Posts Categorized: Applian News

Adventures & Lessons in Customer Service: Part One

Adventures in Customer Service

Applian has always been a customer-oriented software company. With a number of products that help people record video and audio off of the Internet, we’ve learned a thing or two about customer service over the years. With this in mind, we thought we’d share how we roll. And, we care so much about it that this one is a double volume post (stay tuned for part 2!).

You can’t please everyone… but try really hard!

Customers write in with all sorts of questions. Everything from “What’s my Activation Code?” to “Why can’t I record this video while my computer is off?” Some questions have easy answers; others require a bit of investigation. So how do we keep the conversation positive and helpful all the time?

1. We actually READ what you write. It’s important that we resist the urge to skim communications and jump to the answer. Yeah, yeah, we know it happens. But if you treat emails like a grocery list, you’ll likely miss something and provide bad or incomplete information.

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2. We recognize that your time is valuable. Just like you, we aren’t glued to our inboxes (actually, that’s not really true – we’re pretty glued). Regardless, we want you to get back to the important stuff, like using our products. So we always try to get all the information needed with the least amount of back-and-forth communication possible.

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3. Don’t be a jerk! That goes for both the support team and the customer. The anonymity of the Internet can often lead people to type things that they would never say to your face. Thankfully 99.9% of our customers are perfectly charming. Like, people we’d actually hang out with. Every once in a while a bad apple will drop into our inbox and be downright horrid. Our plan? Send it to Tom, our Chief Operations Officer, who has the uncanny ability to turn every scary monster into a cuddly kitten.

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4. We’re armed with a team of humans. Our (awesome) software products are downloaded thousands of times per day. So, of course we want to be ready to answer any and all questions. We couldn’t do it without a staff of smart people. Really smart people. Robots are cool and all, but not really our thing.

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5. The Special Sauce is important. When customers write in for help, the ticket is answered by the member of our support team that’s most knowledgeable about that particular product. If you need help with Replay Media Catcher, Shellie will be the one to sort it out for you. Cheryl will take all your Replay Music questions. And, Chad & Sheryl will help out with sales and ordering.

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As a customer, what are some of the ways that a company can show you that they value your business? We hope we’re on your list of favorite companies. If not, let us know how we can do better!

From Our Desk to Yours: How We Like to Get It Done

Organization tips and more for working remotely.

As a company with multiple products, and leadership located all across the US, we’re committed to being a business that is not only in touch with our customers but with each other. As they say, teamwork makes the dream work, right?

A successful software company doesn’t always need to operate out of an office, and for us to have the talent that makes Applian what it is today, we can’t possibly have everyone in the same place at the same time every day. That being said, there are some tricks we’ve learned to make sure that our team stays productive, no matter where they have a desk.

Email. Email. Email.

Obviously, this is the main form of communication in any office — remote or cubicle — everyone needs an effective email client. Aside from that, we also have developed some tricks to get the most out of constructing and composing our inbox.

  • Voice recognition is great for any (ahem) “slow-typers” or for those moments when you, say, slip off your bike and break a wrist? Yeah, ouch. We like Windows 7 Voice Recognition software on PC.
  • Don’t underestimate bolding, bullet-ing, and highlighting. When you are dealing with a large quantity of email every day, it is important to compose email structure with intention. If you can’t make it short, then space it all out. And don’t be afraid to highlight call-to-action for those who need to know the important stuff. Email-skimming is real, people.

Virtual filing cabinets and whiteboards.

Organizing tasks and records is just as important in a virtual office environment as it is for a physical one. Not only is it helpful to be able to reach back and find past work or finances, but it’s important that everyone else who needs to can. Thank the stars for the cloud!

  • Everyone needs a basic, overall file storing space, and as a company we like the Dropbox experience as it can sync to desktop.
  • Basecamp works great for tracking and squishing bugs, especially so the whole Customer Service Team is on the same page and our Leadership Team can follow along and get super-impressed with their awesomeness.

Talk through it.

We’re huge fans of chatting it up. Whether it’s business-related or not (okay, so usually it is). There’s a ton of tools out there to get your whole team in on the conversation, literally.

  • Skype. Of course. Most of our calls are Video. Mostly so that we can all make fun of whatever might be happening in the background. Typically, we like to record the super-important meetings with our very own Replay Telecorder or Replay Video Capture to get all the good stuff and have it on file if we need to go back to important deliverables.
  • On occasion GoToMeeting is helpful for client or business development calls. It’s just healthy to simply get up and give someone a call on the phone… talking in-person really does get things done faster and will always have a more personal touch.
  • Keep outlets open for old school! We use Onebox for those now-and-then customers who want to call in and leave a message, and (believe it or not) we even get faxes sometimes, so we take advantage of eFax for those rare cases.

