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Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website

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Superuser
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website

… I drafted this on my computer but got interrupted and had to go out … I subsequently replied to a similar theme elsewhere from another device having forgotten this draft … which I'll not waste!!

 

This issue has been discussed on multiple occasions within the super user space.  We have run all of the sensible, logical and reasonable arguments up and down the flag pole so much that the lanyard has become frayed!  The old ticketing system is not going to return.

There are lots of reasons given, but personally I feel that they do not stand up to engineering critique!  From an engineering perspective asynchronous communication is very right for many issues - indeed the ticketing system remains essential for progressing fault reports or anything else which cannot be addressed in real time when one finally connects with an agent.  Indeed it is deeply frustrating to have to spend a long time waiting to talk to an agent to request something which you know can only be done via a ticket - such as restore an archived mailbox! Ticked_off

I can see from a management perspective that some of the arguments hold grains of merit … people use all channels concurrently to get support … therefore an agent comes to process a request in one channel only to find it has been fixed in a different channel … that is not productive use of agent's time.  However the additional effort required to identify the user when the contact is not connected to the CRM is equally wasteful.

For me the biggest irony is that twitface is seen as popular trendy and the "in way" of doing things, if for no other reason than the organisation wants to communicate how users want to communicate (except asynchronously via tickets) … somewhat ignoring the fact that twitface is a completely unstructured asynchronous anarchism of a ticketing system which washes dirty laundry in public.  Whilst it might be the way the hipsters want to communicate there are better fits to the need here - for example a structured ticketing system!!

It seems to be more about fashion than function, not dissimilar to the majority of changes one sees in IT - or at least has been my misfortune through decades of supporting IT.  New is rarely better than what it replaces, it is simply different.

The right answer to addressing the concurrent use of multiple contact channels is to close down all which are not essential (not connected to the CRM) and then service those channels with greater proficiency, whilst eliminating the causes of a need to contact customer service (for faults).  There only needs to be 3 contact channels - phone, ticket and chat, this form then returning to the place where the nasty stuff which went wrong gets specialist attention or other customer experience help.

The most important factor is that the channels should be service promptly.  Prompt response on a chosen channel would eliminate concurrent channel issue reporting.  Sadly many people really do believe that name and shame in twitface public spaces garners a quicker response - it does not.  Twitface is being seen by some organisations as the time waster, social media really is - it is not the right space for business dialogues.

Anyone remember the out cry when the ticket response target time was moved from 12 hours to 24 and later 48 (IIRC)?  Ah halcyon days … far better than the current anarchism.

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Seasoned Pro
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Re: Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website

Plusnet always derided the idea of any email channel to contact them for support yet they are quite content to deal via Twitter, Facebook etc., which have many of the negative aspects that Plusnet claimed that email had.

I quite agree that Twitter, Facebook etc., have no real place in business communication. The ticket system, which is directly connected to the customer’s account did (or rather does – see below) the job exceptionally well keeping all communication in a single place while the issue is dealt with, perhaps over an extended timescale (such as some billing issues during the current debacle). It provides a record of what has been said by both the customer and Plusnet staff without the time consuming need to refer to recordings of telephone conversations if a dispute arises. It is also the ideal medium when an issue does not need instantaneous or speedy resolution.

It is notable that Plusnet themselves use the system to communicate internally and with the customer when it suits them.

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Re: Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website

There has been a lot of slating of social media as a support channel which is unfounded.

There is tooling available for social media that integrates with CRM systems. Large CRM solutions like Salesforce integrate social media directly in the CRM. You can get tooling that will integrate with bespoke CRM systems too, or ones that stand alone with manual population of a link between the two systems.

Agents get a single view of all social channels in a prioritised order with the conversations threaded with those tools. Users social profiles are then linked with the CRM.

Social media support is a long way from unstructured if the right tooling is in use.

This seems to be something those of you against social media haven't considered.

