Fast, helpful customer service is table stakes in today’s business world. Eight of today’s most successful startups share their advice on how to optimize your support operations so you can grow your business faster than ever.

1. Make customer support part of your DNA. Everyone in your company — from the CEO to the receptionist — should play an important role in helping customers.

—Brian Boroff, Head of Customer Success and User Operations, Asana

2. Build a customer support dream team. When your company is big enough to hire dedicated agents, you need to make sure you hire the right ones. After all, you can train on the product and on the tools, but you can’t teach the desire to help people.

—Linden Plumley, Director of Global Customer Support, Revinate

3. Choose the right customer service solution. Many young companies start out by managing customer service through email, but all too often that system doesn’t scale.

—Duane Hunt, Vice President, Operations, Formstack

4. Have screaming-fast response times. Self-service lets customers can find the answers they need 24/7. But sometimes customers still need to reach a real person — and they want to reach that real person fast.

—Carolyn Hinson, Customer Service Supervisor, Kabbage

5. Personalize every response. Support is often an untapped channel for creating a closer connection to customers and for building a unique brand personality.

—Dione David, Customer Happiness Manager, Shoes of Prey

6. Explore different ways to measure success. What if you encourage your agents to spend time with customers? Will they become more loyal? Will they be more likely to recommend your company to others?

—Thomas Staudte, Head of Customer Service & Social Media, Siroop

7. Use customer service to guide product strategy. Your customer support team talks to your users every day. They can be your best source for feedback and a key driver of product innovation.

—Andrew Prelusky, Client Engineer, JW Player

8. Connect customer service to all your apps and systems. Sharing customer information, product data, and support metrics across your entire company gives everyone more insight into customers.

—Dan Moore, SVP of Client Services, Jitterbit

To learn more customer service success strategies for small businesses, download our new e-book “The Startup’s Guide to Customer Service Success.”

Salesforce can help you find customers, win their businesses, and keep them happy so you can grow your business faster than ever. Learn more about our small business CRM solutions or follow us on Twitter @SalesforceSMB and join the conversation with #SalesforceGROW.