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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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@Vogt and Maurice

 

Are you getting a feel for the response yet?  It is not hard to see that you are failing on a truly monumental scale, to provide a Customer Service worthy of the name.

Even after today's massive DDoS, all you can say is that the "network issue is resolved".

Maybe your folk didn't understand what it was.  Maybe you are scared to tell us.

I'm sorry, you people are pathetic, you couldn't light a bonfire with a flamethrower.

I don't like being negative, it's not in my nature, but you folk just get my engine running in a none-too-pleasant way.  Provide your users (all of them) with service or die (economically, I mean).

PLEASE, prove my worst suspicions groundless.

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why would they look at your case? you are basic. Seriously. On what basis do you expect companies to bust a gut on your behalf when you make it clear to them you will not pay them a single cent?

What are you basing your assumption on that basics don't spend money?

There are two account levels, Basic and Premium. Then there are support levels, basic, premium, Concierge, Concierge extra, or something like that, I forget what it's called.

Basic account holders can buy Linden dollars, they can also buy islands but then they become concierge customers, but that's going off on a tangent.

So a basic account holder can be actively involved, but even if someone doesn't spend a penny, surely they deserve a bit of support if their account can't login.

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This blog, as I have seen in many others, is loaded with what people want for free. It is almost sickening to read. All kinds of desires and not a stitch of contribution. I am truely sorry for those of you who have bad customer service. I usually always have a very pleasant experience. The only time I get a significant delay is when I ask for something that is not a critical issue. So when it is a requestr like that I do not mind waiting at all. When I was stuck with the "Ruth" problem, I was helped immediately. For some of you, perhaps its the way you ask for help. Maybe you should try looking at het request you sent in and see if you would want to deal with it! 99% of the problems I have I can pretty much solve myself. There is a good change you can also.

As far as the solutions going forward, the first thing I would do If I were in charge would be disable the ability of basic members to retain any kind of inventory. Lag, missing inventory and a host of other problems like debris strewn across the mainland are from free accounts run amuck. Its like this, you want to run around loose for free, then you do so with what you have in the library of your avatar. Anything else and then you start dropping some hard cash into the system. None of the "I spend money in the economy" BS. That contributes almost nothing to operational costs. Sure, some one else picks up a bit, but not enough to justify serious support.  Then I would restict the ability of the nonpaying customer to a much narrower band of the mainland. I am sure a huge part of operations goes to running down people getting into the system and lagging it down. If you want less lag then revenue has to be provided to improve the performance. Then I would disable the ability of nonpremium accounts from coming to the blogs and birching and moaning. You want to birch and moan? Then become a stakeholder in this world and put some money where your mouth is.

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i wanted to say one thing. i've had overall GREAT customer support from LL over the past 4 years. from sim rollbacks to weird things happening on my land to help getting tp's set up just almost every experience but one i can think of has been handled really well and timely.

the one BAD experience ended up good with a kind apology from the person helping me. sometimes i think the customer staff may not be in the best of moods, and i guess doing a job like fixing problems all day long could wear on the nicest person.

but i just want to say for me in my experience, live help (the phone number to conceirge) has been amazing. (that is what i referenced above)

before that there used to be a live help with volunteers which was INVALUABLE to me as a newbie, has that not existed and "dotedote edison" he was the guy i wrote everyday, i would have NEVER stayed in SL. EVER.

perhaps LL can bring that back it was truly what kept me in SL. someone showing me how to do things like unpack or rez a box.

ok well LL i know you get a lot of gripes but keep up the good work and THANK YOU for wanting to make customer service better!

in fact thank you for all the changes you want to make to make SL better. we want it to be better too

all the best,

Callie Cline

www.calliecline.blogspot.com

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it's not about whether things are free or not ...

It's about the support or lack of support.

The proposal (if you can call it that) is in essence offering different levels of support depending on what you choose to effectively pay for

  • Basic for free accounts
  • Premium for premium menbers
  • Concierge for sim owners

That's not really any different that the offerings you could get from commercial providers, the more cover you want effectively the more you pay for it.

