Why Should Your CEO be on Support?

This is a series of posts highlighting the tips customer support and customer success leaders shared during the #CustomerFirstSummit.

You can access all the #CustomerFirstSummit videos here.


Businesses come in various shapes and sizes. But, what’s the one thing that connects them all?— The need to put customers first.

If you were to ask a CEO  when was the last time she/he interacted with a customer directly? A majority of them would end up with answers like:

– ‘Ah, my customer success team is in touch with them’
– ‘I have a field team which has a monthly cadence with our customers’
– ‘We have customer conferences where we have workshops to understand our customers better’

One in three CEO’s say that she/he hasn’t interacted with customers in the past six months. Yep, that’s understandable.

Being the CEO usually comes with its set of challenges— focus on the big picture,  raise capital, build a world-class product, hire top talent, hit revenue targets, et al. Hence there’s a possibility that you will lose sight of what your customers REALLY need.

Our CEO Girish Mathrubootham gives you three reasons on why every CEO needs to be on support, and the advantages that come with it!

#1 Being on Support is a Reality Check

Whether you are selling a software, a blender, or a luxury product, you need to be in touch with your customers. Being in support is a reality check and gives you an opportunity to be ‘up &  close’ with your customers.

Your brand or your business is all about what customers see and feel everyday. If you fail to spend time with your end users directly or get in ‘touch’ with them through other leaders, you will be far from the ground reality.

How does CEO being in support help?

You can pick out patterns/trends and understand where your customers are facing problems. In fact, that’s one of the biggest product management hacks Girish shares with all our new joinees. As a ‘CEO on support’, you can ensure that you pay attention to signs that could end up becoming problems (clumsy UI, poor search et al).

#2 Support is Strategic

Many folks think of support as a cost center, something that you got to do. Not a lot of them see it as a strategic function.

In today’s world, most products are commoditized, and the differentiator could well be the level of support you give. There are a few companies that see support as a truly strategic function. Amazon and Zappos are among them. In fact, support can be used as a  competitive differentiator if done right.

For instance, the first time anyone signs up for Freshdesk (our Support desk product), the welcome email goes out in our CEO’s name. It contains a promise that they can get in touch with him in case of any issues with the product. He logs into our support portal Freshdesk every now and then to get a flavor of what’s happening.

Girish also outlines how putting product managers in support helped them uncover newer possibilities. You can find those insights in the full video once you register.

#3 Support is Everybody’s Business

In today’s world, businesses shouldn’t think that customer support is the support team’s job- it is everybody’s business. Every department in the company needs to know their customer’s pain-points, highs, and lows so as to create true customer first experiences. The ultimate goal is to solve the customer’s problems. Be it the CEO or an agent, or someone from marketing, everyone needs to do what’s right for the customer.

Between keeping up with response times and a great CSAT score, agents often lack the visibility to take a step back and fix bigger issues. Having a CEO in support is a great motivator for everyone to not see support as a menial job.

What’s more?

Girish replies to some of the tickets, say, those with interesting problems, or the ones which have a unique challenge. This keeps our support team on their toes- mainly because they know that their CEO can roll up his sleeve to answer core customer problems. This pushes them to provide exceptional support.

So, are you going to be on your support? Have some insights? Comment below.