- SEVER ISSUE $$$ HOW TO MAKE MORE $S BY PROTECTING CUSTOMERS - INCREASING CUSTOMER'S SALES $$$ -R4

ACLACL Member Posts: 21
edited October 2015 in Announcements
LET ME FIRST QULIFY THAT I REALY LIKE ZEN VERY MUCH IN SPITE OF TS PITFALLS. IT IMPORTANT TO NOTE: THEY ARE NOT CAUSED BY THE THE GREAT PEOPLE IN CUSTOMER SUPPORT. THIESE PITFALLS ARE BEYOND THEIR CONTROL. CUSTOMER SUPPORT DOES AN EXCELLENT JOB.

1) QUESTIONS: A) WOULD ZEN CUSTOMERS ENJOY ELIMINATING LOST OPPORTUNITIES IN SALES?
B) ARE THERE ANY ZEN CUSTOMERS DISCUSSING A SUBJECT SOLUTIONS THAT I MAY HAVE OVERLOOKED? C) DOES ANY CUSTOMERS AGREE THAT THE SUBJECT SOLUTIONS ARE ZEN CUSTOMERS #1 PRIORITY ASSIDE FROM FIXING ZEN'S SERVER AND STRICT QUALITY CONTROL? -D ) WOULD ADOPTING A WRITEN "ZEN CUSTOMER PROTECTION ACTION PLAN" BE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE SOLUTION DURING WEB HOSTING INTERRUPTIONS. SUCH AS THOSE THAT WE HAVE EXPERIENCED RECENTLY? - E) COULD SUCH AN ACTION PLAN AVOID EMBRACING EXPERIENCE(S) - THAT COULD KILL A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ZEN AND ITS CUSTOMERS - BT MAINLY KILL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PHOTOGRAPHER(S) AND THEIR CLIENT(S) - RESULTING IN LOSS INCOME AND PROFIT ? D) DOES ANY ZEN CUSTOMERS KNOW THAT SUBJECT PREVENTATIVE ACTION PLANS ARE COMMONLY ADOPTED BY MANY COMPANIES? - SUCH PLANS ARE WELL KNOW AS "CRISIS PREVENTION" DESIGNED FOR MAINTAIN CLIENT PUBLIC RELATIONS, CREDIBILITY AND SALES - IN ZEN'S CASE THE SOLUTION WOULD BE IMPLEMENTED TO PREVENT ZEN CUSTOMER'S FROM LOSS OF INCOME/PROFIT CAUSED BY WEBSITE INTERUPTIONS - GENERALLY DUE TO MALFUNCTIONS, SCHEDULED OR UNSCHEDULED MAINTENANCE AND PERHAPS OTHER REASONS. IT CAN ALSO BE USED FOR TEMPORARY FULFILLMENT PROBLEMS - BUT I WOULDN'T KNOW - STILL IN WEB DEVELOPMENT AND NOT READY TO UPGRADE AS YET.

KINDLY CHECK OUT THE LINK BELOW - ITS ONE OF TONS OF ARTICLES THAT ADDRESSES THIS SUBJECT - ITS 4 VERY SHORT PAGES.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/iese/2015/05/07/how-to-handle-a-pr-crisis/3/

PLEASE EXCUSE MY POOR SPELLING, GRAMMAR, AND LONG WINDEDNESS. KNOW THERE ARE LOTS OF ERRORS. WILL BE GOING BACK TO GRADUALLY MAKE CORRECTIONS / REVISIONS ("R") AS TIME PERMITS. "R"S WILL BE SHOWN IN THE SUBJECT - AM NOW UP TO R4 - ALSO THIS POST IS SOMEWHAT RHETORICAL AND OVERDRAMATIZING DUE TO URGENCY. DISCLAIMER: ANYTHING IN THIS POST IS ONLY MY OPINIONS AND BELIEFS SOME OF WHICH AS YET DOES NOT HAVE FACTUAL INFORMATION TO SUPPORT MY WORDS. FEEL FREE TO HELP WITH CORRECTIONS IF YOU WISH.