All the criticisms of why tickets are better just doesnt hold any weight...as long as the right tooling is being used by plusnet.
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Superuser
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Re: Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website

Hi Scott,

I recall that the reason this forum is not integrated with PlusNET’s CRM (as was the previous forum platform) was because it was too hard and difficult. Can one therefore believe that the social media channels have since been integrated into PlusNET’s CRM?

Yes multi channel integration is possible from other starting points, but may be not so practical from where we are here? From here the ticketing system seems like the best option.

There has yet to be an argument against the ticketing system which holds any credibility beyond fashion for Generation Y.
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Grafter
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Re: Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website

Sorry to ask a pretty basic question here, since you guys are getting into a much deeper technical discussion, but I'd love to know - from what you have witnessed - whether customers get better and/or faster service by posting their complaint on social media?   (Either instead of, or as well as a ticket or forum request).  

 

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Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
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Registered: ‎23-01-2018

Re: Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website

Hi NTO@

 

We're really sorry if you have had any long wait for responses from ourselves.

 

It depends on peak times. Sometimes it is quicker to call in and other times quicker for a social media response.

 

Please be aware that multiple posts on social media or messages via DM/PM actually slow down our responses to our customers queries. We work from the oldest posts in the queue not the newest this is why multiple posts/messages even across platforms slow our responses.

 

If you do want to make contact into ourselves via twitter DM or Facebook PM, please ensure you provide your username in your first message as this stops us having to ask for it and you experiencing a further delay in response time.

 

Should you have any issues at the moment please feel free to PM on community with the issue and your username.

 

 

I hope this helps!

 

Thank you.

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Grafter
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Re: Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website

@OllieC  Hi Ollie,  Thanks very much -  your reply is indeed helpful.  
I'm certainly not having a dig at anyone in particular, and I'm sure there are loads of really hard-working staff at PN.  But the reason this topic caught my eye is that, going from my latest experience, the system for accessing timely and effective technical help seems very hit-and-miss.  

 

Really, I was wondering what other customers thought.  Anyone got a user's opinion on my question please?  

 

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Anonymous
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Re: Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website


@OllieC wrote:
Please be aware that multiple posts on social media or messages via DM/PM actually slow down our responses to our customers queries. We work from the oldest posts in the queue not the newest this is why multiple posts/messages even across platforms slow our responses.

If this is the case then surely it makes more sense to have a single point of contact (other than phone) to facilitate support, it is in the interest of both the customer and provider to find the fastest possible resolution to any issue. So if multiple messaging from multiple sources hinders this process then surely common sense dictates that there should only be a single point of contact to eliminate this?

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Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 15,507
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website

Hi @Anonymous,

You are apply logic and reason again ... other than being fashionable I can find no upside to the use of multiple channels in preference to a CRM centric ticketing system properly resourced. Such reasoning has not influenced full reinstatement of the service, whilst it remains essential to a core part of the support process.

@ScottStorey having thought more about social media integration - that only works where there can be an assurance of a one to one unique relationship between a social media persona and a supplier service instance. That might well work for many users, but for business customers or people who have more than one account or such as myself who support many of my referrals, that model does not work. A ticketing system where issues are raised directly “on the account” works for everyone without a need to be signed up to any other third party service.
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Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 799
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Registered: ‎23-01-2018

Re: Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website

Hi Mook@

 

We have a system which pulls the messages and posts into one place. However, it puts these into chronological order and new responses from the same customer are placed at the back of their contact queue.

 

If we only had one channel I believe this would cause a lot of dissatisfaction as not everyone uses the same forms of social media. I myself don't use twitter but I do use Facebook. We have some customers who use all platforms but posting the same question across platforms such as community, Facebook and also Twitter at the same time or staggered slows down the response times as we have to deal with each one individually. It also raises the chances of important information which we may require to assist on specific matters coming through spread across these platforms, resulting in us taking a longer time to collate and digest these. I understand that this gives credence to you point about a singular contact method - however as I have mentioned above, this is something which ultimately would cause more problems than it solved.

