by Fabio Virgi
Seeing our startup, Paddle.com, expand from just two people into a team of eight is super exciting, especially considering that it has happened over a short period of around 12 months.
One of the challenges with that kind of growth though is the ability to work together efficiently and effectively, so being a typical tech company we’ve turned to certain tools to help us. Here are 3 of the tools we’ve come to rely on to get work done:
Although most of our team is based in a single office, there are a couple of members who work remotely which makes it really important to have an easy way to communicate. Popular options include Microsoft’s Lync and Skype, but we use Slack. At a basic level Slack is an instant messaging application, but it really has so much more to offer than the two aforementioned alternatives.
Besides its pleasant interface and intuitive functionality, what makes Slack so impressive to use is the way it integrates with other third party tools like Dropbox, Google Drive and GitHub. In a typical use-case, the Paddle developers can push out an update to our eCommerce platform through GitHub which will then be broadcasted on a dedicated “GitHub Channel”(Channels work like chatrooms you can subscribe to), keeping everybody updated in real-time.
Another convenient feature is the ability to embed media inline, meaning you can post a YouTube video in your conversation and it’ll play back within Slack. It’s a lot more efficient than being directed to the original website, and assuming someone posts a funny GIF or video (not that we do, of course) it means that you won’t procrastinate afterwards!
Productivity: Google Drive & Docs
Let’s face it, for years the Microsoft Office suite of Word, Excel and Powerpoint have been the default choice for getting work done. But with the improvements in internet connectivity — both in terms of speed and reliability — SaaS tools like Google Drive and Docs have radically changed (and improved) the way we work.
Gone are the days when you’d create a document or spreadsheet and then email it to a colleague — with Google’s tools our team is able to work together on a single document in real-time. Whether it’s a new article I’m writing for a blog post, website copy or plans for a new project, using Google Docs means that I can create a document, share it with my colleague and have them add comments and edit it seamlessly.
It saves us all time, makes it easier and simpler to collaborate, and ultimately it means we get work done faster. And the best part? It’s free.
Customer Support: Help Scout
Offering good customer service is a no-brainer, but to help us do it really well we rely on good old Help Scout, our help desk tool of choice.
Our customer support guy is tech-savvy enough to deal with most customer enquiries, but every once in a while some tickets stretch beyond his knowledge barrier. In those situations he relies on a “delegation”feature, allowing him to allocate a ticket to one of our team members who might be better suited to answer the question. It keeps the process nicely streamlined and ensures that customers get the best possible answer to their questions.
Other than that, Help Scout features a bunch of different reporting features to track the efficiency of your customer support, plan for your busiest periods and understand what “tags”are most popular.
All in all, it’s a fantastic tool that we wholeheartedly recommend for any startups looking to manage their customer support!
What Tools Does Your Startup Use?
Do you use any of these tools? Let us know what your preferred tools are and why in the comments below!
Fabio Virgi works at Paddle.com, a startup providing Mac & Windows developers with tools that make it easy to sell their apps independently by managing everything from trial creation and licensing, to payment processing and analytics. You can read his work on the Paddle blog, or catch him on Twitter at @FabioVirgi_.
David Goehring | Courtesy of Fabio Virgi