Not long ago we decided to take our customer service at NoCode.tech a step further and implement Crisp as our live chat service for our users. It was no surprise that after witnessing the improvements first-hand and the growth we experienced, we wanted to sit down with the founder himself and learn more about his story, their latest updates but most importantly his view on best customer practice and implementation.
Before doing Crisp, I did several side projects. In fact, I started coding when I was 12, by joining open source projects as a developer. We made indie video games and 2D games engines. At this time, Github didn’t exist and it’s crazy how a small community of teenagers could achieve this, just by searching for knowledge on the internet.
This is how my passion for entrepreneurship came.
After being kicked out of High School because I hacked the network system, I made my first “successful” project: Randomail. It was an anti-spam system. Basically, it was made to create temporary email addresses so you could signup on to a website without providing your Gmail address.
This project had great traction, with around 100K users. But it wasn't making any money
Later, I met Valerian Saliou, my co-founder at Crisp. When I met him, he was working on an open-source messaging solution using XMPP which was used by NATO and 60K users.
We started Crisp in 2015 with the vision to build a simple customer messaging platform for small companies. Back in the times, chat solutions were super expensive and not very friendly.
Our initial vision was to provide a great messaging experience to companies and customers, with a tool that any company could afford.
Think about Messenger, Whatsapp, Telegram: Those are great messaging apps, and businesses expect the same experience.
We released Crisp on ProductHunt in December 2015, with the understanding that it's exactly what startups needed.
At Crisp, we really believe that our customers are the core of our business. Without our customers, Crisp would be nothing. Our users gave us a lot of feedback and thanks to that we made a lot of improvements on the platform.
Customers are the core of our values and for this reason at Crisp, everybody talks with customers. Even myself. I still spend a lot of time talking with customers.
We use Support Driven Development. We consider that the problems raised by customers are top priority and we do continuous improvements based on this idea: If a customer reports a problem, 20 other ones could have the same problem.
It’s why everybody talks with users at Crisp: Executives, Marketing, Sales, Developers.
At the end, the best support you can provide to your users is when those do have any problem at all.
So it’s important to note that Crisp is much more than a live chat. Crisp is a multichannel customer service software for SMBs.
The problem is simple: in 2021, companies have to face an ever-growing number of channels to be present on. However, they still have that small human resource capacity.
Simply put, Crisp makes companies’ life easier by bringing dedicated features into an all-in-one that are focused on internal collaboration, automation, centralization, and autonomy.
Pragmatically, you’ll find a shared inbox that will help you to centralize your messages coming from multiple channels such as live chat, emails, WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter, SMS, or Line. (Phone calls are coming!).
1. A CRM that will help you to know more about the people you’re chatting with.
2. A knowledge base to make your customers more autonomous and reduce the number of requests you receive every day.
3. A marketing automation software to automate messages on multiple channels based on customers’ interaction with your app or website.
4. A chatbot to bring consistency to the quality of your customer service.
There are many more features but you’ll have to reach out to Crisp to discover them.
Growth is a state of mind, when a company like Crisp grows a lot, your problems start to be bigger over time. Every small problem you had, starts to be a very big problem with future growth, if not solved immediately.
Crisp is still a small team, we are around 10, and around 300K companies are using us. Those 300k companies help around 200M users every month. That is a big technical challengeFirst, we managed to do that by having a strong focus on the quality of what we build.
For instance, when we code something, we try to make it scalable by design and bulletproof immediately. This way, you don’t lose time by having to refactor stuff every time.
Then, we rely a lot on Support Driven Development: The goal of any product is to make users happy. Let’s say 3% of users face bugs or don’t understand how to use something, they will for sure reach your support, or churn.
It’s why we try to make Crisp as crisp as possible, by having a product that speaks about itself, so users go use it directly.
At the moment, we focus on the SMBs market. Our best target is between 11 to 50 employees.
If we look at industries, we are able to work with every one of them. That is what makes us very strong and crisis-proof.
For example, we work with SaaS, e-Commerce, Travel, Media, Real Estate, Governments or Health, and many more.
The fun story about this is that a good friend of mine wanted to try the platform, and it was password-locked. He asked me to remove the password lock. So I did. A day later, we discovered that around 20 users were using the product and were happy with it!
This friend had been sent an angry email because they didn’t have any customer support chat, and they wanted to use Crisp to solve this. A bit later, one of those customers posted us on ProductHunt, and this is how our growth started.
After we got our first traction thanks to my friend and ProductHunt, we did a lot of growth hacking. We had to optimize our landing page and our app to convert visitors to long-term users.
For instance, we discovered that when people implemented Crisp onto their website after signing up, 51% were still using the platform after 10 weeks. So we doubled down on how to make people install Crisp on their website. It was a big technical and UX challenge.
What helped a lot as well, was the “Powered by Crisp” logo under our chatbox that amplified the growth as well.
We started Crisp as a simple messaging solution. With time, we figured out that our customers wanted more. More and more of our users are building their business around Crisp as we start being a core platform.
For this reason, we will release this year an App Store. Our goal is to offer many more integrations on Crisp so users can connect all their tools to Crisp.
For instance, for e-commerce companies, it will be possible to see customer information like Orders, carts directly from Crisp.
Then, it will be possible to connect tools like Stripe, PayPal directly on Crisp, so you can refund customers or forward invoices with a single click.
We will add many new integrations so businesses can use Crisp as a core platform to handle their own customers.
I really think that it is the key to provide a good relationship with customers.
1. A good product,
Customer service is a trending topic, especially in the startup scene, but in fact, it’s not new at all.
Why do people still go to the same Hairdresser? In the end, almost all Hairdressers can provide you with a decent haircut.
You still go to the same hairdresser, because you have a good relationship, and because you believe that he/she is the best for your hairstyle.
Offering good customer satisfaction for a startup is not as different. The key is obviously having a good product, but when talking with customers, you shall do like your Hairdresser and almost talk with your customers like your friends.
With No-Code, everyone can be an entrepreneur and that is a game-changer. It means we will see more and more companies that are solving new problems that are less tech-focused.
It’s Crazy how people can use solutions like Bubble.io and create products from scratch. To be honest, I never thought it would be possible.
I really enjoy Zapier and I’ve been amazed about this product when I built the Crisp integration for Zapier. It’s simple for developers and non-tech users.
Since we have our Zapier integration, we saw crazy use cases around Crisp. For instance, I saw an entrepreneur doing contests via Crisp and sending real goods/gifs by piping the Crisp chatbot to Zapier. Use Cases are endless.
If we would start Crisp again, I think we would choose almost the same path.
The issue we had at the beginning is we were students, and we had a huge bias. We didn’t pay for Software and we were not confident about selling monthly subscriptions.
For this reason, Crisp has been free for a year, because we were trying to find a good pricing model. We did some iterations and finally, we found out.
Get started right now and learn how to install Crisp´s Live Chat widget to your website in just a few steps.