We’re on a mission to make work more human

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Written by:
Picture of Natasha Ratanshi-Stein

Natasha Ratanshi-Stein , Founder & CEO

At Surfboard, we’re on a mission to make work more human. Customer service is tricky and often the defining factor in the way we think about brands. Whether we’re complaining about the melted ice cream that was delivered half an hour late or inquiring to find out more about a “book now” promotion we saw online, our question along with the concerns and complaints of other customers end up putting pressure on a customer service team to respond quickly and thoroughly.

We all can recollect times we’ve waited ten or twenty minutes on the phone, or our email from three weeks ago still hasn’t been responded to. It’s frustrating because it’s hard to attribute blame. It’s not the fault of the person on the front line who is doing their best to provide excellent service so we try our hardest not to express our frustrations to them. This means we end up blaming the faceless entity that is the company or brand and punishing them on Trustpilot, Google or telling anyone who will listen about how little they care about their customers. For most companies, this isn’t true. They care, a lot.

Managing a customer service team is hard. First it means identifying the right size team to manage the Black Friday peaks or the Easter Monday troughs. Once a company gets the team size right, they have to figure out how to staff the team across the different ways customers get in touch: phone, email, chat, social media, Whatsapp etc. Then they have to factor in breaks, lunches, training time and make sure agents have a good experience and get to work on other cool and exciting projects. The best tool out there to manage all this is (prepare to gasp)… spreadsheets!

This is why we’re building Surfboard.

We’re created for the teams that believe a happy team makes for happy customers. A happy team means recognising agents for making their most important stakeholder, the customer, satisfied. It means providing fulfilment in the service role, not just having agents respond to phone calls all day, every day. With the insights agents get from speaking to customers directly, they can provide valuable input into product and operations roadmaps, and can have a more varied contribution to a company beyond frontline service. For companies that understand and value the insights of your agents, we’re designing Surfboard for you.

Beyond building the most useful software out there for managing service teams, our aim is also to instil our values in the way those teams operate: trust, fulfilment and balance. We’re not going to be used for intrusive surveillance on agents and we’re not going to facilitate a burn and churn model where the expected average tenure of a customer service team is six months. Our mission is to create happiness for everyone: the company, the team leaders, the agents, and ultimately the end customer.

We call agents “surfers” in our platform. Contacts come in waves, and surfers are the ones navigating these waves. We’re providing them with the tool to be able to do this: the surfboard. 🏄🏾‍♀️