A number of us Newfanglers are big fans of eMusic. They do a lot of things right, like DRM free music, an amazing selection, great design and social media tools. Despite the flack they’ve received for their acquisition to Sony, they still consistently deliver one of the best usability/customer experiences I’ve come across online.
Today I noticed another thing they do better than most: the dreaded maintenance downtime. Along with their message notifying me why the site was temporarily unavailable, they also added a feature that let me plug in an email that would be notified as soon as they’re available again.
This is one of those genius yet no-brainer ideas I hope other online services begin to offer. I’m much less likely to become annoyed at a service I pay for if I don’t have to continually check on it throughout the day, only to find they’re STILL unavailable. It’s like the equivalent to the beeper device restaurants give you when waiting for a table. The amount of time you wait is no different, but you’re never as frustrated.
It’s the little user-centric details that eMusic has that will make its userbase stand by them, even when they occasionally scale back offerings.