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Making Strides to Improve our Customer Support Services

by Linden on ‎10-07-2010 12:13 PM

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.

Comments
by Resident Bart Kovacs
on ‎10-09-2010 12:07 PM

Before you try to limit the support for basic accounts (which is one of the worst things you can do in my opinion, as you need to support your customers always to get knowledge about what needs improvement) you might just wanne start this post off with apologizing for not catering for any type of support for the past few weeks while your support department is reorganized and fired.

I'm a premium member and my tickets remain unanswered (especially the one where I complain about it ;o). Live support isn't open or available when it should be (besides the fact that the live chat support can only answer simple questions and not help you on any real issues). When I try to file a ticket the correct topic is usually not even there, making me have to choose something completely irrelevant (which usually doesn;t help a support department). But basic account holders can just as well spot a serious issue in your product without having any proper way of reporting it, come on you call that improvement?

Linden Labs has shown time and time again that they do not take their customer serious. They will not listen to their customers but in stead try to sort them in boxes so they can more easily decide which group to ignore next.

Sad reality probably is that while sometimes they do spend their time on making a blog post about some information which is way over due, nobody (from LL) actually cares about reading the responses on it... Or are you gonne prove me wrong?

by Member Mags Indigo
on ‎10-09-2010 12:23 PM

I agree completely about the new 'office hours' it's a disgrace for an international 'game'.

As I said previously there is an increasing frustration with not just the decisions being made by LL of late, but also by the way they announce them. PR is terrible at the moment and little thought seems to be put into how announcements are worded and there's little follow-up to answer questions or clarify.

When I mentioned 'ranting' I wasn't really talking about this blog - which has remained mainly very level (which is surprising given the level of annoyance, frustration and sheer helplessness that people are feeling) - I was actually more referring to the forums - I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear.

I'd love SL to restructure - almost anything would be better than the aimless drift that seems to be happening for the last 12 months or so. Even if I am not happy with the restructure at least I would have something tangible to be unhappy about rather than just wondering what is going to happen next. If we could all see LL's intent and future plan then each of us could make our decisions based on those facts, rather than wondering if we should continue to invest in SL.

by Honored Resident Sindy Tsure
on ‎10-09-2010 02:10 PM
remember the mentors? 

Those thousands of residents LL had doing support for free? Yes, I do remember them. LL said they were not cost-effective, though. Or didn't scale. Or something. Ontynes are better, apparently..

I've given up on concierge live chat. When they bother to even respond, they say "just a minute" then never come back. I've left the chat window open over night and even for a couple days once and they just don't come back. That's the way it's been the last dozen times I tried to get help from those bozos..

LL tries soooo hard to not have to manage things and almost never gets it right. They should suck it up and hire a Linden (Blue!) to revive the mentors and the old live chat system that had residents-with-clues doing triage and bumping issues to Lindens only when needed.

And get some forums that don't suck, damnit.

by Honored Resident Sindy Tsure
on ‎10-09-2010 02:18 PM
Besides, let's be honest here.  Linden Research, Inc. does not want our input.  The plan a feature, begin implementation of said feature, and tell us about it just before it goes into open beta.  By this time, there is too much invested in the feature to change course or drop it altogether.  It is beyond infuriating.

Why on earth would the want the input of paying, engaged, dedicated customers for free when they can hire consultants to do focus groups with people who have never used SL before?

Silly rabbit. You obviously don't understand how business works.

by New Resident Dani Rang
on ‎10-09-2010 02:47 PM

The hierarchy of support is online sources (KBs) followed by the forums for difficult and uncommon but solvable problems followed by bugs in the program (JIRAs) that can not be solves externally through other means. The first link in the chain is broken.

To improve support in SL start with the support portholes databases so people and find relevant information about their problems (the KBs need tags). The navigation process within it needs improvement as well. Help in the KBs is simply hard to find.

Second, make sure that available information actually works (Garage goes in, garbage comes out). Most urgent problems are those that effect the most people, no other criterion is acceptable, these need to be listed in a prioritized manner in all KBs articles. Create a system, process to identify these priorities.

by Honored Resident Random Sixpence
on ‎10-09-2010 09:38 PM

I second that. On this issue I have a support ticket open from June, still listed as "New" with numerous comments to take care of it. Just gets ignored. Does this mean we wont be waiting a half year or more to get problems caused by SL in the first place to be answered?

by New Resident Rogan Vlodovic
on ‎10-09-2010 11:17 PM

What is LL going to do about REAL problems, like griefers who continue to attack the LL Weapons Testing sim with laggers, video-crashers, and the like, when all we want to do is just chat and, well, test weapons on each other? By limiting support for "basic" users like me, you're limiting our capability to actually REPORT PROBLEMS...especially since self-help tools won't mean anything when you've got griefer cubes smashing you around and lagging your video cards!

by New Resident Silence Seraph
on ‎10-10-2010 12:22 AM

As a person that had one of my accounts, my old main one, actually deleted after I missed a payment, due to my bank going down in Hurricane Katrina a few years back, I'd be curious as to when this changed.

