartphone. Oh, man....