Suppbuddy — Case Study: Solving problem of high customer support costs

Startup Weekend Project Case Study

Jakub Zegzulka
Oct 29, 2019 · 6 min read

Introduction

In October, I have attended my second Startup Weekend, this one in Prague. I worked on an idea for decreasing costs on customer support by using active and advanced users to help onboard and troubleshoot less skilled users.

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event, during people have to pitch ideas for startup, form teams, validate the idea, build an MVP and pitch it to judges/investors. Me and three other guys joined a guy called Stepan with an idea for decreasing costs on customer support by using active and advanced users to help users, who need help. I had many projects that I liked from pitching, but this one was my favourite, and I liked the team we formed.

Me doing notes of pitches of startup ideas.

The Problem

High customer support costs for companies.

Defining the problem with the team and identifying the potential customer base.

Hypotheses

After brainstorming and discussing, what kind of segment we are going to focus on, we have come up with a few main hypotheses that we need to validate before jumping into the project.

Hypotheses were focused mainly on if our product is even possible to work and if we have some potential customers.

  • Advanced user can solve problems of a beginner user.
  • Beginner user is okay with getting help from an advanced user, not the employee of a particular company.
  • Companies would be okay with implementing our product to their business.
  • Companies have problems with high customer support costs.

Market Research

Using Market Research, we have come up with some great numbers, that proved the existence of the problem and big potential market we could focus on.

The numbers were necessary for the final presentation, judges/investors like numbers of this type. To validate the existence of the problem, we used articles and studies about the problem of customer support.

Market size (outsource customer care): $84,7 billion

“69% will use online communities as a support channel by 2020."

- CXM World

“Poor customer service costs $75 billion a year (2018) and annualy growing by 7%.”

- Forbes

“A 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.”

- Bain & Company

Competitors

By competitors research, we could see how companies are currently working with customer support, what are they missing, and how we could connect it to our solution.

Main competitors

Customer and User Research

We have conducted both quantitative and qualitative research on our three stakeholders. In a few hours we got around 60 responds, by them, we have found out what are their problems, needs and goals, that we needed for defining possible functions.

Our product has three stakeholders, people who need help, who are willing to help and companies, that will be paying for the product. In a few hours, we got totally around 60 respondents from our google forms and live user interviews. Qualitative research (user interviews) helped us with defining their problems, needs and goals that we needed to know for some possible functions of our product. And using quantitative research (google forms) we got some number for validating our hypotheses and identifying our potential users.

Customers
Users (people, who help)
Users (people, who need help)

How companies currently work

We have identified whats the current approach to customer support and most of the companies are using the same model, in which we wanted to implement our solution.

Current model

Our solution

We are not reinventing the wheel. We are just improving and streamlining it. By adding community step to the current funnel, we decrease the need for professional customer support by 80%.

And that’s not anything new there are already many communities, which are helping with problems for free around specific products, for example, Reddit, Telegram groups, etc. We are just going to streamline the process.

Our model

The Product/Demo

A platform allowing businesses to streamline their online support flow by incentivising their existing customers and community members to help onboard and troubleshoot less skilled users.

Live demo of how the product would work (screen of the user, who needs help)

Customer Value Proposition

The main values our product gives to our customers are cost savings and support capacity, which were also the main problems we were trying to solve.

  • Cost savings
  • Support capacity
  • Community engagement
  • Brand loyalty
  • Feedback collection

Result

An amazing event. I have improved many skills, and we have won the Startup Weekend with this project. What could be better?

And the winer isssss…

Our Team

I couldn't imagine a greater team. I was really happy that we had a team with highly skilled people, from which I can learn something new and right from the start I felt that all together we can lead our project to a great result.

My Role

Represented the user side by conducting user research & analysis and working on a UX flow of the product.

I have conducted 1on1 user interviews, worked on creating user interviews & forms guides, did an analysis from all user research outcomes, worked on a UX flow, created a demo product. And together with my team, I have helped with working on a Lean Canvas.

Takeaway

With a great team and good work split everything is easier and there is a higher chance to succeed.

I have heard so many times that around 60% of startups fail not due to a bad idea, but lousy teamwork and not consistent team structure. This event proved to me that with an excellent team, you can really do a good job.


Thank you so much for reading 🤩 I would be glad for any feedback.

You can check out my new portfolio on www.zegzulka.com

Or contact me on Instagram, LinkedIn, Dribbble, Behance or Twitter 👨‍💻👋

Jakub Zegzulka

Written by

17 y.o. Lover of Product Design & Startups

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade