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How Deel's Customer Service Fuels its Growth

With Alex Bouaziz, Co-founder and CEO

Deel does compliance and payments for remote teams. They help small startups and mid-market companies that want to hire people from all around the world. These companies (and their workforce) get a delightful experience with compliance, payment, and payroll by using Deel.

Deel is just under a year old was part of Y Combinator's Winter 2019 batch. They are growing rapidly and experiencing early signals of product-market fit.

The team at Deel is 11 people, fully distributed; 7 of them are engineers.

Alex Bouaziz is the co-founder and CEO of Deel. Neel and I recently met with Alex to understand how excellent customer service has fueled Deel's growth.

Tell us about how Deel got started

We have been working distributed since starting our careers in tech. We are firm believers that talent is everywhere but the opportunity isn’t. Given our understanding of the complexity of global hiring, we wanted to create a solution that helps companies navigate through compliance and payments for their remote teams.

It's not easy to compile all the documents, contracts, and tax forms, especially when different local laws come into play. Conveniently, Deel being a distributed team, we were our first users.

Deel helps small startups and mid-market companies that want to hire people from all around the world with payments and compliance.

What major channels do customers provide you feedback?

  • Chat widget

  • WhatsApp

  • Email

  • Phone

Who handles customer conversations?

  • Founders

  • Marketing

How may customer conversations does Deel have on a typical day?

Minimum of 40 conversations on any given day. ~80% of these are being handled by the co-founders.

In the early days, our product was not well-built and we survived only because our customers loved our approach to customer service.

How do you share customer feedback with the rest of the company?

The members of the team that get customer feedback share it in our Slack channel: #product.

Slack feedback channel for Deel

What is something that your team does well with respect to listening to customers?

We respond to our customer inquiries very fast and with high quality. We try to respond to most questions within 2 minutes any time of day or night.

When a customer lets us know about a bug that they experienced, we typically get that resolved the same day.

How has this excellent customer service benefited Deel?

Our customer service has helped us cultivate deep, personal relationships with many of our customers. We communicate with many of them regularly over WhatsApp or email. This has helped us get early feedback on new product features.

In the early days, our product was not well-built and we survived only because our customers loved our approach to customer service. They realized our genuine desire to solve their problems.

How does Deel prioritize its roadmap?

As a co-founder, acting PM, and one of the primary points of customer support, I have developed a strong intuition of what needs to be build now and what can be deferred. Further, at the stage that we are at, it's very easy for us to know what we should be building: our customers need a feature because they need it to function inside of our solution.

On thing we do to keep a high feature velocity is to ignore requests that would only benefit a small number of users. If, over time, more customers express the same problem, we obviously reevaluate.

Do you prioritize for certain customers?

We try to make all our customers happy; however, from a business perspective, we do prioritize the needs of our larger accounts and anything that improves the odds of closing new leads.

The customers that are in direct touch with me (over WhatsApp, email, etc.) are also able to influence me and have a greater impact on our product roadmap.

What is something that your team struggles with?

We don't have great internal tooling to look into customer accounts yet. This is an engineering problem - we are putting all our engineering resources on building out product (increasing integrations, etc.) and as such we've not invested heavily in internal tooling. As our product matures, we hope to be able to provide more resources here.