I’m not a huge user of Plancast — the event-based social network (a sort of next generation Upcoming.org) — mostly because I’m too lazy to update my plans in multiple places, with RSVP functionality on Facebook, Meetup, Eventbrite and more.
But an email that arrived in my inbox yesterday just might make me change my mind and give these guys a second thought.
So it started like this: I was adding events to my Google Calendar (displayed under Sightings in the sidebar of this blog) to show the various conferences that I’ll be attending this year. The easiest way to do this is to click “Add to Google Calendar” on the event’s website and voilà! But not all conferences offer this functionality. While I’ve only used Plancast two or three times before, I remembered that some of the events might be listed there, and I looked to see if they offer my favorite feature — they do.
After adding a few events, I clicked over to my Plancast profile page just to check it out. I was intercepted by their three-step onboarding process, where they very strongly encouraged me to add friends from my existing social networks, from their suggested users list, and from a list of categories. I skipped steps 1 and 2, but got stuck on step 3…with an endless loading animation. It was the middle of the night and I didn’t think much of it, so I gave up and closed the tab and went on to something else.
Imagine my surprise when I received this gem of an email:
This kind of proactive apology is what takes a product experience to the next level. I might never have thought about Plancast again, and maybe it would be another six months or a year before I went back to the site for some other random reason. But they caught me. They made me feel appreciated. And now here I am writing a blog post about them, sharing their excellence with all of you.
This is powerful stuff. Kudos to Mark Hendrickson and the Plancast team. I’m impressed.
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Loren Baxter says
We’ve been doing a lot of this with http://www.ReadyForZero.com . Although most users don’t respond, the ones that do are stoked! It’s nice to be proactive about the inevitable errors on your site.
To plan for this, it’s important to set up detailed error tracking in your system, so that you can build out lists of users who have run into problems on the fly.