by Jonathan Gebauer (@jogebauer)
Update Feb 5 2015: Gavin Hammar, Founder and CEO of Sendible got in touch today via the comment section. He apologized and offered us 6 month free with Sendible for our trouble and assuring us that the technical problems have been fixed. While this remains an incredible example of what not to do I have to admit that if something like this has happened this is the way to resolve the situation.
We are going to take Gavin’s offer and write a full review about Sendible. I really hope that the problems are solved – I loved the tool back in the day. And I love the way that Gavin went to get us back – this was actually a while ago and he could have just let the dust settle.
Way to go Gavin. Maybe we get a chance to work together one day – I love what you are doing on the content marketing front lately!
I wasn’t going to write this. Stories about bad customer support are like urban legends… everybody knows one, and no one knows whether they are true. But this one really kills it.
Careful readers of this blog will know that Susanna and me are both very keen on social media marketing automation, and one of the tools we used and even recommended was Sendible.
Not any more.
A Story Of Really Bad Customer Support
Sendible used to be a convenient tool (albeit hard to understand sometimes and with a crappy UI) for quite a few recurring social media tasks. Our main use for it was sending automatic Direct Messages and Welcome Tweets to new followers on Twitter.
What you need to know is that our company exploreB2B runs around 25 different Twitter accounts and quite a few with more than 30,000 followers. Our personal accounts and our main company accounts alone total 400,000 followers with the grand total nearing the 1,000,000 mark.
We’ve been using Sendible for a while and it had always been reliable once you understood how it worked. But recently they seem to have realized that their UI is turning people off, so they redesigned. And that seems to be the turning point.
Since the redesign, Sendible simply wasn’t reliable anymore. It started with my personal account (@jogebauer) and then spread like a virus from there to all our accounts until our complete automation strategy wasn’t working anymore. Only about 10% of the messages that should have gone out were actually sent.
So, I contacted them. They first told me it was just a UI error and the messages were actually being sent. They weren’t – I can check that myself guys.
Then they told me they had fixed something and it should be working now.
It wasn’t working.
Without asing for further Feedback from my end, they closed my ticket – status solved. What?
Btw: Can someone please tell your team that it is really a bad idea to ask unhappy customers for testimonials? (Yes, someone else from Sendible contacted us and asked whether we wanted to give them a testimonial for their landing page… at the same time while we were having these conversations with support.)
I opened another support ticket, and when they didn’t reply, I contacted them on Twitter. Then they started replying again.
Now they started to convince me that my account wasn’t actually growing as fast as I believed it to grow. What?
Guys, I run a Twitter presence of over 900k followers – these make a huge part of my business. Do you really think that I don’t check exactly how fast they grow?
There are other ways to check that then contacting your support.
So, I told them exactly that.
Now here is the thing – not only were their software problems hindering my business growth, they were endangering my business. When your Twitter accounts are vital to your business – would you trust a company that behaves like that with them? This company could send Tweets from these accounts. They could misbehave from them. They can break your business!
It takes a lot of trust to put social accounts into a system like this. Your support employees should know that they need to prove worthy of clients trust!
So, I gave up. I started moving my accounts to a different tool. (Unfollowers.com provided the functionality we needed. We even save some money now. Messages now all go out completely.)
The whole incident took a while – conversations back and forth with their support, two different support employees getting in touch with me. At some point I got answers from their support team that were for a different client with a different problem.
Does this make them trustworthy?
There are companies that get what great customer support means. A friend of mine wrote this about Unbounce. He was only using a free account. He even got a T-Shirt – not that I would walk around with Sendible on my back, but anyway.
After 2 month, I am now completely out of Sendible’s system… I hope. 20 minutes after I closed my account, I got a message from their support system. They had updated my ticket.
This email made me write this.
Problem solved – client evaporated, revenue gone.
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