Everyone knows how updates can improve many things in the electronic world. If you own a website, you will see that you have all of your plugins update pretty regularly. Even if you do not own or run a website, even your mobile phone will update the software from time to time. The benefit of regular updates is numerous. Gary Davis of one of the largest computer antivirus companies, McAfee, has written about why they are essential. To see that article, click here.
As Gary says, most people will postpone, and even neglect the updates in favor of saving time, or even a reluctance to change. Once you know a piece of software, learning something new on it can seem like a daunting task. He goes on to say that the Equifax data breach that potentially affected 143 million Americans was because of a known vulnerability of an application, to which there was an update available two months before the attack!
Updates For Customer Experience
That sentence alone shows why they are required, and why you should never avoid updating software when you get the option. However, it is not just security that can change and improve via updates. The UI or User Interface can be adjusted to enhance the consumers’ experience, and in most cases, it works.
Customer experience is one of the driving factors of businesses across the globe. If you get it right, then you are onto a winning formula that you are likely to keep guarded. Small changes here and there, to the position of CTAs (Call To Actions) and the visibility of critical information, will improve those factors. However, what happens when you start to update more than the positioning of buttons, etc.?
Rebranding Gone Wrong
That is where things can go disastrously wrong. There is a very recent case of a very well known WordPress plugin; Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress (GADWP) had a complete revamp, and even a rebranding. When you take a look at the reviews of the plugin, you will see why it was such a bad mistake. Until the 13th of February 2020, the reviews were almost exemplary. There were very few ratings below five stars, and they rectified virtually all issues very quickly.
After the rebranding update, they have managed to rack up a total of thirteen full pages of negative reviews, all of which are 1 star. Some people have still rated it with more stars, but with sarcastic comments. For example, in the last two days, nearly three, (at the time of writing this) the only reviews that are not 1 star are these:
4x 5 Star:
- “Useless setup, too many permissions…”
- “Not worth it anymore, uninstalled.”
- “Worst update ever!!!!”
1x 3 Star:
- “Please fix issue for new version.”
4x 2 Star:
- “too basic and too large, preferred GADWP.”
- “Well, There Goes Yet Another Plugin I was Fond Of – Removing It Now.”
- “Version 6+.”
- “A constant popup after update – Tracking is Disabled for Administrators.”
When you look at the reviews the customers left, it is not very clear why they rated it as highly as they did. We could go into all of the one-star reviews, but I don’t think there is much point. Just looking at this one recent one-star review will sum it all up: “Once great… now ruined.”
To take a little look at the effect that those reviews have had on the plugin, you will see that there are 424 1 star reviews. Right now, as of this second (the time is 14:53 where I am), there are 14 pages of bad reviews. Each of those pages has 30 reviews. That means that all but 4 of the 1-star reviews were from this most recent update. (I will let you know how many pages there are when I have finished writing the article.)
What Went Wrong?
The primary consideration in all of this rebranding was that the developers and owners had seemed to neglect their current customer satisfaction. I did not use the plugin for long enough to see what has changed, but the reviews are speaking volumes for the number of differences in the plugin.
It is always good to keep on top of updates when they affect the backend of software, but when they start to change the front end or the UI, you may run into trouble. Unfortunately for GADWP, now known as “Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics,” they seem to have changed everything about the plugin that people had grown to know and love.
If I could give you one piece of advice, it would have to be; do not do what ExactMetrics have done. Always ensure that you will keep your current customers happy with updates, and entice more people to use the program, not less. While that may sound easy, it is not quite that simple. You have to take time to understand what the customer wants and when they want it. Do not try to replace everything as a show of ego, or to gain more money.
It is now 15:09, and four more 1-star reviews have been written. This mistake could cost the company a considerable amount of revenue, visibility, and trust.