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THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ZERO "0" TOLERANCE - PROBLEMS HAPPEN. MY WIFE MENTIONED THAT JCREW WAS HAVING OUTAGES RECENTLY. THIS IS WHY MANY SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS ( ESPECIALLY IN TECH / INTERNET - I WOULD THINK ) ADOPT "CRISIS PREVENTION" PLANS - I WILL REFER TO IT AS A "CUSTOMER PROTECTION ACTION PLAN" ("CPAP"). WHY HAVE A "CPAP" ? - ITS A WELL KNOW FACT THAT WEBSITE OUTAGES HAPPEN FOR VARIOUS REASONS. THAY CAN RESULT IN EXTREMELY SERIOUS REPERCUSSIONS. FOR EXAMPLE OUTAGES CAN DAMAGE CREDIBILITY AND PROFITABILITY IF THEY ARE NOT MANAGED CORRECTLY. WITH ZEN AND FAMILY THIS DILEMA HAS BEEN PRIMARILY DO TO LACK OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN ZEN AND ITS CUSTOMERS WHEN AN EVENT STRIKES. MOST CRITICAL IS WHEN AND HOW ZEN MANAGES THE PROCESS IN PROTECTING THEIR CUSTOMERS FROM ANY DAMAGES DURING AND AFTER AN OUTAGE. BASED ON MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE , COMMENTS IN FORUMS AND OTHER ONLINE SOURCES - IN SPITE OF ZEN'S GOOD INTENSIONS - UNFORTUNATELY ZEN IS UNINTENTIONALLY IS FALLING SHORT IN PROTECTING ITS CUSTOMER'S WELL BEING DURING SUCH EVENTS. THE PROCESS IN WHICH ZEN MANAGES PROTECTING THEIR CUSTOMERS IS EQUAL TO THE SERIOUSNESS OF AN OUTAGE ITSELF.

SO WHY WOULD ZEN RISK DOING HARM THAT COULD COMPROMISING ZEN'S CUSTOMER RETENTION AND FUTURE SALES EVEN IF MINIMAL. MAYBE ITS TO HARD TO DO ANY METRIX TO CRANK IN AN EXACT FIGURE FOR TRACKING RETENTION AND FUTURE SALES LOSSES IF ANY. AS SUCH INVESTING IS A "CPAP" IS NOT WORTHY FOR CONSIDERATION. HOWEVER MY GUT FEELING IS THAT ZEN'S HEART IS IN THE CUSTOMERS BEST INTEREST - INVESTING A FEW BUCKS TO INCREASE CUSTOMER CONFIDENCE IS THE RIGHT THING TO CONSIDER. FURTHER ITS WELL KNOW THAT ZEN HAS A GREAT PRODUCT IN SPITE OF ITS NECESSARY IMPROVEMENTS. THIS IS WHY MY PREFERENCE IS TO CONTINUE TO BE ZEN'S CUSTOMER. FURTHER I PERSONALLY WANT TO HELP AND BE PART OF THE SOLUTION PARTICULARLY WITH THE "CPAP". I BELIEVE FROM A MARKETING STANDPOINT A "CPAP" WOULD IMPROVE ZEN'S CUSTOMER RETENTION AND INCREASE IN ENROLLMENT. THE "CPAP" IS RELATIVELY EASY AND INEXPENSIVE. SO SHOULDN'T A "CPAP" BE ZEN AND FAMILIES' #1 PRIORITY AS WITH THE SERVER TO POTENTIALLY INCREASE FUTURE PROFITS AT MINIMAL EXPENSE .

ARE MOST OF THE GOOD PEOPLE IN THE ZEN COMMUNITY NOT ALL THAT CONCERN ABOUT THE RISK IN SUFFERING THE THE LOSS OF CLOSING THAT NEW BIG ORDER? HOW COULD IT HAPPEN? A) THE LAW OF AVERAGE CATCHES UP WITH ZEN'S 1% RECORD - RESULTING IN SYSTEM SHUTS DOWN ON THE DAY THE NEW CLIENT WAS SCHEDULED TO PLACE THAT BIG ELECTRONIC ORDER B) ZEN CUSTOMER WAS NOT INFORMED TIMELY DUE TO A NON-EXISTING "CPAP" C) THAT MEANT THAT ZEN'S CUSTOMER WAS NOT AWARE THAT A VERY URGENT INTERVENTION CALL/TEXT/EMAIL HAD TO BE MADE QUICKLY WITH PLENTY OF TIME TO DISCUSS WITH THE NEW CLIENT AN ALTERNATE METHOD TO SALVAGE AND WRITE THE ORDER BUT IT NEVER HAPPENED D) THAT DAY OF THE SHUT DOWN THE NEW CLIENT WHO WAS ALSO UNINFORMED GOES ON LINE TO PLACE THAT BIG ORDER E) INSTEAD THAT NEW CLIENT SEES A DEAD WEBSITE E) NEW CLIENT GETS SCARED - THINKS THAT HE OR SHE HAS PICKED THE WRONG COMPANY TO DO BUSINESS WITH AND BACKS OUT.

