FreshBooks is not your average accounting solutions provider. The cloud-based software company has turned the stereotype of stodgy and complex accounting software on its head, by making it super simple for small business owners to easily send invoices, track time, capture expenses, and get paid online.The idea for FreshBooks was born when Mike McDerment, a small business owner, accidentally saved over an old invoice and quickly realized there had to be a better way. He created his own software that became the foundation for what is now FreshBooks.
- cloud accounting software designed exclusively for service-based small business owners
- social impressions generated through Small Business Week social awareness campaign
- users served worldwide
- of customers would recommend FreshBooks to a friend
What they did
Finding new ways to put customers firstSince starting with only 10 customers, FreshBooks has taken a fresh approach to customer service. Now they provide accounting software to more than 10 million users in 120 countries—and counting. The company’s success can be traced to its customer-centric focus, which is evident in all parts of the business. Customers are taking notice: 97 per cent of customers would recommend FreshBooks to a friend.Maintaining high levels of positive sentiment around the brand is made easier with a strong social media strategy. Melissa Loomans, the Community and Events Manager at FreshBooks, credits social media for playing a big part with helping her and her colleagues bring the company’s customer-first vision to fruition.FreshBooks uses Hootsuite to easily perform all aspects of the company’s social strategy from one central place. Individual team members can post content to each of the FreshBooks social accounts, proactively reaching out with insights, suggestions, and responding to messages.
Customer service is the cornerstone of FreshBooks and is the most important thing we do. It’s about more than just being there to help our customers—we strive to cultivate a relationship and create an extraordinary and memorable interaction.
How they did it
On the road to customer service successSocial media isn’t just about the numbers, according to Melissa. It’s about creating and sharing stories and building a quality community. Customer relationships increase engagement and social sentiment, as people respond favorably to those efforts—especially when they are fun, humorous, or unusual.FreshBooks wanted to make a splash at Small Business Week in Canada—to show that it is a company that cares. And that’s how the team came up with the #FreshBrew campaign.
The team piloted their jauntily wrapped “FreshMobile”, a food truck repurposed to deliver hot cups of fair-trade coffee to entrepreneurs and small business owners in downtown Toronto.The crew tweeted out their route each day using the #FreshBrew hashtag. But unlike a regular food truck, they would surprise individual offices with hand-delivered java if they indicated on social channels that they couldn’t make it out to that day’s location. It was a great way of illustrating the company’s focus on making their customers’ lives easier.The FreshBooks team could measure the impact of #FreshBrew campaign during the week by monitoring the hashtag, company mentions, and tracking who was interacting with their content and messages. As the FreshMobile team traveled around downtown Toronto bringing caffeinated joy to an enthusiastic audience, the information they were gathering from social media was directly influencing the truck’s day-to-day activities, as well as the campaign itself. Now that’s efficiency.
3 steps to creating a relatable social media strategy
Social media lets me interact directly with our customers, the people who love our product and love getting in touch with us.
Measuring the success of social customer serviceBy the end of Small Business Week, the campaign had generated more than 900,000 impressions. Since FreshBooks is all about the customer experience, the company looks beyond the numbers when reporting on the success of the #FreshBrew campaign.With the team hitting the pavement and listening to their customers’ stories and feedback in person, they exceeded expectations in terms of fostering an engaged, quality community. Melissa’s final thoughts on the campaign tie back to FreshBooks’ personal approach to social media engagement: “It’s a mix of life and personality going into social that gives us great results.”
Events help us show our customers that we’re more than just a piece of software they use. We’re people who really care.Download the full version of this Case Study