Since we started giving away fully-functional, free versions of our most popular software products with no strings attached, we’ve been fielding some phone calls from disgruntled users of other people’s services.
You see, if you download and install a free copy of our Help Desk Software, for example, the bottom of each page of your support center will have a tasteful “Powered by ActiveCampaign Help Desk Software” message with a link back to our site. To be honest, I’ve actually been a little surprised by how few disreputable vendors have ended up using our free software. For the most part our clients tend to be extremely upstanding members of the web community. But there are a few companies using free versions of our products who have failed to meet their clients’ expectations and have been generally unreachable.
So these hapless clients follow our “Powered by ActiveCampaign Help Desk Software” link in hopes of finding anyone who might be affiliated with the company that is ruining their day. By the time they do that, they tend to be pretty upset, and so it can be difficult to help them understand that we really don’t have any affiliation with sites that use free versions of our products. After all, we only use full versions. 😉
Now I’m going to tell you a secret. If you follow this simple principle, you can reasonably expect that 99% of the people you speak with will love you by the end--especially the ones who start out by feeling and acting upset.
The secret is that people are not barbarians; people genuinely want to be reasonable. The only time that people behave unreasonably is in the face of a situation that they experience as unreasonable. So, let them know that their experience and their reaction both basically make sense. Empathize. Tell them you know how they feel. Say, “Wow, that sounds really frustrating, I wish there was something I could do to help.”
That’s it! That’s all you have to do, and everyone you talk to will feel comforted and taken care of, and they may even keep you in mind for when they need some web software of their own!