Any of you know evernote? It is a great little tool that allows users to clip, tag and access web clippings, pdfs and other files. I depend on this tool and its safari plug-in greatly and I imagine many other people do as well.
One of Evernote’s nicest features is its web clipping plug-in for browsers, including safari. A few days ago Apple upgraded Safari and the plug-in stopped working, and apparently needed major upgrade. How should a company address such a situation?
Today, several days after the safari upgrade during which the plug-in was not operational, Evernote sent its subscribers this e-mail:
What can we learn from this e-mail?
- Apple has upgraded Safari (which we already know) and it is very different to what we had until now
- Evernote are working hard (which we don’t really care about, we pay subscription to fund that)
- Apparently they have no clue when a new release will be available
- … and they do not plan to notify us when it is released
To add insult to injury, Evernote decided for its customers that their tool not working is a “small hassle”. This statement presents two questions: First, how do they know how big the hassle is? and second, if their tool being severely handicapped is a small hassle, why should anyone pay for it?
Now, beside the fact that the link they recommend does not work, what should a company do to deliver news like these:
- Tell the users something they do not know but care about, for example, when will the new release be available
- Do not make assumptions about the problem’s impact on your users (hint: do not use “small hassle”)
- Commit to following0-up, communicate progress and the availability of the new release in the same way you communicated the problem