SendGrid may be known for having an amazing support team, but how it achieves this competitive advantage may not be so obvious.

I joined SendGrid about 6 months ago. Prior to this, I was leading technical support teams for some very large tech corporations. I know that some companies can spend more effort analyzing their service than they do delivering it. SendGrid’s got a world-class team and the secret sauce is really simple.

I’ve broken it down to 4 primary elements:

1) Start by hiring tech savvy, customer service biased, smart people.

We’ve had a lot of success bringing in folks with this mix of skills and smarts. Success means that they quickly grasp the complexities of our tools, they’re able to speak well with both our developer customers as well as our marketer customers, and they can communicate easily with our engineering team. All of this is ultimately a win for our customers. Customer issues and escalations are solved quickly and with explanations they can easily understand.

2) Make it easy for customers to help themselves.

Our support team actively works with our product team to make using SendGrid as intuitive as possible. We also work to have detailed documentation, helpful tools, a comprehensive knowledge base, videos, and blog posts. Customers tell us that it is more convenient and often faster for them to find answers on their own than it is to reach out and ask a person for help. But if they do have to reach out to us for help, we’re here 24/7.

3) Focus on one metric: quick meaningful responses.

We don’t fixate on a ton of metrics. However, we do pay a lot of attention to one: response time. Our belief is that the faster a customer gets an answer to a question, the happier they’ll be. We’re committed to it. Our entire support workflow is centered on delivering quick, meaningful responses (auto-replies are lame).

4) Empower the team to do the right thing.

Red tape and bureaucracy are the enemy. We strive to give our support staff all of the tools and decision-making power they need to make things right. It really helps. Customers get resolutions faster. Our team has a higher level of job satisfaction. They’re in control. They have the power to deliver outstanding customer support.

We’d like to share some sample tweets we’ve received from our happy customers.  Thanks for all the great feedback, it just inspires us to keep delivering great support!

Shawn is a Support veteran who now leads SendGrid's Technical Support team. His focus is on building a team of smart folks who love their job, and deliver crazy fast helpful answers to customers at scale.