What is API support and why is it so important?
API support entails all of the resources available to help customers effectively use and integrate our APIs outside of the technical documentation. This includes the Support Team and Support Help Center.
EasyPost strives for customers to spend as little time resolving issues as possible, allowing them to focus on other more pressing aspects of their business. We do this proactively with innovative release processes (described in more detail here) and providing our customers with clear and actionable error handling documentation (described in more detail here). However, we know that proactive measures are just one side of the coin necessary in reducing customer time spent resolving issues.
There's not a single software company that has released 100% of its code to production without a customer finding a bug. If there's an issue that's affecting your production traffic, you may not be able to afford the time it takes to read through documentation resources to debug. Another potential scenario is that the right stakeholder internally may be on vacation or wrapped up in another pressing task. Plus, we all know that technical documentation can only cover so many edge cases. Sometimes, additional support is necessary and EasyPost gets that.
For these reasons, EasyPost has built a world-class Support Team and we measure success by how much time customers spend on issues. In the next section, we describe in further detail how we measure success for the API support we provide.
How do we measure our levels of support?
EasyPost evaluates the effectiveness of our API support by time to respond to issues and our customer's satisfaction with our support after issues are resolved. We understand that time is money in the shipping industry and we always strive for excellence when it comes to fast response times. As your true shipping partner, we must show up when you need us the most.
The time it takes us to respond to issues is critical because it showcases to our customers that we are actively working on their issues. EasyPost supports a wide breadth of issues and requests which have a high variance of time to resolution. For this reason, we measure time to first response and customer satisfaction (CSAT) after the issue/request is resolved. Above 80 is considered great for CSAT and the benchmarks for the consumer shipping industry and computer software industry are both at 76 in 2021.
In the next section, we outline some of the key innovative things we are doing to consistently deliver the shipping industry's best API support.
Last quarter's support metrics
How do we achieve such high levels of support?
While our shipping API for e-commerce developers comes with some of the best support in the world, it requires continuous innovation to maintain this excellent service. See below for examples of how we maintain consistently impressive support.
1. External knowledge base
EasyPost's External Knowledge Base provides supporting guides and FAQ documents so customers can immediately resolve issues and answer open questions. EasyPost's Support Team uses the knowledge base portion of our website to answer incoming questions. We also regularly add content in cases where we see repeated themes or questions appear to act as a valuable resource for our customers.
As part of our release process, we examine whether new features and releases require custom information or have non-intuitive functionality and document this in the knowledge base to proactively answer customer questions that may arise.
2. Dedicated technical team
EasyPost's enterprise customers receive a dedicated and technical Account Management Team so they are fully supported no matter the need. Every enterprise customer receives a dedicated Account Manager and Solutions Engineer.
Solutions Engineers are technical leads focused on getting customers up and running with EasyPost as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Account Managers are tenured EasyPost employees with a depth of experience on our tools and billing, ultimately focusing on making customers happy. Additionally, all customers have access to our Support Team which is uniquely staffed with engineers to support any question, no matter how technical or complex.
3. Fully supported from integration to renewal
EasyPost's Account Management Team never fades into the background. It's common for software companies to disappear once the API integration is complete and the check is cashed. That's not how we operate, and customers' constant access to support is proof.
EasyPost sees the integration as just the beginning of the customer's journey with EasyPost. We see our customers as long-term partners, and we want to grow with them. We regularly check in to monitor customer health and to identify if there is anything we can do to improve the customer's experience. We actively inform our customers of new opportunities to save money and enhance their shipping programs with EasyPost.
4. Automated alerting & proactive outreach
EasyPost uses 24/7 engineering on-call support to respond to automated alerts for issues that may impact customers. We use automated alerts to identify any unexpected behavior such as bottlenecks that slow down response time, repeat errors, outages, and more. Thresholds are set conservatively so that issues can be reviewed before customers are significantly impacted.
In cases where a resolution is not immediately available, we proactively contact impacted customers to notify them of the issue, expected impact, and expected time to resolution. Staying one step ahead of our customers' needs is only one example of how we show up day in and day out as a true shipping partner.
5. Automated assignment & engineering support
EasyPost has a multi-layered Support Team that responds to requests from all customers no matter the size. Incoming requests are categorized and automatically assigned to the team best equipped to manage the request so customers don't have to re-explain their questions multiple different times before receiving aid.
We have a full engineering team that sits under our Support Team that is entirely dedicated to resolving incoming requests from customers. If an engineer is required to adequately support a customer's request, that is no issue for EasyPost customers; we will automatically route the request to our Customer Engineering Team that will take over from there.
6. 24/7 after-hours response & direct messaging (paid)
The evolution of the SaaS industry has come with growing expectations from SaaS customers. For customers that are looking for enhanced support, we allow a premium option that includes 24/7 after-hours response and direct messaging. Some customers' shipping programs operate outside of standard business hours and they prefer to know there is immediate support available whenever they need it. We also allow customers to set up a Slack channel so they can directly message our Account Management Team and Support Teams for any pressing questions or issues that arise.
We know many components comprise an enterprise-grade API beyond just API support. This guide is one part of a series of guides written which describe all of the different components that go into our enterprise shipping APIs. Click below to learn more!
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API Support is critical for our customer's success and we are never satisfied with only being "good enough." Expect to see our support metrics continually improve and to see our list of innovative methods continually expand. We're just getting started!