Software updates are a part of life in this day and age, but they don’t always have to be painful. Case in point: during a recent update to my favorite writing software, Scrivener, a known issue popped up during installation.
How Scrivener Did It Right
Instead of having to google the error, hunt down the solution, and then follow a lengthy list of instructions to delete the appropriate file, Scrivener walked me right through the entire process.
First, it notified me of the issue — and that there was a simple solution. Second, the program walked me through deleting a framework file on my Mac through a short series of prompts that were so well-designed that they included buttons to “Open Folder” rather than telling me to hunt for it. The entire process took about 10 seconds, and then the install completed successfully.
I already loved Scrivener, but making this process so easy made me love it even more.
Learning from Scrivener’s Customer Service Performance
Here’s what we can learn from Scrivener’s performance.
Do Your Research
It’s no accident that Scrivener programmed this solution right into the installation itself. I stay on top of updates, so there was no lag time to my knowledge between users being affected and the solution being provided.
If you’re getting ready to introduce a new product or service, run through as many scenarios as you can to ensure all your bases are covered and that you know how to handle issues if and when they pop up. Not even the big wig companies succeed at this all the time (ahem, Apple Maps, anyone?), but the better prepared you can be, the better.
Develop Solutions and Make Them Easy for Customers
If you do foresee problems — even minor ones — develop solutions and make them as easy as possible for your customers. Ignoring the problem and leaving the hunt for the fix to your customers is a surefire way to engender their frustration at best and to lose them entirely at worst.
However, showing your customers that you care by responding with correct, quick and easy-to-use solutions can actually improve your position.
Admit When You’re Wrong
Now, because Scrivener did everything right in this case study, I’m going to point to the Apple Maps issue again. When the product came out and users found it to be extremely subpar and sometimes even completely wrong, CEO Tim Cook responded quickly with an apology, a promise to do better, and recommendations for other apps to use in the meantime.
It was a bold move that Steve Jobs probably wouldn’t have made, to be honest, but it created goodwill within Apple’s already loyal user base. No person is perfect, and neither is any business, but we can all make strides to turn less than ideal situations into opportunities.
Effective Communication is Key
If you’ve got a public relations problem on your hands, it’s important to make sure you respond to your customers correctly. There are plenty of corporate social media horror stories out there, so it’s worth hiring a professional to help you tell your customers the right story when there’s a snafu.
If you need help responding to your customers via your website, blog, email or social media, I can help. Let’s chat about how we can work together to help you and your business keep your customers happy and loyal.
It’s hard to believe that in approximately two months, I’ll be tasked with the responsibility of taking care of another tiny human being. As you can imagine, the big thing on my mind currently is how I’m going to stay organized — which I’m hoping will help me stay sane. Or sane-ish. Let’s set some realistic expectations here.
I’ve always been one to pile on the tasks to somewhat crazy levels, but throwing a kid into the mix is going to require a new level of organizational kung-fu. Here are some of the tools I currently use to stay organized.
Google Drive: This is where I keep any document that I access on a daily or near-daily basis, as well as documents that I want to be able to access from anywhere at any time without worrying about what software I have installed on any given computer. My workload/project trackers, my holiday/birthday gift lists, event guest lists — they all live on Google Drive.
Dropbox: In addition to my automatic back-up software (I use Carbonite), Dropbox is where I keep back-ups of all important software-specific documents. My Scrivener docs get saved & backed up there as well as my screenplays and any document that requires me to use Microsoft Word. It’s also a fantastic way to share files that are too large for email with both family and clients (separate folders, of course!). Best of all, it’s free up to sign up. You get 2 GB to start with, and you can earn up to 18 GB by referrals (if you use the link above, you’ll be helping me out!) or other easy tasks. They also have very affordable paid plans, but I’m not anywhere near needing more space yet.
Pinterest: I use Pinterest for typical things like recipes, decorating and crafting ideas, but I also use it to clip informative articles from around the Web. I clip articles I want to share with my SWS readers as well as items that inform how I run my own business (and that I want to be able to refer back to). With the introduction of secret boards, it’s an even greater and more flexible tool. I use one of my secret boards for weekly meal planning (I just repin the recipes I plan to make for the week onto that board so I can find them quickly) and another one for gift ideas.
Amazon Prime: One of the ways I save time is by ordering just about anything I can online. And ordering at Amazon usually saves me quite a bit of money, too. (There is no shame in ordering toilet paper from Amazon, folks. None at all.) Dropping $75 a year for Prime isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a high-volume user like I am, it’s definitely worth considering. In addition to free two-day shipping and $3.99 one-day shipping, you get access to their online movie/TV library (not as good as Netflix, but still nice to have around) as well as benefits for Kindle users.
Scrivener: I was first introduced to Scrivener as a NaNoWriMo participant, but I’ve since started using it for most of my initial word processing. It’s a great organizational tool for drafts of blog posts, promotional emails, web copy and more. It’s also a fantastic writing tool for books of all sorts, whether it’s an ebook for your business or that novel you’ve been chipping away at for months (or years).
iPhoto: I honestly don’t know how I organized photos before I bought my first Mac. With its tagging features and search capabilities, it’s one of the most user-friendly storage systems I’ve come across. It’s certainly better than the elaborate folder structure I was using pre-iPhoto. And now with PhotoStream, the photos I take with my iPhone go straight to my computer without me having to do any work at all. I typically organize by month and/or special event, but it’s completely customizable to whatever works for you.
Evernote: If I can’t pin it, I clip it into Evernote. And sometimes I do both, just for the heck of it. Evernote also lets you store entire documents, access them across computers, online or on your phone. I use it to store home-related documents, family recipes, to-do lists and project information. And I know I’ve only scratched the surface of its usefulness. Evernote’s blog is also chock-full of great information about how business owners and hobbyists alike use it in new and creative ways.
What Do You Recommend?
That about covers it for me on the web/software front. Is there anything awesome out there I’ve overlooked? I’d love to hear your recommendations. Next week, I’ll tell you about the mobile apps and hardware I use to keep my life running relatively smoothly.