Real face time.

One of the most important factors is blocking out time to have work retreats and connect with our team one-on-one. These excursions provide the necessary blend of relaxation and company-bonding to make sure everyone feels a part of Applian as a whole. Being behind a computer screen can make you forget the big picture.

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.

We try to recognize that everyone has their own schedule. Some of us stay up late and code, others need a more 9 to 5 routine, and sometimes, our meetings might interfere with the whole life-work balance. It’s not too unusual for us to have a long Skype session with people dropping in and out to make an errand, attend an appointment, and (most likely) enjoy a good glass of wine. In fact, the latter tends to help when everything gets stressful and miscommunication is likely. On that note, we recommend Black Box Wines / BevMo as an alternative productivity resource and attitude refinement tool.

Whether you work from home, out of a coffee shop, or have your own corporate environment to adapt to, we know it can get tough to stay connected, productive, and inspired. Hopefully, some of those resources can help.

Have some we should know about it? Let us know in the comments below — we’d love to find out!

Update! The New Replay Video Capture 8

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The all new Replay Video Capture 8 has finally arrived! We’re excited to offer you the best of recording streaming software made even better. Beyond the amazing elements already in Replay Video Capture, this latest update boasts a slew of new features, including:

  • Game Recording – Thanks to cool new hotkeys, recording a game has never been easier.
  • Higher Frame Rates – Use frame rates as high as 100 fps (MPEG­4, WMV) or 60 fps (MPEG­2).
  • Background Mode –  Completely free up your monitor while recording by using RVC in Background Mode.
  • Dual Audio – Use dual audio recording with any video codecs you choose.
  • Multiple Formats –  Save to any format you want, including MPEG, WMV, AVI and DVD-ISO to name just a few.
  • Improved Webinar Audio: The new Dual Audio recording feature avoids disturbing echo feedback between speakers and the microphone. A mute/unmute hot key and button are included, as well.

Read more details about what make the new Replay Video Capture 8 so great, or upgrade here!

We’ve Scaled El Capitan (OS X, that is)! New Update

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Getting things done in a simpler, more intelligent way is why we’re in business – today we’re excited to announce an update that makes our smart products even better.

Since OS X El Capitan gives you more flexibility and power to do the things you love with your Mac, we made sure that every single one of our Applian products for Mac are completely compatible with this new version. Make sure you have the latest and greatest Applian software for your Mac to unlock the power of El Capitan & Applian!

As always, we’re working tirelessly to make sure you have the best versions of Replay Media Catcher, Replay Video Capture, Replay Music and Replay Converter to use on your Mac.

 

They’re Here! Applian for Mac

Applian Product for Mac

For years we’ve fielded hundreds – possibly thousands – of questions and requests for Mac versions of our products , and we (honestly) thought it would never happen. But after lots of hard work, and a little bit of magic, we’ve finally developed and launched our most popular products for Mac computers!

Now you can get powerful media capturing, screen recording and conversion capability on your Mac. With similar functions and features as our PC products, these Applian Mac products give you the ability to capture and record all kind of web content, video and streaming audio.

To celebrate this exciting milestone we are offering 50% off our new Mac products if you already own our PC versions. Click here to get your deal!

See Our Mac Products

We would love to hear what you think! Come let us know on Facebook or find us on Twitter.

 

NEW RELEASE: Replay Media Catcher 6

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Capture More Media Than Ever Before!

Our new Version 6 is better than ever, and you’ll have the most advanced video and audio downloading program on the planet. Here’s what you get with this HUGE upgrade:

  • New DVR Recording Option: Capture encrypted video – legally! Pick from popular web sites, and recordings take place real-time in the background. Powerful and convenient.
  • New Media Guides with Direct Downloads: Enter the name of a movie or TV show, and Replay Media Catcher will scour the web to find you a download file – removing most annoying pop-up ads.
  • New Drag-and-drop Downloading: Simply drag a website URL from your browser onto Replay Media Catcher 6 to start downloading. Also works with copy & paste for fast queuing.
  • Records More Video Formats: Replay Media Catcher is still the best way to download videos using all the latest protocols.
  • Enhanced Converter: Any video or audio downloaded or captured by Replay Media Catcher 6 can be converted to many different formats.
  • Improved Ad Blocking: Videos from our continuously updated list of ad sites are no longer captured.
  • And more! Easier-than-ever interface, and lots of other minor improvements.

 

Get It Here!

 

Watch this two minute video to see how the new Replay Media Catcher 6 makes downloading video and recording audio easier than ever:

Applian’s Ironman: Congratulations Shellie!

