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Does calling right away slow down the support team? (Solution: Create a ticket first, then call!)

I’ve just finally had the opportunity to call up - I’ve been waiting 14 days for a response to replace my bottom module.

Anyway, all sorted and I’m told that there have been some ‘upgrades’ to the bottom module that should help ensure future stability.

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It’s about time… An own article in the blog should be dedicated to this good news.

You are not really inflexible and you are right, of course. Every call is an interruption.
But you always have the choice to not pick up the phone.

And the uninterrupted workflow - I would guess - is not the way things will ever go in a support department.
E.g. there will be all kinds of new mails, while you are working on solving one of them.
Then you have to sort through them to place them with the correct case or/and assign them to the one working on it.
Lots of time will be spent on doing such stuff, that is not dedicated to solving problems. On the other hand you can in one call save lots of time for sorting, assigning and writing multiple mails in this special case. Therefore in the end it might be way more effective and time saving (for all) to give them a call.

I don’t like being critical of support - it’s a tough job and that’s the kind of thing I did for 10+ years. Often very thankless so I appreciate everything support does and I will refrain from complaining :wink:

My experience of support the last time my bottom module needed replacing though was that I put as much detail as possible into the ticket so that questions didn’t need asking but still after it was picked up I was asked to do diagnosis that I’d already done and documented - back then the emails were back and forth on the same day or the day after raising it so that was fine. However if I’d had an email back today on my ticket where I’ve been waiting 14 days+ for a response I wouldn’t have been happy at all.

To me it’s much smoother if you have a quick call rather than batting emails back and forth, it took less than a minute by phone to establish that I definitely needed a replacement part and a few moments more to place the order and confirm the address (Which would have been more emails back and forth to check your account and confirm back etc). Before the call ended I’d already had an email generated with the order for the replacement.

So, yeah I think given the delays in 1st response time (and that’s the figure we have, we don’t know the overall life-cycle to resolution time, and that could vary drastically depending upon the problem) it certainly helps from a customer experience perspective if there is a call to establish detail (whether that is customer initiated or FP initiated).

Edit: I forgot to actually state my main point - stripping waste time out of the process. A quick call has resolved the ticket in one. Otherwise there would be time spent emailing me back, delays in me emailing back (because I work or am away etc) and so on an so forth. There is therefore a lot of ‘re-work’ involved in having to read the ticket again to understand next steps and respond again. This therefore speeds up the process as now nobody needs to revisit my ticket (unless something goes drastically wrong with delivery). It’s a more time efficient model.

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Stefan has told that afahk (as far as he knows) there are two teams: One for phone calls and one for written inquiries. I really hope it does not run like this:

Phone call team member receives inquiry and forwards it to a team member for written inquiries, generating even more work that has to be processed by the team…

And this is something I just do not understand. Although you sent a precisely written inquiry to them, trying to speed up the processing time as good as possible, they were not able to follow up in time. Nobody should have to give them a call just to repeat all these things again. It is all about organizing…

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Ah yes, but when calling I didn’t have to confirm any of those things.

The point is that when you deal with a ticket purely as a ‘task’ you can try simply to get it out of your sight as quickly as possible.

When I call today, he quickly read the ticket and when I said I was calling on loudspeaker (also having forgotten I needed to switch to speaker initially), he simply moved on to confirm my address (which would have otherwise been an email anyway)

Why would a phone team member forward a phone inquiry to the mail team? :confused:

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After the member has created a new ticket in the system. (I have dealt with trouble tickets for almost ten years as a field service technician. :wink: )

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From what @Chris_R says, the support person simply placed the order right away. No forwarding to the “email team”.

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Then what does the “email team” do? (You may reply now that I should send a mail inquiry to them. :grin: )

Both teams handle support requests, only one handles those that come in via mail and one those that come in via call. What did you think?

Exactly: The phone team is able to handle inquiries without further delay, while the mail team does not follow up and obviously does not dig through the tickets, from the oldest to the newest.

Now, there is a very big delay the mail team has when it responds to inquiries. (Note, we are not talking about an acceptable final solution in regard to first contact reaction!) @Chris_R had a quite common inquiry the team should be skilled enough to cope with. But as far as I can see, I think there is a pattern when tickets with hardware failures arise. (Or in other words: “Let us just wait for some days, maybe we can find a working bottom module or a display before the customer gets angry!”)

I guess you all know what I am trying to say… :wink:

I have no idea actually.

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Playing for time …

I - at least (as I don’t know about anyone else) - have no insight into the workflow of FP support. I don’t even know if there are really different teams for phone-calls and e-mails.
My guess would be, that - if there are two teams - there is just one database for support cases; and whoever handles one case is accessing this database, taking the information on the case thereof and updating it while handling the case - be it by phone or mail. Everything else - in my opinion - would be really stupid; and that’s not how FP strikes me.

I have no idea about playing for time; wouldn’t they send some (automated) mails then like “please bear with us, … / we are processing your ticket … / still takes some time … / etc.”.
My impression from the forum, as I have no personal experience , would be: They happen to be overloaded with requests, slightly unorganised with mail-support and heavily dependent on supply of spare parts, which occurs in batches instead of a steady flow coming in.

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Of course they do. But, as you correctly recognised, the mails are automated and not typed by a service engineer who has to take an action. That response might take ~ 10 days, sometimes even longer.

I quite agree.

Nonesense. Just because there is a delay I don’t think it’s right to suggest that they are playing for time. And in all that I said previously, I am not saying they were playing for time. In fact the first time I had my bottom module replaced once it was established I needed a new one there was a long wait as the parts were out of stock which they were up front about. This time, the parts are in stock on the online store and are available for shipping.

You seem to be suggesting that they are delaying things to annoy people which just isn’t the case.

In any case, when you create a ticket, you get an automated response which basically says along the lines of ‘hey call us if you need to…’ and gives the number

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Hey, I discussed with the support team and they told me that he fastest way to get a response is to open a ticket with the IMEI number and order number in the title. Also a proof of purchase if not ordered in our shop.

As soon a ticket is generated, give us call and mention the ticket number.

That’s the fastest for agent and customer.

And to take away some speculation about how the CS team works.
There are several subdivisions in the support team. We’ve got people who pick up the phones, we’ve got people who answer to mails and we’ve got people doing back-office tasks: making sure orders with third parties run smoothly.

The people who answer the phones, and the ones who answer the mail all use the same ticket system; Zendesk. So when you send an email, this email can be found by all our agents, read and updated.

These teams are again subdivided in first- and second line. New employees always start on first line and as their knowledge grows they move to second-line. People on first-line also help with sorting the tickets. As the diversity of issues is very large, not every agent can answer every ticket. A payment issue requires different knowledge and steps then a hardware failure or an inquiry if we can speak at a congress.

Tickets submitted through the form on our website are already sorted because you have to answer some questions before you can submit. But if you email us directly, or write us on FB an agent has to read your ticket and assign it manually to the right person. This takes extra time.

Sometimes we’ve got to wait for third-parties and a ticket is put on hold. Third-parties could be banks, insurance, logistics or repair partners.

Currently we’ve got about 20 people on support and we are not only growing the team but also looking at different ways to work smarter, like opening new telephone lines for France and Germany so people can get support in their native language.

If you want to read more, also have a look at this AMA done with Michiel some time ago and if you have any questions left, please ask!

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