- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
In all of the interviews I have conducted, everyone believes customer service is vital to their business. And I believe it is crucial as well. After my documented experiences with Technorati, I decided to randomly pick 10 current web apps and put them to the test! One week ago, I sent each one a very basic e-mail for support. I gave each one a week to reply and below are the responses I received with my comments and a score for each one. Some did well, some did ok, some did poor. Let’s check out the winners and the losers!
So here are the results! In best to worst order:
For my inquiry they provided a form with the following confirmation after submission:
Woof Woof! We got your message.
We’ll definitely be reading it and get back to you within 72 hours (weekend may take a little longer).
Thanks so much for using and loving Dogster.
Bark, bark, bark!
Dogster: for the love of dog!
And their reply came in about 36 hours and included the following:
We welcome all dogs from Heinz 57 mutts to pedigreed show dogs.
As for terriers? Here’s our breed list:
1. Airedale Terrier
2. American Hairless Terrier
9. Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier is right there in the number 9 position (alphabetically).
Thanks for loving Dogster. We love you right back!
Dogster & Catster: where no one knows you’re a human
dogster.com / catster.com
The following message was sent by “Allen” on Sat, 7 Oct 2006 14:34:00 -0700.
> Hi – Can you tell me if any kind of dog can be registered on dogster? I have > a small boston terrier and wondered if this type is allowed.
> Thank you, Allen
Comments: I appreciate both the confirmation of my submission and the funny, witty reply I received. The reply came in a reasonable amount of time. Great job – woof woof!
advertisement – story continues below
Only offered an e-mail address for inquiries, no form. Reply came within 24 hours and it is below:
Anyone can sign on to digg.com. There are topics for everyone weather
you’re interested in technology or world news. If you have any other
questions, please email us.
-The Digg Support Team.
> Hi – can you tell me if anyone can register to use digg? I am not a techy but would be interested in rating stories in the business columns and sections. Do I need to be a web developer to sign up? Thanks, Allen
Comments: Digg would have been number one except for two small concerns. One is that support is only offered via e-mail, no form. Second is their use of the word “weather” – in this case, it should have been “whether” – so I deduct half a point for these small issues. Great job overall from Digg!
Skype provided an easy way to contact them. I am not including their reply because it was very, very exhaustive. Suffice to say they answered my question and in case their solution did not work, a way to escalate my issue.
Provided a form with a confirmation that showed what I submitted. I like that kind of confirmation. Reply came in about 24 hours and is listed below.
Yes, that would be an appropriate thing to list on edgeio.
On Oct 7, 2006, at 3:46 PM, wrote:
> To: (removed)
> From: (removed)
> Subject: [support]
> Someone left feedback on edgeio with the following information:
> email address: (removed)
> edgeio user name:
> ip address: (removed)
> cookied user name:
> cookied location: 0
> web page: http://www.edgeio.com/
> subject: [support]
> ———————————————————————-> —
> hi – can you tell me if i can list old magazines on edgeio? i found a ton of old magazines like Forbes and Fortune and stuff and want > to get rid of them. Thanks, Allen
Comments: Good job on the quick reply, and for including my original question inside the reply. Points deducted for listing all of the techy information inside the reply. As a mainstream application, there is no reason to include things like ip address, cookied user name, location, etc. The average Internet user would have no idea what those things are and would probably only confuse the situation.
Faces provided an easy way to contact them. Their reply and my original question is listed below.
This email has been sent to help you with your problem at faces.com. The problem or question you had is repeated below. If you have further queries please return to the help page.
Currently we have a fairly small upload size restriction on files size – which only allows 8meg at a time – can you split the podcats up into 2 or 3 parts perhaps?
The question you had is:
Member Id : Not available
Received : 10/7/2006 5:17:46 PM
Name : Not available
Email : removed
Subject : Site Problems
Comment : hi – can i upload my podcasts to faces and then put a player on my web site? they are like 20mb size and like 30 minutes each.
Url : Not specified
UserAgent & IP Address Info
UserAgent : Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Ip Address : removed
Comments: Reply came in 4 days, which I guess is still reasonable. I would have liked a confirmation on when to expect the reply. Also – they have included this technical information which has no need to be included and can confuse non-geeks. In the email they state that if I have further queries (whats a query) to return to the help page. Where is the help page and why can’t they include a link to it? A small spelling error “podcats”. They did a good job of appearing human and overall a pretty good job.
I had the hardest time finding a way to contact support on Yelp. Once I found it, they “accepted” my request that I submitted. Their reply came within 24 hours and is listed below.
Yes you can review anything with an address, including CVS!
See all my reviews…
> Can people really write reviews on anything? I saw some reviews on drugstores and wanted to write a review about my favorite CVS location but wondered if that is ok. Please let me know. Thanks, Allen
Comments: Reply came quickly and was well formed. I am deducting points for not being able to find the support form.
Flickr provided a reply in about 36 hours and it is below.
Thanks for your question.
Please see this answer in our FAQ:
Comments: Why couldn’t they just copy the answer into the email. Why should I do the work to go find it? It would have been appreciated if they would have included the applicable FAQ and then perhaps a link to the full FAQ. In addition, they should have included my original request.
MySpace accepted my inquiry (written while looking at HORRIBLE banner ads that flash so much, I think I have a disease now) and then replied in 36 hours with the following:
If you can’t create an account, we recommend deleting your browser’s cookies and temporary internet files and then close all your browsers and try signing up again.
(Note: Mac users should use Safari or Firefox.)
Make sure you didn’t add any spaces at the end of your email address or verification code.
If someone is using your email address please send us an email from that email address to verify you are the legal owner and we will be able to delete that fake profile.
If you are shown an error message when attempting to create an account, please copy and paste it into the body of your reply email.
If this does not answer your question, please click:
Comments: My inquiry was not included so to some extent I have no idea what they are replying to. In addition, their reply was an automated reply that seems to have multiple answers so I have no idea what actually applies to me. And then they have the nerve to state that if these solutions did not answer my question, I can go back and look at a horrible banner ad and try to fill in the exact same form again.
I am not going to paste in their reply because all they did was send me every FAQ they have. I asked if my mother could view the videos using WebTV. Nothing in their 200 line reply offered me anything. They told me basically if none of these 50 suggestions work, I should e-mail them AGAIN and they will look into my question. So who knows how long that entire process would take. I guess all of it is moot now that they are billionaires. Oh well, maybe they can buy some support staff now with their money.
Unfortunately, Technorati is at the bottom of this list. I really like their service and so this upsets me but I must report the truth. They did not reply to any of my inquiries. So there is nothing for me to include.
(updated) – I was finally able to contact Liz (the vlog woman) via her Flickr account because there are no contact emails on the Technorati site. She was able to get their customer service person to answer my questions and both her and the cs person apologized and stated that they are swamped with cs e-mails. My suggestion is to provide an immediate automated reply stating that. I would have been a lot more relaxed with them had they said they were swamped. But to receive nothing is to believe they don’t care.
So I am willing to upgrade their score:
(I guess that is still passing in some universities)