In this edition of Support Talks, Courtney Linden sits down with Cyn Linden, VP of Customer Relations for Linden Lab, to find out more about Cyn's role at the Lab, her favorite RL and SL pastimes, and the future of Support in Second Life.
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Had to look up the spelling of "chutzpah" before posting. They are facing the most disastrous customer relations decisions they have every made, and they are doing cutesy interviews.
Sorry, Cyn & Courtney... With the way LL is totally blowing off all the outrage about the adult stuff, not to mention not answering ANY questions over in the zindra blog posting, I'm having a hard time listening to stuff you do to have fun.
At least you've stopped trying to tell us that the adult content stuff is all about choice and that it's what residents want. Props for that, I guess.
/me looks for the comment she just posted..
More moderation mode? You know, if y'all would answer some of our questions that we keep asking, people would stop complaining that you're not answering them...
edit: ok.. there it is.. /me looks embarrased.. maybe it's just slow.. Never mind..
I agree Renee. How nice it is that their sims are working properly while the rest of us can't log in or use voice or anything else.
I'm unimpressed with the new predictable experience.
Nice interview, you're free to come build me a shipwrecked pirate ship anytime, also The Eels rock. Not sure about all the strange hand movements mind you
There does seem to be a disconnect between the concept of listening to your customers and any actual evidence that you do this, certainly on policies where you appear to have tried to place lipstick on a pig.
The level of richness of some of your support is absolutely superb, certainly Concierge live chat in general which is awesome 99% of the time and something you should be extremely proud of. There are other areas that are a bit lacking in interaction such as the ticketing system which can take a long time for any resolution and has a distinct lack of feedback in such cases, the same goes for abuse reports which leave residents perplexed when there's no resolution to what appears to be an obvious breach of the rules.
You'll never please all of the people all of the time but sometimes it's better to make bold and upfront statements than appear to bury your heads in the sand, the sound of silence can be deafening.
Overall we should be hearing more from Cyn, someone in such an important position should be more high profile, so interviews like this are most welcome.
OK a tad of uncanny valley going on there lol.
I'd turn the voice gestures off - or at least only have the lowest level one active. Having an arm going into the back of the chair every other second is very disconcerting!
Nice! I always like interviews. Sound volume difference between Cyn and Courtney was quite annoying tho. We definitely need some better animations system for interviewing. I have some ideas, but working around the anim bug kinda kills most of my inspiration lately. Anyways, LL should definitely do more interviews. A weekly thing would be nice. Plus, it would do more to show that the Lindens are real people and not just names on a blog.
Yeah whatever. I just noticed that LL has closed yet another discussion (Welcome to Zindra) relating to their brain-damaged forcing of their customers to abandon years of building... with no answers from customer "support." And yet it pops up again like a bad penny. *LOL*
Shouldn't the quote read something like this?...
"the key to being successful in support is expecting your customers to roll over and take it while you do cute disney stuff and happy blogs."
Now please please please provide even the simplest of answers concerning the mechanics of this move you're forcing on us. (see Welcome to Zindra blog... among others)
WARNING: Such videos contain unbalanced sounds. Ask your doctor if listening to Lindens is right for you.
Very nice, very nice. So nice to hear what Cyn is doing, apparently nothing in regards to this ACP, certainly not answering questions or helping anyone. She didn't respond to a request to talk to me about ACP. Splendid!
So lovely she is having a good time when the masses either still dont know, or have lots of questions to be answered and hours of work ahead of them. Well, pay no attention to that we need the questions answered first, Cyn. Keep having fun while a lot of people are miserable
"the key to being successful in support is listening to your customers and if you can't listen to your customers and hear what they have to say and be able to respond and react to that, your just not going to be successful"
Cyn Linden - Support Talks: An Interview Monday 22nd June
I'm guessing penalty box is a synonym for the spot all avatars fear to tread also known as the cornfield?
Thank you for this glaring explaination of the slow and painful death of the user experience.
It seems that the only valid customers are land barons. The content creators and users are simply not considered.
This explains the complete failure to respond to the adult content issue in any other way than to force more land purchases.
Sadly, they have also created such an insultingly inept build that even while empty it is barely usable. WTG land sales! If they don't like it, let them buy islands.
Land without users.Yes, that is indeed the future of Second Life.
