Customer service here at ZURB is the business. Well, a major part of how we do things, to say the least. We get that it's super important to keep our users happy and our products running as smoothly (and as awesome) as possible. Granted, most companies want to have the best of the best in their market, but so many are losing sight of what is so utterly important — user happiness.
Admittedly, we aren't always the first ones to stumble over a bug or think of a genius new feature that could be a gigantic benefit.
First and foremost, we're here to start conversations and build relationships, not just customers, rather than to just reply with canned response and hope for the best. We want to communicate with our customers, when things go well and even when they don't. This is essential for us, as a team, to ensure that our products are offering the most coveted and functional features. It also helps ensure we maintain that relationship with our customers.
But why is this important? Think of it like the process of writing a really great book. Because the ZURB team uses all of our apps as a part of our daily work, continuously writing the story of design iteration. However, it's our customer base that takes on such a pivotal role when it comes to making a best seller. Sure we can see what's going on directly around us and where we want the tale to unfold, but what about holes in the plot or missing pieces that just aren't adding up?
This is where building relationships is so important. Once that connection is made, we're letting our community help write our story, rather than just read through it.
Working Out the Kinks
We recently launched Solidify and have been in love with all the feedback we've received. However, there was one report we got from a customer that really baffled us. She reported having an issue viewing prototypes from a couple versions of Internet Explorer. We immediately jumped on it to figure what the heck was going on.
After a week of punching keys trying to recreate the bug that was described, we were kind of left scratching our heads. Clearly, there was an issue and we just couldn't lock it down. But, being persistent paid off and when the same customer followed up with some more details, we FINALLY got what we needed to find the problem, create a solution and push out a fix ' all within about an hour. Thanks to Erin M. at Critical Mass, Solidify prototypes are now all pretty in IE 7 and IE 8, again.
Making a Good Thing Better
But what about feature ideas and requests? Those are important to, right? Uh, yeah! Notable was the first ZURBapp to grace the internet. It's clean, refined and doggone it, people like it. However, that doesn't mean there's no room for improvement.
When designer Brendan Miller found us on live chat to offer some suggestions, we listened. Brendan expressed frustration over the fact time stamps were missing from comments and notes left on posts. Albeit, at first we didn't really see the significance. But after explaining how the absence of these dates was massively affecting his workflow, we were able to approach the subject from an entirely different angle, one we may have never even thought of. In return, the birth of dates on comments and notes happened. And then Brendan designed a snazzy little image to say thanks!
We all know what it's like to seek out help or offer suggestions and never hear anything back. It's extremely frustrating and, more often than not, forces us to just up and leave in hopes of finding another solution.
We aim to curtail the notion that users aren't a critical part of the products they use. If you're too adamant about writing your own story rather than letting customers provide their input, you're giving them a reason to bail. Because, really, who would be better at making a product its absolute best than the people who are actually using it?