Aspects of a Customer-First Culture

Cody McLain


If your company is already focusing on making sure that support is a priority then you are probably building a customer-first culture. But what does that mean? There are a...

If your company is already focusing on making sure that support is a priority then you are probably building a customer-first culture. But what does that mean? There are a few different takes on what “customer-first” can mean, but here at Support Ninja, we think some of the best ways to lean into your customer focus is assuming positive intent, making refunds easy and keeping cancellations painless. Want to know what those things mean and how to do them? We’ve got your back.

Assume positive intent

No matter what the situation, try to assume that the other person is coming at it from a positive place. This applies both when you are talking to a customer, and when you are working with someone internally.

Here’s a good example of assuming positive intent when working with a customer, which almost everyone has dealt with: imagine that a person emails in multiple times on the same thread. Each of the questions on the thread is totally different, and they don’t provide you with all of the information that you need to solve any of the issues, just some of it. That can come across as frustrating, and you could automatically assume that this customer is going to need a ton of handholding or didn’t do their due-diligence looking through your documentation, or you might even just think they are dumb.

That’s never a thing that you should assume about your customers. Instead of automatically jumping to conclusions about why or how the customer got to you, try to assume positive intent. Maybe they sent you a string of emails because they didn’t realize that they would have all those questions, and they just pinged them off as they found them in your app. Maybe they didn’t know the documentation existed. Thinking in this way allows you to find things that you can change to make your product better in the long run, and offers a better experience for your customers in the moment.

Make it easy to refund

Refunds are contentious. No one likes to lose money. Even if you have a public policy that is published on your site regarding refunds and when you will provide them, you should always allow your customer support team to work outside of those confines. Empower your customer service team to make decisions about what is and isn’t best for your customers, even if that means refunding outside of your usual refund window or reasons. Similarly, make the process for refunding as easy as possible—no one should have to jump through hoops to make your customers happy.

There are so many reasons why a customer might cancel: maybe it doesn’t fit their needs, maybe it’s too expensive, maybe it broke, but despite that, they can still recommend your product to others. If they’re asking for a refund, it could easily be the last opportunity you have to make or break your experience. If you can avoid it: don’t deny them a refund or create a difficult time. By making the last touch-point with them a negative one, you degrade their perception of your brand, and they’re even less likely to recommend you to their friends or colleagues.

Keep canceling straightforward

Streamline your cancellation process. Similar to the above, no one wants to lose customers, but by creating friction during the process, you also create an area where a customer can lose satisfaction. When customers lose satisfaction with your company, especially when they are already leaving, you lose trust and their recommendations in the future.

Secondarily, if they’ve had a poor experience with your product or company, now is the last opportunity you have to make up for it. If you create a cancellation process that causes issues for the customer, they are going to grow even angrier through the process and become a detractor rather than a promoter of your brand. If your cancellation process needs to have direct interaction with the support team, make it so that the process is easy, and your support team replies quickly.