A few years ago, I wrote a case study on Dell. Even though I hate its computers, the company rocks the customer service department.
Since that case study, only a few brands have truly impressed me. One of them is Postmatic, which recently launched an awesome email delivery and commenting plugin.
I installed Postmatic on this blog when it was still in beta. And until last month, everything worked perfectly.
Then, one day, subscribers were sent an email that linked to a page instead of the usual latest published post. There clearly was a problem with the plugin. So, I reached out to the team via Twitter. Within a few minutes, founder Jason Lemieux had responded there and via email.
He asked me to create a temporary admin account for Postmatic on Social Media Slant. Then Dylan Kuhn, one of the techs, took over. While he looked into the issue and ran some tests, subscribers received a few additional emails with the same incorrect content.
At that point, I started worrying about unsubscribes. However, Dylan read my mind and apologized right away. He also promised to do the same with subscribers, while explaining exactly what he was trying to do.
The problem was solved 24 hours later. Dylan sent me the following message:
It was a long night, but I finally tracked the problem to a bug in the Genesis Featured Page widget that was in use in the Postmatic Emails Footer widget area.
The next version of Postmatic should be immune to this kind of widget bug, and I’ve installed that enhancement on your site so this should not happen again even if this or another widget contains the bug.
So – you should be all set for future posts. Postmatic will be stronger for this experience and I’m grateful for your cooperation.
Jason was next:
Eeek. What a horrible night you must have had, Dylan. And enormous apologies to you, Cendrine. Email is so slippery sometimes.
Cendrine, we’ll def be upgrading you to Premium for free because of the trouble. Would you be interested in that?
The good news: I only see one unsubscribe since May 8th.
Then, the icing on the cake…
Yes, you read it right. Not only did the Postmatic team kept its promise, but it also took full responsibility for the situation. And now, I have a premium account!
Postmatic is a great example of what I often talk about: Great customer service is about being proactive and responsive. Jason and Dylan treated my issue as a priority and kept me updated on everything in real time. I felt as though I were the only person ‘in the room’.
The result? This case study. I also am the biggest Postmatic fan in Canada!
When a business cares, everyone wins.
An interview with Postmatic Founder, Jason Lemieux
Even though I have already introduced Postmatic to you, I decided to send Jason a few questions to understand how the team approaches customer care and how the plugin came to be. His answers are below.
You and Dylan responded to me very quickly. Are you always that fast? What’s your average response time?
The team behind Postmatic has been working together providing WordPress services for about 10 years. During that time, we’ve gotten good at delegating, helping each other, and moving things forward quickly. We place a lot of emphasis on recognizing what is a big problem versus a little problem and don’t shy away from dropping everything to fix something which is important.
In the case of your support ticket last month, it was absolutely critical that we figure it out right away. As I’ve mentioned, email is extremely personal. We had been fortunate in that the wrong email going to the wrong people hadn’t happened within our system since our very early alpha testing days (during which one night a post went out 60 times to a list of 30 or so people in the span of a few hours… oops!). Then came along your support ticket about the wrong post going out. It was a big deal.
In general, though, we manage to hit all support tickets the same day they are submitted. Dylan especially has been supporting free WordPress plugins for a long time. When we started Postmatic he made me promise: I’d hire a dedicated support person. Elissa handles tickets every weekday from 12:00pm – 5:00pm. We love her.
After the issue had been solved, you upgraded my account to Premium for free. What a way to build loyalty! Share some tips that have helped turn unhappy users into supporters.
I don’t think there is anything special about what we did for you. It only made sense — our software messed up and caused you embarrassment. I’m not sure if it’s common or not, but it seems to me that in the SaaS world it only makes sense to dish out free accounts here and there. Because of the nature of SaaS pricing, it doesn’t cost us very much to turn a mad person into a happy person — and happy people can do a lot to spread the word.
Why is customer care so important in social media?
Customer care is important everywhere. Social media is more public-facing than email but, to us, that doesn’t matter.
More than anything, we are an email provider. To many people, email is a very personal and sacred thing. We can’t afford to mess that up; and when something does go wrong, we have to be on top of fixing it immediately.
Is there a particular event that led to the creation of Postmatic?
Yes. We built the original version for a client: Global Citizen Year. They operate a gap year program for kids to do aid work overseas between high school and college. One of the requirements is that they blog about their experiences. Parents wanted to keep in touch but RSS was too confusing and Feedburner was too glitchy. Plus, they wanted to be able to send a note of support back to their kiddos. So we dreamed up Postmatic. It was a huge hit with the parents and kids alike. It took us about a year to turn it into the service you see today.
You’ll notice that one of the more subtle features of the plugin is that you can subscribe to specific authors instead of all posts. That’s the GCY bones poking through.
Postmatic was officially launched out of beta a few weeks ago. How have people responded to the service so far?
I think we are suffering the same as a lot of WordPress startups: People are fanatically happy with our product but it’s hard to rise above the din. Commenting by email is such a new (but obvious) idea to most people that, as soon as they try it, they just go nuts. It really does make commenting fun again. That part has been great.
What makes me happiest is when I see the product working. Most of our early installs are seeing jumps in engagement. I just ran some quick numbers on your site, and commenting is up 125% since you installed us. This makes me very, very happy.
My favorite feature is the ability to comment by emails. What is yours? And what can we expect from Postmatic in the near future?
Of course, commenting by email is my favorite. I participate in so many more blogs now that I can safely hide in my inbox. I really like the ability to send posts by email though. There have been a number of plugins which delivered posts but none that have ever done it in a responsive, beautiful way. Posts sent through Postmatic just look awesome. We put a ton of work into being compatible with a gazillion different plugins and media providers and it really paid off.
Our #1 priority right now is to get support for manual newsletters and digests going. We’re trying to keep our heads down and push that out the door. It’ll be fantastic.
Pretty awesome answers, right?
Your turn to speak, now. Do you know a company that goes above and beyond for customers?