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Jeremy, who do we send e-mails to, petition, poke, bug, and beat?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Ailish, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Ailish

    Ailish Lore Master
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    This has been on my mind alot lately. Many of us players are extremely dissatisfied with the new (to us) Customer Service - both the reps and the policies (I don't mean YOU by the way! I mean the CSRs - what we still think of as GMs).

    Who is accountable for their training and policies? Who do we petition for changes or send info/feedback to that is directly responsible for these things? Bob? Cal? Mark? Mystery person?

    I know you can pass the info along, but it just isnt enough, anymore. I love this game too much to leave it over crappy customer service, I would rather try to get changes made, or at least hear some REAL reasons why things are the way they are. I want to hear from the person who is actually accountable. I want to tell them what is happening in the trenches.

    It is very disheartening to see how generic our Customer Service has become. To see how very ignorant the CSRs actually are of our game. I have worked in Customer Service and I was always that CSR that refused to be told to shuffle the customer off, to tell them "tough luck, I can't help you". I was always that CSR that made it a point to find out how I could help you or get you in touch with someone that could. The one who made it a point to treat the customers like a valuable and inteligent person rather than a number. So I do know what a headache that can be, and how much extra effort and training it takes ... but it is so worth it! A happy customer is a paying customer. Even if you can't help them, if you have done your best and they know it they feel valued and remember that. An unhappy one may keep the product they love (UO) but they will never buy from you again (WAR, DAoC).

    Mythic had the (mis)fortune to inherit a game full of people who remember having some of the best GMs and Customer Service out there for a long time. You are never going to convince us that this new way is better. So let us tell you (the elusive person in charge of this) what was so good before and what is so bad now in an open conversation with back and forth dialogue.

    By the way, I want to say again what an awesome job you did with the website/URL issues that cropped up recently and in getting that policy clarified and adjusted a little. I don't discount your value as our Community person at all, but you should not have to answer to this situation that was not of your doing. :)
     
  2. Gildar

    Gildar Babbling Loonie
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  3. Ailish

    Ailish Lore Master
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    I am sure that she would, Gildar, and she did a sensational job with one of these issues. This is more about accountability. Feedback is nice, but dialogue is better. I don't want to rip into the responsible person ... I want to have a conversation.
     
  4. Ailish

    Ailish Lore Master
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    Because this is my pet "project" so to speak, I am going to go ahead and toss out some random issues and ideas on how to resolve them.

    Recently there have been increasing problems with CSRs not having knowledge of UO game mechanics - not just higher mechanics, but even basic ones. I suspect the cause is that our CSRs are now generic - they take calls from all three games (UO, DAoC, WAR) and trying to have that kind of knowledge would be daunting.

    Solution: Take some CSRs and train them for specific games - there would be 3-4 UO specialists, 3-4 DAoC specialists, 3-4 WAR specialists. Now they behave as regular CSRs, and everyone takes calls for everything, but if something comes up that a CSR does not know or about a particular game or something does not go as they expected, they can go to the specialist and get more information, or the specialist can take over the call.

    This is a common practice in all forms of customer service. Example: most vehicle service shops have a transmission specialist, an electronics specialist, etc. They take care of other things, but when their particular knowledge and experience is needed, they are there.
     
  5. Righteous

    Righteous Guest

    I totally understand your point of view but most big corporations have very high turnover rates in their customer service departments. And because of this their training budgets are usually strapped just getting the new employees up to speed with the basics of handling issues with all of EA’s products. Three or four trained CSR’s for UO would not nearly be enough to provide 24/7 support to all the UO shards you would need 10 to 15 at least if not more depending on volume.

    Personally I work for a company that has large call centers both providing sales and services over the phone as well as customer complaints. The turnover is astounding.

    My suggestion is to fill out the feedback for both bad service and good service. And yes I have done that on more than one occasion myself for EA’s customer service at times leaves a lot to be desired. Was I peeved when I had bad service, yes, did I write a scathing feedback, not really, I just reported the facts as I saw them and requested better service in the future. When I had good service I again wrote feedback again stating the facts as I saw them and requested that the CSR get an attaboy and hearty slap on the back for a job well done. At my company those CSR’s that get repeated attaboy’s usually get additional training and responsibility sooner than those that only get complaints.

    I have in the past only found one company that truly always had outstanding customer service if I called at the right time. That was Cisco tech support call center in Australia, they are always courteous, knowledgeable and very understanding that your head is about to exploded if you don’t get the router back up in the next 5 seconds. Maybe it’s a cultural thing or maybe Cisco just did an excellent job training their people down under.

    As always this is just my two cents take it for what you will.

    Righteous
     
  6. Ailish

    Ailish Lore Master
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    I am actually aware of the high volume of turnover in callcenters. Would you like to know one of the highest reasons for it that the suits just dont get? People get tired of treating the customer like dirt and being themselves treated like a number.

    I think you may have misunderstood what I meant regarding the 3-4 people. I am talking about one or two people for each GM shift that take the same calls as everyone else, but have special knowledge of one of the games that can be onhand if needed for questions that go over the average taught knowledge.
     
