Actual Customer Support Is Remarkable

What a sad thing to write.

We believe in good software around here. There is a lot of poorly built software on the Internet and in the app stores. Our motivation with Good Enough is to try to put together a few products that feel just right to the folks using them. The things we build, especially those things we charge for, should respect the customer by streamlining something for them that used to be hard. We hope people enjoy using our software, while also not trying to dopamine-hit them such that it becomes addictive.

While we'll do our best, there are still going to be times where we fail in our mission; especially in the beginning as we're figuring out just how a software should work. Those are the times where polite, helpful customer support helps out. Whether a company decides to do this with phone, email, chat, or a combination isn't nearly as important as a human response in a reasonable time.

For good or ill, software industry norms are defined by the big companies, and we have terrible examples. Google's lack of clear support avenues, or even offering support to certain customers, is legendary. Unfortunately that appears to be trickling down. I recently wrote to a newer billion-dollar company, GitHub, for support. It took over one month to get a response. And, a company that I assume is not even profitable, is taking its cues from the industry leaders. Their chat support lists a response time of five hours (!), but two interactions earlier this year found the actual response time to be over three days (!!!). (Thankfully after some conversation our service with them has sped up since.)

Small, big, or in-between, we refuse to follow these leaders. While we do not plan to have a staff large enough to answer the phones all day, we do plan to politely respond to customers in a reasonable amount of time. That comes at a cost, but there is also a cost to the alternative.

What’s more interesting, sharing ideas with each other or filling out an unacknowledged wish list item on a web form?

What’s more nourishing, contact with a human or an AI?

What’s more valuable, our time or yours?