It’s holiday time and to add to your delight we have these amazing features added to Comments Plus Module.
The first feature is the Highlighted Customer Comment feature.
(Note: This feature was added into Mizen a few days back and looking at the customer response we received….we thought of extending it to Comments Plus Module as well )
Previously, customer comments looked the same as any other comments in the system. One had to literally dig into the details of the comments so as to distinguish between a customer reply and a employee reply. This not only was a total time waste but also increased frustrations incase the project to be scanned was huge and had multiple participants involved.
Customer Comments – Previous Look
With this new feature, the customer comments get highlighted in a different color. This makes it standout and recognizing customer comments gets much quicker and easier.
Customer Comments- New Look
The second feature is the Predefined Templates.
It is seen that we often have to draft fixed replies to customers. It could be as simple as a Thank you mail for testimonial that the customer sent you or it could be a pre-sales question inquiring about some product and its details.
What we originally did was :
1) Create a master text document having such predefined replies and then copy paste the reply as and when we received a corresponding customer mail
2)The hardworking guys simply sat and drafted the whole reply every single time… Whereas now, stop spending those extra minutes drafting such mails each time a customer sends a testimonial or asks for product details…or hunting the master text document.
Simply use the Comments Plus Module. Create a template of ready made replies and use them as and when required.
Comments Plus Module now allows you to save ready made replies in the form of templates. You can simply create a template and then use it multiple times whenever required. Kindly check out the screen shots below for better visual understanding.
Receiving a support ticket is your biggest opportunity to get into a deeper relationship with your customer. While most of the businesses/ support guys take it as an issue and tend to repel it. It is by far the best medium to gain loyal customers.
Double Edged Sword
How you handle a support ticket can make or break your relationship with your customer. Obviously, the customer is facing an issue and he has dropped in a ticket hoping for a quick relief/ reply. And by quick I mean faster the better….
Playing it Safe
So, in order to ensure that you don’t go wrong and your client gets the quickest reply that would beat even the best support guy on your team, we have implemented a quick auto responder in the Task Plus Module.
What it does?
It simply sends an acknowledgement auto responder reply to every ticket that is sent to you by your customer. It may seem really trivial but the assurance that it can leave on your customers mind is immense. A simple liner ” Your ticket has been received and the issue is being taken care off” can soothe a lot of frustrated customer nerves.
The Technical Working
Now, admin can set the acknowledgement message to their customer for successful creation of support ticket. We have made it optional. Such that admin will have choice to enable/ disable this feature.
This option can be set from Administrator > Tasks Plus Settings panel. See the below screen shot.
I completed 5 years with Apps Magnet on August 11, 2014. The journey so far has been absolutely awesome – the years passed so quickly, it’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years already!
The other day I was remembering “old” days, and was excited recollecting these five years of togetherness.
Today, I am taking this opportunity to share my journey with you. There are lot of personal details here that I’ve never shared, and I am not a gifted writer. At times this may sound too much “I”, but bear with me as I pour my heart out!
My “mantra” has been “Better Everyday” – this is something I learned in school and carry to the day.. (By the way, I and Nirav went to the same school albeit a few years apart!)
Let me give you a little background. I am from Palanpur, a hot small northern town in the state of Gujarat, India. Palanpur is famous for its diamond merchants, rich heritage and now also Pranav Mistry (of SixthSense / Samsung Galaxy Gear fame). After my studies in Palanpur and later my engineering degree, I came to Mumbai in 2009 for a job. I was young and naive, and quite clueless about the “software industry”.
My first job lasted for two days. In my hometown I once dashed on my bicycle from one end of town to the other in under 15 minutes, and in Mumbai, it’d take me 1.5 hours to get to my workplace and equal (if not more) time to get back home.
I’d met Nirav before taking up the job.. He’s married to a not-so-distant cousin of mine! And I’d done my internship with his company when they had an office in Ahmedabad. When I met him in Mumbai, he showed me the kind of work he was doing on activeCollab. He showed me the Reports module for activeCollab, and I was impressed.
So when he checked back to see how my job was going and if I could join Apps Magnet, I immediately quit the “arduous travel job” and picked up moonlighting with him instead!
Yes, those were the early days of Apps Magnet. Nirav took care of the existing web development services business during day, and we paired up at his home during nights to work on activeCollab products. During the days, I studied activeCollab, carried out my assignments, and it was the 3-4 hours in night we brainstormed, evaluated opportunities, and discuss what products we could create to solve real problems.
acGarage – my first main product!
acGarage – Automatic update of activeCollab – was the first product on which we worked and I still remember, we released it at 5 AM after working overnight ironing out bugs and making tweaks. It was a thrilling experience that started a series of new adventures!