I agree, LL it seems like your trying to sweep the events of past weeks under the carpet and pretend everything is peechy. All you're doing is offending people who have been negatively affected in a massive way by misinformation or complete lack of information on several issues over past weeks/months, the biggest of which have obviously been the suicidal release of viewer 1.23 and ACP.
I think you will find the mood of many on SL is sombere at best at the current time, so please.... give it a rest, you're only rubbing salt into your customers already deep wounds. You could have interviewed anyone but the VP of Customer Relations... Really not someone anyone round here is going to want to hear about at the moment. No offense to Cyn personally..
Thanks Cyn and Courtney for taking the time to do this interview. There are a couple of things I just wanted to point out from a Customer perspective. I think you gave some very good insight into how things work internally with support. The word "Autonomous" really stuck out in my mind. I think it is a good goal to want your support staff to be autonomous and really own how they respond and interact with customers on the Companies behalf. But I also feel like that can only be successful if the Company has very good internal communication. It seems to me there is some work to be done in that area. Many of your autonomous support staff seem to not clearly understand the changes that are currently happening in Second Life. There is a serious disconnect that a lot of Residents have noticed between the autonomous little guy all the way up to upper Management. It seems there are a lot of important questions that are going unanswered and I get the feeling that it is simply because those that have the ability to be answering questions in the forums are not confident enough in their own knowledge of the changes and the communication they have received internally to address some of the most pressing issues Residents are facing. I know that we Residents will never hesitate to hold an incorrect answer up to the light, but an apology accompanied by a well researched and presented correction is not too much to ask. Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to respond here in these forums.
Nice to see ya Red!!!
To me this was very interesting. Soon working myself in a support team of a large enterprise you shared some enlightening insights. As a customer of you I had good expiriences when I had to contact support (the very few times). Iam aware that you support poeple don't work at the labs policies at all... that about ACP...
I just think I need a thicker skin for that new job when reading some comments here.
However, thanks for the openness! Keep up the good work!
So who exactly are the last name "Ontyme"?
Why should we be expected to give them account information in Live Chat, there is NO indication ANYWHERE on your website explaining they work as billing representatives for your company. While i can honestly give credit to the Lindens that my support ticket response has been improved over the last two years, this is all with Lindens ONLY! The "Ontyme" team is both Rude and Ineffective. In ALL cases in my support with them it had ended with divine Linden Intervention.
This is an open call to action and an official request for you as a company to evaluate WHO handles billing support for your company. The "Ontymes" set a perfect example of WHO NOT to contract out to in the future. I am frankly just plain scared to keep doing buisness in second life with them in charge of billing.
If you care to reply to this comment it would be appreciated. If you wish to contact me personaly even better and i can share some good ole "Ontyme Horror Stories" with you.
~ Cold Spitteler
I know a major 'land baron' and he damn near quit Second Life last year because of poor customer service. Quote: "I just keep waiting for the next SL type game to come out. Theirs a few on the horizon. I think SL will still do well but it may have peaked in interest last year. Personally the people that make the decisions for LL couldn't get an hourly job at our local Wal-Mart with the lack of interpersonal skills they seem to suffer from."
Sorry, Cyn & Courtney... With the way LL is totally blowing off all the outrage about the adult stuff, not to mention not answering ANY questions over in the zindra blog posting, I'm having a hard time listening to stuff you do to have fun.At least you've stopped trying to tell us that the adult content stuff is all about choice and that it's what residents want. Props for that, I guess.
...and, just to be clear, I'm grumpy not because I'm a generally bitter person or hate LL/SL or anything like that - far from it! I pay tier out of my pocket every month because I see what SL could be and I see LL making the same mistakes over and over, telling us about "improvements" that we're not only NOT asking for but actively begging you to not do. I'm grumpy because it seems like you're making this thing we all love worse, not better, and either don't realize or don't care that so many of your customers are crying out against these changes.
LL has a chance to really take off and have something special with SL. You've got a virtual monopoly right now - please don't waste it.
A Linden interviewing a Linden? Has astroturfing come home to roost at LL?
Hello, everyone! Clearly many of you are frustrated about some of the recent changes in Second Life. I can tell you that there's a follow-up post about Zindra in the works, in response to some of the concerns that came up in the previous Zindra discussion, which should answer some of your burning questions. Until then, in case you haven't already taken a look, there's a wiki page that might help: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Adult_content.
For those of you who liked our interview, thanks! We are planning to produce more of them in the future as time permits. (And hopefully we can get the sound levels to be a bit better next time!)
