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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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You're right, I was mixing up basic/premium status with payment status. Of course basic accounts can own estates. The idea I am getting at is that people who actually pay LL to use the platform have greater rights to support than those who don't. The test should be whether the person raising the ticket actually gives them any monies lol.

It would be nice if they could support everyone, regardless of their "status", but it's obvious that they can't, and the community often doesn't help by raising trivial tickets and adding to their backlog. So at a time where even concierge customers have 2 month old tickets still in "new" status, it makes sense for them to address this issue and get their priorities right.

Basic levels of support for those who won't contribute to the SL economy seems OK to me if it means that premium and PIU customers can once again get the service they should reasonably expect.

And yes, premium account holders *should* be at the top of that list because they are the ones actually making a financial commitment to SL for little apparant benefit other than the "right" to own some worthless mainland, and the "right" to expect a superior level of support.

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/me checks to see it isn't April 1st and then says:

Please keep Support in-house. Outsourcing may seem like a good way of saving money, but ask any consumer - and I'm not just talking about SL, but any consumer anywhere - which they prefer, and which gives the best service.

Oh, and please go back to the old system of ensuring Lindens have Resident experience. I'm sick of ringing support only to find I'm the one telling them what to do and correcting their elementary mistakes.

But good to know you're listening.

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As has already been pointed out many non premium members also pay LL real money for the purchase of L$.

I don't expect them to bust a gut, just a basic level of service.
I don't have a problem with only being able to log a limited subset of support requests, or even having them given a lower priority than premium accounts.

These incidents weren't the first time I was ghosted, previous incidents were dealt with efficiently, but the support service seems to have gone downhill, either due to the restructuring or the update to the ticketing system.

Maybe the incidents I still have open were dealt with too and didn't just resolve themselves, but I have no way of knowing that and neither does LL, if this isn't an isolated incedent of calls not being updated then how is LL supposed to accuratly measure the perfomance and effectiveness of their support, and if they cant measure the performance then how can they tell if the changes they make are having any impact.

For a ticket to go unanswered for over two months would normally be unacceptable in any professional support environment

If I don't qualify for support for that type of issue then close the ticket with a comment to that effect, don't just ignore it.

All I'm saying is if they want to improve their customer service, then start with the basics and actually deal with the tickets in whatever way is appropiate dont just ignore them.

Edit to add:

The blog post is a sign that LL recognises the need to improve/overhaul/evolve it's support services which is a positive step, lets hope that they achieve the improvements they and their customers (us) want.

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I canceled my premium account this week, support was the reason I picked it up and now it is the reason I dropped it. A year ago the support was good. Live Chat helped me with problems immediately and issues were resolved.

I even told the live chat operator that the outcome of the last chat I had with them will determine if I will pick my premium account back up. It was ended with sorry we have technical difficulties and closed out. I was never contacted back about my problem. I have to wonder if that's just not an escape route when they can't fix it. I never seen anything in the status page about technical difficulties with live chat at that time.

For the past several months every time I contact live chat I can only get through if I wait at least 30 min to connect, then I am told either sorry we can't help you, look at the self help pages or the operators just close out the chat without a word.

That is not support... so why pay for a service that does absolutely nothing to help me. Oh and tickets yeah I have some of those months old that have never even been answered.

