Full transparency: Change is good

Full transparency: Change is good

October 30, 2013
Full transparency: Change is good

To create the best programs and products, a company needs to be nimble. Changes and adjustments are essential, and that includes keeping it exciting for users and customers. But change is tricky, and it can be unsettling.

Is it possible to get your users totally stoked about changes coming down the pike? I’m here to tell you it is.

At SessionM/mPOINTS, we approach changes by being as transparent as possible. We communicate early and often, and give our users a heads-up about changes as far ahead of time as possible. Because this is our standard practice, we’ve created an environment of trust and respect with our customers. We encourage them to ask questions and voice concerns. This helps them prepare for changes, but it also helps us address any details we might have missed. This in turn helps us be proactive on suggestions for new features in future releases. It’s truly a win-win situation.

Do you fear “social service”?

We love initiating our change communication via Facebook and Twitter announcements. We like to publish a post a week in advance of all new changes. This practice can also turn grumpy users into big supporters. If you see a negative comment or post, it’s a chance to start a dialogue. It transforms you from a customer support representative to a user advocate—and there’s a huge difference between the two. By advocating for your users, you help give them a voice. This empowers them and builds a sense of community, something all organizations desire.

Connecting your Facebook private messages and Twitter handle to Zendesk is a quick and easy way to provide support in one place. Sometimes specific issues can’t be discussed publicly over Facebook, so it’s better to redirect a user to submit a private Facebook message. This automatically opens a ticket in Zendesk.

Are you really being helpful?

Including links to detailed Help Center articles in announcements about new changes also allows you to further educate the user. They might find another article regarding an issue they’ve had. They might discover an option or learn about a feature they didn’t know existed. Linking to your Help Center encourages self-service and quick support.

Human, or robot?

And what about the “totally stoked” part, you say? Can you really get users excited about new changes? It starts with attitude and passion. You’ve got to show it through your responses to support requests and social media posts. You won’t receive constructive feedback or start a positive dialogue if your tone is flat or, worse, defensive. Being passionate about your work and motivated to advocate for your users are huge contributing factors in building a strong sense of community.

Be transparent and encourage your users to participate in your change process. Welcome their feedback. This way, they’ll see that change is good! For you and your users.

Our latest guest post was written by Rebecca Volynsky, Customer Support Manager at SessionM.

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