Don’t Be Abominable: A Lesson in Customer Experience and Marketing From a Yeti

How do you handle mistakes?

Better yet if you are a start-up, how do you handle growing pains? The answer is two-fold:

  1. Do it promptly
  2. Do more than expected

As an added bonus, you make it fun and memorable.

Last November I had the opportunity to give a Purple Goldfish workshop at the Atlanta Tech Village in Buckhead. One of the startups that attended was SherpaDesk.

sherpa desk

SherpaDesk is a customer service solution that tracks time, creates invoices and allows you to create service tickets from e-mail. They currently have over 300 companies who are using the beta version of their software solution.

Beta typically equals hiccups and plenty of 404 messages. The 404 page is what customer experience expert Jeannie Walters at 360 Connext calls a microinteraction opportunity. It’s a chance for a business to go beyond the ordinary error message, allowing them to demonstrate both understanding and creativity. It’s a small moment that can make a big difference.

SherpaDesk gets this. Their 404 page features a Yeti:

SherpaDesk 404 Yeti

Taking it One Snowshoe Further

Yesterday I received a tweet from Patrick Clements. Patrick is the CEO for bigWebApps, the parent of SherpaDesk. He shared the following picture:

yeti hat tweet

When I inquired as to the meaning of the hats, Patrick responded, “Our fail page is a yeti. We sent out the hats to 1st yr guys to say ‘Thanks for sticking with us.” pic.twitter.com/0HnRVDsmBL. The picture was from a SherpaDesk customer (Anna Ruth) skiing at Copper Mountain.

anna ruth pr tweet

TAKEAWAYS: First, don’t be abominable when it comes to your dreaded 404 pages. Have fun in those microinteractions. Secondly, follow up with your best customers in a signature way. Let them know you appreciated their patronage, especially if you’ve gone through some rough patches.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – What would the Yeti say? Here’s an up close look and listen to a Yeti. Beware… it may make your mustache tingle:

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