Tuesday, January 22, 2008

37 Signals

Several months back, we at LogicMaze revolutionized how we manage our projects when we started using Basecamp. Since we started using it, it's made all of us more organized and made my job a good deal easier.

Not a day has gone by where anyone in this office has doubted the positive impact Basecamp and Highrise (another product of 37 Signals) have had on our business. And I can't think of any hurtles in project management that the two programs combined couldn't easily help us jump. If there were any insurmountable project management issues for which we couldn't find a solution in Basecamp or Highrise, well there's Backpack and Campfire, which we don't use here, but I'm sure are just as useful.

Last Friday, something we haven't seen in the entire time we've used Basecamp: it went down. Any previous lapse in service has lasted a matter of minutes. 10 minutes of downtime, then you're back up and running with a message at the top of your dashboard explaining what happened. They don't need to do that, but they do. Why not? It only takes a minute to let your clients know what's up when you've got a way to send the message to everyone at once.

So on Friday, Basecamp went down for something like 2 and a half hours. No big deal. Kind of a bummer, but honestly, an excuse to be slightly less productive for a little bit.

As soon as Basecamp was back up and running, 37 Signals posted a message letting everyone know what was up. They also posted a message on their blog.

... we still want to compensate anyone who felt they were negatively affected in their work because of this outage. Please write support(at)37signals.com (and include your application URL) and we’ll get that taken care of.
Pretty classy. For a two-hour outage. We're not talking about being out of commission for an entire day.

Cody emailed them and replied:

I want you guys to tell everyone who actually wants compensation to sit and spin and bcc me on the emails. Ha just kidding, this product has revolutionized our business and if the worst thing that comes from it is we have to play with our remote control helicopters for 2 hours on a Friday then I should be paying you more. (Ok that was just kidding as well, I don't really want to pay you more!!!!!

Thanks for everything.
Shortly after that, he received a personal email reply (they personally dealt with each email that came in about the outage):

Thanks Cody. You are awesome.

I'd still love to comp your account for a month of service. What's your URL?

- Sarah
Thank you, Sarah. We really appreciate it. We gave her our URL and got our comped month. But she did one better and saw that we had a Highrise account and credited that too!

Why? She didn't have to since we were already (and still are) very satisfied customers. She did it because she (and the whole 37 Signals team) understand the importance of taking care of all of your customers. Make the angry ones happy again and keep the happy ones even happier.

That's how you turn customers into evangelists. We at LogicMaze already were evangelists. We've suggested the 37 Signals arsenal to anyone that would listen and will continue to do so. What happened last week just gave us even more reason.


At 1/22/2008 6:26 PM, Blogger 37signals said...

I also did all this because getting your email was like a shining ray of light during a very, very dark day. Having customers like you guys really reminds us why we're in business.

We're happy you're happy, and hope it stays that way for a long, long time. (And you know how to get in touch with me in case that ever changes. :)

- Sarah

At 1/23/2008 7:43 AM, Blogger Cody said...

For everyone else reading this Sarah in the first comment here is the same Sarah that made all this worth writing about. The fact that she found our little blog here is half way amazing and that fact that a ultra-cool 37 Signals guru is posting comments is even cooler.

If the folks at 37 Signals ever quit treating you right, give us a call and we will have a standing offer for a job that probably pays less, is in a slightly more boring location and our staff is mainly a bunch of guys and my wife so no real guarantees oin your safety.

Everyone but Sarah...

Go to www.basecamphq.com , sign up for the damn free subscription,NOW!!!. And find a project to run with it. Personal projects are awesome. Right now I am trying to figure out how to get the guy from Lowes that is ordering a front door for our house and the installer we hired to use basecamp for "The front Door project". Oh yeah and LogicMaze love it too.

Thanks Sarah.

At 1/23/2008 7:59 AM, Blogger Cody said...

Ok now I have gone over and read the comments on 37 Signals blog.
And I am a little fired up.

Good and Bad.

Go check it out Mitchell linked in original post here.

First comment:

If you haven't read it already you will be completely amazed at how many people are positive after a downtime like that. Sarah, I really thought I was like a knight inshingin armor being a good guy on your dark day. Come to find out 99% of your customers love your products and services enough to post positive blog comments.

Second Comment:

People can really be idiots, go read the all 120+ comments on the blog about the outage, if you don't know what I mean by people can be idiots, well then..........

At 1/23/2008 8:31 AM, Blogger 37signals said...

If the folks at 37 Signals ever quit treating you right, give us a call...

Hhmmmm...if you guys have an office in Tahiti, I may actually consider that. On second thought, 37s is great enough that I can endure it being 2 below zero for another month or so! But if it's still snowing in April, expect my call.

- Sarah

At 1/24/2008 3:10 AM, Blogger Dru Len said...

It's nice to see such a friendly conversation. Take no offence, but I gave up on Basecamp, cause these guys kept telling no to my requests. All I needed was a simple Gantt chart, and a couple of features more. So that I could actually manage my projects. Well, I guess my team and Basecamp were just not meant to be :) Now we a tottally happy with another tool.


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