An Extreme Customer Service Culture Can Be a Growth Lever in These Industries

I recently interviewed a dozen founders who have run their software businesses successfully for 15 years or more. When asked how they sustained profitable growth for so long, they all talked about the same thing.

Customer service.

Not customer success or customer support. Customer service.

We usually go to the customer service department in SaaS to deal with account or payment issues, but that’s not what they were talking about.

They were talking about how they think about serving their loyal customers. How they want their customers to think about being served.

They invest more in the things that make their customers happy year after year.

They go the extra mile for their customers in different ways. It’s a big part of the success formula for these founders.

Customer service is strategy and culture for them. It’s not a job title or tactic.

A few examples, in their words:

  • We make it easy for our customers to talk to a person and have a real conversation.
  •  We listen closely to their product feedback and feature requests and quickly make important improvements within a week or two.
  •  We stay focused on a particular customer that we can serve extremely well.
  •  We don’t push customers to buy from us before they are ready. We make it easy for them to leave if they want to.
  •  After 18 years as the CEO, I still visit or talk to customers every week.
  •  We get more customers from investing in great customer support than we do from adding more salespeople. Customer referrals are the main channel we use to get new customers.
  •  We invest a ton in customer education and user conferences.

Customer service isn’t new, but it’s more rare in tech than it should be.

For these founders who have built efficient, sustainable businesses for a decade or two, it’s one of their top three GROWTH strategies.

In smaller markets where buyers talk to each other before they buy, a stellar customer reputation is required to get new customers, not just keep them.

An extreme service mentality is deliberately designed into their culture, hiring processes, and business model.

The founders don’t use words like customer satisfaction, customer experience, or customer delight.

They use words like customer love, customer focus, and customer loyalty.

Customers can feel it when a business really listens and prioritizes customer happiness over short-term business gains.

It differentiates these companies from their funded competitors, who often push hard on sales and marketing and fall behind on customer service.

For these founders in their markets, their extreme customer service culture is the foundation for their efficient customer acquisition, low customer churn, and increasing revenue retention.

How do you see customer service in SaaS?


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