I just came home from the Launch48 Sydney event which I was mentoring and part of the judging panel. One of the things I was discussing with Taylor Luk from Issue.by and one of the participants Churn Ng at Launch48 was the latest Paul Graham post “Do Things That Don’t Scale“.
You need to have an insane level of customer obsession and to give them the best experience possible. Taylor described it as “wow the customer“. So I decided to follow through on it.
I got home, got changed, was really tired and could have gone to bed. But I was determined to answer this customer question below at 10.30pm. If I was going to tell someone “Do Things That Don’t Scale”, then I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t do it myself.
A customer had written the following question a few hours earlier. I was judging at Launch 48 and had to concentrate on the pitches and give appropriate feedback. I must have forgotten about this as we had dinner, and an after party.
Here is the email below from the customer with the date and time stamp which I have copied. I’ve changed the name of the customers so that they are confidential.
I also have included another email chain below from a customer 2 weeks ago to prove this isn’t the first time I’ve done it
Customer issue 1: Mary
21 July 2013 18:48
I just purchased the full version of Mandarin Madness and it was working fine until several hours later I finished some stages in 十-十九 words and the game suddenly freeze. I left it for about half a day but when I open it, the app still freezing. I attached the screen capture with this mail. My phone is google nexus. Can you advice me what to do with it? Thank you in advance.
21 July 2013 22:39
I’m one of the founders of the company and I’m really sorry to hear about this problem. I apologise that you are not having a great experience with Mandarin Madness.
I’ll look into it with our engineering team.
I have a few initial questions:
1. Can you tell me which version of the app you have? Go to home screen > settings by clicking on “?” > number in the top right. it should v.1.x.
2. Did you upgrade from the free version to the paid version?
Can you also try shutting down the app and re- launching it?
21 July 2013 22:59
Thanks for responding to my email. I just open the app again, and it works now! So i guess, there’s no problem anymore. But just in case if this happens again (which I hope not) I will answer the question.
1. It’s v.1.76, though I wouldn’t be able to check it if the app is still freezing.
2. Yes, I click upgrade from the free version. Though I’m not sure if upgrade is the right word, since I end up with 2 separate apps and my progress in the Lite version doesn’t appear on the full version. So it’s more like a different app.
*note: the freezing also happened once in the Lite version before. But since it last only several minutes, I didn’t mention it.
So hopefully the information helps
21 July 2013 23:03
Thanks for letting us know and good to hear that its working again.
I will follow that up as well with our team.
Yes, upgrade might not be the best word to describe it. They are two separate apps. I wanted to ask if you had the Lite version and then purchased the Paid version through it.
Please let me know if you have any further issues. If you have any feedback about our app, please let me know as well.
Customer issue 2: Rhonda
My point is you have to ensure the customer has the best experience EVER with your product. Perhaps I haven’t been able to solve her problem right now as I don’t have all the information I need, but I need to convey that we are looking into it and that I care about her problem. As a founder, I wanted to show that I am responsible for it and I’m willing to put my name to it. I’m not just a regular customer service person.
Here is another example below from two weeks ago.
Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 1:23 PM
I just downloaded your Spanish Smash app on my iPhone 5. After level six it sends down question marks. Do you know how to fix this?
Thanks for your time.
Fri, Jul 5, 2013, at 1:30 PM
The question marks are in a level that test your listening skills. If you have the sound turned up, you will hear the sounds and can match them to the icons below. We don’t include the words and only have a ? mark.
In a later level, you will see the word but hear no sound. This is designed to test how well you know the words.
If you have any further questions, please let us know.
Could you also tell us how you find out about the app?
Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 2:09 PM
Wow, quick response. That answers my question, thanks.
I found your app by searching in the App Store for Spanish apps.
Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 2:20 PM
No problem, glad to see that we could answer your question!
I’m one of the creators of the app so I can answer that one easily
Is there anything we could improve in the app? If you have any other feedback please let us know.
Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 3:55 PM
Ah, very cool. Kudos to you on the app.
I still can’t seem to get sound; I can play audio files and get sound in other apps but for some reason not in Spanish Smash. I might just be missing a volume setting within the app, I’ll keep investigating.
I answered Rhonda’s query while I was walking to Central station. I happened to have checked my email whilst walking. This is a bad habit – don’t do this! When I saw her email, I stopped walking and got off the footpath so I could type a quick but proper response.
I decided to email her right then from my phone to show that we cared and she was dealing with one of the people behind the app. I knew the answer so I was able to answer it a lot faster. That is one of the advantages you have in a startup and as a founder. You can do things that don’t scale.
*Followup – after I finished writing this blog post, I realised that there could still be a lingering issue with the sound. So I decided to email Rhonda to see if this was still a problem
Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 11:07PM
Just following up on your email. Were you able to play the sound in the app?
Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 6:44AM
Yes, thank you!