So I saw this tweet, and even a decade after our acquisition by Adobe, it sort of hurt:

Even today, in 2022, so much of the Adobe Sign / EchoSign interface is slicker and easier to use than DocuSign.  It always has been.  The products were architected a certain way well over a decade ago, and while they’ve added a ton of features, their core UX has only changed so much.  DocuSign still approaches things from a more feature-rich perspective.  And Adobe Sign / EchoSign is still easier to use.  Even today.  Even over a decade later.  At least for signers.

I can see it myself.  I e-sign on DocuSign and Adobe Sign every week.  I can see all the rough edges on both products.  All of the rough edges — they all stick out to me, on both products.  After all, I built one, including the very first wireframes.  And had to make the original UX up from scratch.  And I’m still surprised how much Adobe’s core ease of use, at least for signing, remains a step ahead.

But — that’s not all that matters.  Not only does DocuSign today obviously have massively more resources as a standalone, $10B+ company, it has a lot of incentives to make its customers happy.  That’s all it does.

Now the tweet above about DocuSign having better support?  I hate to agree, but it’s my experience as well.  DocuSign support is mixed in my limited experience, but Adobe Sign (er Acrobat Adobe Sign) support gets lumped in with all the other Adobe products I subscribe to. It’s just not that great.  It’s too automated, too many wikis, too many “go look it up yourself somewhere”.

The point here is one I’ve made many times, yet I see so many founders still ignore it.  Upgrading support is the #1 thing you can do this month, even this week.  To make customers happier.  And yes, to win deals — as the tweet above shows.  Right now, without shipping another feature, you can:

  • Do live chat, for real.  Don’t force folks to deal with endless bots.  D2C companies do it for a $200 purchase.  Why can’t you, for a $2999 purchase?
  • Pick up the phone, at least 12 hours a day.  Outsource it if you have to.  Train a handful of folks how to answer the Same 10 Questions Everyone Asks.  Even if this Tier 1 phone support isn’t perfect, at least a human can answer.
  • Listen in on CS and support calls.  Are they truly helpful?  Do you have any bad apples on the team?
  • Assign a real, live human to help with deployment the day they sign up.  Yes, a nice automated set of emails on how to get going is nice.  But what if I knew I could email Paul or Linda anytime if I needed help getting going?
  • Do a Weekly New Customer Webinar.  Another way for everyone to get their questions answered, just in a small group forum.  Just email every new customer and invite them to each of the next 2-3 weekly new customer webinars.  They’ll come.
  • Create a partner enablement team.  Partners need a lot of handholding and help.  Invest here, and you’ll pull ahead of those that don’t do it.
  • Provide incredible API support.  Dev Rel and more.  No API is that easy to work with.

Support isn’t a cost center.  It’s a magic source of differentiation.

It will cost a few nickels to upgrade support, but far less than hiring a dozen new engineers you can’t find anyway.

Just do it.

A related post here:


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