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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Not all customers are really jerks. I’ve worked in customer service before and I know. It’s just sometimes a bad call can be really epic! But I just take a deep breath and take the new one. It’s a fresh call, not the same one as before.