Lately, it becomes harder and harder for me to answer all e-mails and user questions, but I still do it, because I believe this is the most important part in making a successful business and I still don’t want to delegate it fully.
Most people are just super bad at talking with users and I’m not sure if they know this or not but the rule is actually really simple:
Treat people the way you want other people to treat you.
I am writing this because I want every future Iris employee to read it.
I don’t care if you are a programmer, designer, sales, marketing or what your title is.
If you treat users bad, you are probably bad as a person and I will fire you immediately.
This doesn’t mean that users are more important than you, but you need to value every single Iris user.
It doesn’t matter if the person pays for Iris, uses it for free or has hacked or downloaded the product from a torrent site.
You need to value every person who writes you e-mail even if the question is not related to the product. Help people, serve them and life will give you everything.
Customer Service is just some stupid business name for one thing:
Making people happy.
This is your job in this world and this is your job in this company.
I want you to make others happy, I want you to make your family happy, I want you to make users happy and I want you to be happy.
Help them, solve their problems, and give your everything to make others happy.
Don’t ever neglect yourself but do your best to make a positive change in other people’s lives.
I will talk in a lot more details later but right now I just want you to know that your job here is to make others happy.
In the long run, I promise you that this will make you also happy and will give meaning to your life.
Sense of purpose comes from knowing that you made the world a little better place.
Or at least this is what I believe in.
Who do you think pays your salary?
The answer is me yes, but where do I get this money from? Exactly.
If it wasn’t for all these Iris users from all around the world, both you and I will die from hunger.
Your interest is to make more money. My interest is to also make more money. Customers interest is to spend their money on something which makes their life better.
We are all selfish creatures but the only one who actually have a choice in this picture are the users.
If our product and service are bad they will just go elsewhere and we will die from hunger.
We both know that you will find another job, but I will need to rebuild the whole thing from scratch and make it a success again.
Think about the last time you had a great customer service.
Awesome memories right?
Now think about the last time you had worst customer service on Earth.
You probably now use another company for your needs and wants.
One thing we don’t want to be is in the middle. Nobody remembers the middle.
I would prefer we to be the greatest customer service, but at least the worst will give us feedback and we can improve.
Nobody is unhappy from the middle but people will just change us because we are just not good enough.
This is true in life as is true in business. You are either phenomenal or average. Better be phenomenal.
If people who use our products are happy we will make more money.
If we make more money, I will have more money and I will want to raise your salary.
If I make a lot of money from you, I will want you to be happy.
I will give you more free time, more money, more vacations and will do my best to make you happy.
Because you make users happy, I will make you happy.
Simple and win-win situation. This is the way I think the world should work. A place where everybody wins.
Customers win great products and great service, you win more happiness and more money and I win more happy users and more money.
I will fire you.
Actually, I will give you a chance, but if you make people unhappy time after time, you are probably bad as a person and I don’t want to work with bad people.
We have both positive and negative spirals.
If users are unhappy, they will not pay for our product, we will make less money, and I will need to decrease your salary or fire you to keep the company alive.
I hope it doesn’t go this way but instead of making you unhappy by decreasing your salary, I will give you the awesome opportunity to reinvent your life by firing you.
After somebody fires you, awesome things begin to happen and you may create 10 times better business after some years.
As you can guess as a founder my values are the company values even if I want it or not.
My biggest value is honesty.
Never ever lie to anyone in this company. Sometimes brutal and painful honesty is healthy.
This means that you can also be honest with users.
If you have an awful user who doesn’t like anything we do and constantly complains and you can’t satisfy it with anything, return his money and ask him to never order anything from us again.
That doesn’t mean to tell every user to fuck off and to return his money. Most people who use Iris are great as a people and their complaints are just advice which we can use to improve the product.
Always give your everything to make the users happy.
Write new feature, return their money, use remote desktop and help them to install or remove the program, create them new activation code for their new machine.
Give regular presents for them and their family, care about them the same way you want others to care about you.
