The two best marketing tools are great products and great support. Nearly all companies try to make great products. They don’t all succeed, but everyone tries. Sadly, I don’t think that many companies understand the value of great support and do as little as possible. My recent experiences as a customer reminded me of this.
A button on my Kindle recently broke. Amazon’s support page was easy to use and after submitting my request someone quickly called me. The support person was friendly, helpful, and immediately offered to replace it for free. The new Kindle would not connect to the Internet. Amazon again quickly replaced it. They didn’t have to do any of that because my Kindle was far past the warranty period. A broken product could have made me dislike Amazon, but I was treated so well that I trust Amazon more than ever and want to buy more from them.
I recently watched hundreds of people get stranded in Miami overnight because they waited over two hours to get through passport control. It’s not clear whether American Airlines or the TSA was the root cause, but how American mishandled the situation is what I’ll always remember. Passengers were left in confused mobs. There were not enough American employees there and the ones that were seemed disinterested. Passengers were begging for information and in many cases the American employees refused to talk to them. I witnessed families who had just arrived in the US who were on the verge of tears. Welcome to America! No amount of advertising or special deals will ever get me to fly American again if I can possibly avoid it.
At Alien Skin Software, our personal experiences like these are what guide our tech support. As you can see in these cases, a big part of good support is simply attitude. Just treat people the way you want to be treated. Get back to customers quickly, keep them informed of what is happening, be friendly, and don’t be a stickler about rules.
Good support doesn’t cost a lot of money, but it does require a lot of effort. If management doesn’t care then they won’t try hard to find people who are good at support. You can’t put random people in that job. It is a rare person who can deal with the pressure of disgruntled customers all day. You have to carefully search to find good support people (like our Robert Lounsberry) and then give them good tools (like Zendesk), access to the programmers who make the products, and the authority to give customers whatever they think is necessary.
When we read comments from happy customers it makes us happy too. Keeping that virtuous cycle going is our goal. Here are typical comments we received in just the past few weeks. I have about 100 more, but I got tired of copying and pasting.
I was amazed at how fast my issue was solved. I sent a message about my problem, walked away from the computer for no more than 5 minutes and when I came back, my problem was already solved. I thought, due to the time of day it was, I would have to wait until the following day to have the problem resolved. I was very impressed with the customer service.
Was very satisfied with the quality of support received from Robert – love the fact that you don’t have to repurchase the produce if I decide to upgrade my computer down the track to a MAC from Windows Vista.
EXCELLENT SUPPORT. Fast responding, accurate advice, effective solutions. My kind of support.
Very prompt reply and very satisfied – Many thanks
fantastic and helpful.
Fantastic product & Service…..
Excellent support, quick response, thank you !
Alien skin is the best miles around!
love your products, and your technical support is polite and helpful
Keep up the excellent work!
ALIEN SKIN “ROCKS”
all good, quick response.
every time robert is very clear and a kind person, i am really happy about his support!
Brilliant and dedicated support given by Robert – second to none. I’m a very satisfied customer – thanks.
The response was quick. The request was met with friendly service. Thanks for taking care of your customers so well.
The service was thorough, and attentive. Thank you.
Strange name. Bizarre logo. Great plugins.
Great customer support! thanks – I let all my friends know about your great software.
You guys are great! Thanks again!
Thank You so much for years of great filters that have made my life so much easier!!!
Many Thanks to Robert in sales for his assistance in upgrading. Love your software.
Love Exposure 4, I didn’t think you could improve on 3 but I’m really very pleased, thank you!
Thanks for the quick turn around, and succinct answer.
Thanks …you guys are great
Love your stuff!
keep up the great work!
Great job. Keep up the good work.
Thanks for providing such good and helpful products.
Exposure 4 Rocks!!! Thanks
Very prompt and informative supprt team.
Very pleased with quality of customer support.
Awesome stuff! Cheers
keep up the great work!
nice tools, great service ! thank you
Keep on a rockin’ me baby!
LOVE your product! Thank you so much!
love your stuff
Thanks for your great products!
keep up the GREAT work! Your stuff is INVALUABLE!!
Regarding your software: LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT,
Just keep up the good work! I really enjoy your plug-ins.
Love your products and support is stellar!