As mentioned previously, we've been enjoying our Ambient Orb at the office to show the number of new IntelliConact customers each day. A few weeks ago, one of the developers wanted to see the array of colors provided by the orb. "No problem," I said, "I'll just unplug it and you can see the cycling sequence." I unplugged the orb, and it started cycling after a few minutes. Unfortunately, it never stopped. Long and short, the orb has bit the dust. Today I finally got around to emailing the support line over at Ambient Devices. I let them know that I had two orbs configured in the same way that one was working while the other was not. Within a few hours, I received a response including instructions on removing the circuitry from the orb, swapping out a PCB between the two, and confirming the problem was that suspected by the support team.

Here's a copy of the email I received:
Ambient Devices Support 1

A screenshot from the instructions:
Ambient Devices Support 2

Clearly, Ambient Devices doesn't believe in making excuses or defining hoops with RMA numbers and hoops for their customers to jump through. Rather, they sent me instructions on easily diagnosing the problem. As you can see the instructions are worded in a light-hearted way and take the fact that technology isn't always perfect as the spice of life rather than the price of our connected world. Most importantly, they empower their customers to do exactly what's necessary to fix their problem, however scary it might seem. Although not all our products involve few enough pieces to send a 3 page PDF to solve most customer issues, I think we must all remember that the customer often outwits us by finding problems we didn't, finding uses of our products we'd never imagine. It's always important to embrace the customer's ingenuity and empower them to solve their own problems no matter. Sometimes it will take extra effort on our side to boil down our problem-solving strategy to a series of 'teachable' steps, but the reward of reduced calls and people blogging about the excellent service are probably worth it.

[tags]customer service, orb[/tags]