I have used FreshBooks for a few months now. I’m billing faster, getting paid faster, and feeling more in control of my projects. But I’d like to write about another aspect of FreshBooks that makes a big difference to me: the words.
You see, I write marketing copy and help systems for a living, so noticing how businesses express themselves is my professional obsession. From the start, I’ve been impressed with the way the FreshBooks team have used clear, friendly language, not just on their website but throughout the application, in their blog and in the forums.
Have you noticed how FreshBooks is largely self-documented? Next to most of the form fields, there’s a short, clear explanation of what the field is for and how to use it. Link text tells you in plain English where the link leads. There’s seldom any need to click the Help button. It’s common sense, really, but I’ve seen too many web applications sacrifice clarity for style.
Sprinkled through FreshBooks, surprising and quirky language enhances the sense that you’re using an application with real people behind it. I like the random phrases that appear in the task timer when you log hours, and the kooky names for color schemes.
The staff members don’t hide their personalities behind feigned “professionalism.” Their blog and forum entries reassure me that the people behind the application are accessible and answerable to their customers, not hidden away behind a wall of corporate PR consultants.
FreshBooks has become an indispensible tool for my business, and I use it every day. Any other high-quality application I’d only keep using until something better came along, but through their words I’ve come to feel like I know the FreshBooks team. I feel good using their product, I’m loyal, and I want to see them do well.
Wouldn’t you like your customers to feel that way about you?