Customer support on the App Store

With just a couple of days left till developers from all over the world descend on San Francisco for Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference everyone is discussing what Apple are going to come up with within iOS 7. Especially discussions around Jony Ive and “Flat UI”. While obviously i’m keen to look at what Apple come up with i’m also hoping for improvements elsewhere within the App universe.

At Buffer we focus a lot of our attention on providing great customer support, with a team of ‘happiness heros’ focused on providing support and keeping our users happy. We also have engineers contributing a day a week to help with the trickier support questions, delving deeper into the root cause of issues.

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Breaking goals into sizeable chunks

I’ve been embarking on the Slow Carb diet from Tim Ferriss’ book “The 4 Hour Body” since I headed to Gran Canaria 5 weeks ago. While I was there I hit the 1 stone lost milestone and part of that I attribute to being somewhere new and unfamiliar, something I touched on in my last post “New Environment, New Habits“.

In the past I’ve set myself goals to lose weight and to hit a specific weight and I never would achieve those goals, likely to them being far off in the distance. This time I decided to set myself a smaller easier-to-accomplish goal, one that would be reachable fairly easily paving the way towards a bigger weight-loss goal.

Setting these smaller goals make them more manageable, once I hit a goal I can celebrate a small success before heading towards the next goal.

I’m 7 pounds away from achieving the first goal I set which will be a loss of about 20 pounds since starting. I’m using Withings Scales (yes I packed them in my suitcase) & Weightbot so I can track my progress day to day. My weight also gets fed into the Jawbone UP app so I can try and spot trends bassed on activity and eating if I remember to complete this day to day.

Seeing the progress over the past 5 weeks has helped to motivate me to continue as has the support from friend, family and coworkers at Buffer. This combined with the smaller goals seem like a great combination to keep on track to hit my first goal which is nearing.

So what about a bigger goal? I’ve not really thought about the “bigger goal” yet. As Gregory Ciotti said in a great blog post about achieving goals

Enjoying our day by day progress and realistic ‘checkpoints’ is a much more
practical way to create our future; getting lost in grandiose dreams that focus on the
ultimate end is not.

Now i’m back in Birmingham and nearly through week 1 I can safely say it hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would, I’ve managed to continue with the downwards trend I set while in Gran Canaria and i’m sure it’ll continue.

New Environment, New Habits

I’ve been in Gran Canaria now coming up for nearly 3 weeks, I’ve got one more full week left before I head back to Birmingham and then onto San Francisco for WWDC/altWWDC.

Before setting off for Gran Canaria I decided I was going to try out the Slow Carb Diet found in Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Body. I had read a few blog posts about it before getting the book and decided i’d give it a go.

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iOS 7 inter-app linking

Fraser Speirs posted his thoughts on how iOS 7 could be improved for power users allowing iOS to take over more of the complex tasks that are currently done by desktop computers.

Fraser mentioned how iOS needs a generalised “send this piece of data to apps that claim to handle it” service, just like Android.

This would be something hugely beneficial for Buffer allowing us to integrate in apps that make use of the new inter-app linking features of iOS 7 without the need to get in touch with the developers. Allowing users to install apps they use on a day to day basis to control which apps display in a new sharing menu.
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Don’t be afraid to step back

I’ve been working on a Buffer iOS SDK for the past few months and along the way we’ve hit a few issues with certain features we wanted to include in it. Our aim for the SDK has been to create it in such a way that it can be dragged into a 3rd parties Xcode project and hooked up to display a Buffer composer with a small number of steps.

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