Every new business begins with knots in the founders’ stomachs while they squint at the unknown. Triumphing past these early stages creates bonds that last a lifetime.
This is why Memeoirs was created: to take social media, email, and various other apps’ histories and compile them into a book where you can flip the page and turn to your most cherished memories.
“The project was really born out of a strong friendship between us, the founders,” Fred Rocha said in our chat. Fred and a few friends were part of a European program called Erasmus, an exchange program that pushes students to study and learn in a foreign country. After the program ended, everyone went back to their home countries and kept in touch through email. This was in 2005.
“We missed each other a lot,” Fred recalled. “The conversation got bigger and we thought, ‘This could be cool for us to create a magazine or book as a keepsake.’ Then we thought, ‘Why not make an app, a website?’ . . . Originally we were turning emails into a book, and that was it. We launched in 2009 with a very simple version. We didn’t have a lot of experience, but we just did it.”
Customer feedback came in, and the team realized they were onto something special—a product that would turn our seemingly ephemeral and often forgettable online history into tangible nostalgia.
Here’s a look at how a startup like Memeoirs is polishing their product and growing their business with Help Scout.
Tagging Feature Requests for Ideas and Clarity
As a growing company, having a system that organizes feedback and allows the building of relationships should be a foundation, not a future addition.
Especially for young startups, these inaugural moments provide valuable ideas and perspectives that ultimately dictate the development of the product.
“We have this methodology within Help Scout of tagging our customers’ pain points. Whenever we choose what feature to implement next or decide on product development, we take a look at the count of each of these tags to help us make a decision,” Fred explained.
With a customer base in both the U.S. and Europe, this tagging helped them make an important decision of allowing people to create books with WhatsApp—a messaging app that grew exponentially outside of the U.S.
“It’s always tricky because when you implement a feature, you aren't necessarily only solving a problem. You’re introducing something that may need maintenance going forward,” Fred said.
By using Trello and looking at tags by the count numbers, they can see patterns for what customers desire.
Customer Support Is a Company’s Epicenter
As a company scales, roles get dispersed and eventually become their own entities. Customer support is usually the first to go.
Initially, everyone on the team is doing support, but once the product picks up its pace it’s necessary to begin building the right support team.
Building this team the right way determines how feedback is processed and shared within the company. It also sets the tone and worldview of how customers perceive you.
After looking at some consistent patterns, I’ve found two indispensible ideas:
Focus on traits.
Empathy, writing skills, good judgment, and clear communication—almost every company that I’ve spoken to mentions these traits as the most important. Determine the kind of team you want, and use characteristics or expertise as a way to build your perfect team.
Create a playbook.
Because of the Memeoir’s growth, they had to hire a lead support person. Whether the founder(s) or head of operations writes it, a playbook serves as a manual for both onboarding new hires and reminding the team of the culture and methodologies. “It’s a set of guidelines for how to handle customer support,” Fred said. “If I can’t be around for new hires, they can refer to the playbook.”
Using Integrations to Provide Proactive Support
Integrations bolster productivity and help accomplish goals.
“People ask what features we’re working on and when they’re coming out,” Fred said. “If we aren’t sure, we ask if they would like to be on a mailing list to be notified. More often than not they say yes. Help Scout provides the MailChimp one-click integration where you just add someone to a list.”
Memeoirs also uses Mixpanel to see if their customers are finishing their book creations, how many pages they have, and whether they’ve recently added a Facebook or WhatsApp account.
All of this is in lieu of proactive support. Instead of asking customers for obvious information or letting them slip away because they forgot to finish their project, all of this data can be saved so that conversations can pick up where they were left off.
Thank you to Fred Rocha at Memeoirs for sharing their journey and for emphasizing the importance of providing excellent support from the start.