  7. BartofCats

    BartofCats Guest

    Trouble with this Ailish, your ideas are actually smart. Probably too smart for those suits at EA/Mythic to understand. why having a GM that knows about the game would be nice, one that actually understands the game would be better.
     
  8. Righteous

    Righteous Guest

    I agree that the suits are usually clueless unless a safe is dropped on their heads. The supervisors and managers usually understand well why their people are quitting and the people and human resources usually understand why but when you are talking about layers upon layers of management between those that actually deal with customers and those that make the decisions, the information is well diluted before it gets to the suits. But I stand behind my number of 10 to 15 you would need 2 to 4 per shift not one or two to improve EA customer service, it’s always primetime somewhere, which means 300 or 400 people in queue across all the shards all the time that need help and if only 1 percent need the specialized help you are talking about that is 3 or 4 people to take the calls. And what I am talking about is a noticeable improvement in customer service across all the shards not just a blip on the diluted stat reports that the admins of the suits look at that they then report that the change made no noticeable improvement to customer service.

    Righteous
     
  9. Righteous

    Righteous Guest

    What you need is a CSR shard where they are required to play 8 hours a week and they have certain goals they must attain. Of course they would get paid for playing those 8 hours.

    Righteous
     
  10. Righteous

    Righteous Guest

    BTW I am not say this is not a good idea, what I am trying to say is that I think you are under estimating how much they would need to commit to the idea to make it work.

    Righteous
     
  11. RoycroftLS

    RoycroftLS Guest

    While I admire your initiative and think you are more qualified than the rest of us to discuss this matter with whoever is in charge, I'm left wondering as to what your expectations are.

    I mean, sure, it's possible that the current CSR situation was a result of a mix-up or a miscommunication. But generally, eliminating staff or merging departments is something that a company weighs the consequences of beforehand.

    What is the main benefit of consolidating the CSRs? Less overhead means some money is saved. What's the main drawback? Worse customer service leads to a disgruntled player base, and might lead to cancellation of some accounts. The further a company consolidates, the more money they will likely save, but their players will be even less happy.

    If you choose to believe the president of EA games, UO is a highly profitable game. If that's the case, certainly they could afford to keep CSR support levels above the bare minimum they are now. The reasons why they would choose otherwise are, well, rather depressing.
     
  12. Ailish

    Ailish Lore Master
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    Right ... this would be the ideal way to make sure you had "specialists". They would be required to play their own shard for ONE of the 3 games, evenly distributed. All the books in the world have nothing on hands-on-experience!
     
  13. Ailish

    Ailish Lore Master
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    That is a good question. My expectations (hopes, rather) are not necessarily to change it all, but to open the discussion channel both directions, and to take some of the heat off of Jeremy that does not belong on her. If the discussion was able to go both ways, it would give us, as the customers, the ability to put ideas out there and to hear back either why they won't work/won't consider it, or that they will take it under consideration. I don't actually feel that I am more qualified than any other person, I feel that any person who will think on something and put their thoughts out there in a respectful manner is qualified to participate in open discussion.

    As for the second part of your quote ... I don't think that our game staff is necessarily less, I think that they have too many games on their plates (maybe they should have hired some more with the opening of WAR) and as a result, they don't have the necessary knowledge for any of the games, in some situations. I have to assume if we are getting such horrible service, that so are DAoC and WAR, as they are all the same CSRs.
     
  14. You're on the right track and so is the idea of a CSR Shard. However, before tossing in my 2 gp let's bounce some stuff around:

    What percentage of UO players are REALLY represented here? Seriously? Or on other forums for that matter. 10%? Less or more? **WE** cannot even begin to expect EA to respond unless it can be shown we represent a majority. I don't think we are that high in representative numbers - including lurkers!

    BUT ... what if ... what if ...
    1. A shard for CSR (GM) folks was established to allow them to learn UO - the good, the bad and the really ugly.

    2. As part of their training, some of the player base were allowed to create temporay characters to assist in that training. Maximum 7 calendar days then the character is deleted.

    Examples:
    What better way to learn the pitfalls of thievery than to have Rico or some other highly skilled thief actually make the CSR their victim and then guide them on how to be the thief.

    What if a CSR actually learned what it was like to have your butt handed to you by a Greater Dragon in PvM. Would it perhaps give us an "inside voice" on tweaks that might be desired?

    What if a guild from Atl or LA or PAC was allowed to come over and teach group tactics or PvP in various scenarios?

    Doom run anyone? Peerless? And let us not forget crafting, cooking, alchemy, inscription and more.

    ----
    What could be the outcome?

    A CSR group with decent understanding of the intricacies of UO (as compared to other games). It's not like that leveler they might know well.

    An appreciation of the player base that has developed the techniques over the years.

    Perhaps CSR staff more willing to listen and hear the pages and not redirect to a knowledge base that serves no one well.

    ======
    Just some thoughts from a 2nd Line (IT) CSR for 8 heavy-usage products at 9 nuclear plants that produce over 30,000 megawatts of electricity in 7 states.
     
  15. Lord Kynd

    Lord Kynd Guest

    well seems Jermey is still with us, not so sure about Draconi however ... both have been very quiet latly. :(
    maybe they mass iggied us :p
    hope Mythic didn't pull them from UO and drop them into War :(