An Open Letter to Adobe


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photoshop 1.0

Dear Adobe,

It’s hard to believe how long we’ve known each other. I can remember playing around on my friend’s Macintosh when Adobe Photoshop 1.0 first came out. It amazes me still how unique you were. You brought such innovation to the stage. How much I loved the creativity you brought with each new version and how, over the years, the flexibility you offered allowed my own creativity to flourish.

You’re amazing Adobe, you truly are. When I became a film student, the first editing software I worked with was Premiere. After a brief flirtation with Mac and Final Cut, I came back to you, and I’m glad I did because you outshine them in so many ways.

However, I find myself unhappy with you at times. When I try to reach out to you, you’re sometimes cold and unresponsive and I don’t always get a reaction from you. Sometimes, it can take days for you to respond and there have been times when you do respond that your answers are vague and impersonal. I would have thought that you’d know me by now? We’ve had a relationship for years and I would think you could invest a little in personalizing my interactions with you.

Where is the customer focus and support one would expect from a brand like Adobe? I know there’s a lot going on in your busy world, and I don’t always contact you at the most convenient times, but it’s a two-way street. I’m happy to keep buying products from you, but I need to know that you appreciate me as much as I appreciate you.

Unlike many of your clients, I wasn’t mad when you made the move to Creative Cloud. In fact, I supported you because I can see why the SaaS model is the most optimal and sustainable for your business. At the same time, I had hoped that the subscription model would have caused you to focus on improving the customer experience since you’re now offering “Software as a Service”. Please, help me to feel confident that is the case.

Recently, you decided to make phone support a premium option. Moreover, it seems you’ve now officially made the community forums your main source for technical information. This isn’t much of a difference from the old way of getting technical help on Adobe products, and it can still take hours of sifting through articles to find solutions. That’s too much time wasted when all any of us want is to resolve issues quickly and get on with our day.

Have you considered improving the digital experience you offer? Have you looked into self-service in this customer-centric era? According to Forrester Research, web self-service use increased from 67% in 2012 to 72% in 2014 and all indicators point to a continued rise. If I could get simple and accurate guidance when I need it, it would make a world of difference – especially for critical issues! Providing your customers with guidance to take them step-by-step to resolution would save your customers tons time and energy. I see it as a good compromise and it would make things much easier for me to get the type of customer experience that I expect from you.

And please don’t assume that some pathetic virtual agent software is going to do the trick. That’s the digital equivalent of an IVR/Phone tree. Just ask a virtual agent anything contextual or account relevant and see what kind of response you get. There’s no personalization, no touch, it’s a script, and it feels like a script.

I’m sure you understand at this point that you’ve managed to upset a lot of your loyal customers. The good news is that we continue to use your services…for now. So, I’m asking because I care and because I enjoy using your products, can you please fix this? Can you show your customers that you value them by doing this the right way?

Adobe, you have a history of fantastic innovation and you can fix this. I see genius in you. Take for example your venture into the arena of stock photography. I see it as a natural progression and I believe that as long as you don’t alienate your customers and begin offering us a high-level digital experience, you will far surpass Shutterstock and reach into the realms of Getty and Corbis. You have most of the pieces in place you just need to close the gaps.

Liad Stein

Liad Stein
Liad Stein is the Content and Community Manager at nanorep Inc. A natural self-starter, he has worked in a wide range of industries, both B2C and B2B.


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