Why not have someone in tech support regularly monitor the forum?



  • Just a suggestion, of course, and not meant to supplant or replace people putting in a support ticket, but to be used as an enhancement. Some minor problems could be handled right away, tougher problems would be channeled through regular tech support. If nothing else SM should consider the PR value of doing so.



  • Might also be a good idea to put in a tag for "tech support".



  • @eclark1849 said in Why not have someone in tech support regularly monitor the forum?:

    Just a suggestion, of course, and not meant to supplant or replace people putting in a support ticket, but to be used as an enhancement. Some minor problems could be handled right away, tougher problems would be channeled through regular tech support. If nothing else SM should consider the PR value of doing so.

    That doesn't work out very well. If you have tech support through a single set of channels (ie trouble ticket / phone / etc) that is very clear and organized, you can monitor each problem easily, from beginning to end. You can track exactly where each 'trouble' is - for example, if the next step is a response from the customer or if they are waiting on you.

    Support stuck in forums doesn't have that luxury - not only from the tech support guy who has been interacting with a thread, but anyone above him in the organization or, if he's gone, a colleague who takes over his 'queue'.

    I happen to agree that all members of a team should take a stroll through the community so they understand what's going on and what people are concerned about. Plus, if they spot something that should be in technical support, they can say 'hey, create a trouble ticket on that'. But from the perspective of providing the best technical support, 'official' support through a forum can waste a lot of time and let some fall through the cracks too easily.



  • I agree with @meshbox .

    People may not like ticketing systems, but it really is the best way to address, track, and resolve your problem. Especially when working as part of a team.



  • As someone who has worked in tech support for both e frontier and Smith Micro before moving on to content, I can tell you without a doubt that the tech support team pops in on the forums from time to time. I can also assure you that the ticket system is the way to handle things. Not only would I echo everything Meshbox said but there's also the issue of trying to keep track of how many people are reporting the same issue so that we can decide if the problem is user error, a lack of documentation or an actual bug that needs to be addressed. Most problems are user error and easily sorted through but for things that require detailed explanation, sharing of large files and discussion with multiple team members in multiple time zones both of public and private information, forums just are not practical.



  • You guys did read the part of my post that said it wasn't meant to supplant or replace regular tech support, but to enhance it, right?



  • @eclark1849 said in Why not have someone in tech support regularly monitor the forum?:

    You guys did read the part of my post that said it wasn't meant to supplant or replace regular tech support, but to enhance it, right?

    Yep! I just don't necessarily agree that it's an enhancement. My experience has been that it actually detracts from the normal support process. Using the forum isn't really any different than people emailing me their issues directly, instead of using the ticketing system. Once you have a ticketing system, that really is the best possible way to get support. All other avenues of support usually detract from the team's ability to resolve your issue: phone, showing up at my desk, texting me, emailing me, and various other solutions. I would have been able to help the person, and all of the other people I'm helping, faster if they had just submitted a ticket. :)

    That's my 2 cents anyway.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    In this game for longer then my grey hairs allow, I can add that forums are to talk about how warm, cold or rainy it is outside. Chit-chat about hey? : "You know what?"
    Or end user help from left to right, or tips and tricks, tutorials, everything is "game".

    But? Have an issue? File a ticket. It's the ONLY way to go. (And to avoid some extra grey hairs.)

    The "main" issue being that forums go fast. And a "fix" gets lost faster then the sun can make clouds vanish.



  • The only way I could think of this being useful is as an initial point of contact from Tech to the forum. If it's common user error or a lack of documentation have a thread where 'problem/workaround/solution' is listed, but with no expectation that tech is going to continue in the discussion after the initial post. One game forum I'm on has a thread similar but you can't reply to it, and Microsoft have a similar thing where you CAN talk to tech (sort of), but usually only if the recommended procedure didn't work.

    It'd need a sub forum.

    Each bit of 'news' gets its own thread with a description of the issue and the recommended solution.

    We can reply (talk to each other) but there is no guarantee the techs will stay active on the thread. (I won't suggest they will never reply... after all, their explanation may not have been as clear as they thought or the workaround changes).

    It's potentially a place to collect updated documentation either by us or by SM for future editing.

    Just a thought off the top of my head... I'm still having first coffee...



  • OK you all know what a time sink the forums can be. You start reading and the next thing you know it's 3 AM. Would you really rather have the support team patrolling for relevant threads or answering trouble tickets? I know it sounds cool to just post a forum thread but the trouble ticket helps us look for trends. If we see a problem showing up frequently we know we have something broken and it needs attention. (yeah, we really do read your support requests.)



  • It's kind of stunning to me that everyone seems to think that I want tech support to do nothing but patrol the forums and answer questions all day. On the other hand, I'd rather someone from tech support field the questions, and let the developers get back to developing. I'm not suggesting that you move tech support to the forums. Some questions would most likely be easy enough to answer anyway, like why can't i download the new SR, or the new SR broke my Poser. Not every problem needs a ticket. But if one does, then the guy on forum duty could let them know. That's all I was suggesting. I'll just keep my ideas to myself from now on.



  • @eclark1849 said in Why not have someone in tech support regularly monitor the forum?:

    It's kind of stunning to me that everyone seems to think that I want tech support to do nothing but patrol the forums and answer questions all day. On the other hand, I'd rather someone from tech support field the questions, and let the developers get back to developing. I'm not suggesting that you move tech support to the forums. Some questions would most likely be easy enough to answer anyway, like why can't i download the new SR, or the new SR broke my Poser. Not every problem needs a ticket. But if one does, then the guy on forum duty could let them know. That's all I was suggesting. I'll just keep my ideas to myself from now on.

    Please don't keep your ideas to yourself. That would be a criminal mistake on your part. I respect your opinion. I enjoy reading your posts.

    I just happen to disagree with you this time. It's not a personal attack on you or on your opinion, and I am pretty sure that I understand your idea perfectly:

    Keep everything as it is, but promote trolling of the forums by some tech support. Main support would be handled exactly as it is. This would just be to direct people to submit a support ticket, or to answer their question if it is super easy and quick. Mostly it would be a touchy, feely response to make sure their issue did not go unnoticed and that it received an "official" response.

    It's not a bad idea. It's really not. Here is the reality of what is going to happen though - 99% of the responses are going to be, "Can you submit a support ticket for that please?" In which case, they would have received support faster by just submitting a ticket to begin with.

    You see there are just too many variables to even the simplest issue: what version of Poser, what OS, what hardware config, what other applications were running, what were you doing, and on and on and on. There are just too many questions.

    Anyway, I'm not trying to convince you. I'm just saying, "It wasn't a bad idea, but I've never seen it work and please keep posting!" :D


  • Poser Ambassadors

    It's good to throw the ideas out there, Earl; don't be discouraged about doing so. :D

    One of the responsibilities of the ambassadors is to field "How do I ..." questions, so as to free up support and the devs so that they can get the tougher work done.

    That said, some of the support/dev folk do quietly reconnoiter the forums, and sometimes answer directly.



  • @eclark1849

    Please don't stop posting your ideas and thoughts. We're not going to always agree or even understand but it's important that ideas get out there so that growth has the chance to happen. Also, you've got, just as a rundown of folks who visit the forums, Charles, Uli, Stefan, Denise, and myself (just to name a few) who read and post here often. Your thoughts and problems are seen. Some things can be resolved quickly or some ideas absorbed and used but some things can't be. That's the nature of the beast but never give up posting. It's how things improve.

    -T


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