Not many companies can say that they hold the top customer satisfaction score in their industry, let alone doing it without any external investments (aka being “bootstrapped”).
Lokalise is a rare case of a startup that has managed to do both – despite having to make realistic financial decisions about where they allocate their money, making their customers happy has remained a priority. For many companies, this would mean that funds are funneled to what is considered the most important operations – and usually, that isn’t customer satisfaction.
So what’s their secret? How are they maintaining a simultaneously high level of customer satisfaction, as well as a high level of product development, while having to be smart about where they spend their money?
We spoke to the team to get down to every bit of it. Here’s how they do it:
Every time a new employee is hired, even if they’re hired to a completely unrelated field, they are required to start with a few weeks of customer support.
Yes, that’s right. Even developers and accountants.
Based on these benefits, it’s clear that starting an employee off with customer support gives them a head up when starting in the new customer.
Besides helping them with their daily tasks, this improved employee onboarding can also have a positive impact on revenue growth and employee retention. The Boston Consulting Group found that the onboarding of new hires + retention yielded 2.5x the revenue growth and 1.9x the profit margin compared to companies less adept at onboarding.
Regardless of your position, all employees are expected to occasionally hop onto the support chat tool. Even the CEO.
The CEO has made his growth strategy clear:
“The key to success and growth is to have the happiest customers.”Nick Ustinov, Lokalise founder
As a result, it has become a matter of priority that all employees get a feeling for the customers and what they need.
And this isn’t just made up. A study of 100,000 companies found that the most successful companies had one thing in common – they prioritized customer experience. For Lokalise, by prioritizing happy customers through excellent support, they’re doing just that. Other companies, such as Zapier, also encourage what they call “all hands support” to set them apart.
A key aspect of ensuring that Lokalise has the happiest customers is that they allow the users to vote the next features to be developed. From a user’s perspective, instead of being confronted with the frustration of not having a certain feature they want, they’re able to pour that frustration into suggesting the feature or upvoting existing features. This psychological moment lets the user do something, rather than feel blocked.
On the same feature submission and voting page, users can also see which features have been moved to the “planned” stage, demonstrating that their votes have not gone unnoticed.
Additionally, by allowing customers to define the next features, this lets the company skip the validation stage of product development and dive directly into solving users’ problems.
As we see in the case of Lokalise, it’s possible to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction without an influx of millions of investors cash to float the company.
Through a customer-centric approach to employee onboarding and daily support, Lokalise is able to get the entire team on the same page in terms of customer needs and how they actually use the product.
Their feature request system, meanwhile, allows their users to make their desires known in a public space, which are also then acknowledged by the founders when those features are put into the product development pipeline.
Altogether, we see that it doesn’t have to take much money to maintain happy customers, but it does take a lot of love and support from the team to keep them that way.