Encouraging Support Tickets over Forums

3 posts, 0 answers
  1. Patrick Barranis
    Patrick Barranis avatar
    68 posts
    Member since:
    Jul 2009

    Posted 21 Jul 2010 Link to this post

    Hi.  A number of times recently I have been encouraged by Telerik on the forums to use a support ticket for faster turn-around; likewise the time I've seen for turn-around for questions on the forums has gone from 1 day to now 3-6 days for all responses.

    I understand this may be do to some internal issue that's not visible to me, such as maybe your support team is short-handed.  Nonetheless, I think encouraging users to use the tickets over forums is a mistake.  For every 1 question I post to the forums I have 3-4 others I answer for myself by searching the web; of those, 90%+ are answered by past posts on the forums.  To my knowledge past support tickets aren't visible to the public.  The more issues that are answered privately the less issues I'll be able to solve on my own.  

    Basically, what I'm saying is that whatever short-term benefit you're hoping for by using support tickets is probably outweighed by the fact that support costs will go up several fold if people can't search for and answer their own questions.

    At the same time, it will dramatically slow down development with Telerik controls, since the 24-hour turnaround time for a support ticket is many times the minutes it takes me to search for and find an answer to my own questions online.  This slowdown will drive away customers and drive up costs (which drives away more customers).

    I guess all I'm saying is that I hope you reverse this trend or have a really good reason for it.  I used to work in support, and you're starting on a downward spiral I can't make sense of from my perspective.  I'd really like Telerik to flourish and continue to make great products.

    Thanks,
    -pb
  2. Georgi
    Admin
    Georgi avatar
    31 posts

    Posted 22 Jul 2010 Link to this post

    Hello Patrick,

    Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us. It is great that we understand what you think about the way we manage our services.

    Usually we are trying to target the balance of support tickets and forum threads. Each kind of thread has its own advantages and disadvantages, and can be used in different cases. You are completely right that the forums are great way for everyone to receive help. The threads are public, and 90% of the problems someone can experience are already experienced by someone else. Then it comes the question - why we ask the customers to submit support tickets?
    - First of all, the support tickets are the way for the customers to receive professional help and understand what they are paying for. We can of course answer to them in the forum threads, but then, how do we distinguish the customers from the people who does not have support subscription?
    - We have a corporate policy - we keep the right not to answer in forum threads due to the same reasons. Please note that by submitting a new support ticket, you get a guaranteed response in a specific time frame.

    In turbulent times, like these around the product quarter releases, we can be indeed a little bit slowed down with the responses, especially those ones in the forums. Nevertheless, we are trying to answer to all of the threads, since this is giving additional value and strengths up the community.
    I think there is another general problem with the excessive use of the forums. Most of the knowledge base and the helpful answers about specific problems, cases and different scenarios should be covered in a good online documentation and help articles. Of course the community has a big role here, but we should find a way to transfer this knowledge to a better organized medium - searching in the forums can be hard when you have like a hundred threads coming every day.

    That is why I believe that there is a thin line of balance and this is what we are trying to achieve. We are constantly trying to improve our services for sure. We have plans on improving our and the community presence in the forums.

    We would be really glad to receive more thoughts from you, please keep the helpful and constructive feedback coming. I will pass your message and thoughts to the rest of the support team.

    Thank you once again!

    Greetings,
    Georgi
    Technical Support Director | The Telerik team

    Check out Telerik Trainer, the state of the art learning tool for Telerik products.
  3. Steve
    Steve avatar
    1851 posts
    Member since:
    Dec 2008

    Posted 28 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Telerik support is bar none the unquestioned best in the business...it says 24 hours, but it's usually sooner than that.  1 ticket usually fixes, the issue, and comes with a sample project (or snippet)....I've found the most efficient way to do it is struggle to fix the issue you're having during work hours, put the ticket in before you leave (assuming you still have it), then when you come in the next morning you have your answer!  I find it hard to get things found on the forums....like you do "search in the forum", and it does...but any search after that seems to search ALL forums again.

    We paid $50,000 to a company to support (for 3 years) an enterprise version of an opensource platform...and at best it's like a week long instant messaging conversation.  Likewise with another "community" platform which hoses us for $30,000 and we get hassled like it's an inconvenience for their developers to have to address issues we're having....and that's after we contact their management to get a ticket response.  It's amazing how quick they contact us when a contract is about to expire though :)

    I've also had poor experiences with devexpress...their support responses always seem to be "search our support database"...well thanks guys, I did, and didn't find the answer.

    I think we're spoiled by Telerik support...

    Steve
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