The main complaint here is that LL don't provide the support they are currently offering, and people are concerened that the new measures aren't really going to change that.

It's all very well revamping your offering to "improve customer service", but if they can't get the basics right already why should we have any confidence they can actually improve.

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It is nice that some people have had good experiences with support, so have I but many months ago.

As we all know support has changed drastically over the last couple of months.

I wonder if the people with good experiences have tried live chat support or sending a ticket recently.

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OMG Yes! A great idea! I will never have a premium account because there is no benefit...i dont want a free house in some mainland lag ghetto....

I have been here for almost 2 years and have bought perhaps 3000 USD in Lindens, yet since I am not paying the premium membership I count for nothing.

Wake up LL and look at where the dollars are coming from.

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I thought the sim tier announcement was enough bad news for one week, now this...

 

"Starting on Wednesday,  October 13th, we will simplify and reduce the types of cases that Basic  Residents can file"

I read this as 'Don't expect help from us unless you go premium".

Quite frankly I dont even see the benefits of premium or concierge support anymore. What was once stellar support is now so shamefully poor, I dont think I have words to describe it.

Even as a concoerge level member, I have tickets listed as 'New' that are FOUR MONTHS OLD!!!!!!!!

What business could ever expect to be successful with that kind of customer care?

So much for the excitment of Philip being back. Its bad business as usual.

I am so sad.

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More than five years ago I paid 9.95 to play in SL and got an allowance and support. Now....who are the fools that began to give away the SL to non-paying people? Hmm...and did I get a refund after paying for something that is now free? Nope. But I get treated like....a freebie.

Infrastructure? I could have said that a bazillion times. There couldn't be any ability to support all the assets and all the users of the freebie viewer. Doh....who's idea was that? Infrastructure should have been heavily upgraded long before giving SL away for free. A lot of the problems we have today are.....the result of being so lacking in reality of such a move.

Add to that the insult of other little perks there was once upon a time. Now they are trying to win us back with what? a home? and less service. It would pay off more if they did what they could to keep the current customers rather than drawing so many by giving themselves away.

For ten bucks I would rather buy more lindens and go shopping and apply the SL version of retail therapy.

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I own a full estate and a one homestead.  Well i should say i pay the owners for them and for six weeks now i have note been able to tp anyone to them.  The estate owners say they have had to re-file tickets but nothing

have happened.  I have a premium account and i pay just for these two sims over $500 US a mo. for them.

Not to mention all the other lindens i spend in here.  On the full estate sim I've built a halloween sim for halloween but at the rate this going maybe next year i'll be able to open it.  So you can see where i think this blog is what a joke?

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Relationship between destruction of in world orientation for new users and support drowning under a mountain of unanswered tickets

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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.

You are right, of course, but, sadly, Linden Lab is deaf to all advice. Rarely have I seen a company so out of touch with it's own product. If Linden Lab were a public limited company, it would be ripe for a takeover.

In my opinion, Microsoft would be wise to buy Linden Lab. It is obvious that SL is the backbone of an IT revolution on the scale of the internet (1995) and Windows 3.0 (1990). I can easily see Second Life becoming "Skylight" (Windows 9). It makes perfect sense to combine a cloud-based operating system with a virtual world. Forget Snowcrash; I strongly recommend an earlier novel by William Gibson called Neuromancer.

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Yet another great blog post title.. and yet another disappointment when I open it to read it. It's kind of uplifting and sad at the same time. The title clearly shows that LL knows they need to put some serious effort into customer service, but it is already very clear that it is going to be a step in the wrong direction.

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I was going to write a smart comment listing a specific ticket number from the first week of July that has yet to be moved from "new" status but like many have noted above the ticket history has been down for several days.

Do I need to say more?  I mean... well do I? I am not sure if I should point out the obvious for fear of appearing to be talking down to Linden Lab. Then again it seems they miss the obvious.  Can anyone help me out here? Should I say more about the quality of service?

Love and peace everyone!

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I created a ticket 10 days ago and I have yet to have a reply (ecept for the ticket opening autoreply). Customer Service? What's that? Oh, and I forgot to add, I have a premium account.

