I checked my inbox, and the email I was expecting wasn’t there. I clicked refresh – still nothing. I checked the junk folder to make sure it wasn’t there, back to the inbox – still nothing. The preview copy of my ezine hadn’t arrived. In keeping with email best practices, I always send a preview copy to myself before sending it to all of my subscribers. This practice has served me well and I wasn’t about to just schedule the mailing simply because I couldn’t see the preview. I don’t give up that easy. As the day unfolded I learned about the night of disaster at Infusionsoft.
Next I sent a preview copy of the ezine to my second email account and then to my wife’s email, but when I checked both accounts, the much anticipated message was missing. Just to make sure I wasn’t experiencing a technical issue with my email, I sent the preview copy of my ezine to a friend in the computer business. He confirmed my suspicion, the preview never reached his mail server. That could mean only one thing – Infusionsoft was having problems.
Customer Service Lesson #1
Infusionsoft could have saved their clients a great deal of time and reduced the number of support calls and tickets they received if they had posted a system wide message alerting customers of the situation.
Opening the online chat window with Infusionsoft’s customer service department showed that there were 43 people in queue ahead of me. That’s not a good sign early in the morning.
Customer Service Lesson #2
Letting people know how many people are ahead of them in line is a great idea because it sets the expectation of wait time. Ideally you want the line to be as short as possible, and it usually is at Infusionsoft.
A call to their customer service number was answered surprisingly quickly. It was here that I was informed of the exact nature of the problem that Infusionsoft was experiencing. It turns out that a software update on several mail servers didn’t go as expected overnight. The result was that outgoing mail was stuck in queue and wasn’t actually being sent.
Customer Service Lesson #3
Honesty is always the best policy. Although I didn’t like the news that I was hearing, their honesty and transparency impressed me a great deal. My respect for their company increased as a result of this phone call.
Later in the day I received a phone call from Infusionsoft, letting me know that they had finally resolved their outgoing mail server problems. Their phone call surprised me because I hadn’t asked for them to call me when they got things working. I expected to be notified by email when they got things fixed. Instead, they called and sent an email to let me know they had things working again.
Customer Service Lesson #4
Sending an email and following up with a quick phone call is the fastest way to notify someone of important information.
The phone call that I received from Infusionsoft provided a great opportunity for me to relay a suggestion (described above as Customer Service Lesson #1). The suggestion was enthusiastically greeted with, “That’s a great idea. That would save everyone a lot of time. I’ll pass this on to our development team.”
Customer Service Lesson #5
When suggestions are received graciously rather than defensively, customer loyalty increases. Not every suggestion will be practical, but those that are will help you further improve your product or service.
Sometimes things don’t go as planned. What could have been a real public relations nightmare was turned into an overall positive experience with the company. When handled properly, disasters represent an opportunity for improvement in systems and procedures to reduce the likelihood of a repeat situation and can further strengthen your relationship with your customers.