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(Archived) Customer (Us) Company (Evernote) Relations: Best Practices

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  • Level 5*

What do you think we could do to make the Evernote and User experience more collaborative?

I was thinking about some best practices by companies (and customers) that have made for some really synergetic relationships (Apple and Amazon come to mind), and I thought it might be helpful to share our experiences.

I'll start off with Evernote ;)

1. Knowledge Base. Great resource, but difficult for new users to find and sometimes has incomplete or outdated information. Perhaps customers could be recruited to write these with final content approval from Evernote?


2. Blog. I like this as well. In particular, I like when Evernote explains a problem, how to solve it, and why it happens. Some of my best customer service interactions have been like this, and I highly recommend the approach. Here is an example written by someone you may have heard about.


3. Ron's Tips. You can never have too much of this. I like it when employees share their experiences with the product.


4. Follow Up. I've had developers write to me months after I have reported a bug or asked for a feature telling me that it had been fixed or added. This kind of follow-up is a big deal, and really encourages not only loyalty, but participation in the development process.

What kind of best practices have you experienced?

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How ideal customer service would look to me :

whenever you have a problem or a question you send an email and always get it answered or solved or at least you get an explanation of why it couldn't be solved. It's a bonus when the reply is up to the point without any copy and paste text and such so you don't get the same answer over and over even when the solution doesn't work. In other words it's a bonus if you feel like you're talking with a real person instead of some automation.

That's all I need, I don't think it could get much better.

Evernote has good support even though the user base is very large so I have no complaints. It even has support in multiple languages including russian which is also nice.

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  • Level 5

LastPass.com does a fine job of offering on-line support.

  • User Manual

General search

  • Most Popular FAQs
  • FAQs by Product
  • FAQs by Feature

My favorite is

  • Videos and Screencasts (Walkthru)

And like Evernote,

  • User Forum, with frequent replies from the developers


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  • Level 5*

I like the Last Pass FAQ page structure, but as far as I can tell, they never let you look at every FAQ entry related to the product. Only the most popular. If they could show you everything, then that would pretty much be perfect.

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  • Level 5*

+10 for walkthru videos. They don't have to be long or expensively produced, but for any new features (and for a new user that means all of it) a quick visual explanation of how stuff works is worth several written explanations. Plus the user knows s/he'll only lose 2-3 minutes of their life getting to grips with a new operation.

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  • Level 5*

It's a trade off, money spent on videos and documentation is money not spent on other things. Having no real understanding of Evernote's financials we have to assume that they feel like they are doing the best they can with what they have available.

We do know that they are working on improved documentation but even this is challenging as the Evernote model of fast releases across so many platforms means that the documentation is in constant need of updating whilst still supporting some historical versions for those who haven't/won't upgrade.

It's a nasty job, I'm glad it's not mine.

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  • Level 5*
documentation is in constant need of updating

Agreed that I wouldn't like the job either, but I used to run a Wiki for the hundreds of elf geeks who provided live support for millions of broadband users in the UK. We were an ISP, not a hardware provider, so you can imagine the endless combinations of desktop / router / OS and user competence, mixed with the new releases across the market from all of the above. (All those stories you've heard about tech-support calls? They're all, sadly, absolutely true!)

To stay in touch with the minute-by-minute changes to everything, we set up the Wiki. It was internal and a touch specialised in its use, but the ability to change any page at any time but still stay within the format of a defined layout worked great for us.

Wikipedia shows that Wikis are is pretty much spanner-proof despite huge numbers of views and edits, and as editing is possible by any trusted user, you're not limited to one person or one department keeping things up to date. Lots of public tech pages link to Wiki help, so it's not a new concept.

And you can embed links / videos in Wiki pages.

I'm sure the Herd will have considered this sort of thing anyway, but I'm just sayin'.


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  • Level 5*

My company use Confluence from Atlassian that is a great Wiki product - I've suggested using it before and been met with not much interest from Evernote team so I don't think it's a road they want to go down.

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  • Level 5

+10 for walkthru videos. They don't have to be long or expensively produced, but for any new features (and for a new user that means all of it) a quick visual explanation of how stuff works is worth several written explanations. Plus the user knows s/he'll only lose 2-3 minutes of their life getting to grips with a new operation.

The LastPass videos took from newbie status to proficiency in less than a day.

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  • Level 5*

along the lines of the wiki model, why not post user videos and walkthroughs? i can't think of anywhere i have seen this done, but i think outsourcing this kind of stuff to the community (with the understanding, of course, that this is user generated content and not "official") wouldn't cost en much (if anything at all) and it would be a great way to welcome new users into a community, rather than just an app.

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  • 1 month later...

This is a very interesting read, thanks everyone for all of your comments and suggestions. To be honest I have been toying with the idea of a wiki that the community owns and is full onboard collaboration of Evernote knowledge. From everyones experience in the past would this be something that the community would like to see and if you have some additional examples and software used for wiki content it would be great if you could share that with me.

I cannot promise that this will be implemented soon but would be open to discuss this further. I see that many forum posters add best practices, tip and tricks to forum on a frequent basis, so pulling this info into a wiki and the knowledge base would be great. I really do like the idea of customer generated content and the idea of adding user videos and walkthroughs too. I am an avid gamer and I like the wiki's that the community have implemented for the many games I play especially the user generated content around World of Warcraft.

Thanks again everyone.

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  • Level 5*

i am glad to hear you are interested phil. i am not an avid gamer myself, but i am familiar with some of the well-done sites by players that add a lot of depth to the experience. for games, i think the wiki for kingdom of loathing at http://kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/index.php/Main_Page is a good one in the conventional wiki format. i wish there was something like this for evernote!

there are, of course, various apple, ipad, android, etc. forums dedicated to product lines. in general, i find apple's "help" to be a barren wasteland, and the excellent advice offered by other users on these forums (much like the evernote forum) have been incredibly useful. you've already got something good going here with this forum.

but some of the stuff like the features available on different platforms, or organizational strategies are scattered all over the place and coule really use a central "wiki" location. in my opinion, the main benefit for evernote in going beyond the forum format is that evernote doesn't have to invest the human and monetary resources in maintaining an "official" record of such things, and can let users do it for them. there will be occasional mistakes, of course, but evernote will not be responsible, and i am sure the wiki contributors will be glad to fix anything if it is pointed out to them. it is a win-win for everyone.

if you are looking for a user-generated content wiki done for a products similar to evernote, there are some nice ones out there that i have found helpful. if evernote sponsored the space, i am sure you would get a good response.







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  • Level 5*

I may have mentioned wikis from time to time in my posts <evil grin> and I think this would be a genuine step forward in Evernote tech-support. It's been evident, even in the fairly short time that I've been posting here, that the user base is expanding pretty quickly, and similar queries keep on cropping up from the constant supply of Newbies.

Fair play to the Forum fairies but the current search function seems erratic at best, and it's not a poster's fault that s/he asks a question that has been answered before.

It seems likely that there will be more and more of this standard chatter, and my original reason for getting involved with an in-house Wiki was: I hate explaining things twice. If there's a well-organised, easily searched database that I can refer to, it is the work of a moment to say "see the section on tags vs notebooks at http:/..."

When someone comes up with an original question (as if..) it's also easy to add a page or two, and to update the "standard" information if things change with new versions of software.

I've seen this concept work very well in busy commercial environments - no reason why, with the knowledgeable and enthusiastic support you get around here, that it should not transplant well. My Wiki-engine-of-choice would be MediaWiki (12,000,000+ Wikipedians can't be wrong..) but there are lots of commercial options around that might suite your servers better.

I'll look forward to any news of developments.

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