How we approach customer service at buddhify.
By Pärtel Unga
As with any app or product, people often get in touch with us to share feedback or ask questions about buddhify. A big part of my role is to respond to these messages that come through and over the years, I’ve been lucky to have people share their personal experiences around mindfulness and meditation with me. These experiences have not only informed our approach to customer service, but have also consistently provided us some moments of reflections about our own lives as well.
There are many different channels that people reach us through; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and of course, email. Because we are quite a small team, having a clear structure to our customer service process is particularly important in making sure we can respond to any messages that come through.
To make sure that we are all on the same page, we use software called Front. This helps us simply see all our messages across a range of email addresses and social media accounts, so we don’t have to constantly switch between them to respond. It also allows us to assign messages to other team members in cases where someone has better knowledge on a specific topic or issue and allows us to keep our archives nice and tidy with a simple tagging system. We’ve been an early user of Front – they have a great product and a really helpful and responsive team and and we’d definitely recommend it. Outside of Front, we also respond to reviews on the App Store and Play Store. These channels can give us a quick indicator of how the app is doing, especially shortly after we have released a new update. If there’s a little spike of negative reviews coming through, it’s a good bet that something has slipped through the net of testing and so we start relaying any useful information to our developers.
Guided meditation apps are by design an intimate experience. A meditation track becomes a guiding voice in your head, helping you navigate a range of different experiences, be they positive, negative, or even neutral. That’s why a special part of our customer service is the number of people that get in touch with us to share their experiences with meditation and in many cases, how buddhify helps foster these experiences.
Hearing about the different ways buddhify has impacted people using it is without a doubt the most wonderful part about working on it. Whether it’s for a better night’s sleep, for calm in the midst of intense difficulty and emotions, or for simply the curiosity for meditation and the mind. Whatever it may be, we so appreciate it when people share these experiences with us and provide us a moment of reflection through compassion and empathy. We even have a dedicated tag called ‘LovelyFeedback’ for emails that are sure to give us a little boost for days when we need it.
Now of course a large part of customer service is also listening to and dealing with issues and criticism. And just like with the positive feedback, it can feel much more emotionally charged because of the personal nature of people’s experience with meditation. Initially, the hardest part is to not take it personally because it’s easy to feel as if criticism directed at your work also reflects on you as a person. Learning to separate the two is not only healthier for your mental well-being, but it also allows you to respond to criticism with much more sensibility and composure. Inevitably, there will always be some frustration involved because no matter how quickly we resolve an issue or question, it always feels like we can approach it better and faster. That’s just part of the process.
As a team, we really value the personal interactions we have with people using buddhify. We make sure we all take some time to read and respond to people and do so by each having allocated days where we do just that. Perhaps the most surprising part of this process has been noticing that the very act of getting back to people with a personal response can diffuse the negative experience they are reporting to us. There seems to be an expectation for an automated or curated response that doesn’t necessarily acknowledge the issue or emotions they are facing. Yet we’ve come across numerous occasions where someone has left us a negative review or message and reversed their response entirely after someone from our team has responded to them. I think this is especially the case because it’s the core team behind the app who respond to messages and not just an outsourced customer service desk. That personal and direct aspect of our approach really does make a difference.