Calming up

HeavyMelon is our new calmup, and we’d like to welcome you to its blog. This blog is an extension of our company. A place for us to share our ideas and experiences. Talk about our philosophy and beliefs, and share news about the products we are building.

HeavyMelon is not new actually. It goes back. We first introduced the name under a different company back in 2010. It was when Ilias and I created a startup for food delivery in Greece. Ilias is my friend and business partner.

The moon, Thessaloniki.

After a year of development, another service won the market. Lesson learned. When you try to create a marketplace, it’s not always easy to bootstrap it. You need to burn cash for advertisement and active, on the spot, sales. That’s actual people traveling the country to bring in stores.

Fast-forward to today, we want to build a calmup. What is a calmup? It’s the opposite of a startup. We don’t want to get rounds of funding to grow fast. We want to grow in a controlled way. We want to bootstrap our business. I’ve written a small explanation on my personal blog.

We are doing this by creating the first version of our product, as fast as it makes sense. In the meantime, we want to start showing it to potential customers. Let us know if you are interested.

Our goal is to make something that customers want to pay for, day one.

The way we are building our company, can create a calm working environment. We are 100% remote. This means we value a calm and asynchronous working environment and communication.

My 9 year experience at GitHub Support helped us choose to build a support tool as our first product.

In a way, we want to extend the calmness of our company. We want to find Support teams that will appreciate how our opinionated support tool is going to work.

We named our tool Supportress, and our goal is to start an early alpha testing period later this year.

We want support teams to have calm working conditions.

HeavyMelon’s vision for Support teams

Calm support teams, will maintain their human voice, and have happy customers.

Watch this space to learn more about our journey.

Follow us at Twitter if you prefer that.

If you want to know more about Supportress, the support tool we are building, we’d love to talk to you. Please contact us. No strings attached. Our sales process is going to be calm too 😃.

If you would like to read more about my personal side of the story, I’ve written about it over at petros.blog.

We are building a support tool called Supportress to help teams stay calm, be happy and productive, and have happy customers. Subscribe to this blog, or express your interest to participate in the private beta.

Don’t be sorry

It is rather common to see support people apologizing to customers. Some are in the habit of doing it almost every single time. Maybe it’s part of their standard response template.

Camping Elia Halkidiki
Camping Elia

You better avoid apologizing every single time. There is a danger your customers develop resistance. The more times you say “I am sorry for your troubles”, the more it becomes an unconscious addition to your response. The customers can sense that. They will think you are not sincere. When it’s time to really be sorry, they will not believe you.

Is it ever possible to not be sorry when a customer has troubles though? Well, yes. It depends. You can spend a few seconds assessing their situation. Is the problem they are reporting blocking? Is the trouble they had severe? What is the cost for them? Not every problem is similar.

For example, a customer reports a UI misalignment. You do not detect frustration in their initial email. You don’t have to be sorry. This is a reason to say thanks! It is an opportunity to turn this into a positive and elevate your customer’s feelings. You acknowledge the trouble they went through to report a glitch so that you can improve your product.

A customer reports a bug that has prevented them from using your service for the past 4 hours. They had a deadline to meet with their customers, and they depended on your service. They are very irritated about the whole situation, and you can clearly see that in their email. Now, that’s a reason to be sorry.

It’s not time to bring out that canned response though. Transferring your genuine feelings to paper or the screen of your computer, should always start with a blank slate. What you write needs to be based on the unique situation at that particular moment.

You can’t only just say you are sorry. Just saying “I am so sorry for the troubles!” will not cut it. You need to also show your customer how much you understand how the problem has influenced them.

That’s the only way for them to lower their defenses and focus on moving forward with a solution.

Do you have examples of great responses where you had to apologize? We’d love to see them in the comments bellow!

We are building a support tool called Supportress to help teams stay calm, be happy and productive, and have happy customers. Subscribe to this blog, or express your interest to participate in the private beta.