Hi HN! We're Parthi and Kunal from FounderPhone (https://founderphone.com). FounderPhone is a shared customer support inbox for SMS and calls in Slack.
We've built and shipped 7 products recently and if there's one thing we've learned, it's that your personal relationship with your customer is your secret weapon as a startup. Having customers email firstname.lastname@example.org or message a bot via Intercom doesn't feel personal. People are skeptical they will ever get a response. We've had a lot of success giving out our phone number to the top customers we really care about and telling them to text us whenever something comes up. Apparently, lots of great founders like Patrick from Stripe did this for their VIP customers while growing their startups.
The problem is that a single SMS inbox isn't sustainable at scale. So we hacked together a solution for ourselves where we made Slack a shared inbox. When a customer texts or calls me, our team can also see the messages and incoming calls. We can discuss how best to handle the issue in Slack and then anyone can respond via text. For calls, anyone available can redirect calls to their own number. From the customer's perspective, they're just texting a single number. They're not frustrated with messy tickets or being routed to 3 different people. They will always read your responses because it's in their SMS inbox instead of being lost amongst their 20,000 unread emails.
This is just the start! We're looking into building a whole suite of software to make customer support feel both personal and immediate. We're making an integration with Segment and Sentry to alert you when a customer has an issue so you can reach out to them about it before they complain to you.
Text our FounderPhone (510) 756-2522 with your name or email email@example.com if you have any questions. Thanks for checking us out!