Services We Love #114: Wanted a website, got an experience
DMA has been around since 2003 but recently we’ve undergone a bit of a revitalisation, including a major re-branding. To support all of this activity we naturally looked at how our online presence could be improved and decided that a new website was in order!
Building a website (when you’re not really that code-tastically-inclined) is always going to feel a little bit anxiety-producing. We love coming up with designs, but HTML and CSS aren’t always our friend.
We started with the usual suspects of brand and identity, look and feel, colours, CMS over HTML, wordpress over dreamweaver, following @findthemes to find a theme. And then Linen appeared – clean, fresh, breezy feel. Cool homepage elements and functionality with the kind of subtle imagery and dynamism we were after. Editing options, analytics, typography, social media – all intuitively tailorable at the touch of button. Not to mention we could easily include Justin’s beloved celeste colour – it’s a cycling thing, (hence the cycle imagery).
But this post is not about the site (pleased as we are with it). This post is about the fantastic service experience we’ve had working with, being supported by, and becoming part of The Theme Foundry community.
Warning: We’ve been known to overuse exclamation points in the past – we may just use up our weekly quota in what follows.
We think part of ‘good’ service includes being pre-emptive and responsive to customer need. In The Theme Foundry we found GREAT service – the kind of experience that makes you not only love the interaction and results, but actively want the business itself to succeed. An experience that breeds loyalty and trust from the first few interactions and that makes you feel genuinely part of a community (without saying, Children of the Corn-style “We are ‘a community’ – join us”).
Elements we loved about the experience at a touchpoint level include:
- Providing both text and video based instruction before making the purchase
- Providing the theme in action – not only as advertising, but also as a showcase for the theme’s potential
- Using non-technical language – and where it is technical (read: code-y) using a font that denotes it as so
- Having experts on the support forum who use language pitched at your level of understanding – seemingly based on their read of how you posed the question
- Responses to questions posed within hours – especially helpful when you’re on the other side of the world from each other. Post your question at night, solved by the morning!
These things are all great – designable, tangible, process describable, measurable – but what about the intangible touches that add up to what it feels like to work with The Theme Foundry? How about:
- Getting an email with the subject: “The Theme Foundry loves you,” and the opening line “We love you DMA!” AND knowing that it’s from an actual person not a bot. Founder Drew Strojny sent us this not long after we bought the theme and even took time to engage in a conversation! – “I’m a real person – not a ‘level of user’”
- Feeling empowered that you can find the answers yourself AND finding them! – “These guys want me to help myself, I’m trusted and I’m capable”
- Having a Support Forum where members actively seek to aid other members get the most out of their theme. Further to this The Theme Foundry experts complement the fixes and dialogue starts happening within the post! – “I’m part of the community too”
Why this is important and relevant from a service design context is:
- Because of the responsiveness and effectiveness to any queries – both asked and sought – we trust that any changes, or additions to the Theme Foundry service will be easy to learn and for the right reason.
- As customers we can’t recommend them highly enough because of the quality of their product, but equally because of the quality of their support and interactions.
- The service has been elevated to a sense of community. There are great touchpoints – website, support forum, demo, videos, etc – but it’s the authentic interactions with the people of The Theme Foundry (staff and members, directly and in-directly) that has connected those touchpoints and our outcome with a sense of belonging and place.
As a small-and-proud business ourselves we know the challenge of juggling workloads, clients, lives – so it is with genuine admiration that we declare, We love The Theme Foundry Too!
After composing this in a flurry of excitement we took a look at The Theme Foundry’s ‘About Us’
“We will stay laser focused on three simple core values:
• Design of the highest possible quality.
• Clean and lightweight code.
• Making our customers happy and building a community.”
We’d say that they have those values pretty much nailed!