Bootstrapping a customer support system

Internal Tool

Portrait of the maker

Jeremy Ho

Maker

Maker

Automations can kickoff emails that can be leveraged for both notifications and as a conversational interface.

Mid level
3
hours to build

Create a mvp of a SaaS product with no-code to validate

What is it:

Bootstrapping a customer support system

Maker Insight:

Automations can kickoff emails that can be leveraged for both notifications and as a conversational interface.

What did I learn:

Insanely cost effective and easy way to automate support as a solo Maker.

1. Flow - They way Jeremy set this up is very simple to follow. He is using Airtable forms to capture the user issue. You can easily link this form from a button on your website. Then it flows automatically to two base's in Airtable that holds all the information (more on this in #2 below). He then created an automation using Zapier to send an email to his account with all the ticket information. And he even sets the reply_to field to the user's email to instantly start the convo. wow. thats really slick.

My two biggest takeaways that I learned was speed and organization. A major battle that I face as a Maker is staying organized. Making is sometimes organized chaos. Jeremy opened my eyes to the fact that it doesn't need to be this way.

This internal tool does it for you. And is nearly free to create.

What a great tool to use if you are in beta collecting feedback. It would be super interesting to see the trends in feedback for issues and product improvements. It's also light in friction for your users. They just have to fill out a simple form that can be linked from your site. So that you can easily aggregate all feedback into one place. When I collect feedback for my next project Ill be using this.

2. Filters answers into two different Airtable bases to trigger different flows. I had not thought of this before and I find it helpful to set up this way. In my Airtable bases I often put all my information into one table and build logic and automated triggers off of it. But in this case if you only want to immediately respond to issues, you can filter by this and drop only issues into another base. The reason why you would want to do this, is it would be easier to create the next step in your work flow. Which would be tell zapier that only when a new row is added to a base, then take the next step to create the drafted response email for you to respond to the user.

3. Jeremy's major key (discussed in his tweet) is about inserting the user's email into a draft email. Automatically. (I am going to follow up with Jeremy to understand this more) He does this, so that his response is prepped and ready to send without him having to copy and paste the issue information into the body of the email. It's already there. I really like how he thought about not just capturing user feedback and issues, but taking it to the next level and automating his response so that all he has to do is add a custom note in the body of the email to follow up.

What a huge time saver. The way he did this was carry the user's email through zapier so that it then can populate in the reply_to field of the email draft. This is done in the Zapier workflow when setting this automation. This is triggered after a new row is added to the issues base described in #2 above.

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