Easing the Headache of Customer Support in Software

Everything you do in your business should be–first and foremost–in your customers’ best interest.

It’s taken me a lot of trial and error to figure out that simple heuristic.

In the early days of Clearplan, we spent a lot of time on the phone helping our initial users understand the software. But talking to our users on the phone wasn’t enough… and, we didn’t have the manpower to continue providing support over the phone.

The best thing we can do for users of our software is train them to fully understand and use each feature of the product. Training and on-boarding becomes difficult when you have explosive growth like Clearplan.

There simply was not enough people to provide the support needed.

Video Training

My first idea was to create videos of the software that our users could watch. That way, when users had common questions, we could easily send them to a video on the subject.

Plus, this made a huge impact because most of our users do not read. Trust me, I have created more content on Clearplan than you can imagine... But video works best.

Over the years, the Clearplan YouTube Channel has saved a massive amount of time that would have been spent on support.

Clearplan University

If a Clearplan user takes the time to learn how to use the software, we have a customer for life! Not to mention, that person has just increased the value of their business tremendously.

The problem early on, was not every person in a company would watch the tutorial videos on the software. Because of this, our churn numbers were higher in the beginning.

The solution wasn’t just to create Clearplan University, but to give our customers an incentive to take both CPU courses (we have one for Admins and one for Agents).

At Clearplan, we give each new company 30 days for free. Even with a 30 day free trial, I could see churn numbers that were unacceptable. These customers were not learning the software.

Something had to change.

I knew that if a person went through each course on Clearplan University, they would be a customer for life.

The answer was to give another 30 days for free, as a reward for taking CPU.

Our sales pitch is simple:

“We’ll give your company 30 days on Clearplan for free. No strings attached. Then, if you and everyone in your company take, and complete CPU, we’ll give you another 30 days for free.”

At the time of this writing, 6,439 students have taken and completed CPU! Our churn numbers have gone down drastically. And, our support tickets are very small… 6 to 8 supports questions each day. Not bad for a system with over 20,000 active users!