In lieu of the upcoming holiday, I posted a shared document and asked Contactually employees to tell me what they’re thankful for. I told them it would be posted on the blog (so they should avoid saying anything that would make their mothers cry) and nothing else. I didn’t ask for Contactually-specific thankfuls but it seems that theme emerged (you’ll all get your $50 next week).
It’s obvious that we have team members that are excited to be here and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
This Thanksgiving we want our users (and potential users!) and partners to know how much we appreciate you. Thank you for your support, your continually constructive feedback, and for being our evangelists. We have the best users around and everybody is probably super jealous.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Happy Thanksgiving, from our team to yours!
Contactually for Android is better, faster, and more reliable than ever before
It’s 2014 — we know that for a communication and connection tool to be truly life-changing, it has to be accessible from anywhere. That’s why in addition to our full blown web application, Contactually is also available as a plugin for both Gmail and Outlook, as well as a mobile app for iOS and Android.
While we know Contactually users need quality plugins and mobile apps — and we’re glad to have them — we’ve also never been satisfied with how well they’ve worked, in everything from battery usage to how effectively they recreate the functionality of the desktop web application you know and love.
That’s why both of our mobile apps, along with our email client plugins, have been undergoing major overhauls for months. And our first big announcement has to do with some huge improvements to the 2.0 version of the Android app, which is available today. So let’s get right into it! read more…
The customer is always right, except when they’re wrong
When retailers started incorporating the oft-repeated motto “The customer is always right” in the early 1900’s, they had the best of intentions. Hoping to improve customer service, increase customer satisfaction, and encourage customer loyalty, the motto gave life to a new era in customer service. And while many companies still live by this motto today, a new breed of customer-facing companies and organizations are starting to sing a different tune.
When growing your brand and your business, it’s important to consider the kind of company you want to become. Balancing and responding to customer complaints isn’t an easy job, but someones got to do it, and that someone probably shouldn’t assume the customer is always right. What was good for business in the 1900’s isn’t necessarily good for business now and taking a “sometimes the customer is wrong” approach won’t damn your business like some business folk might have you believe. read more…
Contactually — now with helpful notifications!
Nobody likes not knowing what’s going on, especially since modern web and mobile applications have trained us to expect little red numbers or drop-down messages every time someone so much as posts a picture.
So while notifications can be overdone, they’re also an important part of staying connected, which is what Contactually is all about. That’s why we’ve (a) added notifications to Contactually, and (b) tried to do so in a way that works the way you’d expect, with no funny business. read more…
Contactually loves to party
When in New Orleans, do as the New Orleanians do, right? Well, we’re certainly trying, at least. We sent Brian, Alexandra, Grey and Brandt down for this year’s NAR Conference, and decided they needed some backup in the form of The Big Fun Brass Band.
So far, they have not disappointed.
Delving into the bookmarks of the most interesting man in the world
One of the reasons we feel comfortable writing to entrepreneurs of all stripes is that many of us are entrepreneurs ourselves. Some of us are being exposed to this roller-coaster for the first time here at Contactually, while others are long-time business-building junkies, here for yet another go-around.
But you could make a reasonable argument that nobody here is quite as knowledgeable about entrepreneurship as Contactually’s co-founder and CEO, Zvi Band. And while you may know him from Twitter, his involvement in the DC startup community, or this awesome eBook full of relationship management hacks for entrepreneurs, you probably don’t know a lot about how he stays up on the many things that affect his world.
One thing Zvi and I (and probably you) have in common is that we read a LOT of stuff online. In the interest of expanding my entrepreneurial expertise (and giving you something to read, and possibly sucking up to the guy who runs my company), I asked him to recommend some good sources of content.
So, without further adieu, here’s what Zvi’s looking at every day, along with some of my initial observations. read more…
When something goes wrong…
Let’s address the horrible, awkward elephant in the room — sometimes, you don’t have the experience you want with Contactually. Something might be broken, or have changed, or could just be confusing and weird. It happens.
We try to anticipate as many of these things as possible, but believe it or not, you lovable customers are all so DIFFERENT! You use Contactually for different things, in ways we couldn’t imagine (which we love, but can be scary for us), in different places at different times. Sometimes, we’re like a hockey team in a big game where there are 5,000 guys on the other team, and they all have pucks.
What the heck, let’s run with the metaphor a little longer. Our Customer Success team members are our defenders, running around and trying to intercept problems before they get you stuck. But behind them, always ready, is our last line of defense. It’s the goalie, Contactually Support.
Where would we be without Penny?
At some point, our metaphor breaks down, because we actually have more than one goalie. We have a bunch of them, and they work their asses off, often with people on our Product and Sales teams, to try to make things right in a crazy variety of problem scenarios. But as we get more and more users, who’s making sure that system works? Who keeps those goalies fired up, ready to go, and equipped to help the most frustrated Contactually users at their most challenging moment?
Penny does! And for the last two years, she’s been doing everything she can to make a better world for our customers.
What can you learn in six months on the job?
As I mentioned the other day, I’ve now been at Contactually for six months. That means it’s official — I can now quit without looking like a flake. JUST KIDDING, GUYS.
Still, while I’m not going anywhere, there’s something about working somewhere for six months, isn’t there? For most people, getting a new job is kind of like the opposite of being elected President. Instead of your first one hundred days being your best chance to enact sweeping, positive change, most jobs involve a pretty decent feeling-out period, especially if you’re building a new team within an organization, or are the first person performing a new job. Sure, you’ll try to get right to work, but every business, every market, and every product is a little different. It simply takes time to figure that stuff out, and it can be really frustrating at times if you’re eager to make a difference (but hesitant to break anything important).
I’ve gone through this process a couple of times, and I think my time at Contactually has been as instructive as anywhere. So based on that experience, here are some new-employee goals that I think can help anybody acclimate, win over, and improve their new organization.
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