#2 — The quarterly theme that made us a customer support machine!

Daniel Marcus
3 min readNov 28, 2022
Image Credit —Growth Institute

If you haven’t read Scaling Up by Verne Harnish, I can’t recommend it enough. Warning — if you’re like me, you’ll want to implement everything immediately. Take a pause, and remember, you’re doing a lot of things right already, so don’t go and turn everything upside down. I found it pretty difficult to get buy-in from my partners and team at first, as there were just so many amazing actionable leanings to start working with.

If you are going to implement the scaling up framework, make sure every member of your team reads the book

What really worked for me, was choosing one thing to focus on, that would bring the team together, with a measurable short-term goal that would demonstrate the success of the Scaling Up methodology. This demonstrated the power of the methodology and created instant buy-in.

This was Quarterly Themes

Quarterly Themes are a fun strategy you can use in your internal marketing to rally everyone around achieving your Critical Numbers.

The ‘Critical Number’ that we chose was around support. At the time, our support was good, but had a lot of room for improvement. More importantly, we highlighted that our biggest competitor at the time had the world’s worst support. All customers we won from them had the same pain, so it was a no brainer for us to make sure we had world-class support as USP when pitching their clients.

How did we choose the right metric? We considered what was most important to a customer. Supporting thousands of users making use of our product daily to run their processes meant that as close to immediate feedback / solving problems as possible was absolutely critical to delighting customers. So we ended on a metric around the same day resolution of tickets — what % of tickets could we resolve the same day.

Our number — 75% — yes, we wanted to solve 75% of all tickets that came in on the same day. Dealing with thousands of users, this was no easy task. In fact, my team thought we should aim lower. Much lower. They suggested 25% — we said no!

The Theme — ‘Happy Firm, Longer Term’

The only way for a quarterly theme to be successful is if the entire organisation plays a role in its success (side note — I’m talking from experience in teams under 100 people). So first up, we nominated a theme leader, who presented the goals to our team, and how the campaign will role out.

This included a launch party, with balloons, branded cupcakes, the theme plastered everywhere around the office and a clear approach to working together and tracking the metrics.

We gamified it!

2 teams. Each team took turns. It didn’t matter if you were in management, sales, dev, or support. Everyone had a turn to manage the support desk and respond to customers via phone, mail and the support portal (Supportal for any of my old Magnetic teammates reading this;). There was also a point system in place.
N.B. It helped that Jan (co-founder) and I have a slight obsession with competing against each other (I’m definitely the better Ironman athlete)

How did we do

82.3% — an unbelievable result, as well as a 20 point increase in our NPS and amazing client feedback. Now obviously we couldn’t maintain that level in the normal course of business, but our average same day resolution maintained at about 60% from then on. Still today, the team at Magnetic continues to lead as a support orientated firm, with a mission to provide the best support to their customers, and this is long after I have left the firm.

This was back when we were running Magnetic, and I’m planning to implement our first quarterly theme at Ramp from Q1 next year. Super exciting — I’ll write about this in Q2 and see how we did!

Grab yourself a copy of the Scaling Up book here

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Daniel Marcus

I have a passion to grow the industries I focus on, and give young aspiring entrepreneurs & startups knowledge from my past and present experiences.