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Michael Goulding

Evernote Development and Support Broken?

Is Product Development and Support Broken?  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Is Product Development and Support Broken?

    • No, its fine there are no issues.
      0
    • Yes it could be improved but in general it is ok
      4
    • Yes it is in immediate need of attention
      10


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Firstly I loved Evernote, been a user 10 years, the product has helped me manage my life and I am grateful for it.

However. my frustration is growing with Evernote bugs and general reliability of the apps. It seems forum threads go unheard as people continue to post about long standing issues. A lot of the advice is "report it to support". So I have been with nothing to suggest to me that this is actually helping.

Today I got a response (quoted below) to an Android bug I reported (that has been around as long as I can remember and have reported before). The bug and response isn't important here although the suggested remedy doesn't solve the issue. Anyway...

The bigger question is what Evernote is doing with support and product maintenance and development? What is the role of the forum if the only threads that seem to get any notice are beta release threads (and even they can go quiet from EN for days at a time with all the poor beta testers left in the dark!). Why even have a "potential bugs/technical issues" forum if it isn't monitored and acted on by Evernote staff!? And what is the point of reporting to support if it is just sent to a 'community expert'? I know I can report back the issue isn't resolved and it may get escalated, but that just absorbs resources and adds frustration for everyone.

We've seen so many promises about improvements to the product, and in some aesthetic areas it is better; new editors to standardise, new back end infrastructure etc, but it doesn't appear to be getting any better. Fundamental features have major bugs and the experience across platforms is inconsistent. Beta's are being released with some really serious bugs that should never have even reached Beta, in particular some big sync issues in the windows app recently, one of which made it all the way through the beta to public release despite being acknowledged as an issue!! 

It feels like the development teams are struggling for direction and resources to keep this product moving forward. The forums need to be tidied up, and Evernote needs to acknowledge and fix user reported bugs right across the forum. I saw a recent announcement something might be happening with forum monitoring but felt the measures won't go far enough, remains to be seen I guess. 

I've been using Evernote extensively since 2008, becoming an ECL, attending Evernote events and promoting it widely. I want it to be the best. But this situation is getting worse and I can't recommend it anymore. If the biggest supporters like me are loosing faith and are actively looking for alternatives then Evernote has a serious problem going forward because there is no shortage of businesses trying to come steal their users.

This is just one opinion though, I know software is hard. I'd be keen to hear others thoughts, am I over-reacting? I know just by being in the forum you are self selecting as generally someone looking for help or improvements so the answers maybe a little skewed. In any case it would be nice to know what the users think, and more importantly what the staff and management think.

 

 

Quote

Hi Michael 

Thank you for reaching out to us. I'm sorry you are facing issues with your Evernote, I'll do my best to help you out here. 

My name is Mary, I'm a member of the Evernote Expertise Network. We are experienced Evernote users who assist the Support Staff by helping out fellow Evernote users in the community. We are not affiliated with Evernote and have no access to your account, your personal information or any document attached with this support ticket. 

This issue has been reported by several users, and usually is fixed by following these steps: 
1. Sign out of Evernote 
2. Uninstall 
3. Restart your Android 
4. Reinstall Evernote. 
5. Once Evernote is reinstalled, log back in with the same account login credentials. 
6. Retry the search. 

In here you will find more details on how to install Evernote: 
https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/209... 

Hope this helps! If this still persists, please let me know. 
Looking forward to hearing back from you. 

Thank you! 

 

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48 minutes ago, Michael Goulding said:

What is the role of the forum

This is a User Discussion forum with users helping each other with general use questions.
There are specific Release Discussions for Evernote to obtain feedback on issues.
There are Request forums for users to post Feature Requests.  Users can discuss the request and indicate their support.

For Support, I use Evernote's support web site at https://www.evernote.com/SupportLogin.action
I also use the Support site to submit bug reports.

Product Development and Support is a balance of priorities, resources, funding, ....
Since I don't have access to the inside details on this, any evaluation is basically worthless.
I do note a funding indicator in that there is no charge for the Evernote Editor software, and no charge for the Basic account level.

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1 hour ago, Michael Goulding said:

What is the role of the forum

An offset to EN overhead to some extent.

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I didn't even know you could get multi-vote questions on the forum!

Anyway.  Big software house have a major problem in providing customer service.  How do you provide an adequate service to immense numbers of customers spread in time zones around the world?  There's a wide spread of expertise too - some users simply don't know how to achieve whatever they're trying to do and need hand-holding.  Others have situations that haven't come up in testing and may indeed be experiencing a genuine bug - which you have to confirm and find and fix before too many of your users are affected.  They need to:

  • Find a way for users who don't have a major issue to find a solution for themselves.
  • Provide some self-help and customer forums so unofficial help is available.
  • Offer a technical support route for anything which doesn't fit into those boxes.
  • Make the most effective use of employees' efforts - which means they spend the maximum time away from customers,  actually working on the application.

This is an area where I've worked in the past - and (in the view of the staff) Management never allocate enough resources to support teams.  I've some sympathy with Management - Support departments will expand to absorb any resources that can be thrown at them,  and no matter how time-limited the techs may be there's always one customer who wants to keep an agent on the line forever because s/he's finally getting some attention...

It's hugely complicated - I once had a huge argument with a director about being 'unreasonably' required to process the maximum volume of reports without much concern for the quality of those interactions.  He simply pointed out that every customer that didn't get some sort of response went on to contact the company again,  and again...  and multiplied the 'real' number of reports about one event a dozen times.  And gave us a bigger volume of work to process.

Have Evernote got their support levels right? - No.  Will discussions like this force them to improve? - almost certainly not.  Comments in the Forums are from a vanishingly small part of the overall customer base.  I think Evernote staff pay attention to comments here - but it's the management and investors who hold the purse strings,  and they're more concerned with making money,  not spending it...

There have been some attempts to clean up the forums - not least the fact that my colleagues and I try to push new posters in the right direction so we don't get endless repeats of the same question.  Some feature requests have been gathered together so that all the comments (and the votes) are in one place for the convenience of product managers.  The forums themselves got rearranged into a more coherent order for the benefit of posters.  Staff are commenting - but a half-dozen employees doesn't make a huge impact on dozens or hundreds of posts per day.  (I doubt by the way you'll have any specific comments on your post from staff - they tend to stick to technical matters.)

TL:DR - You're right to be frustrated and concerned.  Don't expect any short-term changes.  If Evernote stops doing what you want,  find something better.  Meantime we'll help out if we can...

 

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Thanks for your comments, I agree for the most part with all of you.

I still maintain that the forum should be a major source of input for bug reports and technical issues as it helps keep load off the individual support requests.

I'm very happy with the feature set of Evernote, the help guides and the community around making the best of the product. What I have a problem with is the constant bugs that aren't being fixed. There are many many examples here of long standing issues that aren't getting any attention. Perhaps they should put new features on ice for a while and focus on bugs and stability.

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