Creating products is easy. The other day my son stuck some Lego bricks together and made a “tool that can fix anything.” I loved it, but I’m predicting a limited market for his design.
Creating good products—those that spread beyond the toy room—is difficult. If you’re a maker, you know this. You start with an idea, you execute, and through hard work that idea may eventually pay off.
To create a successful product—one that lasts—you’ve got to go one step further. You’ve got to support your customers. When they’ve got pains, you hurt too. And when they spread love, pop the cork.
Andreas Sohns is a maker. You may even use one of his apps. His Design Calculator won the iF Design AWARD 2015 and was nominated for the German Design Award 2016.
Good start for the product. But with nearly 250k downloads from around the globe, Andreas needed a better way to support his customers.
Lots of customers, one Andreas
When Andreas released his Design Calculator through the App Store, he had one thing crystal clear:
“Make it easy for users to love your product by giving them the help they need, when they need it.”
It’s all about the user experience, customer empathy, and understanding the demands of today’s users. Andreas wanted something that fit his users’ needs without spending a fortune on support software. But what?
An automated & personal help center
At first, Andreas created a simple typeform survey to collect feedback and bug reports. This cleaned up his inbox and got the feedback nicely ordered in his typeform database. A huge help.
But then Andreas realized he could do more than just collect data. He could also present information to his users. Things like troubleshooting tips and answers to FAQs.
Here’s Andreas on his idea:
“We analyzed the most common input and upgraded the original typeform to our ‘intelligent’ typeform. Now it uses logic jumps to create a comfortable new way of ‘self support’ that helps users quickly solve common issues on their own.”
He looked at the reasons people contacted him. This broke down into four main buckets:
FAQ & Support: quick answers and troubleshooting simple problems
Send Feedback: comments on things like price, usability, and design
Send Love: overall rating of Design Calculator
Make a Wish: suggestions on new features, products, or ideas
He set these up as four big buttons designed to match the look of his app:
So how does it all work? An example:
One of the most common questions Andreas gets is: “Why does Design Calculator need access to my photos?” From the FAQ button, people easily arrive at the answer: “Design Calculator enables you to create unlimited interface designs with images stored in your photo library.” Makes sense.
And so it goes for other issues. Little by little, Andreas built up his list of questions. By listening to his customers’ wants and needs, he ended up with over 100 questions. Yikes!
But have no fear, the typeform uses Logic Jump to intelligently select the ones that matter most in order to provide maximum value to users. Try it for yourself.
Here’s Andreas on how it works:
“Say a user selects ‘Send Feedback’ and gives us 3 stars out of 5. Rather than bother them with more feedback questions, we ask whether the rating is connected to a common issue. If so, we tell them how to solve their issue first, then we ask for feedback.”
It’s automated, but it feels more personal. And he’s added all kinds of other features to make the experience even more customized and relevant, like:
Taking previous answers, like name or problem, and feeding them into later answers
Allowing uploads of screenshot or other files when providing suggestions
Sending users to different Thank You screens, depending on the path they took through the typeform
So whenever users send feedback, he thanks them for their thoughts. If a question isn’t resolved, he says he’ll be in touch soon. If people provide a positive rating, he redirects them to the App Store so that they can leave feedback there too.
More than 90% of issues automatically resolved
“In a mobile world, we expect support ASAP, not an email days later. It needs to be quick and easy.”
Andreas made his help center available through the support button on his website, from the App Store, and from within the app itself. But do people actually use this thing? Is it actually freeing up his time? “Dramatically,” Andreas said.
“The typeform has over 10,000 unique visitors—that’s about 600 visits per month. Since most people solve their own issue or question, in the end we only receive about 20 or so support requests.”
Hundreds of emails saved. Bad app ratings evaded. And all while Andreas sits at his favorite Biergarten near his home in Berlin. Not really. But it does free up some time to give personal support to those few people who really need it.
And how does Andreas know that the people using his typeform like what they’re seeing? He asks them at the end:
What do they say, Andreas?
“The majority tell us they love it, with most giving us 4 or 5 stars. This is because the typeform creates a personal feeling and works in a proactive way to provide an extraordinary user experience.”
And it doesn’t stop there:
“It’s also one of the best chances you get to carefully listen, learn, and finally improve your product—and also to improve how you do support!”
Now Andreas has more time to work on the things he loves—creating useful, good-looking apps. We can’t wait to see what he’ll come up with next.
Need an easy, automated way to support your customers?
How did Andreas do it?
Andreas built his typeform support center with over 100 questions, but these were added and refined over time. So remember, you can start small and work your way up. Here are some tips to help you along the way.
1) Recall information to keep things conversational
Want to make your typeform more personal? Recall information from previous answers for a more conversational form.
2) Create custom button icons with Picture choice questions
The buttons in Andreas’ typeform matched the style of his Design Calculator. You can do this too. Need help with question types like Picture choice?
3) Use Logic Jump to keep your questions relevant
Need to tailor your users’ experience based on their specific needs? Then you need Logic Jump.
4) Let people send you files with File upload
Andreas lets people upload screenshots to help troubleshoot issues. Let people to send you files using the File upload question.
5) Create a custom Thank You screen
Make your Thank You screen responsive to user feedback, so even your sign-off is personal. Here’s how to personalize your Thank You screen.
And of course, let us know if you have any questions! Our team is here to help.