Lessons Learned from Evernote’s Recent User Plan Changes

#FPF – Week 6

Up until recently, I had been a big Post-It note guy – writing down anything that I didn’t want to forget on a small piece of paper, which lived on my desk. Aside from this collection making Wes’s eye twitch whenever his gaze would fall on my side of the office, those darn Post-Its were always where I wasn’t.

Post-It Notes
Source: Unknown – Google Image Search

Enter Evernote.

What is Evernote?

It’s a cloud-based note taking platform that allows you to create notes with text, audio and images, as well as the ability to organize your notes in virtual notebooks – great for keeping personal and business topics organized.  With one account/login, you can easily have every note you have ever saved in the system available on your smartphone, tablet or desktop.

Their free account limits the size of storage you have available, but if you are taking mostly text notes (which I do most often) you would have little worry of reaching any usage quotas.  In the past few years of using Evernote – I have loved it and appreciated having it as part of my workflow – enhancing productivity.  Things couldn’t be better right? Well…up until recently.

Evernote’s Recent Changes

In a recent blog post on Evernote’s website, they announced that free accounts would now be limited to 2 devices and that the cost of their premium accounts would be increasing as well.  The Evernote team cited these adjustments to their service as necessary steps in moving the platform forward, but the associated outcry of loyal users that are now jumping ship to other (less limiting platforms with similar features) marks an important point worth mentioning:

Your Clients/Customers Don’t Like Change.

Even when that change is an improvement to what you have to offer, there is a certain level of discomfort associated with change that people would prefer not deal with.  So how do you institute change without causing a mass-exodus or a social media frenzy?  Here are a few tips that can help:

  • Test the Waters – Use social media, customer surveys and phone calls to your best (and hopefully, most honest) clients/customers and ask their opinion regarding the changes you are looking to make.  Their vantage point may help you to evolve your ideas into even better (or completely new) products and services that they would gladly pay money for, let alone tell other people about how awesome it was that you included them in the process.
  • Establish a Group of “Beta” Testers – This could be a random sampling of clients/customers from the group above, as well as those of whom you have not yet built as strong of a bond with.  Setup opportunities for them to provide you with measurable, actionable feedback on how things are going.  This will allow you to determine where the holes are before rolling your “big idea” to the masses, only to wind up with egg on your face as people speak poorly of your execution.  Beta testers understand that they are gaining access to things that may not be perfect and have the unique opportunity to take an active role in making your platform the best it can be.
  • Call in the Champions as Cheerleaders – It’s no secret that the trend spotters and taste makerswithin a given industry often determine how an entire group of people may feel about a product or service.  The changes you are looking to implement are not exempt from this either.  To this point, it is imperative to identify the thought leaders in your industry and do everything you can to get their buy-in on what you are looking to achieve.  If they already happen to like your previous products or services, it probably wouldn’t be too difficult to get them to write a blog post highlighting the new (and exciting) features yet to come.  In the case of Evernote from above, enlisting the writers from popular tech or business sites such as Mashable, ReadWriteWeb or The Verge could have gone a long way in calming people’s concerns and easing them through that uncomfortable process of change.

Evolve with Confidence (and Clarity)

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this.  My hope is that it will help you as you continue to grow your business and improve the lives of you, your family and your work family.

What topics would you like to learn about next?  Feel free to respond to this message or send an inquiry through our new Fist Pump Questions page.  I look forward to hearing from you and hope you have an awesome weekend!

Kind Regards,

Jim @ Captivation