I began updating the help site early in 2013. In order to make using the site easier for our copy shops, I created a few videos demonstrating how to sign up; how to top-up their credits; how to download a document etc. I then updated the written help posts to reflect some changes that had been made to the user interface. This was a great way for me to learn about how the site works and to understand some of the difficulties copy shops might have with it.
Going through this process definitely helped me handle customer queries more adeptly. I began to realise that most of the copy shops who were using our site had only a basic understanding of how to use websites. We may have thought we were making everything as straightforward as possible, but still we would get calls asking us the most basic things. It made me think how important it is to understand who is going to be using your website, and what their technological understanding is.
Relying on copy shops to be our bookstores and expecting them to be able to work the site was perhaps one of our biggest mistakes/learning curves. In my mind, one of the best things about being a small start up is the kind of customer service and attention to detail you can afford to give. However, on this model, we were not able to give that kind of service because we relied on copy shops to do this. This resulted in a few distressing phone calls from customers that had been turned away from a registered copy shop who said they “didn’t print books” even though we had been through the process with the shops on the phone. We expected that copyshops would be excited about Paperight as it offers them a way of increasing their printing load, which is how they make their money. However, the relative difficulty of using the site (i.e. they had to learn something new) combined with bad customer service meant that we lost quite a few potential customers.