(an open letter to skeptics)
We think our product is awesome—but not everyone does.
With over 135,000 users, we expect a few haters because no single company can make everyone happy all the time. With a 97% renewal rate, we know we’re doing our job well. However, we think it’s worth addressing the issues when we learn that a few teachers are unhappy.
What ClassWallet does
For anyone unfamiliar with what we do, here’s a quick primer. ClassWallet is a payment platform that enables schools to grant teachers authority over classroom spending decisions and to efficiently reconcile the funds involved in the process. In addition to providing a method for teachers to obtain the resources they need for their classrooms when they need them, ClassWallet benefits school bookkeepers and finance administrators by eliminating the paperwork and minimizing the time needed to manage the many individual classroom purchases involved with these programs.
Just how many classroom purchases are we talking about? One district we work with uses ClassWallet to streamline the tracking of 30,000 purchases per year that were previously handled via paper and scanned receipts.
Why the hate dislike?
In analyzing all of the complaints and criticisms we receive, here are the overwhelming reasons people have shared why they hate using ClassWallet:
(Hate is such a strong word. Perhaps dislike is better.)
Teachers have complained they are not able to find the supplies they need on our ecommerce platform. However, we work with and make available to teachers access to over 30 vendors.
If teachers cannot find what they need on 30+ vendors’ websites – fair enough – we also offer a reimbursement feature, which allows users to shop anywhere they want, online or off, and submit a photo of their receipt for repayment. (Think Expensify for schools.)
Missing orders, wrong items, asynchronous pricing, out of stock inventory – we understand- our vendors aren’t perfect, especially with the hundreds of thousands of items available in our ecommerce marketplace. However, we’re always here to assist if a vendor isn’t helping solve a problem related to a teacher’s order.
As a vendor to local governments, ClassWallet must comply with all rules and decisions related to when funds are made available, what items are purchased, and how they’re purchased on our platform. We get that there are some items that teachers feel are extremely important to have in their classrooms that cannot be purchased with ClassWallet funds. However, we have no input on those decisions.
Budgets and Legislation
Budgets are set by the government, including those set aside for education. As taxpayers and parents of school-age children, we understand teacher frustration and are 110% behind the proper funding of education and are supportive of teacher agency. However, as a company we cannot influence how legislative budgets are created.
Software bugs, missed customer calls, hard to read receipts: ClassWallet is developed and delivered by people and technology, both of which aren’t 100% perfect either. Once in a while we drop the ball in customer service or our platform doesn’t perform as expected, and for that we apologize. Know that we are focused on the experience of our end-users – you. And with a 2019 user NPS score of 23 (higher than Coke and Pepsi) the teachers on our platform think we’re doing an overall good job too.
Like any business, we can only succeed when we have satisfied customers. We serve not only the school districts but also the thousands of teachers within them. We’re laser-focused on what’s working and what’s not. As product managers, we are constantly trying to improve the product and deliver an even-better experience for everyone. We can only succeed when everyone – well, almost everyone – is happy.
In sum, we’re reading your comments, whether anonymous or not. We hear you. It can be frustrating at times. However, if something is working well, let us know, too. We’re on your side, delivering the best classroom spending platform we possibly can for you.