Thanksgiving is the trigger holiday that reminds us to express our gratitude before the bustle of “the season” begins and consumerism takes us over. Early the next morning Black Friday shoppers line up outside malls and shopping centers across the country.
Many readily forget the thanks they felt less than 24 hours before as the last television set gets put into another shopper’s cart or the special that was so tempting in the ad gets sold out. It results in panic over perceived scarcity and external blame for the shopper’s disappointment.
Boy, am I thankful I don’t work in retail.
I’ve received over a dozen marketing emails in my inbox this week from brands and businesses telling me how thankful they were for me as a customer. Most of that thanks is followed up with “take 30% off this Friday with coupon code ‘Thankful’” or something to that tune.
My mom says that cynicism really isn’t becoming on me, and while I no doubt believe her, it’s messages like these that drive me up the wall. Sometimes I think, “What if tomorrow all companies just stopped lying in their marketing?”
This is a pretty massive change to consider. It overwhelms my working memory so I try to narrow it down to just considering the effect it would have on the cereal aisle in the grocery store. Lucky Charms would no longer boast that it was America’s #1 Source of Whole Grain at breakfast. Froot Loops would stop saying it is a good source of fiber and change their names to quit deceiving millions that in some way eating a bowl of the cereal represents fruit intake.
We’re all susceptible to marketing and that susceptibility is played off of more during the holidays when warm fuzzies aren’t hard to arise. An email from company x telling me they’re thankful for me with a coupon code really doesn’t say anything about gratitude.
So, we wanted to do something a bit different. We really are so grateful for our users. Some are coming up on their four year anniversary with us next month and some are just beginning their journey using our software. Wherever they are in their path toward having a more efficient online scheduling solution, there are things our users do that make us feel so blessed.
A big thank you to our users! Each and every day you provide us with invaluable feedback to grow and build our system. We know there are other solutions out there you could use and we are deeply privileged to have your business.
Instead of just saying we’re thankful for our users, however, I really want to let you know why I think our user base stands above all others. So here are the top 4 things I’m thankful for about the customers we have and hope to keep:
1. Patience – Software is not the business of the majority of our users, which is great because it’s our bread and butter. And yet, building software is never a straightforward process. Yes, you may release the feature people had been clamoring over, but you now have to support the feature and fix the inevitable bugs that arise from it. 95% of the time when a user writes or calls in about a bug that I’m sure annoys their workflow, I’m met with a strong sense of patience on the other end. While we’re work our hardest to get it resolved and move you on your way as fast as we can, your patience in the meantime lets us work much more efficiently.
2. Kindness – Whatever issues our users see (be it a bug on our side or user error on theirs) we work together to get it resolved. There’s always a strong sense of kindness and understanding that our users give off when we speak with them. It’s rare that we get angry people on the phone or have customers raise their voices at us. Working with software can be frustrating especially if there’s something you want to do and we as software builders haven’t made it readily apparent enough as to how to do it. Despite our own faults, our users are, on the majority, exceptionally kind.
3. Respect – So many of our users show respect for us by pointing out issues and saying “Hey, I know you guys are working really hard to make checkAppointments awesome. Just wanted to make sure you were aware of XYZ.” In a retail setting, this rarely happens. We do work really hard and it’s just so nice to have that recognized. We wish we had infinite hours to get everything done the minute that it’s needed, but that’s not the time-bound universe we live in. We feel the respect you have for our work and we hope that our respect for your business comes off just as strongly.
4. Gratitude – Maybe it’s just a reflection of the state of customer service in 2013, but we’re overwhelmed by users’ gratitude as we resolve issues or answer support requests. It’s not a wasted second when you send us a quick note of thanks. We cherish those, star them, and put them in special email folders. Feeling grateful and taking the time to express that gratitude are two separate actions. Our users take the time to do both so thank you for that.
A very happy Thanksgiving from our office in Charlotte to wherever you are across the states. To our international users, while Thanksgiving is an American holiday, gratitude is a universal emotion. Please know that on this day especially we’re thankful for your support of our business and we look forward to continue to serve yours.
The checkAppointments Team