Monthly Archives: January 2013

How Just Being Nice Can Work

It’s been quiet here lately. My online businesses have been taking up all of my time as have a number of different new projects my partner and I have been working on. I thought it was worth popping in to share small story though.

I’ve been concentrating on providing all of my customers with an exemplary support experience in the last 4 months. That’s not to say I haven’t always wanted to give them best support I can, but it’s something I’ve really been working hard at lately. Just small things like addressing each email personally to them, sending a follow up if I haven’t heard back from them, and making sure to thank them when they let me know if a problem has been solved. This means I spend a bit longer on my support tasks but hopefully it results in a more engaged customer base. More likely to persist with using my products, more likely to pay their support renewal when it comes due, and more likely to mention my products to others in real life.

The last couple of days saw one user of Timesheets Lite think she was using the free version when in reality she’d been using the trial of the commercial version. She wanted to keep using the software for free. This does happen from time to time (perhaps 2-3 times a year) and usually adopt a no-compromise stance something along the lines of “buy the software if you want to keep using it”. They’ve run the trial through 30 days with continual warnings that the software WASN’T the free version and only decided to do something about it when they are finally proven it really isn’t the free version when the trial expires and they are locked out.

In this case I decided to take a different approach more along my current “exemplary customer service” track. I offered to give the user a free Timesheets Lite license if she would write a short paragraph on how she’s using the software and what sort of benefits she’s seen from using it. To my surprise she responded quickly and said “That is a perfect compromise and I really appreciate it. Customer service is everything!”. And bought a license. So there you have it. Be nice, don’t take the hard line, and you may just end up winning a customer you were never going to win any other way.