OK, this post wins the award for worst title ever. I did, however, want to highlight an example of a company doing it right at a very grassroots, down-and-dirty level: posting an apology/explanation in the comments section of their product listing on Amazon.
Intuit, the makers of QuickBooks and other financial tracking software, recently released the 2009 version of their product. I need to upgrade my version since a lot of useful features sunset after a few years. (I will leave out how annoying, and costly, that is because I want to stick to the point of what a smart thing Intuit did in this case.) As I shopped around online for the best price and read reviews to familiarize myself with what I might expect from this newer version, I noticed a LOT of irate customers posting about how Intuit had taken the inexplicable step of deleting one of the more critical features of the software, the one that allows you to match transactions online automatically with your bank.
“Just say no!,” “Don’t buy this upgrade until they fix it,” “I wish Amazon allowed zero stars” are some samples of what people were writing. As we all know, you are in for a world of pain when you take something away from people that they really liked- and don’t even bother to explain why!
Enter “Intuit Greg,” aka Greg Wright, director of product management at Intuit. He posted a comment on Amazon that is excerpted here:
As many of you know, we work very closely with customers and accountants as we design the software. When we redesigned online banking, we were hoping to provide an easy to use start-up experience because the vast majority of users were not using online banking in QuickBooks. Unfortunately, it looks like we are not meeting the needs of our existing online banking users, especially those with lots of transactions. You spoke, we’re listening, and we are responding to the feedback.
Here are some specifics and timelines for our online banking fixes. We have our engineers working nights and weekends to deliver as quickly as we can because we know many of you rely on online banking. We will be releasing some of the fixes via a downloaded update on December 11th for QuickBooks 2009 Pro, Premier, and Enterprise Solutions. The following updates are now available by a web download at the QuickBooks support site:
I won’t post all the fixes planned, but you get the idea. If you want to read the whole thing, here it is.
The steps to conversational media success:
- Loyal customers complained.
- Company listened.
- Company RESPONDED.
- Relationship (hopefully) salvaged.
Sometimes, you just gotta listen, folks.