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Hi every1, i've read some of the comments left  here and I do agree with most of you about the poor quality LL has to manage certain issues when it comes to tickets . and reports,  my case is much complex, being a premium acct. for 2yrs, spending about 200-300USD every wk. land owner, business owner, club, stores, recreation,  basically sharing with SL residents a fair place to be and for every1 to enjoy what i have. to all this, some ppls go to your land- missbehave, verbal abuse, harrasment to others, etc. mind you, if you try to put a stop to all that, maybe you have to bann them or just eject them, you're the one that get a report... i mean what happen to all the effort that us land owners, us builders that spend  hours, days, sleepless nights trying to improve what we have and some1 comes around and make a ticket, your acct be hold for a few days, and after all LL comes and tells you, that you wont be able to use that accout because some individuals sent tickets to LL. I was for more than 2 wks trying to fight the case, LL did not have the courtesy to find out if those accusations were true or false, they did not even gave me the opportunity to defend myself, they just closed my acct with no explanation. Now after all I find out that the person who ticketed me was the partner i had in SL, friends of him, and  alts that he used to make false accusations against me. this individual when our partnership got to an end, he demanded for me to leave the properties, the land, the club and whatever I had work for 2yrs, he was forcing me to leave the group i created with 4,000members on it.. since i was in denial and did not pleased him, he went and ejected every1 from the group, i receieved verbal abuse from this guy, harassment, phone calls, etc.  i reported him, no action was taken, he still around making every1 that come across him misserable, and not to forget he is not a premium acct.  now he has other lands, other business and his new journey is making illegal traffic with bots too. and me!! lost my  acct. lost everything in my inventory offcourse, and trying with this new acct to recover  what i lost. but  the feeling of playing this game and  have an effort on what you want your game to be is worthless. LL wont ever ever see a dolar out of my pocket again and offcourse i will never be premium again.. for those that are not premium right now and have leave their comments in this blog: being premium or regular makes no difference when it comes to the customer service from LL. and i wish no1 of you have to go tru what i went, its a horrible feeling as a human-being, because we might be represented by avatars in SL but the game becomes part of our daily living and behing each monitor we are real people and sometimes thats not even taken in consideration.. I've learned in SL that no1 cares for any1 starting with LL. they only worry about your money.  Have a nice Day everyone - and excuse my poor english but i believe i make myself understood!  ciao!

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Oh you make your plight understood well, Hon.  It is LL who are deaf, and/or stupid.

This sort of trickery and abuse is rife in SL and NO ONE will do a god-damned thing about it.

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Premium Live Chat?  Who to?  It is 1:15pm in Britain and Support is snoring in bed.  No UK office, no UK or European hours Support.  What sort of Premium is that?

 

It looks as though logins are down; I get a "Cannot connect to a simulator Login failed" error.  Nothing on the Grid Status page, but clearly there's an issue, cos numbers online are dropping.

 

Hey it's not a problem, we're not awake in the USA yet!

 

B******T.

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I have a premium account, but I wonder if the customers service is on vacation.

- 1 they don't answer to my tickets at all.

- 2 I can't use the live chat, it's always closed.

- 3 The support for the marketplace or Xstreet doesn't exist.

 

Two years ago the customers service, was better. Now, the customers service is a shame, because it doesn't exist anymore.

So why I can't use the live chat, because I live in France ? But in waiting I pay for a service ! And I don't have it anymore.

The only thing to work, it's when they pick my money every month

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As a UK Premium member I am dissappointed with the live help chat service times available to me. as well as the * new* market place. Why does everything LL seem to do to improve things, seem to make them more top heavy and less user friendly?

Please pick up the pace LL, make things more easily accessable,respond faster and listen to us, please ?:)

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"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."

That seems what is all about indeed. Everything Lindenlab calls 'improvement' is nothing more then changing the looks of things.

I absolutely do not like the new look and I hate the software that is being used to run the the support and the blog/forum.

First of all you can not even write your issue down in detail because of a character cap. If you have a problem and want to write a ticket you have to do it in a dumbed down twitter format. After 3 or 4 sentences you have reached the character cap... besides that you have to wait months to get some kind of an awnser... no matter if your premium or not.

Secondly, This software you LL are running this site on including this blog and the support channel is a piece of crap. Half the time sections in pages wont load or whole pages wont load at all. Viewing case history in IE is impossible, the page just keeps on loading forever.

I just tried to comment here using IE. Pressing the 'add comment' button gave me an unexpected error... I have to open an other browser just to be able to respond here. Drop down menu's on the website fails regularly and on IE permanently. Account page 'friends online" is saying that I don't have any friends... while I have a couple hundred in the list. Need I go on?

