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It helps to have pleasant company while things get straightened out.  I was recently affected by a bug in the URL shortening function built into Buffer. I was very impressed with their support team.

I reported the problem via this handy form that is only one click away from the main Dashboard:

Buffer Support Form

Buffer Support Form

The form even lets you convey your own sense of urgency with the problem and I also used it to upload a screenshot to help illustrate the malfunction.  Within minutes I had an email from Buffer that:

  1. Acknowledged the problem in an empathetic manner
  2. Offered suggestions to work around the problem temporarily
  3. OWNED the problem by confirming that it sounds like an issue at their end
  4. Made me feel informed by letting me know the problem was passed on to the appropriate team

And what made this stand out even more is that it felt like I was communicating with an actual person as opposed to just interacting with a process.  This was true from that initial contact with Daniel, and carried through with Mary, and Adam who followed through with me until it was completely resolved.  As an added nicety, each of these people signed their mails with their full names and their personal Twitter accounts.

I was so impressed with the first contact that I jokingly made a TIL tweet about Buffer support folks holding the title of “Happiness Hero” (as noted in their signatures).  That led to some pleasant exchanges with the group-shared @buffer account and Carolyn Kopprasch (@CaroKopp), the Chief Happiness Officer at @buffer.

It took most of a week, but the problem was eventually resolved and the steady contact with Buffer via Twitter and email kept me feeling informed and helped keep my frustration from growing too intense.  Also, I got stickers!

I have had an “Awesome Plan” Buffer account for some time now and it has generally been lived up to the Awesome part of the name.  If you need to manage both personal and professional social media accounts, I highly recommend it.   With the 15% annual payment discount, I pay $102 a year to handle time scheduled and queue based posting to ten accounts spread across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

I should probably explain the actual problem for the geekier people reading.  Buffer allows you to specific the URL shortening method on a per account basis.  So, for example, I can choose to have my links shared to Facebook completely unshortened while links on Twitter are shortened through bit.ly and links shared to Google+ are shortened using Buffer’s own buff.ly shortener.  While this problem was going on the Buffer Chrome extension was ignoring those preferences and trying to use only buff.ly and failing to shorten many URLs entirely.  That was what I needed them to address and they fixed it for me.