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      The New Community Platform   03/21/2017

      We are still working on making adjustments and changes to the new platform. Thanks  to everyone who has been sending in feedback and filing any bugs you've encountered! 
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Making Strides to Improve our Customer Support Services

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Vogt Linden

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As we mentioned in our last blog post,  the Customer Support team continues to drive a series of changes to the  way in which Linden Lab delivers support to our Resident community.  We  are examining our support offering from top to bottom, using the data  from our new support system, your survey data, blog feedback, and  industry standard practices to help shape our approach.

Some  of our changes will be apparent to you, like the look and feel of the  new case and live chat systems and our coming self-service tools. Others  will be structural and won't be immediately apparent, like our internal  support tools, but their benefits will reveal themselves over time as  they enable us to address your issues more quickly.

As we approach these changes, we have a number of high-level goals in mind:

  • Leverage industry best practices, and our own hard-earned lessons, to create a comprehensive customer service offering.
  • Respond to high-urgency, business-critical requests more quickly.
  • Better address product and service issues before they become a support interaction.
  • Provide all Residents with better self-service tools to help solve issues immediately.
Changes to Support for Basic Residents

As  part of these changes, we are examining the types of support we offer  Residents of all levels, in an effort to provide better, more responsive  service to the most business-critical issues.  Starting on Wednesday,  October 13th, we will simplify and reduce the types of cases that Basic  Residents can file and direct them to our self-service tools on your account page, or search the Knowledge Base or Second Life Answers for solutions.  As a Basic Resident, you can still file cases about  most account issues, billing issues, marketplace issues, and some  technical issues.

Improving Support for Premium and Concierge Residents

As  we increasingly direct Basic Residents to self-service tools, we are  exploring ways that we can better service and support our Premium and  Concierge Residents.  These Residents –who are often landowners,  merchants, and inworld business owners– will continue to be able to file  the full range of cases, have access support via live chat, and in the  case of Concierge Residents, have access to phone support.  As we begin  to see the impact of the changes we have underway, we expect our  response times across all of these channels to improve.

This  announcement is one of many to come soon as we work hard to provide  faster, more effective customer service. We look forward to hearing your  feedback as these changes roll out.


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Does that mean there will be tool to fix some of our problems? Like folders outside of My Inventory. I still have an open ticket on that.

Or does that mean us basic users that don't like to risk getting our account mudered for missing a premioum payment are now left out in the cold with technicial issues?

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I am a landowner, but not a premium account.  This is the case for a number of folks who joined when I did, who paid the 9.95 fee which includes the ability to buy land from Linden Lab without paying the ten dollar monthly premium fee, paying only the land use fee.

I recently had occasion to file a support ticket because a Linden owned parcel next to mine had land access restriction turned on, causing me to see ban lines.

Will I still be able to file a support ticket for causes such as that?

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After a long, hard summer, it's great to see Linden Lab back at work.

Recovering from three years of neglect is no easy task, but I believe Philip is right: infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure - technological, managerial and customer support. Policy remains a big problem area, but one step at a time.

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As glad as I am to see this long overdue attention to the superstructure of SL, the policies like doubling prices on education and non-profits, forced relocation of teens to the main grid (supposedly for access to the educational sims that just got the axe), broken search and ruinous business and customer relations are far more important.  When a business sells you something for 1000$, you expect that product.  When the company then forcibly takes that product from you and substitutes another poorer product with no option for a refund, it's plain and simple fraud.

All LL has to do is make every new major initiative its own continent and leave the existing customers with their existing TOSs alone.  You sold us sprockets - we expect sprockets, not cogs.  If you won't give us the sprockets we paid you for, then refund us for the purchase price of the land and we'll be gone.  Otherwise, expect to hear from many more lawyers and stare at many more of our posteriors as we leave you to enjoy your predictable yet empty SL and foot the bills all by yourselves.

