How lose loyal clients in just 2 days

Polska wersja – tutaj

CloudMagic was (no exaggeration) one of the best email clients on Android and iOS. It had a great media coverage (it was highly valued in all rankings, usually put in the top 3), and users agreed that this was a dream application – fast, intuitive, with solutions not encountered in the competition apps and especially useful for people who send and receive lot of mails. Good UX and Cards (sensational integration with external applications, such as Evernote, Asana, Todoist, Trello, Saleforce or Pocket), good cooperation with different calendars and a very good use of the Swipe constituted a strong basis for further strengthening the position.

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I found CM 1.5 years ago when I started to look for an email client that will work on both Android and iOS system (embedded applications not convinced me). Those days part of the functionality (including the mentioned integration) was paid. After the trial period, I had no doubt that I want to buy this app. The day before paying, CM surprised me by sending an email with information they change all plans and CloudMagic is free, allowing the option of paying for new features that were planned.

Consecutive weeks only reassure me that this was a very good decision and I recommended CM to anyone who asked about good mobile email client. I was one in the mass of such people – on many forums, in many discussions I’ve seen similar opinions – it was free viral marketing carried out by the best possible ambassadors – by satisfied customers. At the same time, however, CM team also have conducted active communication – responded on Facebook, on Twitter, they explained doubts, shared their knowledge of productivity. They cared also about communication H2H, especially at a time when they introduced new functionalities, or during building applications for Mac (not mobile). They were close to customers, they were liked by them.

In September I noticed, with surprise, that icon with a blue envelope suddenly disappeared on my iPad being replaced by a paper airplane icon with the underline „Newton”. What is Newton? I didn’t install anything like that… After a quick check, I’ve found that CloudMagic has been updated and automatically converted to Newton. Newton, which cost almost… 50$ per year! Without warning, without information, without special rates for customers which have used app for a long time.

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An additional difficulty was the necessity of creating a separate account for „synchronization application on all devices”. Previously, it was an hen feature, then suddenly became mandatory, especially irritating when the user needed quickly check his/her e-mails.

Surprising, unpleasant change of course entailed the immediate users’ reaction. There were initially immensed critical comments on Facebook, but CM team ignored them, so they quickly turned into discouragement and waiver declarations. Contrary to earlier actions, openness in communication, this time the situation probably overcame the creators and instead face it, they decided to hide. Unfortunately, it was very wrong move…

Undoubtedly the most serious mistake was the lack of communication prior to the change. This is not the Apple Store or Google Play the way to show users developers’ plans, in addition striking hard at their pockets. After the fact blog post was showed and first users found the newsletter in their mailbox. I don’t know which mailing system was used, but sending out all emails lasted a week or more (I get the information six days after another user). Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything new in that mail, except that I have a 14-day free trial, and the creators are convinced that I will fall in love with Newton and will stay with them… What’s more – my answer to him was ignored, as mentioned user comments on Facebook …
However, the internet is full of people, which, if necessary, launch own’s creativity – seeing that the authors of the applications do not respond to social media, they decided to express their opinion by … comments to the application in the AppStore and GooglePlay. The result was extremely fast …

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At the same time began to appear a massive amount of articles – from blog entries to the media with large ranges: ie. here, here, or list of alternatives, as here.

Regardless of everything, I doubted whether it will be many users who fullfiment their declaration and leave. After all, for many American or British customers 50$ price is not a barrier … But it turned out that, however, hit the wallet hurts every nation.

I was able to block an update on Android about week or two but in the end the program forced it. I didn’t have time to look for alternatives (for iOS people quickly prompts me Spark), so „I tested” Newton. A few minutes after the start I got email with „thanks for the start of the trial” (this time I didn’t have to wait 8 or 10 days), and the suprised information that there is also „a free version, without the super-hyper functionality.” What’s interesting – more or less at that time began to emerge „additional information” in parts of the articles. It was explaining that Newton has also the free version – without most of features, but exist. But a lot of texts remained without this information – I guess that CM failed to reach their authors or they didn’t agree on adding explanations.

Despite of the silence in response to the previous one, I decided again to respond. I informed CM team that I will change email client, because I think the price of $50 is not adequate, especially that many functionalities, such the „Mail withdraw” or Sender Profiles are completely useless to me. And I would be happy to pay $20 for the Cards and Swipe (because I really used it and thay helped me in work). I was startled when I saw the next day the answers. Including information that the CM team is considering the future different subscriptions introduction, just depending on the number of offered functionality …

I must admit that I don’t believe that „that was the plan from the beginning.” I don’t know what caused the decision about such a high price for an application – not very reasonable looking at the market or competitive programs. I have also no idea what caused such a bad communication plan – lack of thinking about potencial crisis and very bad crisis managment. However, I am confident that Newton must make very hard way to go back to the top. At the moment I recognize the strategy of „burying”. Newton almost completely shut communication on Facebook, where the negative reviews are very visible (earlier posts were not too frequent, but there were 2-3 times a month, plus as current replying to comments, or posts, from the 14.09, when they changed image profile, background image and page title, communication is limited to responding from time to time on some comments). Whereas new posts are on Twitter (sometimes daily), with a particular provision of new reviews of Newton and posts from people who say that they are satisfied with changes and even declare that they „are happy to pay the $50.” An interesting certainly is the fact that the CloudMagic’s profile has been cleared, and the only information redirects to Newton’s profile.

At the end – CM team put a spin on reality – on their website Newton is the highest-rated email app…

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