I love companies that treat customers like adults and that make an extra effort for customers. I have written about Paizo customer service, here and here. Paizo, for me, is the gold standard of customer service. Now let me tell you about another company, Smoking Salamander Games that is getting customer service right.
I have taken part in two Kickstarters.
One is horribly managed or mis-managed. Another is managed the way I would hope I would manage a Kickstarter; excellently.
Smoking Salamander Games has made every effort to keep the backers in the loop. Good and bad news. Good news makes a lot of sense. Hearing about the good news is expected. Bad news is usually hidden from backers. With the mis-managed Kickstarter, I got used to finding out about production issues from irate backers. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when updates from Smoking Salamander spoke of problems.
Updates with problems were not about blaming someone else or trying to look good. Updates with problems took responsibility and talked about solutions for the problem. I was never left in the dark, wondering what was going to happen. I knew. When there was a problem with the dice bags, not only did I know what the problem was, I knew that there was a proposed solution.
Here is a recent example of that extra mile: Smoking Salamander released a print and play version for backers. As soon as a print issue, a stat block in the wrong place, was known an update was issued quickly. When backers asked if cover art could be included, Smoking Salamander went the extra mile to get cover art included quickly. Not weeks later, less than a day later.
Treating backers like adults is how all Kickstarters should be managed. Telling me about problems will not cause a revolt, hiding them will. I respect Smoking Salamander for doing the right thing. I respect Smoking Salamander for respecting backers. They have won me as a customer.