QA for Startups: Prepare for Success

Most companies don’t think about service quality until they are established and running. I don’t think it makes it onto the radar of most startups. You can almost hear the frantic entrepreneur screaming, "Just get the operation moving! We’ll worry about quality later!". But VCs like Matt McCall, Jeff Nolan or Adam Steen might tell you that, for some business ventures, it is imperative for the service be top notch when the doors are opened or the phone switch is turned on.

A few years ago, our group was contacted by a company that was starting a venture providing concierge and emergency on-the-water services for boaters. They had already contracted with a top-notch 3rd party call center, but they knew that the CSRs representing their new business venture had to be stellar from the very first call.

Our group worked with the client and the call center management to provide script solutions and extensive training for the team of CSRs who would represent the program prior to the service going live. By the time the service launched and the first call came in, the team of CSRs were trained to deliver the highest level of service in the call center. We followed up over the next year with regular Service Quality Assessments that provided accountability for the 3rd party call center and peace of mind for the client.

Are you getting ready to launch a new business that will ask or require customers to call? Perhaps you should give thought to service quality and be prepared before that first phone rings.

  2 comments for “QA for Startups: Prepare for Success

  1. August 29, 2006 at 6:22 am

    Great point, Tom. I’m in startup mode and getting ready to launch a new service.
    While our plans may be rock solid in delivery, we can’t forget the follow-through. Part of that is the QA, right?
    Being able to anticipate questions and problems, and having a response plan at the ready will help us differentiate even after the market gets crowded with other offerings.
    Thanks for the reminder. We should talk soon (and more often:-))

  2. August 29, 2006 at 7:07 am

    Your new venture is exciting, Mike. Knowing you, the QA will be in place and you’ll have things well in hand! Good for you!
    Yes, let’s meet @ Panera U.!

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