I Was Given the Gift of Smugmug Customer Service
In my previous post, I outlined a little trouble I ran into trying to purchase a friend a Smugmug account as a gift. Well, I am happy to report that the folks at Smugmug responded amazingly and have managed to show how much they care about their customers (as well as potential customers)...I guess there is a reason why they refer to their support personal as "Support Heroes".
The Man Himself
If you look at the comments for my previous post, you will notice the first comment is from none other than the founder, CEO and Chief Geek at SmugMug - Don MacAskill. I love it when leaders of companies care enough about their company that they are willing to step up and participate in the conversation about their company on the Internet. There are a couple of things Don said in his comment that I think explain exactly why I even wrote the first post in the first place:
I’m so glad you spoke up about it rather than just shrugging and going somewhere else
It is usually way easier to just shrug something off. In fact, I was ready to do that and just buy my friend a Flickr account as a gift. But, my wife was persistent about at least seeing the Smugmug thing through and I figured I wasn't the only one who had experienced this problem. This is a key point for users of any software: If you are confused about something or are experiencing any type of difficulty, chances are you are not alone. It is too easy for users to blame themselves.
without feedback like this, we’d never improve, so I’m glad to hear it.
Smugmug is obviously a company that wants to improve their product any way they can. One reason why I love Don's stance on this issue so much, is that I now how hard it is to accept feedback on something you feel so passionate about. Smugmug is a family owned business that Don MacAskill started with his father and he could have just have easily been defensive or taken feedback personally. You'd be surprised how many CEOs react like that. And don't get me started on developers being defensive about their code. Feedback is good. Wouldn't your rather hear what your actual users think rather than just guessing what they must think?
Above and Beyond
Well, in the end I was able to give the gift of Smugmug as well as receive a gift because the folks at Smugmug decided to give me and my friend free accounts as a way to show how much they care about any difficulty I have experienced. That is more then I would have ever wanted to come out of this situation. They didn't have to do that. But they did. And that is why they have renewed my faith in how much they care about their customers.