Jason Ball's TechBytes

Technology & Venture Capital. Early stage venture capital news mixed with personal views and comments

Marketcircle, Five-star Customer Service

I use Marketcircle’s DayLite PIM/CRM (Personal Information Manager/Customer Relationship Manager) application on a daily basis for scheduling, task lists, contacts, etc. Also, because it’s a CRM, I track sales processes and have access to a client’s entire history as well as can manage Projects on an ongoing basis- all from within one well-designed Cocoa application (for Mac OS X).

I do some beta testing for Marketcircle and found there was a bug causing data loss in one of the latest builds. I reported the bug, reverted to a backup and got on with life. Since then, I have been working out of the latest publicly available build- following the previous beta- when the same data loss issue struck. Lack of data integrity is an absolute must in a PIM/CRM and this was no longer a beta build.

I shot off a mail to one of the user mailing lists complaining that the data loss issue had not been resolved, and that one year of work was now missing. Within a few hours (Marketcircle is in Canada, I live in Spain) one of the top guys wrote telling me it was an issue with Apple’s latest build of Mac OS X, 10.2.6, and how I could restore my files. He even offered to personally re-construct the file if I could not recover the lost information.

Now, it’s quite impressive that they offered to re-construct my file, especially when the problem was really with Apple’s Mac OS X, but they didn’t stop there. A few hours more and I received a second mail saying they would give me a complementary upgrade to the Business Edition (I was using a Personal Edition file) which was a more robust version of their software- running on an SQL database- in order to avoid any data loss issues in the future.

I was very, very impressed. One of the golden rules you learn in expensive MBA marketing courses is to EXCEED your customers’ expectations. Most executives sleep through that class. Marketcircle had three coffees beforehand.

I expected Daylite to fix the problem with their application. Period. Offering to reconstruct my file was a very nice touch, but offering me a complementary upgrade to the business edition? That’s five-star exceed-your-customer’s-expectations customer service.

The cost of the upgrade for Marketcircle was minimal to non-existent, only the lost “sale” of a Business Upgrade (I was thinking about upgrading within the next year), but their return is priceless: a very satisfied customer.

And in addition, because it’s the Macintosh community, they have more than a satisfied customer, they have an evangelist. So, congratulations to Marketcircle for exemplary Customer Service, and if you use Mac OS X, download DayLite right now and give it a try.

Filed under: Apple Computer, Software

iTunes UK

What can I say? I’m very impressed that Apple put this on the market at 0.99 Euros and 79p (both including VAT). I had flagged up the 79p price point as the sweet-spot and they hit the nail on head (see, reading my blog and listening to your customers *is* a good thing Steve).

I’ll probably stick with the $.99 US version for now though…I mean, $0.99 is only 45p after all…

And posters advertising the service are starting to pop up around town- but still no sign of the iPod mini.

I think there should have been just one store for all of Europe. Either everyone gets their own store or everyone has to share. Why do I say that? Well, if I understood correctly, the music offered is different from country to country, which means Die Fantastischen Vier is probably not available on the UK iTunes store or Laurent Garnier is not available at the German store.

I realize from a licensing point of view this makes a lot of sense- it was probably the best they could do. But from a customer’s point of view, isn’t it better to have full access to the largest collection possible? This is why I think the “EuroTunes” store is the best option. Access to multiple countries’ local artists and all under one roof. I’m not sure if they are planning to offer it like that or not. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. As a bonus, I’ll be interested in seeing the differences between the US English, UK English and European English versions.

Filed under: Apple Computer

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