Every single improvement in the last +1 year seems all to be about shiny's/ changing the look. Replacing perfectly good functioning things Like the old viewer, the old Xstreet, the old SL website with an inferior lag fest half baked barely functioning 'software'... all for the sake of a new look.

I love Secondlife, it is my passion. The changes and the way things are getting messed up by the coders is getting me mad like hell.

And don't get me started about the new marketplace website. LL should be ashamed about how they release the new ecommerce site and closing xstreet at the same time while not even search is working. Tons of needed merchant features have been erased, uneffective advertising options. Basically the marketplace is inferior in every single way... but hey, it does have a shopping cart and a new look!!

I do not want hear one more word about so called improvements....

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First of all I have a question ...  what do customer service team feels to receive a paycheck after ignoring its customers for weeks? just curious. How many tickets do you have on "new" status for months? again, just curious.

 

The survey on customer service we fill, one of the questions was whether we would recommend Second Life to our friends and my answer, based on "customer service"  definitely not, i love my friends. I have never been ignored and poorly treated worse than by the Linden Labs "customer service". Congratulations.

 

What I'm reading now is that instead of improving the service, you will limit the availability of support and therefore complaints. As I understand it, that is not improving aid, only worsen the current situation in itself is pretty bad.

 

You will understand that for many people who are premium member is not  the possibility to have one of  the mansions called "linden homes" that convinces us to stay as premium, not the 300 L, is the possibility of get help that makes either pay monthly or quarterly amount. The benefit that I had after paying that amount is ... in the live chat, depending on who  respond to you, 1 hour wait after asking the question without any comment, that is ... nothing, i have things to do with my time better than wait for someone to tell me submit a ticket. Of course there are people who try it, but if they try a lot the answer is "You Have to submit a ticket", then you know you are lost.

 

Want to help? help. If the support team does not believe that you sent the ticket to the right sub category, they just do not respond at all, they ignore you. Not that they say you have to send this problem to another sub category or there is nothing we can do for you, they just ignore you.

 

If you ask on live chat to which subcategory you should submit your problem, you can get 3 different answers to the same question, they can not do anything to help and you get stuck with your problem because there are not enough sub categories to go to or even someone be nice and tell you where or how. And you want better support removing sub categories? I do not think an intelligent decision, I think a decision of who wants to have fewer complaints, not better service.

 


Request a rollback is a joke. They respond that there is not a service and they will in their opinion, it's only for emergencies. Clear to me that your emergency, they have nothing to do with mine and mine do not care because the only time I requested one, I was denied that the answer is not to correct errors. The error had not been me, for me it was an emergency and refused anyway.

 

When I was a victim of fraud, my ticket was ignored, I sent an abuse report and the person who did it went without any problems.

 

Mention the word search is a guarantee that you will be ignored by the "support team".

 

You send me an email when you need something ... be kind and send one when you make changes, that is also customer service. If you plan to do "random Holds" in cash outs to prevent fraud, let your customers know write an email. , is what any decent company would. And if you say that the money will be on hold for two days, make it real or let us know who will be on hold for more days, not say two days whether they will be more. Be eficient.

 

Want to know how to help? qualify your team, let your customers qualify your team on each ticket, put time limits for responses, make them work. It seems that you are paying a lot of people to paste written  answers and they also take a lot of time to paste them.  That is not customer service, that's an insult to the time and intelligence of your customers.

 

Want to help? help.

 

I guess it does not matter, but more than I want, I can not find a single reason to keep me as a premium member after this very poor customer service.

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Yoz: you may want to publicize the fact that Premiums do not get purged if there is a hiccup in their credit card, then.  I've wondered why it is that someone who paid more for SL got treated worse -- the basic account is safe from inventory loss and banning when the wife loses my credit card and I have to change numbers all over creation.

Having a 10 day grace period before closing an island would be a good idea too.  What if the wife loses my  credit card the day before tier is due?  I'll be happy to pay you!  Just let me get the new card in and give you the new number.  I'll certainly be less inclined to do that though if 3 days later I get the card, come in, and find you've already turned off all my islands and sent my renters running.