The policies have to be fixed first or there will be no-one left to care about the meshes, the shadows, the mods allowing 500 people on a sim, etc.

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How will self-service  web pages get non -premium accounts to get back lost inventory items, get unghosted, get logged in , fix missing money issues , investigate possible fraud-account theft issues ,  report (as is the case today) the inability to TP or walk in sticky sims?

Or can those types of requests still be made and RESPONDED to in the new system ?

Relog-clear cache only fixes just so much . And I do know how to do that .

And while not a *direct* renter of of land from Linden I do pay a lot of  USD a month to private region owners. (And storeowners when I shop)

Who in turn pay LL so cutting service to us basics lessens the number of renters .....

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Just get the Premium account (i did)... 72 dollars a year and linden bonuses... yes if you are a land owner etc you probably have all the lindens you need.. but even business owners need a place you live ...LOL.

oh ok , consider the linden home a private place (for whatever) only you (and your friends) know about...

So, basically... if you own land get the premium sub!... Consider it the price for Customer Service...

BTW, the Customer Service is amazing... Being new here, I had problems with inventory... they solved the problems... Great Service!.

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Yes, im with Mari on this one.

Yet another slap in the face of basic account holders by Linden Labs..."self help", yeah, right.  So even though I spend cash in SL, run a rental business, co-own a couple of sims i still get virtually no support and now it seems even LESS support after October 13th.

So according to what Vogt said above it seems LL thinks that basic members dont own land, dont own business and dont contribute anything to the SL economy.

Yet another slap in the face from Linden Labs and another reason I won't go premium since the labs is now being staffed by Linden's who have completley and toally lost touch with the user base...

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Customer Support is always a big part of my decision to stay with a company, so I'll gladly chip in my three cents worth. 

Cutting the options for support to basic accounts is not a good idea.  A company is judged by the quality of support it and this move will only cost more in the long run as it drives away potential customers.  You want a basic account to become a premium.. give them full access to the ticket system and respond to their tickets within 48 hours, 24 if it's a connection issue.

Also, if you really want to reduce the amount of support tickets in the most drastic way, I'd recommend training the Live Chat CSRs to do their jobs and then give them the tools to do it.  Fire the ones that consistently pass the buck to the ticket system.  And if you can't do either of those, consider bringing the Live Chat support back under LL's controlling wing.  SL is honestly too complex for a script or non-SL user to provide support for.  And if a premium account has to file a support ticket, then respond within 24 hours. 

If a concierge account needs support, ideally, they shouldn't be directed to the ticket system at all.  They should have their problems resolved via the phone or Live Chat.  No, I'm not a concierge account.. but even I think they should get better treatment than me!

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If you go Premium and your credit card payment is somehow messed up--you didn't update the expiration date--email went astray--bank closed your account ( which happened to MANY good credit risks in the last few years) you can lose your SL avatar account--inventory  POOF.

Premium is a risk I will not take .

Why not allow the level of service to be based on Lindens purchased /sold during a year?

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For what i see you are keeping the Premium and Concierge service levels as they were and directing the Basic accounts to self-service tools (except for some cases).

Actually this is not an improvement, but a relocation of the resources you have for customer service. I'm ok about this since i'm a Premium customer, but i'm not sure if this actually improves the service.

So if you say: "Guys, we had to reduce our human resources and now we have less people for customer service. Being things like they are, we prefer to dedicate these resources to Premium and Concierge accounts." then i'll be ok about it and i'll understand.

Thanks.

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I feel Linden Lab makes a mistake in treating support as multiple tiers. All kinds of residents contribute to the economy and user base of Second Life, LL need to provide good support to all residents to retain confidence and user satisfaction. They may not be direct customers of LL but just being logged in increases the value of SL.

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Although my previous comment might be taken as a critic i would remark it is not, it's just i find the business language in the style "We are improving the service cutting it." empty and simply false.

Anyway, i agree with some of the comments; it's as simple as this, you pay Premium you get the service, if you want service then pay, if you prefer not to pay then the service will be lower.

