Customer Care in a Startup

By Barbara Peric, Head of Operations, Twill.

After 10 years of working in a corporate environment, I decided to take the plunge and join a start-up. To be honest, joining Twill Logistics is not as brave as joining other start-ups, as we have a strong partnership with our corporate sponsor: Damco. But, the appeal of growing a company from scratch was enough to get me pumped and walk my stilettos over to the Twill Logistics office and give it a go!

After 3 months of working with our killer Twill-ers, I thought I’d reflect on how customer care life is in this start-up. I’m not going to tell you there are pros and cons…boring…
But what I will say is that creating something with our customers is better than just creating something for our customers.

What our customers want
Simplicity and to feel important. Frankly, it’s like any other relationship: Make me feel like you care about me and don’t complicate my life! It’s not different in a start-up, but how we can achieve this is pretty cool! Here’s just one example of what I mean:

During an update meeting with the customer care team (CC team), we discussed that there was congestion at one of the Chinese ports. We wanted to notify our customers about this (only if it impacts them) but didn’t want to bombard them with emails…they have enough of those! So, I reach out to our integration genius to see if there is a smarter way to keep our customers informed. A mere 2 hours later, he has a solution that can reach customers and can be implemented that same day!

It’s only a test, and maybe it doesn’t work, but from idea to implementation we’re able to move lightning fast!

Quote from customer:

“I’ve just done our first container booking on Twill :-). It was really easy and Twill team support is really fast, Alex has been very helpful. Overall fab experience :-). Thanks for showing it to us.”


What our customer care teams want
Simplicity and to feel important. No, it’s not a typo. It’s the same. To be able to deliver simplicity to customers, it has to be simple for the customer care team…and we need to make sure their voices are heard. Yes, louder than my voice, and louder than even our CEO’s voice. We create our tools and processes with the actual CC team who are using them. And when the CC team suggests something new that would make their life even easier…we build that. I’m not saying we’re there yet, but in our start-up, we’re removing the red tape, the lengthy processes, and simply spending our time and energy on just making it simple. Have I said “simple” too many times? Again, not a typo.

Quote from customer care team member:

“The difference is that we give the customer more of a voice in the development of Twill. By doing so, and asking for feedback on a regular basis, we are incorporating our customer’s ideas with our own to create a platform that works for everyone, rather than just relying on our own ideas.”

-Alex Archer, Customer Care in UK

From the people who talk to our customers every day to the people who create the tech solutions, we have a direct link that ensures no bureaucracy stands in the way of a good (or bad) idea. For me, this is the fun I can have here. Trying out solutions, testing out new ideas. Some are brilliant and we celebrate. Some are downright failures and we laugh at our mistakes and work late to fix them. But all ideas get heard, and most importantly, all our customers get heard.

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