Jun 292014

Derek Sivers just posted this thought about the philosophy of customer service: https://sivers.org/cs

“This isn’t some sales technique, it’s just good human behavior.”

Derek nails it, which is no surprise if you know anything about him.

It’s also worth noting that if you like Evil Hat and you like what Evil Hat does, a healthy portion of that appreciation likely flows from our customer service focused philosophy, in one form or another.

We don’t limit it to our customers either. When we’re hitting all our marks, functioning exactly according to plan, then everyone in any interaction with Evil Hat gets a great “customer service” experience. Freelancers working for us (ask around). Business partners (the Campaign Coins guys, whose Kickstarter for Fate Point tokens is coming up soon, have told us we’re one of the best licensing experiences they’ve had). Licensors (Jim Butcher and the Atomic Robo guys have been happy with what we’ve created for their IP — in part because creating games that they’re not just satisfied with, but actively happy about, is a major goal for EHP).

While we can’t send everyone away happy from an interaction with Evil Hat — that’s just how reality works — we do everything we can to make sure that the vast majority are happy; that they get a personal, human touch whenever interacting with us; and that we’ve done something for them, customer or not, that makes them more inclined to say good things about the Hat whenever the topic comes up.

This is why, ultimately, when folks ask me how to replicate something Evil Hat does — Kickstarter being the most recent and most frequent example — I start with a bit of a “quip”: “First, take ten years building a fan base.” It’s a quip, because it’s funny and quick, but it’s true. Every bit of our success flows forward from the fans; and fans come about as direct and indirect effects of the “customer service everywhere, all the time” perspective.

Interested in replicating that? Read up on Derek’s article, and get to work making his philosophy your own. It pays off, and it feels great.

This post is a duplicate of what I posted on Google+. For further discussion, see the post over there.

Jul 062010

So, we kinda goofed up with our preorders when it came to planning our shipping strategy. This has been partly a case of inexperience on my part with things on this scale (IIRC the 1600+ preorders we got on Dresden Files was easily 4 or 5 times what we saw when Spirit of the Century launched), partly a case of asking more of the warehouse than they could handle (at least in the timeframe I had assumed was possible), and partly a case of life complications (medical and staffing issues) that layered on top of the other things at a time when there just wasn’t a schedule buffer to handle those sorts of issues.

I’ve talked about this pretty extensively over on The Dresden Files RPG website and on RPG.net, but over here at Deadly Fredly the goal with publishing posts is to pass along things that other folks can learn from. With that in mind I want to talk less about the things that went wrong so much as the anatomy of a preorder ship-out and the lessons available from the mistakes.

Let’s get down to it.

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