 

If a customer or potential customer is in need of help or has a query, one single contact on a platform of their choice would result in a quicker response if the username is provided off the bat via PM (Facebook) , DM (Twitter) or a post/thread on community (community we can get the username from the profile page). Secondary replies are often required if the username is not initially provided, however, this is taken into account as we understand sometimes people forget/don't know to provide their username.
 

 

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Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website


@OllieC wrote:
If a customer or potential customer is in need of help or has a query, one single contact on a platform of their choice would result in a quicker response if the username is provided off the bat via PM (Facebook) , DM (Twitter) or a post/thread on community (community we can get the username from the profile page). Secondary replies are often required if the username is not initially provided, however, this is taken into account as we understand sometimes people forget/don't know to provide their username.

I agree with you 100% @OllieC, but the human brain doesn’t work that way. They have an issue and they want it fixed now, not when you get round to them in the queue! So the more opportunities they have to raise their issue the more they will use.

I suspect you are seeing multiple posts across these platforms because as far as the user is concerned you’ve not responded quick enough so they post again in an attempt to bring it to your attention unaware that it may well be hindering the whole process. This is down to the fact that that we now live in an 'on demand' society. Shopping, Take Away, Movies, Music are now only a few clicks away so you and other service providers are expected to play the same game.

 

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Anonymous
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Re: Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website

As a side note to the above I am not, or indeed ever will be, a user of ‘Social Media’ at best it is poisonous, at worst downright dangerous and if you think that ‘Private Messages’ are what the name implies then I guess you haven’t read what I have.

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Superuser
Superuser
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Re: Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website


@OllieC wrote:

Hi Mook@

We have a system which pulls the messages and posts into one place. However, it puts these into chronological order and new responses from the same customer are placed at the back of their contact queue.

If we only had one channel I believe this would cause a lot of dissatisfaction as not everyone uses the same forms of social media. I myself don't use twitter but I do use Facebook. We have some customers who use all platforms but posting the same question across platforms such as community, Facebook and also Twitter at the same time or staggered slows down the response times as we have to deal with each one individually.

I think you illustrate well the difficulties caused by accepting reports through multiple channels, a need driven by obstructing access to the one channel people really want - the ticketing system.


Use of the ticketing system and it being properly resourced would negate wasteful multi channel posts and probably remove the additional technology layer, burden and costs which puts everything in one place (albeit still not directly attributable to the customer / account).

Please just one really good reason (other than its not 'fashionable') for not resurrecting the ticketing system.  There is none, other than Plusnet does not want it, believing that users are clamouring for the twitface channels and those here championing the ticketing system are but a very small non-representative portion of the user population.

What people really want is no issues / need to contact support in the first place (issue eradication), but when they do, they what fast answers but not necessarily instant answers.  In the presence of clogged phone lines and limited access to chat, tickets (responded to promptly) fills the need very precisely.

Lips_are_sealed

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Re: Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website


@OllieC wrote:

 

We have a system which pulls the messages and posts into one place. However, it puts these into chronological order and new responses from the same customer are placed at the back of their contact queue.
 

 


Does that also mean that, if an ordinary user replies to a post in the Forum, doing so will delay your team looking at the thread? If so, that would have implications for when those of us who offer advice in this Forum should contribute, and confuses the benefits of us doing so.

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Re: Bring back the ability for customers to raise a ticket via App or Website

Scottstory.

This seems to be something those of you against social media haven't considered. 

All the criticisms of why tickets are better just doesnt hold any weight...as long as the right tooling is being used by plusnet.

 

That is all very well but makes no allowance for those like me who have absolutely no interest or involvement with social media  - I actually have a life !  No amount of integration is going to fulfil my needs.  To plagiarise your own expression with all due respect : "This seems to be something those of you absorbed with social media haven't considered " !

As far as I am concerned, there was nothing wrong with the old ticket system.  It was reliable, traceable and user friendly.  The fact that it is still used internally by Plusnet proves its value.  Why, for those of you not familiar with "the KISS", complicate things by introducing fads ?