What i ask, Vogt, is the service for Premium and Concierge gets really better, because in the last times is not as good as it was before the massive firing. Let's hope this move works.

Thanks.

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Although it's a generic corporate decision to provide higher level of support to higher level paying customers, personally I think it's a shame that the Community (in particular Basic Residents) will not receive =/> customer support.

Also with https://support.secondlife.com/create-case/?lang=en, just an idea, how about RSS-ing the grid status within this page?  This may reduce the number of tickets relating to an issue and also save customer frustration when you're trying to submit a case and the system is all-ruthed-up.

With the release of viewer 2.x please consider providing self-help services inworld.

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Seems fair to me. pay for a premium account: ....get premium service. I'm not a premium account holder, btw, but I do see the logic in this.

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I have to say there are many GOOD suggestions written above, but as a concierge account holder, i have to toss in my 2 cents worth.

One, get me back LIVE chat, 24/7 with people that DO NOT, regardless of the issue, say... Use Viewer 2.0 and check the knowledge base. I will not, under any circumstances, use 2.0 period. If i want support for my viewer, i'll talk to the Phoenix Dev's, Kthanks. If i IM live chat, its a SL issue. I have already checked the knowledge base, no, do NOT direct me back to it.

Two.. if your wanting to improve customer service, then LISTEN. Stop all the bells and whistles and brand new shineys, and FIX the current issues. Sim lag is at its WORST in 6 years. (yes, i have been in sl 6+ years, my other avie started in 04). Sim crossings, rezzing, general lag.

I understand basic account holders spend money, and help the economy, but with out the preminum/concerige members, there would be no place for basic account holders to play.

You have many older Sl members that would be willing to be *helpers* in a basic help group in SL. You could avoid 80% of filed issues if they had someplace to ask their questions and get good advice/responses.

remember the mentors? Maybe that should be step one in fixing customer support for basic accounts, and customer retention.

~Brie

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How often however, do you expect a company providing a *free* service to provide support beyond basic web guides?

The cost of running Customer Service/ Support is one of the things paid for by Premium Accounts and/ or the Concerige level for estate owners who are paying ten dollars and three hundred dollars a month respectively.  To be blunt, CSA's in the real world don't work for free.

And from experience, I can attest that when we had trouble on our Island, one phone call to LL from teh Estate Owner brought four Lindens over within half an hour to trouble shoot the issue.

As it is in the real world, you get what you pay for.

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Most of the topics that a Basic member can file a ticket on right now are things that can not be solved by pointing them at a 'self help web page', unless you plan to have features on that page like the ability to request a sim restart, or to restore a lost password. So what you're actually saying is that you intend to ignore even more customer support issues from Basic accounts.

I am a "land owner". I pay for about 1/4 of a full-purpose sim.

I am a business owner. I'm one of your rare 1% of residents that manages to cash out a profit every month. I create multiple region projects for my clients. I only sell in-world these days, and most of my work is contracted, large-scale stuff that gets paid directly in US Dollars, where the funds never need to go in-world.

I was a merchant on XStreet-SL, selling a variety of products, before that on-line service got so borked up that my on-line sales dropped to zero.

I am NOT a Premium member, or is it likely I ever will be, unless you make it a mandatory requirement for logging on to the grid. And that is in spite of my account being old enough that by selling the L$ stipend that I get each month (and which I don't need, because I am already cashing out L$ every month, and never buy L$), I would actually come out a few dollars ahead of the game over the course of the year. (But only if you don't take into account the lost value of that $72 USD per year that LL gets free use of, while they pay me back 1/12 of my dues per month over the year.)

Why?

Because I refuse to risk losing all my inventory and possibly even my account if for some reason my credit card happens to be a dollar or two too close to my credit limit when you bill my account for my membership dues. It is insane that a Premium Account risks termination, rather than a downgrade to Basic, if for any reason their funding source fails to pay on demand.

