Providing Great Support

Over and over again here at Simply Made Apps we are complimented for our great support.  It’s a point of pride for us.  Users are most impressed by our response time, which is generally measured in minutes or hours.

This past week, our Keurig machine overheated here at HQ.  Besides dumping boiling water everywhere and melting a K Cup, the thermostat burnt out and rendered the machine hopelessly broken.  After we discovered what happened, we went to their website and requested support through the official channel.  Nearly a week later, no response.  We then tweeted at them and had an immediate reaction, then a follow up call, and now they’re replacing our unit.

A great result, but the impression they left us could have been so much better without the big delay that was only rectified by publicly calling them out.  When you as a user are placed in limbo-land it can be confusing or even downright infuriating.

So, as a public service, here is how Simply Made Apps provides support.  Our three rules to live by:

  1. Do your own support, don’t farm it out to people who don’t care about your product or your customers.
  2. Respond just as fast as you can.
  3. Be honest.

Here at Simply Made Apps, Bill and I do all our own support.  On top of being the only co-founders and most of our software developers, we answer all the emails personally.  This keeps us in touch with our ever-evolving user base.  It’s also a great way to prioritize new features, but that’s an entire new blog post all together.

We respond just as soon as we can.  Sometimes that’s within 5 minutes.  Sometimes when we sleep (or golf) that’s a few hours.  It’s never measured in days, and that’s critically important.  Don’t leave users confused about whether you’re ever going to respond at all.

Finally, we’re always honest.  Honesty, while sometimes difficult, is without doubt the most underrated support tool.  When we receive requests from users that we don’t wish to do, or questions with “no” answers, it’s always tempting to sugar-coat the response.  This only creates misunderstandings and potentially more support issues down the line.  It also creates expectations, and setting false expectations is like placing a ticking time bomb under your reputation.

That’s it, three simple rules.