Monday, May 16, 2011

Tech Talk - Jeremy Levitt of Service Seeking

A couple of Friday's ago we held our first Tech Talk at the Shoes of Prey offices. Jeremy Levitt, co-founder of the very successful startup Service Seeking came to share with us some of what he's learnt along the Service Seeking journey.

We opened the event up to anyone who wanted to come along and in addition to 5 of the Shoes of Prey team we had another 12 people join us which was great. The event was a success so we plan to hold these semi-regularly, and the next one is planned for Friday May 27. Feel free to add that to your diaries and we'll post details of the topic and speaker shortly.

I took notes during Jeremy's presentation and here's what he shared with us:

How to get stories in the press
  • PR agencies can help, but the press wants to speak to the founders.
  • Data makes a newsworthy story. To this end Service Seeking use quotes and pricing data in their press releases
  • Network. Get to know key reporters who report on your industry / in your space.

Customer Service

  • Love your customers, they keep you in business.
  • Jeremy still does customer service all the time. Important for everyone in the business to understand what customers want.
  • Be the last person responding to an email chain. This shows the customer that you have time for them.
  • The Service Seeking refund policy = no questions asked. Unhappy customer = send the money back then try to win them back.
  • Staff are empowered and have a budget to make customers happy.
  • Books Jeremy recommends: Delivering Happiness & Flip the Funnel - use your customers to gain new ones.
  • Reward customers who spread the word about your business.
  • Developers and product team talk to customer service to find issues to work on.


  • Include key business data into the sales pitch on your website, gives customers certainty around what they're getting.
  • Founders need to know and be involved in the sales process.
  • Everyone needs to talk to customers to understand what they want.
  • Cold calls - work out a way to call people. Service Seeking use the following when calling a new electrician: "I've got 3 customers in Darlinghurst needing electrical work and we don't have people to do it. Do you have time to take on some extra work? Could I send you some information, we're Service Seeking etc."
  • Ask questions where people say 'yes', gets them in the habit and they're more likely to say yes throughout your call.
  • Trial strategies and develop KPI's around sales. Track and know the numbers.
  • Provide good training to the team.

Trade Relationships

  • "Stand on the shoulders of giants". If you're a startup, partnerships with big players can boost you into the limelight. Service Seeking had partnerships with TrueLocal, eBay, News Ltd, NRMA early on. Their size rubs off on you.
  • If it's an advertising related deal, only remunerate partners based on performance - revenue sharing relationships are ideal.
  • Set realistic expectations, partnerships don't always work out as planned.

Thanks to Jeremy for being so generous with his time and sharing some excellent lessons from his experiences with Service Seeking, and thanks to everyone who joined us for our very first Tech Talk! We hope to see you again on May 27.


  1. It was a great event. Thanks to Jeremy for the insights; and the Shoes of Prey team for opening up the office.

    I'll try to be at the next one! Please keep them going, it's a fantastic way to build community.

  2. Great event, very informative and provides useful insight to small businesses and customers alike to get the best out of using an online service.