But if you meet some really bad user who doesn’t have any respect for the work you have done to help him, please come to me and I will take care of the case.
As a CEO my job is dealing with all the worst situations so I will also do my best to help the user and try to make him happy.
If there is no way to do this, I will return all his money and at least try to leave a good impression about our company.
As a rule be honest within the company but never be rude. Always be good to users, but never be dishonest or lie to them.
Refund money whenever possible and solve all problems so if users want they could always pay again.
It’s always a balance.
The second value is to be good and caring to the people around you.
This is true for our company as it’s true for our families as it’s true for our customers.
Always be honest with yourself, but never put your interest in front of other people interests.
Always look for situations in which all parties win and always do your best to never hurt anyone.
Look from the eyes of other people and feel what is their pain. Help them whenever possible.
Show your appreciation for the people around you.
Whenever possible make them surprises and send them gifts.
Make other people feel special and make them feel happy.
Never ignore users who are not completely satisfied and do your best to make them happy.
Whatever you do, do your best.
Work hard and never give up on a problem.
Don’t just work but work for more.
Do more, feel more, give more and be more. This is what Iris is all about.
Always improve everything around you.
Always learn new things, and make the world around you better.
Every day, be better than yesterday.
Up until now it was only abstract words and talk.
Now I want to write concrete examples of various situations you may face.
Things may change but always try to get the general idea behind the concrete example.
If someone is unhappy with his purchase and wants a refund, refund him.
It doesn’t matter if he has bought the product 10 years ago or yesterday.
If someone is unhappy, return his money.
This is your first step.
Try to then get information about what is wrong and how we can help.
Some people just don’t like the product and don’t want it to be fixed, they just want their money back because they are not satisfied.
The best thing we can do in this situation is to return the money to the person.
This way he may never use our product again but he will feel good about our company.
But most people return and many times these angry people who didn’t like the product at first may become our most valuable customers in the long run.
Refunding doesn’t solve the problem with the crappy product.
Your next job is to fix all problems and issues that someone can have.
Most of the times people just need some help with the setup, maybe a better article, maybe a video or maybe small change in the code or hidden feature.
Send them the fix and if it’s working for them some of them will pay again.
If they don’t it’s still a win for us and for them because we fixed a problem which many more people might have had in the future.
Talk with users like you talk with your friends and family.
Be genuine and never ignore a person.
Never be too professional but never be unprofessional.
There is a small balance between too professional and unprofessional but the best customer service comes from something in between.
I don’t always sign my e-mails and I may use e-mail like chat sending people one line then update them with another line.
Help people in the fastest possible way without using template e-mails.
If someone has taken the time to write to you he has probably not used a template so don’t use also.
Automation may be helpful but great customer service is more important.
Better help 10 persons a day and chat with them like friends instead of sending 1000 people bad template e-mails.
Take your time, read the messages several times and give individual help to everyone.
Take care of users like you take care of your family.
Think about how you would feel if you ask someone about something you need help with immediately and he just Seen it.
I will probably feel bad and I’m pretty sure almost all people on Earth feel bad when somebody doesn’t respond to them.
Keep users up to date with everything.
Never just see the e-mail. Write that you will take care of this and update users every hour on the progress.
Update users until you find a solution to their problem and take user e-mails with the biggest possible priority.
User e-mails should be the highest priority and to solve them should be our highest priority.
When you solve a problem you will not get e-mails about it again and this will decrease the e-mail load we have to process.
Our goal is to minimize the e-mail load by maximizing the friendliness of our product.
Write tutorials, fix bugs, update the documentation and solve user problems.
While doing so, always keep the user up to date with what you are doing right now.
You have to report to users more than you report to anyone else.
This article will be updated regularly but these are the most important things I can think of right now.
Feel free to add your own examples and principles.
My only request is to keep them aligned with the values of our company: Be Honest, Be Caring, Make others Happy, Work Hard and Always Improve.
CEO Iris Technologies
Publishing date: 18.02.2018