Support is dead. Long live support!

December 06, 2010

 

I want to share a little love for our GetSatisfaction Forum and let you know why you should to.

Support used to be about one-on-one talking to someone over the phone about an issue they were having.

It usually involved a lot of waiting and telephone tag.

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How well your issue was resolved really depended upon how much the person you were talking to was an expert on just that issue.

Complaints were closely guarded. I don't know about you but I have been on the phone with people who were assuring me that yes, I was the only one having the problem and no one else was, when you just knew it was absolute crap.

Support was dependent upon me reaching the support desk between their hours of operation. Not mine.

Support wasn't a dialogue that I could subscribe to and learn from by eavesdropping.

Support wasn't a conduit to the decision makers. I still keep trying the line of "I know this isn't your fault but could you please pass on this suggestion to your manager" cause it somehow makes me feel better, although I am positive it is wasted breath.

And then even if your idea did get passed on it always suffered from distortion and signal loss. This is no fault of the person talking to you, it's just a fact. You tell them, they tell someone else, and so on. Things get lost, miscommunicated and the sense of urgency or passion that you might have for the idea is lost.

Support is tedious. The overwhelming volume of our support cases were about the same things. It wasn't that we had 300 calls this month and each one of them were unique. It was 300 calls about on average the same 20 things. The same topics ones over and over. That doesn't leave a lot of room for creative brilliance on the support team, it instead turns into tedious process management.

GetSatisfaction has changed all of this for us, and we hope for you as well.

24/7 ask a question and see who else had the problem and how it was solved. Right now. No waiting. That question hasn't been asked before? Go ahead and post it.

Everyone in our company sees your post. All of us. And if one of us answers and another coworker has a better idea, they add it too. Or even better, if another End User has a better idea or something to add, they see it and can do just that. And this could happen a month later and you can have an email sent to you keeping you abreast of just that issue. Or if you're real passionate lurk on all of the posts and questions and use them to continually learn and improve from the dialogue of others.

And there is no signal loss. You have a problem, we all see it in your words. Those who will fix or address your problem ask you questions right then and there to make sure they have it right. They dialogue directly with you, they now have a relationship and a responsibility to you. They are not buried 4 layers behind support. They get it. They are on it.

And now support can spend all of that time that they used to spend answering the same question day in day out actually doing creative and truly innovative work. Which is just so much more rewarding for everyone!

Case in point. You didn't like how the new video gadget worked. We all talked about it, including other Users, myself, Robb and Donna who is the person that will actually fix it. We resolved how it should work. And then Donna made the changes and it was painless for her to know what to do because she understood what was wrong, right from you. It was then tested, and it was real easy to test because Robb and Neal had followed the issue, they knew what it was supposed to do and would immediately know if it didn't. And then they let you know right on the Forum that it was fixed and available for all. No telephone tag, signal loss and distortion, or crazy overhead writing and communicating specs, test plans, etc. etc. 11 days later problem is resolved.

For all these reasons support is dead! But the new support is awesome - long live support! And please, don't hesitate to add anything to the forum, no idea, question, issue or complaint is too small. We want to hear it all and "all" of us are listening.