Because, not only did I lose my inventory at the time, but quite a bit in lindens, being unable to get online for a bit to solve the issue.  By the time I got back, the account was already deleted in the system due to my owning about 15 dollar for my tier payment.  At the time, I was informed that after sixty days, the account is cancelled and wiped from the system.  When I finally did get my accoungt back a year or so later, after paying off the bill, nothing was in the inventory at all.

Personally, while I understand that non-payment is a problem, having the account lose everything was a real bother at the time.  I have a premium account now, but it took a while for me to actually want to go with that option again after the first time.

by Honored Resident BizTutor Magic
on ‎10-10-2010 01:06 AM

I was on SL at 9:14 PST (same as SLT)  to see whether Support was available, having been assured by the SL Grid Status report that it was back to normal. So I went to Premium Live Chat, and sure enough, Live Chat was unstaffed, an hour and 14 minutes after the stated Saturday opening of Live Support hours.

I agree that the Ontynes I usually dealt with made no effort to resolve problems - they did a "Lockheed Shuffle" and told Premium Members - who pay not for "do it yourself fixing after being hand-held and pointed to Ticket Submission" but for REAL, LIVE PEOPLE TO SUPPORT WHAT LITTLE PAYING CUSTOMER IS LEFT - to engage in self-help, rather than to assure them that they would BE helped.

It's clear from the TOS that Premium Members AREN'T paying for product we do not, ourselves, personally create.. But we ARE paying for a customer support service, and many of us are not receiving consideration promised on that contract. Issues ought to be dealt with no more than 30 days within the opening of ANY ticket, and should be resolved or declared unresolveable no more than 7 days after that. A clear "reasonalbe man's" standard of time on resolution should be the rule rather than the exception.

by Resident Jolie Trefoil
on ‎10-10-2010 01:40 AM

I am a premium account member (well 4 of them to be exact) and have 4 outstanding issues right now. None of which have even gotten one reply.  I would say improvements are in order and long overdue.

The abuse reports are an even bigger joke - filed so many of those on an individual who stalks and harassess me.  The terms of service are violated and yet nothing is done!

DO SOMETHING !!!  Follow up on my outsanding tickets !!

by Honored Resident Scott Maroon
on ‎10-10-2010 01:58 AM

When/if the the customer support problems are fixed, we'll know. Why even bother to post: "We're going to do such and such and it's going to be so much better" (paraprasing on my part). Nobody believes you anyway. And we're all tired of LL's unkept promises.

by Honored Resident Scott Maroon
on ‎10-10-2010 02:10 AM

Yoz, it was fixed over a year ago, but not marked as Resolved in the JIRA until 5 weeks ago, a year after it was resolved? Seriously? LL never ceases to amaze me.

by Recognized Resident Mark Fang
on ‎10-10-2010 03:37 AM

I submitted a ticket into LL for a failed market place. I was told that it should be resolved in 10 days. I still not satisfied with the results as I am still out 950L as well as no product received.

I contacted both the owner of the Shop as well as the Sim owner and was told that neither one of them had received any payment from me on that date, and yet My dashboard shows I paid the lindens but a security issue in the Sim stopped the transfer.

Now what is going on here.

case number #00915795 2010-09-24 18:24:20 originally submission date

case number #00928302 2010-10-10 01:55:55 resubmitted.

Now I dont want to post names here, but if I must I shall for not only is this bad business for LL but also for the two Sims involed. As I refuse to support either sim at this point as I no longer visit, support, nor rp at either sim as this is just bad practice.

Full Line 12 panel vendor 1.3 whispers: Security problem. Delivery failed.

by New Resident Chrissi Cambric
on ‎10-10-2010 05:00 AM

My old account has been frozen 5 weeks ago. Until today i still dont know why. I sended 2 tickets to the support but no answer. I phoned the support from germany to usa. I got no answer why they freezed my account. In that time i lost my sim, my shop and a lot of friends in sl. Is this the american way of live? to leave customers alone with problems? to ignore sended tickets? A good way to improve the support. I am thinking about leaving sl to opensim. I have some business in germany in reallife. If i would handle my customers like LL do, i would be bankrupt in short time.

I done nothing wrong as resident in sl but my account was frozen from one minute to the next.

Thank you LL thank you support.

Its so frustrating they read your postings and lough like hell. as they read my posting and lough about it. I lost my account my money and all my items. But i am only a basic user. I think they dont wynt basic users anymore.

by Member B00tsy Compton
on ‎10-10-2010 05:01 AM

Thats a real horror story! I would not want to think about accidently missing a payement and then seeing my inventory (with my created products, and thousands of uploaded textures) gone from the inventory. It would ruin an entire SL business if that happend.

If a premium is not payed for the premium is not automatically canceled then? It keeps running endlessly till you pay the debt and manually discontinue the premium?