I apologize for seeming negative, but the mishandling of the Openspace/Homestead policy and the intransigence with which LL imposed the 'adult' policy have left a bitter taste in people's mouths. The failure to involve the community in strategic decisions and the inability to manage perceptions have resulted in twin customer service disasters that have damaged the reputation of Linden Lab within the resident community.
In better times, I would have liked the interview! I'm not always grumpy. Really. I usually eat this stuff up.
Clearly many of you are frustrated about some of the recent changes in Second Life.
This is literally the first indication I have seen from LL that they understand this. Much of peoples frustration is related to LL not recognising that not everything is perfect. Thank you for actually coming out and acknowledging it, Courtney.
Many of us are not frustrated with the changes themselves. What we are frustrated with is the abysmimal way in which Linden Labs has communicated the existence of those changes in the first place, and the inconsistent, or just plain non-existent answers to questions that have come up around it.
It doesn't scream "customer service" to me when the Linden representitive on the forums who is there to presumably answer our questions qualifies every response with either "I think so...", "I would appear to be...", "In my opinion...", or the ever popular, "that's a good question, what do you think?".
To put it simply, good customer service to me isn't necessarily getting the answers I want. But it does require that I get answers at all, and that those answers are clear, consistent, and coherant, something to this day that I belive Linden Labs has utterly failed at providing.
I hate to say this, but I agree with most of the above...which everyone has posted as far as not getting answers, not having questions answered, or tech or other support answered properly in a timely manner. Also, It wont matter a dam bit of differencve to them until the customer base and login base start to drop. Any loss of revenue, especially in these times, hurts any company, including LLs. Of coarse, they will probably just start rumors of kinky sex and huge business profits to the population, to reel in yet more business. As of lately, I have not gotten any response to any tickets ive put into them in the past month, And I wanrned them how bad the new releases were, based on my ava performance within the world. They were so proud of releasing the new client...then all hell broke loose. It continually amazes me that games with state-of-the-art graphics are somehow able to keep up to 300 avas in one area... without any appreciable lagg and crashing, as opposed to the feel-goody, luciously over-hyped SL world...wheres the 1000times faster SL you promised us guys????And wheres the kind, caring, thoughtful customer service????
Hello, everyone! Clearly many of you are frustrated about some of the recent changes in Second Life. I can tell you that there's a follow-up post about Zindra in the works, in response to some of the concerns that came up in the previous Zindra discussion, which should answer some of your burning questions. Until then, in case you haven't already taken a look, there's a wiki page that might help: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Adult_content.For those of you who liked our interview, thanks! We are planning to produce more of them in the future as time permits. (And hopefully we can get the sound levels to be a bit better next time!)
Hi Courtney is that wiki an official LL/SL site. It's just that it contains some weird statements like for example
What constitutes advertising? Word of mouth?
I am not sure i am allowed to post to this forum but if i am then
I wanted to ask about the wiki you refer to: this is not an official LL/SL wiki is it?
Double post error. Unable to delete.
If you are serious about customer relations then you need to tell the customers what you are doing. Weeks ago i was told that i didn't need to move to Zindra/Ursula (which seemed odd at the time because i am an adult and Zindra was being badged as made up of adult regions). Now i have a support ticket saying i am ineligible to be moved there. So how do i operate in this game. I am an adult, I joined thinking that the mature mainland was a good place for adults to live. Now i don't know what to do. I don't think i am alone in being very confused and also fearful that any solution which allows me to keep in touch with friends i have made through SL is going to turn out to be very expensive.
Apologies for multiple posts. There is a very long delay before something appears after submitting. It seems to be a cookie problem. There are also problems with character spacing, line breaks and formatting. Hitting backspace can sometimes knock you clean off the page - as if hitting the back button. Text navigation controls sometimes don't work. There is no method of deleting a post. I strongly recommend returning these blog discussions to the forums.
I'm afraid it's not so simple. People are frustrated for the following reasons:
01) the changes themselves
02) the unintended consequences of those changes across the entire political economy of SL
03) the way in which those changes were decided
04) the way in which those changes were presented to residents and inworld investors
05) the way in which LL responded to feedback from residents and inworld investors
These frustrations themselves have consequences:
06) general loss of confidence concerning LL's ability to manage SL
07) increasing unpredictability of the future direction of Second Life
08) increasing speculation that Linden Lab does not understand its own product and customers
09) increasing financial risk premiums associated with increasing doubt and uncertainty
10) increasing association of negative emotions with the Second Life brand/experience
For sophisticated, international residents and investors, the Smurf-CareBear-wall-of-joy attitude is grating to say the least. To then impose this California-centric worldview on a diverse global audience - especially when it's done clumsily - especially when the company originally and wisely eschewed precisely this approach - is to court further dissension that will spread like a cancer throughout Second Life.