Did you know that Applian Technologies employs 2 Triathletes? That’s right! Our very own Dr. Jeffery Wilson and Shellie Heggenberger are both accomplished Triathletes. When not answering your every Replay Media Catcher question in tech support, Shellie can usually be found training for one event or another. Her latest accomplishment is no small endeavor. A couple of weeks ago, Shellie completed her 5th Ironman distance triathlon. Yes, that’s a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, followed by a 26.2 mile run! She finished Ironman Western Australia in just over 13 hours. Whew!

Team Applian is super proud of you Shellie!

It’s not every day you finish an Ironman and get to hug a koala.

Quick Summer Sale $10 OFF Replay Media Catcher

$10 OFF Replay Media Catcher use Coupon Code RMCBLOG sale ends Friday Aug 8

It’s the middle of summer. Sounds like a great time for a quick summer sale. But don’t delay! Just like summer, this sale will be gone in a flash. For the next 48 hours you can take $10 off our best stream recorder.  Replay Media Catcher is the #1 tool for downloading online video and audio.

Use this coupon code at checkout: RMCBLOG

Hurry! Sale ends August 8, 2014

Let’s Talk About Replay Media Catcher and HTTPS

Replay Media Catcher HTTPS/SSL Scanning

Keeping up with the constant changes in streaming protocols is just the job for Replay Media Catcher‘s Engineers. They like a challenge and frequently whip up very smart solutions to very tough problems. If you’ve installed the most recent version of Replay Media Catcher, you’ll see that we’ve made some great improvements. And if you like to download streams from YouTube, then you’ve likely seen the new prompt to install a CA certificate. So what’s that all about? Have no fear! We’re here to break it down for you. Let’s get nerdy, shall we?

YouTube and some other sites now stream their media over an HTTPS connection by default. So what is HTTPS? Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure is the secure version of http. Typically used when a secure connection is necessary. Like for ecommerce transactions and such. When you connect to a website that is using HTTPS, the session is encrypted with a Digital Certificate.

Let’s first look at how Replay Media Catcher downloads, then we’ll explain how installing the CA Certificate helps it to do it’s job better.  When you switch on Replay Media Catcher, it starts sniffing the network traffic. Looking for media to download. As you come across streaming video or music, Replay Media Catcher decodes that network traffic and if it understands what it is seeing on the network, it tries to detect and download the media based on intelligence we’ve written for that protocol. Pretty slick, right? That’s how Replay Media Catcher can download so much more without browser plugins. It simply does not need them. It only listens to the network.

Let’s say you’ve switched on Replay Media Catcher’s monitoring and you’re happily browsing along and decide to download the latest viral video on YouTube. Remember we said that YouTube is now streaming their media over an HTTPS connection.. SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. When you see HTTPS in the URL, you are using the SSL/TLS protocol to speak to that website. Replay Media Catcher will then not understand that traffic and disregard it.  That sounds like bad news, right? Nope! Read on…

If you’re running Replay Media Catcher version 5.0.1.46 or later, you’ll notice a new prompt when it first sees media from a site that is streaming over HTTPS. This prompt explains that in order for Replay Media Catcher to scan for media that is streamed over HTTPS, a CA certificate is required to be created. A CA (Certificate Authority) is an authority in a network that issues and manages security credentials.

You can choose to allow HTTPS scanning or not. If you choose no, Replay Media Catcher will ignore any HTTPS streaming and you’ll be sad. That breaks my heart. Say YES!

Replay Media Catcher HTTPS

If you choose YES, (and we recommend you do) then Windows will prompt you to install the CA certificate.  Windows presents you with this:

Windows Security Warning

The title of the window says “Security Warning”. Yeah, well…it’s not a problem. Windows is just letting you know that a certificate is about to be installed. Windows says that it cannot validate the certificate as actually being from Replay Media Catcher, but have no fear. We have created a certificate called Replay Media Catcher 5 SSL Scanner Root. Essentially, it allows Replay Media Catcher to scan HTTPS traffic like that being served by YouTube for downloadable media. It is absolutely safe. And you are not putting yourself or your computer in any danger by installing it.

Don’t miss out on all the great streaming goodness that Replay Media Catcher can download. It’s waaay smarter than any other streaming media downloader. Guaranteed!

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions!

New: Troubleshooter for Replay Media Catcher

Troubleshooter

Obviously Replay Media Catcher is the bomb when it comes to downloading streaming media. But with millions of online streams and dozens of ever-changing protocols, we decided to offer up some special help for owners of Replay Media Catcher.

Don’t fret. We got your back. Shooting up some trouble! We find that no fuss self-help is appreciated by our customers. Sure, we still have our fabulously handsome support team ready to assist. But sometimes, when you’re stuck, you just want to help yourself to some answers.

Next time you find yourself unable to download some streaming media goodness, or you’ve lost your activation code, give our new Replay Media Catcher Troubleshooter a whirl.