Contact: Steve Adams, Vice-President of Marketing
Location: Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Industry: Internet, B2C, B2B
Annual revenue: Confidential
Number of employees: 140
MyFax is a leading internet-based fax service provider. In a highly competitive field, it has over 200,000 subscribers and competes with online fax services such as eFax, RapidFax, and RingCentral.
MyFax taps into the power of word-of-mouth referrals by consistently improving the customer experience, and it maintains highly personalized customer interactions to ensure long-term customer relationships.
However, as an online company, it faces the issue of how to individually engage customers and provide a meaningful customer experience, especially since nearly 60% of its customers register online—without personal interaction.
As MyFax's subscriber base grew, so did the likelihood of losing touch with the personal customer-sales approach that the company was founded upon.
"It was fundamentally important to us, no matter how large the subscriber base grew, to make sure that every single customer felt as though they were personally listened to and recognized," said Steve Adams, VP of Marketing at MyFax.
In addition to those who subscribe online, customers are acquired (1) by an internal sales staff that works directly with large corporations and (2) via outside partnerships, according to the company. For example, enterprises that have hundreds of MyFax phone numbers work directly with MyFax sales staff to set up and maintain those accounts.
The company's goal was to ensure that the 60% of customers who subscribed through the online form still enjoyed a one-on-one relationship with the company while respecting their wish to subscribe without being beleaguered by sales people.
"When you have a company where customers can easily sign up for services, it also means they have no human interaction. So our challenge was to go beyond that registration and make certain that our customers know they still count, without burdening them with more information or too much interaction," noted Adams.
For MyFax, keeping in touch with customers meant ensuring that the customer experience was positive throughout the customer lifecycle, said Adams. The company has continuously revised its customer outreach initiatives to ensure that customer needs are being met, he said.
One challenge of online registration in particular that Adams wanted to monitor was "slow users"—those who sign up for the service but do not start using it immediately. "We look for slow users and pro-actively email and follow up by phone to make sure they understand how to use the system. We want to make sure they are happy with their initial use of the service," said Adams.
For all its customers, the company has an email newsletter that highlights new services and features for users.
MyFax also has an active beta community for feedback and testing of features.
In addition, MyFax distributes a yearly survey to customers, encouraging them to provide feedback and recommendations about the service.
A question that the survey poses to customers is this: "If you could tell the entire development team one thing you would change, what would it be?"
Adams said over 10,000 responses to that survey question were received last year, and every year each response is read and prioritized for follow-up customer communication. MyFax has a team of four whose sole focus is customer communication and retention.
"We always go back to the customer, thank them for responding and identify their unique response, and tell them how we've taken it into account. In turn we receive hundreds of email from customers telling us that they can't believe we actually read the survey responses, responded to them, and then they thank us. This is vital to having an ongoing conversation and rapport with our customers," said Adams.
From 2006 to 2007, MyFax revenue grew 76%.
The company says it now attracts 15,000 new subscribers to the service each month and has over 200,000 subscribers. Adams notes that 45-50% of the company's new customers come directly via word-of-mouth.
The company now has a NetPromoter score of 79%, according to statistics compiled by NetPromoter. That's just three percentage points behind USAA, NetPromoter's top performer in customer service.
The NetPromoter Score was developed to quantify word-of-mouth recommendations and is based on customer answers to one core question: Would you recommend us to a friend or colleague?
"Our goal is to always go beyond the term 'customer support'; rather, we define it as 'customer success,' which means ensuring the customer succeeds in utilizing our service to the fullest capacity. That is our real job with any customer no matter how they come to the service," said Adams.
The company is also considering using social media and customer forums, according to Adams.
- Make it simple for the customer to give feedback. MyFax's annual survey gives all customers a voice in how the company's product can be improved.
- Provide friendly, accessible customer service, virtually and offline. "If you're talking to someone who's smiling on the other end, you feel better, and we hire customer agents who know they need to be positive and encouraging no matter what the call," Adams said.
- Respond to customer feedback on the surveys. Reach out personally to every respondent after the survey to say thank you and explain how the feedback will be used.