Note: This post was written by our summer customer support intern, Ethan Lockshin. Here he shares some customer support lessons he’s learned throughout his internship. 

I knew I wanted to work at a local tech company in the greater Denver area for my college internship. And after applying for just about every internship position at SendGrid, I finally received the call to join as a Customer Support Intern for the summer.

I didn’t know what I was getting into. When I thought of customer support, I just thought of call centers and cubicles. This was not the case. Little did I know I would be joining a mature and rapidly growing tech company that takes customer support very seriously.

I wanted to share some key takeaways from my experience for others who may be interested in interning and SendGrid or who are interested in customer support in general:

1) Personalization

In a world where practically everyone is exploring how automation can improve their business, I quickly realized that all customers enjoy being treated in a special way.

Personalization is one of our top priorities at SendGrid because we have found that our customers associate this with friendliness and happiness.

Small examples of personalization include using names, making recommendations and, more importantly, being human.

2) Leadership

SendGrid has over 55,000 paying customers and we process more than one billion emails per day– meaning we deal with lots of people. As the front line, it is important for every team within customer support to be well informed on pricing updates, new product features and just about anything that has to do with the company. Because of this, communication is vital and our leadership team really demonstrates proper maturity.

I was able to witness everything from how our teams handle stressful situations when there is an outage to giving/receiving constructive feedback on their performance. My internship experience yet again validated that working as one cohesive unit will always win over individual effort.

3) Data

Data drives decision makers in today’s ever changing environment. When customers have a problem with SendGrid, our support team is able to go back and look at the data to see what happened so that we can better assess the situation moving forward. Some great tools we use are Splunk, Zendesk and Looker.

As a company that collects and stores mass amounts of data, all teams within SendGrid are able to breakdown the data to better analyze what happened, why it happened, when it happened and who it happened to. These answers give us a tremendous amount of insight which helps the company better prepare for the future by tailoring to the trends that the data provided.

4) Time

Time is the only thing in the world that is invaluable. As a company that supports some of the most important companies in the world like Uber, Spotify, Glassdoor, AirBnB and Yelp, we are unable to work “average” business hours. We have accepted the fact that our customers demand 24/7 support 365 days per year, and I think the fact that SendGrid never sleeps is what distinguishes us from our competitors.

5) Micro Communication and Internal Measuring

The customer support team has a ten-minute standup meeting every day where every sub-team no matter where they are based provides updates and validation. We are all on one big Google hangout video call.

This is also an opportunity for anyone to say how they are feeling and for our team to connect and make sure we are all on the same level. Furthermore, we also have a weekly 30-minute recap meeting to go over how the current month is looking in terms of satisfaction.

Lastly, we have a weekly one-hour compliance meeting where our compliance teams review how our system is doing in terms of spammers and bad users. We always have to protect The Grid. All of this communication is to make sure that we are constantly serving our customers in the best way possible.

Our team also has an internal support health score where we can measure our own performance. We always strive to beat our publicly stated response time.

These takeaways really distill down to one major goal: support the customer in the fastest, most reliable, and simple way. It has been a true honor to work with SendGrid and Customer Support, and I only look forward to watching the company grow.

SendGrid Team
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