Because I have absolutely no desire to own Mainland. (My land is on a private sim. I don't pay LL direct for that land, but I pay as much money that eventually ends up in their pockets as any Premium member that owns 1/3 of a sim of Mainland.)

You really want to improve customer support?

Fire the outsourced script-readers that have never in their lives logged in to SL, but are expected to understand and resolve issues. Customer support requires actually understanding what you are supporting, not call center people that don't know a prim from a script.

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Considering Concierge support (both phone and live chat) consists of an  Ontyne "support" person telling you off and telling you to file a ticket (that  they promptly close to boost their closed ticket rankings) and then hanging up  on you, you guys with the basic accounts are not missing much... It is  absolutely pathetic right now...

Samantha

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"Respond to high-urgency, business-critical requests more quickly."

Well I think that the 3 months that you made me wait might well be a little too long for a lot of people lol

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I've worked in support for many years and you guys are doing it all wrong lately, with a niche product like you have, you need inhouse support, I don't care how appealing the finance manager sells third party support, it is not suitable for a platform like this.

You've cut support for concierge residents, I don't think you appreciate how much that has hurt, or how much it has ruined the reputation of your once stellar support services.

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Interesting...I am a premium member and own a full sim and a homestead.

I have been having clothes rezzing issues for a month which have gradually worsened to the point that I am now naked and ruthed to others & a cloud to myself.  I started filing tickets a month ago - 4 total.  NONE have been resolved.

Finally was able to convince a service representative to escalate my case - and status is in progress at this time. 

I have tried the LIVE CHAT 3 times today and have given up waiting for a connection with a representative.

Currently waiting once again....it's been 20minutes.

Oooops...let me correct that since now the live chat window says,

"Your chat request has been cancelled because the operators have just become unavailable."

WHAT??  If this is your improved customer service....we're all in trouble.

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Even Concierge customers wait two months for support tickets. See https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/WEB-2734

Xstreet support is non existent and Live chat refuses to help with Xstreet matters.
Jiras about Xstreet faults get dismissive replies, valid questions continue to go unanswered.
No office hours means we cannot ask questions and get replies, nor give input. Am tired of arguing for commonsense solutions in jiras with Brodesky. Also tired of see half-assed solutions - If Torley has to give a video tutorial on sending a gift to a friend thru Marketplace - then its clearly not a well thought out solution.

Recent downgrades to live chat hours, downgrades to languages, and more 'self-help' were referred to as 'enhancements'

Jiras remain unassigned.

Live chat gets deliberate hangups,  long waits, and chat failures.

Even the server team gives replies using terms like "impossible" despite clearly being able to do so for certain customers.

'Making Strides' ? Improvements? We want actual concrete details...'cause this reads like feel-good marketing speak and the reference to 'continuing to access the full range of services" when they are clearly causing much unhappiness in their current form is not reassuring.

Remember the commitment to transparency? For instance - what actual changes are you making that will improve ticket response times to less than two months? What is the target response time that you think is ideal? Will you be holding office hours to get our feedback?

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Linden labs Has never given very good support for paying customers its actually a joke...you cannot even connect to live help anymore and then there is never a knowledgeble helper there anyway

i have had tickets sitting for months and i am a pemium customer much more and i will take my 300 to a private owner and stop paying  premium membership that isnt worth a pot to pee in it is NOT worth being a premium member your support sucks always has always will...please prove me wrong

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Premium accounts do not lose their inventory if they are delinquent and non-paid for several months.

Excellent question, Mari.  As we say in the blog post, we are looking at our entire support offering, re-examining everything we do.   Exploring various ways in which Residents could qualify for various levels and types of support is definitely a part of that process.

I expect the case type modifications to be the first step in a sustained series of changes.

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Premium accounts do not lose their inventory if they are delinquent and non-paid for several months.

Really? When did that change? Where is that documented, in writing?

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