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You are working hard to get there as rapidly as you can.  Does this include actually hiring any additional Lindens to handle the problem?  Or maybe rehire some of the good one that just got fired?  How can your customers believe in your renewed interest in customer service when so many of the customer service people were thrown away?

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These responses are mostly filled with people of all account types complaining about poor or non existent service. Question. If Basic members can't get support now, then how will not giving Basic members support mean that you will be better able to support directly paying members, who also complain of poor support while your policy has been to support Basic members?

If, as a Basic member, I pay <> $70US in Lindies to a Premium member, who counts on my payments to make payments to you....

and I have a issue that I cannot have addressed by reading,..

Doesn't this relegate support of some fair number of Basics to some fair number of Premium members?

It may be that a fair number of Premium accounts, who depend on Basics for income, will not only receive allegedly better support but also incur shuffled responsibilities.

This translates to "LL will not be supporting Basic members, so if Basic members cant find help, you Premium members will have to support the Basics so they don't take their business from you for non support".

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Right then. Strides?  Strewth? Had there been any strides, I would have noticed, thank you. I just closed three tickets or cases that had not gotten response.

I'd appreciate your not hanging curry on me, mates.

Why not get the jargon or nomenclature consistent too whilst you are making improvements?

It's a cultural thing you know? And, at the heart, a bit like Watts as opposed to Volt-Amps.

If I notice any strides, well, I'll celebrate with you all.

Still, despite all, the technology is semi-nice and a good toy for adults with leisure time to play. I've gotten bunnies now, and they are great fun. No market for the wee beasties, but, they are fun none the less.

So then, to close, one word would do best:

Kaizen

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I just re-read the blog - it is so full of spin and vocabulary designed to hide the fact that:

A. Currently,customer service is crap

B Non premium account holders do not matter to LL - even though in reality they contribute more towards the SL economy than any other group. The cash may not be so apparent - the money is not going directly to LL, but if LL believes basic users do not spend money in SL, and LOTS of it, then they really have not the slightest idea how the SL economy works.

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This translates to "LL will not be supporting Basic members, so if Basic members cant find help, you Premium members will have to support the Basics so they don't take their business from you for non support".

Basic accounts never had much support, at least not the last 2 to 3 years. You could and still can only send basic tickets with limited options to choose from in the support category dropdown. The thing basics did have was support from the SL mentor group. It would be good if they implement something like that again. I always thought that it was not wise of LL to not continue with the mentor support. Most of the mentors were really great in helping other residents with basic problems and no doubt they reduced the total amount of tickets that were being created.

I would like to see a new premium system personally.

* bronze premium

*silver premium

*gold premium

Where bronze will receive the normal premium support including live chat (with a Linden on the other end).

Silver that not only has premium support but also more features such as 50 groups you can join and a 1024m free tier.

Gold for large land owners and merchants that will have quick priority support with a very fast response time (couple of hours at most) and skilled support staff that directly can solve issues, free 4096m tier, 50 groups, a more proffesional inworld profile with a storefront etc.

Lose the stipend, I do not even notice it.

Basic accounts (people wont like to  hear that) with an inventory limit of 10k, no rights to place objects for sale (no commerce). This will create an incentive to get a premium account... and it helps for some more things that I will not mention.

I only have 1 premium atm, but with these changes I will get one gold premium and some silver premium for my alts.

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I own a full estate and a one homestead.  Well i should say i pay the owners for them and for six weeks now i have note been able to tp anyone to them.  The estate owners say they have had to re-file tickets but nothing

have happened.  I have a premium account and i pay just for these two sims over $500 US a mo. for them.

Not to mention all the other lindens i spend in here.  On the full estate sim I've built a halloween sim for halloween but at the rate this going maybe next year i'll be able to open it.  So you can see where i think this blog is what a joke?

I had an issue on one of my sims where people couldn't TP into it, live chat got it sorted for me. I had initially filed a ticket because live chat was closed at the time but a few hours later when they opened, they passed the details onto someone who could fix it.

I'd ask your landlord if they've tried live chat.

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