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Perhaps LInden Lab should evaluate the differentiation it makes among premium members, estate land owners, and basic account holders. The assumption is made here that basic account holders are freeloaders and should have less priority in access to support. However, many basic account holders contribute far more financially to Linden Lab than premium users or estate land owners. But as always, talking to Linden Lab is like talking to the wind. You may boast about a collaborative management style, but the last folks you would ever bother collaborating with are those who pay your bills and your salaries.

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The current "Submit a ticket" page limits what you can post as an ticket.

For example - if you have an issue with groups/roles etc  how would you submit this ?

Its not an account / billing / land / marketplace issue so the only option is "technical questions" ...

and this dropdown force you into specific options - none of these applies to a group/role issue

LL  needs to add a field in the dropdown for "other issues" to address  issues/problems that cannot be grouped in the current sections.

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why do basic accounts expect support? lol

this is why support is so messed up for customers who actually pay the lindens to use their platform, cos our tickets from like 2 months ago are still in "new" status cos basic avatar X raised a ticket cos she had lag one day and avatar Y raised a ticket cos she couldn't use teh emeralds lol, and avatar Z raised a ticket cos avatar A called her a meanie

It is obviously time for tickets to be ignored unless they are raised by concierge, cos linden labs need to learn that the only people they need to spend money on supporting are the people who pay *them* to use their platform.

I think that misses the point, I'm afraid.   The problem isn't that a good customer service system is being overwhelmed by silly tickets from free accounts; it's that they don't seem to have a particularly good system in place to start with.   I don't think it would take much time to have some decent front-line support staff opening everyone's tickets promptly, sending out sensible stock replies to silly questions about "why can't I use Emerald" or "Someone's called me a meanie" no matter from whom they come, and escalating the ones that pass this filter for appropriate attention and action by someone else.  

At the moment, everything just seems to get stuck, no matter who submits the ticket.   And certainly my recent experiences with Ontynes haven't given me the impression I've been talking to someone who'd be able to handle my particular issue competently and professionally if only he wasn't being pestered by all these free accounts; possibly unfairly, I've come away with the strong impression I've been dealing with someone who's just not very good at his job (or, if he is, that he's stuck within the constraints of a customer service system that won't let him do it properly).

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I tried to send survey but can't, I got this error: "Support satisfaction explanation: You can't use more than 255 characters."

I delete every box to explain what happend and realize was 255 for everything? that is 3 lines, and have 3 or 4 boxes to explain different problems...Nice, I did my best anyway

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Want to help? help. If the support team does not believe that you sent the ticket to the right sub category, they just do not respond at all, they ignore you. Not that they say you have to send this problem to another sub category or there is nothing we can do for you, they just ignore you.

This is the same for abuse reports and live chat, if you don't frame what you want the exact way they want you to, you are just canned without a word. You really come away with the feeling they would be happy in their jobs if it wasn't for the customers.

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Lol you are talking about the survey on the login screen? I can not even do the survey, because when I click it nothing happens. And the character cap (which seems LL's latest pest to use on their customers) is just plane ridiculous. The frickin character cap is popping up everywhere. Even merchants are bothered with it on the marketplace where they had to shorten all their listings... They can't even inform and advertise their product as they like anymore.

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This is all still very worrying. Changes being made without care or consideration.

They decided to change the Event Listing system and now it is not possible to enter more than one event in 24 hours, whereas before we could hold events every 5 hours.

Making such a change shows a lack of understanding of how events generate traffic, which attracts retailers, who pay rent, who allow us to run our sims.

It is as if a bunch of children are running Linden labs. No business acumen or experience.

They recently did the same thing by shutting down community gateways after sims like ours had spent a fortune complying.

For God's sake GROW UP AND RUN THIS LIKE A BUSINESS WHICH REALLY CARES ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE, DOES NOT JUST OFFER LIP SERVICE.

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Great ideas, guys. But may I suggest another helpful feature:  Write your blogs in plain, civilian-understandable language. Some of us regular workin' folks get a bit lost in the middle-management jargon.

