I recently bought the very useful MarsEdit external blog editor from Red Sweater. I’d tried an earlier version and wasn’t so enamoured, but my blogging output and needs have increased and I’ve found the features of the latest version and process really great.

But that’s not what this post is about, it’s about the purchasing experience.

In the online world almost the only customer experience is the website, the purchasing process and support when things go wrong. And we’re a fickle lot - there’s always another option just a click away. I recently bought Undercover for my laptops and whilst Orbicule themselves are excellent in terms of contact and support, the purchasing process through Kagi was awful. So boringly so that I’m not going to write about it. But in a really great service design experience the whole process counts, which is why buying MarsEdit made me smile.

Here’s the purchasing screen (click to enlarge):


I really liked both the humorous copywriting (“we love you! And we hate spam”) but also the opportunity to make a comment with “we’re listening” at the bottom. I haven’t even bought anything yet, but here’s already an opportunity to give them feedback.

Then, once I had made the purchase I was expecting to have to wait for the e-mail with my serial number, which was annoying because I was in the midst of a blog post. They’d already thought of that:


All of which left me thinking, “nice”. So nice in fact that I wrote to them to tell them that I appreciated it and I got an e-mail back almost straight away. Daniel Jalkut even mailed me a screenshot of that final screen, which I hadn’t thought to take when I went through the process.

Now compare that with the last time you tried to phone your ISP or mobile telco. There’s a lot those companies can learn from the small guys. Business brains seem to be unable to equate playfulness and pleasure with making serious money - I hope that changes, we can all do with a bit more levity in our lives.

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