CREATING THE "CUSTOMER PROTECTION ACTION PLAN" IS AS IMPORTANT AS A FIRST GLASS SERVER SYSTEM AND CREATING ONE WILL NOT IMPACT THE TECH DEPARTMENT'S TIME TO DO THEIR JOB. WHAT OTHER OPTIONS DOES ZEN CUSTOMERS HAVE TO AVOID THE "EGG IN FACES " ISSUE. - IS DEMANDING THAT A COMPREHENSIVE INTERIM "CPAP" NOT AN UNREALISTIC REQUEST? A "CPAP" SHOULD BE RELATIVELY EASY - ZENS INFRASTRUCTURE IS ALREADY IN PLACE . A PRELIMINARY INTERIM "CPAP" HAND BOOK CAN BE PRODUCED WITH IN ABOUT 4 WEEKS AT MINIMAL COST. POSSIBLE STEPS: A) HANDBOOK THAT LIST KEY ELEMENTS WHICH ARE MOST IMPORTANT AND REALISTIC - EXAMPLE : EMAIL NOTIFICATION SYSTEM, DEDICATED WEB PAGE FOR STATUS AND DESCRIPTION OF PROTOCOL B) AFTER HANDBOOK FOR PRELIMINARY INTERIM "CPAP" IS COMPLETED IT IS DISTRIBUTED TO CUSTOMER FOR ORIENTATION VIA EMAIL, BARE BONES VIDIO, DOWN LOAD AND /OR WEB PAGE FOR FEED BACK C) AFTER FEED BACK AN UPDATED VERSION OF THE HANDBOOK IS COMPLETED IN SEVERAL WEEKS D) THERE AFTER UPDATES ARE ADDED ON AN AS NEEDED BASIS. E) HAND BOOK FOR DOWN LOAD ALWAYS REMAINS ON LINE F) DEDICATED WEB PAGE FOR UPDATES IS ALWAYS IN PLACE.

TIRED TO BE CONTINUED - HOPE TO GET FEEDBACK FIRST:) THX!!!
Post edited by ACL on

Comments

  • Kevin KrowsKevin Krows United StatesMember Posts: 1,457
    edited October 2015
    I'll take a stab at giving some feedback -

    Investing an abundance of resources and money creating a strategic Handbook filled with protocols for problem resolution is a complete waste of time. Just because the article was written by Forbes Magazine doesn't mean that the concept is credible, practical, or of real value. They are in the business of selling magazines not solving business problems.

    Prior to becoming a full-time professional photographer I was a business executive specializing in strategic planning and process improvement. I spent 80% of my time unbundling the layers upon layers of written plans that nobody followed as well as the people who were supposed to implement or oversee these plans. Most of these plans were replaced with .... "Listen to Your Customers and Do the Right Thing." What we trained everyone on was.... "Doing the Right Thing" and then we empowered them to simply do it.

    When issues arise that are "critical" the individual in charge (General Manager) would always need to step in to take control of the situation and make the necessary decisions or changes. I/WE have asked for that of Zenfolio and Mr. Collin has responded by having regular "live" town hall meetings with him. I also believe that he is monitoring this forum closely as well as emails being sent to support.

    We don't need an action plan .... we simply need Mr. Collin to understand the importance of:

    1. A stable site that is up-and-running 24/7/365 with the exception of scheduled maintenance.
    2. Email communication when the site is having problems and needs to be taken down. A kind message to our customers via our web sites "Our site is currently unavailable for maintenance. Please check back later and thank you for your patience." is also important.
    3. Site simplification placing Function as a priority over Feature. The Function we want is "One-Click" add to cart and a streamline checkout process. Enough said.


    Finally, I don't want to robots on my team that have to refer to a manual or a plan to take care of me. I want people who are smart, know how to communicate, who care about my success, and are empowered to get things done.
  • ACLACL Member Posts: 21
    Kevin: Excellent reply - totally agree. I knew that if the opportunity permitted earlier last week you would have put the breaks on my periodic tendency to spin out of XXXXXXXXXX :) If there is anything I have learned in business its that a material and/or service provider such as ZEN - can not under any circumstance allow their customers to look bad in front of their client(s). The good people at ZEN know better. Again this issue was in no way the fault of the great people in support. In fact this sort of event could cause support seious embarrassment for something they had nothing do with. Yet they would be the first to deal with overheated ZEN customer. THX! Eric
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