Customer Service Rant
So, we use Bugzilla at work, and our users are mostly comfortable with it. On the other hand, there’s a popular “ticket tracking” system that is designed to track IT-type issues, which are considerably different from, although similar to, bugs. So, I have been asking around for advice . . . one reason I like RT is that it is simple for the user to send an e-mail directly into the system. A response was “well, then you don’t get enough information to solve the problem, so making the user fill out all the information in a web interface is better.” This . . . this, is one of my peet peeves:
Ah, personally, I HATE any system that makes “reporting a bug” any more cumbersome than absolutely needed. You need to make it as easy as possible to record that “something is wrong” and then query your customer for missing data as needed. All these “customer service” forms that have ever forced me to supply 5, ten, fifty pieces of frequently irrelevant data, and then ask me to explain my problem in a tiny little window . . .
No. Tools need to accomodate customer needs, and customer needs low barrier to entry. My cynical take on requiring the user to answer twenty questions is that you gain “efficiency” by making it sufficiently cumbersome for a user to report trouble such that the user will simply tolerate all but the very biggest problems, meanwhile cursing the jackasses over in the support organization with their “talk to our dumb*ss web interface” mentality.
A good compromise is to capture the user inquiry, and then, if there’s a standard questionnaire that needs filling out, have them fill it out.
Just, ah, my 2c. :)
I am so exhausted right now. Where has all my energy gone? Grr!