When I started Octopus, the “business plan” was pretty simple. It boiled down to three steps:
- Build a great product
- Back it with great customer support & service
- Customers will (hopefully) find us and tell their colleagues about us
We often talk about improvements to our product, but the one thing I don’t think we’ve talked about much is the improvements we’ve made to our customer service. It’s come a very long way in the last few years, so I wanted to take some time to highlight this and to encourage you to reach out.
If you emailed our support team in 2018, you would have received a very helpful, informed reply but if you’re in the US or UK, the response probably arrived when you were asleep because the support team was based in Australia. In fact, back then, there was only a 20% chance that you would have received that reply within 2 hours.
In 2018, we started to deliberately grow our support team in the US and UK. Today, our support team consists of 17 people who are full-time Octopus employees; we don’t outsource or subcontract any of them. There’s a 63% chance you’ll get a reply within 1 hour and a 90% chance that you’ll get a reply within 2 hours. And I don’t think we’ve sacrificed on quality at all. Here’s a recent quote from a customer:
“I must say this has been an outstanding support interaction, it's such a nice change to deal with someone who can actually investigate and resolve the issue. Kudos to you and Octopus!”
Our support team isn’t the only group providing customer service. Today there are 39 people across three teams, who are dedicated to helping our customers!
You’ve probably already interacted with our support team, but a team you might not have met yet is our solutions team. This is a team of 7 senior engineers or operations folks based in the US and UK who specialize not only in Octopus but in all of the CI/CD tools that Octopus integrates with. They can advise you on how to make Octopus sing with other tools, get an understanding of your overall CI/CD objectives and how to help you achieve them even if the advice relates to other tools in your pipeline. They can also help with custom integrations, for example making deep use of our API to accomplish something that’s not typically supported.
Sales & sales engineering
The next team we really started to build up in 2020 was our sales and sales engineering team. This team consists of 15 people who also span across the US, UK, and Australia. If you work with them, you’ll usually find yourself talking to two people: a sales engineer who understands our product deeply and can show you how Octopus works, and an account manager or customer success manager who aims to ensure that Octopus is the right fit, that you’re getting value from the product, and to help with the evaluation and purchasing process.
Interestingly, nobody in sales is commissioned and they work as a team. While we make it no secret that we think Octopus is great and can help you, if it’s not a good fit, rest assured that nobody is going to push otherwise; there’s no agenda. I think this makes our sales team stand out when compared to other software vendors. Honestly, as an engineer myself, it’s the kind of sales team I’d want to work with.
We’re here to help!
As I said at the start, we often make a big deal about new product releases, but looking back over the last couple of years, the improvements we've made to customer service have been a high point for us.
The reason I am writing this is to say: if you ever find yourself stuck with anything - a bug, don't know how to do something, found a gap in the product/integrations, unsure what the best practices are, or need to convince your boss Octopus is the right solution, please reach out to us! There’s a huge group of people here just itching to demonstrate how helpful they can be.