I have a verified paypal (on my other avatar) so if paypal balance is empty it just writes it of my bank account ( I hope).

by Honored Resident Cynianne Hellershanks
on ‎10-10-2010 05:15 AM

Mari, I recently had experience of having a credit card issue, and was not POOFED. I received an email teling me about it, was able to get inworld, all my stuff was there and I had time to redirect LL to a different payment method.

Customer service at the first level is terrible, most residents do know more than the CSR. I trace the custormer service problem back to the consolidation of CSRs into a phone room and not a work from home. I do not live in CA or MA or TX, so cannot work for LL in CSR, and would not work in a phone room anyway, but usually provide faster and more correct service to those avatar's having an issue inworld.

LL would do well to go back to hiring CSRs from the inworld population and work from home.

by Member Drac Coalcliff
on ‎10-10-2010 06:55 AM

whats real funny is their Jira... I work as a QA tester for actual games bugs we enter usually all either get fixed, closed as designed, Known shippable (meaning its not major, but a fix might break the game so they wont fix it) or they actually have a fix ready that needs to be verified, all of that usually in under a week... Lindens have open Issues from 3 years ago... no wonder all they could give me was basic troubleshooting back of the box bullshit...

by Member Burnman Bedlam
on ‎10-10-2010 07:55 AM

Lindens have open Issues from 3 years ago... no wonder all they could give me was basic troubleshooting back of the box bullshit...

Don't forget about the part where they OUTSOURCE support.  They will soon be outsourcing some of the beta testing soon too.

by Member Setekh Ichtama
on ‎10-10-2010 09:28 AM

I dropped Premium because LL offered no better service; honestly, what terrible support. In general, this statement is truly an admission of that. LL should be hiring more staff not the reverse so, until I see something like that happen, this is just more PR talk I can ignore.

by Honored Resident Galileo Moleno
on ‎10-10-2010 10:29 AM

You ,my fiend have a problem with the vendor. Don't blame SL. Go back to the guy who took your money. BTW, what were you trying to buy?

by Recognized Resident Mark Fang
on ‎10-10-2010 10:40 AM

Sl said it was due to a bug.

Ok so I waited the 2 weeks since i reported it, 10 days after it was upgraded. Now i can not even view the orginal ticket I submitted. LL said it was a bug.

I paid for the black Velocity Black XDM Ver. 1.6 for 950L

by New Resident Hunny Larimore
on ‎10-10-2010 01:35 PM

I am a Premium resident and I am still wondering why... especially after my last live chat with Ontyme crew. First one didn't even answer me after 1 hour (probably didn't have an answer lol). Second one was plain rude and basically told me to go file a ticket. Ok so now, LL, I ask you... why am I paying the annual fee? Because seriously I couldn't care less about your little weekly pocket money and I won't even mention the linden homes which are seriously a joke.

I believe that the whole incentive to pay yearly for premium membership was to be able to rely on a solid Customer Service in case of problems. Today it's like you are a VIP member trying to get in a night club and the bouncer tells you to go back in line with the others -.-

So I am really at the verge of canceling my premium membership. Surely that if too many people cancel their memberships, LL will react. But just an FYI to those who are not happy that basic membership doesn't allow live chat or phone: you are really not missing on anything.

Finally a little message to LL: You are not a monopoly anymore. Right now, you are popular because we are staying here. If things get beyond repair, I am sure a lot of us will move to another virtual world. So don't forget who you are supposed to please... your clients.

by Honored Resident Samuel Geiger
on ‎10-10-2010 02:31 PM

I haven't been here for like a week, so sorry if I'm late getting to this... but by the title of this thread, are you saying that there will actually BE support? In all my time in game, I've learned the only 2 Lindens that I can trust are Spike and Amber, and you guys fk'd Spike, so there went half the support. Or is this decision now based on the numerous posts wondering why for MONTHS tickets have gone unanswered with no status change? Maybe if Philip would get his alt out of hard alley and his hand out of his panties you people will finally be able to figure out how to do what you claim to have been doing for thepast 8 years, but utterly failing to really do it.

by Resident Laurent Vesta
on ‎10-10-2010 04:42 PM

I find that a little ironic that Linden states that they're improving customer support. If by support they mean having the ability to file bugs, then yes, I guess it's improving. However, those tickets stay unassigned for weeks if not months. Linden wants to favor building businesses around Second Life. It's very hard when many things that are supposed to work break all the time. I wrote a little application that scans the Second Life website, grabs your friends online and displays a list of them, while also displaying notifications when some of your friends come online or go offline. The heart of the app is the "Friends Online" page. However, from time to time, that page stops working. And when it stops working, it can be days before the functionality is restored. I file bug reports in Jira but those tickets stay unassigned for weeks and have no conclusion. This is my biggest grief about Linden. It seems that they're taking more than they can chew.

by Member Persephone Emerald
on ‎10-10-2010 05:33 PM

Us premium users get slapped in the face too, just not as hard. We pay for support on tickets that never get a fixed.