Thanks. :-)

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This reads like:

"Folks, we won't spend any more money on our lousy support. But we´ll cut support for basic accounts and try to live up to our promises at least for premium account holders."

Ahem.

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Better address product and service issues before they become a support interaction.

 

If this didn't anger me so much, I would have laughed out loud.  You want to better address product and service issues?

STOP ADDING NEW FEATURES UNTIL YOU FIX THE BROKEN FEATURES WE ALREADY HAVE.

How many times does this need to be said before you people (Linden Research, Inc.) pull your collective head out of your collective backside??  I have two words for you...

Group Chat

It could be argued that Group Chat is one of the most important features available to any group/organization/business which utilizies any sort of social interaction with their respective followers/affiliates/customers, and yet Group Chat has been broken for at least 3 years.  THREE YEARS!!!

We have a variety of features that have yet to be fully implemented.  Years later and they still remain pretty much at the same level of implementation as when they were first introduced.  Dynamic Lighting, Windlight, Flexible Prims, Physics to name a few.  And don't get me started on the bugs...  there are thousands of them, many dating back before I registered my account in early 2006.

 

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.

 

Now you people want to decrease support for Basic Account holders?  Is that your way of trying to convert basics to premium accounts?  That's a piss-poor way of doing it.  Why not add some actual value to the Premium Account besides a piddley stipend, free 512m of mainland, and a Linden Home (which reminds me of a middle class housing project more than a community resource) instead?

Maybe if LL would stop chasing shiny things and start providing the stable service paying customers expect, you would have more paying customers.  And you know what?  ALL support requests would lessen.  If you fix the grid, people won't need support nearly as much.  Make sense?

 

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.

 

It doesn't matter how quickly you people come back with "We understand how you must feel, we are working to resolve your issue as quickly as we can."  What matters is how quickly LL can fix the bugs... long standing, long ignored bugs.

WE DO NOT WANT TO HAVE TO CONTACT SUPPORT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

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Support is busted beyond repair I think.  Tickets that should take days to handle are sitting weeks later untouched.  I have a couple of those myself!

It seems to be hit or miss what tickets are handled, and if they are even handled correctly or by someone who really isn't paying attention.

But I suppose if my tickets are actually looked at before the end of the year, that's an improvement, cause after all that's better than not being looked at entirely.  <3

P.S. Your survey sucked, even it was broken, it wouldn't let me enter any actual text in the text boxes, so that was a great attempt that ended in a miserable failure too. :-\

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You're right, I was mixing up basic/premium status with payment status. Of course basic accounts can own estates. The idea I am getting at is that people who actually pay LL to use the platform have greater rights to support than those who don't. The test should be whether the person raising the ticket actually gives them any monies lol.

 

But my point is that basic account holders do give them money. They pay for land. They supply sales to creators of content. They create and sell content. They do virtually everything (if not everything) that sustains the economy that premium members do. The only difference between the two is that basic account holders don't get niceities like stipends. And thats the way it should be.


It would be nice if they could support everyone, regardless of their "status", but it's obvious that they can't

 

That's their problem, not ours. If they can't support everyone that is invited to play along, they need to restrict access to a number adequate for equal support or sell it off to somebody who can handle it. They opened SL up to free accounts, not us. They should suffer the consequences, not us.


Basic levels of support for those who won't contribute to the SL economy seems OK to me if it means that premium and PIU customers can once again get the service they should reasonably expect.

 

AGAIN, basic account holders DO contribute to the economy (likely more so than premium. I bet individual $L orders are a larger portion of the money LL takes in, and a lot of that comes from basic account holders. But I don't have numbers to back that up, admittedly).


And yes, premium account holders *should* be at the top of that list because they are the ones actually making a financial commitment to SL for little apparant benefit other than the "right" to own some worthless mainland, and the "right" to expect a superior level of support.

 

Premium members are, AGAIN, NOT the only ones making financial commitment to SL.

I'm all for premium members being at the TOP of the list. But cutting basic members off of the list is a mistake in my view.

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