I’ve been reading with great interest this past week as some of the leading web application companies discuss their philosophies regarding the providing of phone support for their services.
37signals started the debate, wondering Why would you want to call me? which, by describing a “typical” phone support experience justified why they only offer support via email. This prompted responses from both FreshBooks and BatchBlue who both acknowledge that, while email can be more efficient than phone support, personal interaction by phone is key and offering that level of service is important to them.
I know a couple of us here at WWD have had interesting and lengthy phone support conversations this week, long calls to resolve issues that really shouldn’t have been so difficult. Would email support have been better? Perhaps. Does that make it the best method for all communication? I certainly don’t think so.
Inefficient and unpleasant phone support isn’t the fault of the medium, it’s the fault of the provider. I personally have had good support experiences via phone and horrendous experiences with email. It really comes down to the commitment of the company to have a wide range of efficient customer support services available, and the telephone is indeed a powerful and useful option in that arsenal.
Are we as web workers more inclinded to take advantage of email and online support options? Which do you prefer?