That interview reminded me of the old show Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
Ask your doctor if Zindra is right for you. Some patients report sudden bouncing and invisi-sims.
You know, I don't know a lot of the groups in your i-Pod shuffle, and I don't have an i-Pod, but I would suggest just putting in a lot more Grateful Dead and maybe some Unplugged Nirvana, and it might bring you around a tad.
Cyn? As Customer Relations VP, I do hope you can answer this:
To whom do we complain about the newly-changed Community Standards, that make the sweeping change that all "'Adult' content, activity and communication are not permitted on the Second Life 'mainland.'"? Congratulations! The entire Mainland is now WORTHLESS for private residential use, unless you are completely celibate! May as well mark it ALL PG. Or was that the plan all along?
The Maturity Definitions (Either KB6010 or KB4417, both of which appear to have the same wording now) do not make ANY exceptions for "private residential use".
They say :"In the FAQs below, we offer examples as to what types of Regions are and are not considered adult, based on, for example, distinctions between "public" and "private" content, as well as distinctions between content that is "expressly sexually themed" and content that is not."
Yet absolutely NO content of that sort is in the FAQ's they reference. None.
So, the Maturity Definitions (Either KB6010 or KB4417) DO define a range of activities, which, if advertized or publicly accessible, are considered "Adult, and that explicitly states "we will broadly define what is "sexually themed" to include any sexually oriented activities and conduct .".
Now refer back to the new CS, which states clearly:
"Second Life is an adult community, but 'Adult' content, activity and communication are not permitted on the Second Life 'mainland.' Such material is permitted on private regions, or on the Adult Continent, Zindra. In either case, any Adult content, activity, or communication, that falls under our Adult Maturity Definition must be on regions designated as 'Adult,' and will be filtered from non-verified accounts. Other regions may be designated as either 'Mature' or 'PG.' For more information on how to designate land, events, groups, and classified listings, please carefully read the 'Maturity Definitions.' "
That CS rule DOES NOT SAY IT HAS TO BE ADVERTIZED. It just says "If the Maturity Definition categorizes it as "Adult' activity".
I would absolutely NOT be willing to risk an AR under these new rules, by involving myself with any "'Adult' content, activity and communication ... on the Second Life 'mainland".
Whomever it is at Linden Lab that is a fan of Oliver Cromwell should bear in mind that his body was dug up and he was given a posthumous execution.
Cyn listen to your customers, as I said earlier, actions speak louder than words.
Your Customers are crying out to be listened to and all we are hearing is white noise in return.
Linden Labs needs to remember that you only have a business because WE the residents come online and spend our hard earned money here.
With the financial depression all over the world, spare 'fun' money is going to become harder and harder to come by and in turn, if your game feels like more of a torture trip then a fun pastime, that rare spare cash is going go to other games and other creators of better managed companies.
I've had three and a half years experience working out in the real world as both a business development manager and as an efficiency advisor, and I can say in all that time, Linden Labs is by far the worst company when it comes to offering helpful, friendly customer support.
Build a complaint system, A REAL COMPLAINT SYSTEM, staff it, and listen to the voices of YOUR customers, before they aren't YOUR customers anymore, and you guys wake up without a job to go to.
The following Chat Log says it all- SERVICE IS NOT A LINDEN LAB HALLMARK
Chat Started: 10-27-2010 23:24:28 GMTChat Log:DavidT OnTyne: Hello. My name is DavidT OnTyne. How may I help you?
You: Can you please restart Gowers There is a ghosted avie on the sim
You: The Avi Name is Antigonus Soulstar
You: this is where the avie is You are at 301110.0, 280319.0, 107.3 in Gowers located at sim20174.agni.lindenlab.com (18.104.22.168:12035)Second Life Server 10.10.18.212360
You: its 1900 at this hello
You: 1907 at this hello
You: 1914 at this Are you there
You: 1943 still waiting hello
You: 2008 still waiting
You: I am so happy that I spen 750 United States Dollors a month in SL and get no service ladeda
You: 2023 now
You: Thanks for your non existant help