I write a lot about bad actors, those businesses and individuals who demonstrate really bad customer service. It's one of those things -- sometimes there are those experiences that are so bad or stand out so significantly -- you feel like you need to share them. But the reality is that we often go through the day with hundreds of customer service interactions, that are all just okay. But what about the amazingly good one?
When I get the chance, I like to call those out too. I think it's a reminder that good customer service can save a relationship. Consider this story of my experience with 1Password and their incredible customer service team.
After the theft of my laptop, I needed to change all of my passwords. I didn't want to use any password patterns that I might have used in the past. I also wanted to change the way that I stored my passwords. After discussing various password vaults with colleagues and reading reviews online, I decided to try 1Password by Agilebits.
1Password had some very strong reviews. It enabled you to sync and carry all of your passwords across multiple devices, Mac and iPhone. It did cost some money, but it also seemed to have some helpful security features as well. Thinking that it was a reasonable software to try, I purchased it through the Apple App Store, and installed it on the Friday beginning the Labor day weekend.
Installation was pretty straightforward and before long, I entered about a dozen passwords into 1Password and was able to see and sync them between my Mac and my iPhone. Everything seemed to be good.
1Password uses a single 'Master Password' to unlock your vault. When I woke up the next morning, I needed to get into 1Password for a login. When I entered my Master Password, 1Password rejected it. I checked the caps lock key. I tried reentering it several times. I even entered it using a text editor, then copy and pasting it in. Nada.
I searched the 1Password site, but I couldn't find any helpful guidance. Using the site, I was finally able to submit a ticket to 1Password customer support. I got a response back in less than 15 minutes. When I say a response back, I don't just mean a generic auto-response, but an actual response from Eva, the "Good Witch of the Pacific Northwest".
Eva worked with me through email through the day on Saturday attempting to correct the issue, running a diagnostic tool for their software, and evaluating the results. In the end, we wound up needed to blow out the old version and reinstall. Unfortunately, because of the cloud-based sync, the corrupted master password rewrote the wrong data when I tried to reinstall. It was Saturday evening and I still wasn't up and running. At what worked out to be 3:00am my time (my guess is east coast office), Steve, the "Ninth Inning Closer" joined in, emailing instructions about how to correct the syncing problem. And, by the time I got going on Sunday, I was up and running again.
Since that time, I've had no hassles with 1Password. The application has run flawlessly. While I had to essentially do a completely clean restart, I felt like I owed it to Eva and to Steve to give the software one more try and the product has performed as promised. When you consider that, on that Saturday morning I extremely angry and frustrated, with more thoughts on refund than on repair, Agilebits' customer service saved their business. I went from being someone who was on the verge of being a very negative word of mouth to being... a customer.
People like Eva and Steve can be the unsung heroes of your brand, but you need to empower them and to recognize what an important part of the customer experience they can play. Odds are, if they had not been able to revive me as a customer, no amount of new features or marketing incentives could have brought me back.