CDNvideo - 5 years! Recipes of longevity in business from a successful startup

    We are 5 years old!

    Fanfares sound, beat drums, play trumpets: CDNvideo is 5 years old! Thanks to everyone who has been with us these years: employees - for selfless work, customers - for being fed and giving interesting tasks, investors - for strategic vision, competitors - for not letting us relax, and for everyone else - for that they watched the video on popular Runet sites, downloading it from our servers!

    We were not the first in the market. In the first 3 years of existence, we did not have the highest quality services. And now, when quality has become the best possible - dumping competitors have appeared.

    Nevertheless, we are the leader of the Russian market in our segment (CDN services). We feed nearly 50 employees and their families. With the help of our CDN, they broadcast video and speed up the loading of pages of 30 thousand sites.

    How did we manage, starting 5 years ago from scratch, to reach such a life?

    My version of the answer is that it is more pleasant for customers to work with us, and not with competitors. From the very moment the company was founded, we co-founded with the co-founder that the happiness of customers is the main goal of its existence. Of course, this may seem like an empty slogan, but we really strived and are still striving to do everything possible to make our customers happy.

    Below are my 5 recipes for building a quality customer service. Let them seem obvious to many - but, in my opinion, a good customer service, coupled with an understandable and necessary product, almost guaranteed gives the result in the form of a successful business, and our company is a confirmation of this.

    So, actually the recipes:

    1. Solving customer technical problems should be an absolute priority.

    Recently, we had such a case. There was a failure in the pre-billing system - the data needed for subsequent billing for services partially stopped being collected. That is, we began to lose money every minute. When I found out about this, the first thing I saw was that the customer service wasn’t hurt in any way - and then ceased to show increased interest in the problem: it was solved by standard procedures. But if some of the customers lost service, the whole company would have stood on its ears until the problem was resolved.

    2. Always try to enter the position of customers

    I will give you an example. One of our clients couldn’t attract traffic to their website and paid us for services at the lowest rate, 3000 rubles per month. But one day he came up with a good marketing move and half a Runet came to his site, and the bill for our services at the current rate grew to a million rubles. But this client has not yet learned to monetize his service, so he did not have money. We decided after the fact to transfer the client to the most favorable tariff, and even give a one-time discount on services - although we formally had every reason to demand payment of the bill under the current contract. As a result, we got a loyal customer who has been using our services for many years and has long recouped the discount that we once provided him.

    3. Employees should be positive towards customers

    In almost all the companies where I used to work, I heard conversations about “fool customers”. Usually such conversations are conducted by techies, but I have encountered cases where even the heads of companies discuss this. This is fundamentally impossible with us. We with the co-founder, it seems, on a personal example informed all employees of the company that we work for the sake of clients. Therefore, helping our clients with answers to seemingly stupid questions is our holy duty. Therefore, our employees are happy to give advice to customers who go beyond telling about our services - for example, they advise using this or that equipment, talk about monetization schemes, etc. And when the company grew, we introduced a request processing system and hired an employee,

    4. Be a company with a human voice.

    From the first year of the company’s existence, we have a round-the-clock telephone of technical support - we don’t hide from customers behind online chats or collective mailing addresses, as some companies in our market do. I myself periodically call technical support at night to check that it is available and that its employees politely communicate with me.

    5. Listen carefully to customers and try to solve their problems.

    This is perhaps the most important point. We try to understand the essence of customer problems and help solve them. Perhaps because of this, we too often get involved in custom development for the client. And although this is not always economically feasible, in the long run, this approach helps to increase customer loyalty. This means that it makes our business more stable and leads to the effect of word of mouth when our customers recommend us to their friends.

    PS As a bonus, I’ll give an advice from Anatoly Karpov, which he once gave to beginning chess players: before making a move, put yourself in the shoes of your partner and calculate his reaction to your move. That is, in our case, put yourself in the shoes of the client and think about what service you would like to receive from your supplier.

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