We built many products after that – Tickets Plus, Time Reports Plus, Assignments Plus, Communications module, Confidential Items… Every product was an opportunity to learn, a chance to contribute to the community, and to get satisfaction of building something that helped people.
All in all, I worked on 45 activeCollab products, 4 WordPress plugins, 2 Magento extensions and 50+ customization projects.
I remember that I was scared of touching a client’s server; or even responding to a query. I was always “behind the scenes”: did research, fixed issues, wrote code.. And Nirav generally took care of client interaction. I overcome that fear and started taking small steps. I started replying to questions, then started working on client customizations or fixes and then handling most of day to day work now.
Over these five years, I must have interacted with nearly 130 customers personally. Probably 1000+ on support tickets. And honestly, I’ve been blessed to work with some great people.
People like Brad & Tracy from Geodelic, Grif from Blackstone Media, Nathan Sudds from activeLabs, Maxim Mathew, Federico Soto, Abdul Karmach and many others have been phenomenal.. Each client interaction has taught me something!
In Bangalore during a conference + leisure trip
Learnings went beyond technology though. I’ve learned a lot about product development, business… I’ve expanded in all areas of life.. (Ok, I’ve even put on weight, but let’s skip that bit for now!)
When I started, I was shy and timid. Today, I am free to share. I’d give a lot of credit for this to Landmark Education too though. This non-linear education really helped a lot. I did the complete curriculum – Forum, Advanced Course, Self Expression and Leadership Program, and even Being Extra Ordinary Seminar… It’s always given me a push forward.
Especially with teams. It was only me and Nirav in Apps Magnet initially. Then a small team of 4 people. But with Store Apps and Putler teams together, we were 15 people and all that I learned in books, seminars and observing others became extremely valuable. I took on all new things as opportunities – leading sprint meetings, taking tech sessions for the team, solving problems for others… And it’s been greatly fulfilling…
Diwali celebrations in office
Together, we’ve celebrated Diwali, Christmas, birthdays, outings, many special days, and not to forget the so many “Fun Fridays“. (A Fun Friday is an evening of fun and games – competitive at most times, extremely enjoyable, and at times we give a hard time to the coordinator, but always memorable!)
Boys with Bands – on friendship day
Team outing to Imagica amusement park
There were obviously “not-fun” times. The toughest times for me were when we were transitioning to activeCollab 3. We were porting all our activeCollab 2 products to activeCollab 3. That involved a lot of work since we have a large portfolio of products. New activeCollab versions were coming out frequently, and there were a ton of compatibility issues. Customers would complain if a new release broke their activeCollab. Our days went fixing problems, learning new tricks, supporting clients, and then also working on migration. It took almost a year for things to stabilize and gave us all a hard time!
If I look at the positives, there is always an opportunity to learn in tough times.
Our joint activeCollab 3 Bootcamp Webinar with Nathan Sudds, Guy Cortesi, Willem Nieuwboer was very well received. Customers also embraced our migrated products and thankfully activeCollab 4 was not a major shift from activeCollab 3! We even automated a lot of processes and worked on better planning our release cycles. We put up compatibility charts, stayed in communication with the community and kept working hard.
And I also started learning WordPress and development outside activeCollab world! The main reason for this was the hackathons we organized though. I took on creating “Hack Battles” in the organization and in little over a year, we’ve done 5 successful Hack Battles. We’ve worked on 25+ products during these hack battles, and over 10 from these have already made it to public. Our new ventures like Icegram, Klawoo, Putler connectors and new Store Apps products were all born in these hacking competitions!
Hacking hard during 1st Hack Battle a year ago
Winning a prize in Hack Battle
Another battle that I conquered is getting married! (Ok, not exactly a battle, and if I were to believe others, a marriage becomes a battle after few years, but it’s just been a year to my marriage!) I married Mittal last year and we’ve had a beautiful year!
Wedding pic, with Mittal
Just last month, I and Nirav ran a 10 kilometer race together. Completing 10k within the cut-off limit for a marathon was a major victory, because the only practice I had was 3 days of light running during previous week – where I did more walking then running. Completing 10k taught me the importance of perseverance. And I’m now pushing colleagues to run with me!
After a 10k run with Nirav
In retrospect, these five years gave me lots of opportunities, challenges and breakthroughs. We learnt together, we laughed together and we toiled together.
I am thankful to Nirav for his continuous support and leadership. To my family for their stand and love. To my colleagues who are always supportive and have created a great culture to produce breakthrough results. To my friends who contributed to my overall development and partied with me!
