Tech Support in an Anarchist World

It’s interesting to see how other companies offer tech support and relating that to our philosophy on it. Not only other software developers, but places we buy from (like Amazon) and hardware that we buy.

Basically, our deal is if you bought it from us, we’ll make sure you’re supported on it. There’s no time limit, support contracts, or whatever. There’s some caveats with this… if new hardware comes along that isn’t supported by an older version, you might have to upgrade to get a working version. It can require a lot of work to support new versions of host apps and new OSes, so we need to charge for upgrades sometimes. But if you bought something and it’s supposed to work on a given system, we’ll support you on it. (this includes stuff that we sold to Red Giant if they’re not supporting it for some reason)

So why are we so wonderfully altruistic? (tongue in cheek ;-)

There’s a few benefits for us:

1) We make software to be used. It’s exciting to see it being used, so there’s definitely motivation to ensure customers are successful with it. Also, if you all use it and get good results, you guys generally talk about it. That’s good for us. For example, I _love_ Amazon’s support. That’s advertising you can’t buy. But they rock and deserve it.

2) You’re a customer now, we’d like you to stay one. There’s no better way to make sure someone DOESN’T buy something from you in the future than to not support them now. If you’ve had a bad support experience, you aren’t likely to expect the company to suddenly offer good support because you bought additional things from them. We’re coming out with new products, we want you to be able to purchase those products knowing you’ll be supported.

3) Folks talk a lot more about bad experiences. It’s not always true, but people are more passionate about complaints than compliments usually. Lots of complaints don’t make other customers want to buy from you.

4) Bad support pisses me off. And I believe in Karma. So if I’m not willing to make sure my own company offers good support, I can’t really complain when we get crappy support for the hardware, software, and other stuff we buy.

We aren’t perfect. We fail sometimes. We forget to return emails or call people back. We’re a small company and sometimes those things happen. We don’t have a big support staff in India, if you call you’re as likely to talk to me as anyone, so occasionally balls get dropped. But if you call us on it, we’ll do everything in our power to make it right.

We want you to be successful. We want _ourselves_ to be successful. I think the best way to accomplish both those things is to offer good support. (well, and good products)

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