And I am thankful to all customers who put their faith in us, worked with my limitations and showered their compliments.
Our team has been working hard on revising its modules. And Communication Module has been on the top of our list. As mentioned in our previous blog we already have re added the most loved feature that is the “Project Level Communication” and this week we thought of enhancing it further.
After a couple of discussions with team we got to a conclusion and decided to work on the security feature of the module.
The result….. is our latest edition to the Communication module that will surely have you delighted!!!
Now, Admin is able to set permissions within the Communication Module.
Basically there are two types of permissions i.e
1) Who can participate in communication – i.e deciding which member can view and participate in a particular communication.
2) Who can create communications – i.e which member can create communications.
You can set permissions through Administrator -> Communications
Well we feel this would make your communications more controlled, more flexible and more secure…
What do you feel??? Drop a comment we are listening….
12th February 2013 will mark Apps Magnet’s 4th Anniversary. Four years of awesome solutions for activeCollab (and Basecamp, and PayPal…). Four years of cherished relationships with customers. Four years of writing, tweaking, debugging and optimizing code. Four years of challenges and triumphs.
First, our present for you!
Yes, it’s our anniversary, but you get the gift.. On our anniversaries so far, we have given our customers 10X discounts. It was 10% on first, 20% on second, 30% on third. I don’t know if we will do 100% discount on our 10th anniversary; but for the 4th, we certainly have 40% discounts for you!!
Apps Magnet was the first professional grade, commercial extension developer for activeCollab. We’d been using activeCollab for a while and developed a reporting solution for our own needs. That was later released as Reports module for activeCollab on Feb 12, 2009. A month later, we launched PlannerX for Basecamp – based off a planning system we used in activeCollab ourselves. PlannerX was soon ported to activeCollab, and we kept moving forward from there on.
We shared our 2013 Roadmap with you last month. And we are very much working on it. We released 5 product updates last week and are working on a lot more!
Time Reports Plus will soon merge with Reports Plus. Financial reporting will be added to Reports Plus too. Resource management work for Planning module is underway and we are getting closer to the kind of workflow we want from it.
The team is growing, support response time is coming down, and we are looking forward to a bright 2013!!
How has been your experience with us these four years?
Many of you have been with us for a good part of these four years. How’s been your experience? How have these four years been for you?
We’d love to hear your comments! Post them below!!
If you are looking for activeCollab 3 compatible version of one of our products, there are couple of simple ways to determine if a product has been ported to activeCollab 3.
Check the product catalog for “AC3″ tag
All activeCollab 3 products are tagged with “AC3″ in our product catalog. This tag is shown next to the product name in the all products listing. It is also shown on right just above the “additional properties” tabs on individual product pages.
Check if the version number begins with 3
From within the My Account area, you can check if the version number of a product begin with 3 (for example 3.0, 3.0.1 etc). If it does, then it’s the activeCollab 3 edition of the product. All activeCollab 2 products will have version numbers lower than 3.
Multi version downloads
If a product does not have version number displayed, it’s most likely ported to activeCollab 3 and the .zip file download contains both activeCollab 2 and activeCollab 3 versions. You can confirm this by looking at the product catalog – the product will have both “AC2″ and “AC3″ tags.
Renamed / Merged Products
Some products are renamed in activeCollab 3 to match new terminology. E.g. Tickets Plus is renamed to Tasks Plus. Reports is renamed to Reports Plus. If you purchased an activeCollab 2 version of the product, we have also added the renamed aC3 version of the product in your available downloads.
We have also merged Housekeeping, Incremental Backup, acGarage Lite and Gravatar into a single acGarage Plus product for activeCollab 3. If you had any of these products for aC2, you will need to re-purchase acGarage Plus. To compensate for the possible loss, we have included $10 store credit with acGarage Plus.
Some products will not be ported to activeCollab 3. Mainly because that functionality is already incorporated in aC3. Such products include: Copy Pages and Discussions acHack, Latest Comments First acHack and Inline Pagination acHack.
Confidential Items is not yet ported to aC3. We want to make it available for aC3, but haven’t yet found a “clean” way to implement it.
I also did a revenue contribution breakdown. Planning module is our best selling product. activeCollab business gives us more than 80% revenues. But both our Planning tools – Planning module for activeCollab and PlannerX for Basecamp together claim 77% of the business. That is what gave us the success – solving one problem really well.
Thank you for your love and support. We couldn’t make it without you – our customers.
The year was eventful and I have many stories to tell. Like why we closed down our iPhone unit, why we are building only extensions and not full products, how I goofed up in one version of Planning module, and how my itch to know daily sales led to creation of Putler. Let me know if you would like to hear some!