Updated Support Ticket back-end

November 21, 2004 12:13 am

Recently I’ve received some legitimate complaints that tickets weren’t being updated in a timely manner. I’ve just pushed up some changes to the way tickets are handled on the back end. There are no customer-facing changes yet as I didn’t feel any were necessary, but if you have any suggestions I’m open to hearing them…

For me, tickets are now separated into three categories: New tickets, tickets waiting on my response, and tickets waiting on customer response. My hope is that this will improve my ability to sort through everything, to make sure nothing slips through the cracks, and obviously to improve the support I provide to my valued customers 🙂

Thanks,
-Chris

7 Responses

  1. What we really need is some kind of a ticket response time expectation and escalation path.

    I.e. tickets for ‘broken’ linodes will be answered in x hours; tickets for move/upgrade requests in x days, etc.

    I put in a ticket requesting a move of one of my linodes from HE to TP a couple of days ago. Since I don’t know when I should expect you’ll respond, or even if you’ve seen it, I’m left hanging and I can’t plan on time to set aside for the migration (DNS changes, downtime, etc.)

    Since the only official support path is the ticket system, the only escalation seems to be to leave a post here (not a guaranteed way to get your attention) or try to find you in IRC (not always possible; ie when I’m at work…)

    My $0.02

  2. I agree with ged about support tickets for broken linodes. But requests for moving your linode, I’m sure Chris considers those low priority.. which is fine. You’ll just have to wait if there aren’t any available linodes or if Chris is too busy with more important issues. Besides… you don’t have to pay to move your linode… Chris provides it as a courtesy… so try and be a little patient. 🙂

  3. Well, not that impatient really. I’m just responding to what Chris asked for: feedback about the the customer view of the ticket system.

    What I’m saying is that it would be helpful to set a proper expectation of timeframe: “High-urgency tickets (i.e. broken Linode, etc.) will be responded to in 12 hours (or whatever); low-urgency tickets such as upgrades will be addressed within one week (or two weeks, or when space/Linodes/xyz is available).

    If Chris says that low priority items will be scheduled X days or weeks after the request, then I’m fine with that.

    But if you don’t set the expectation ahead of time, and don’t respond within a day to the ticket being opened (“this will take two weeks, I’ll update you later”) then the customer doesn’t know if the ticket was even viewed.

    You see a lot of this in the Sales Q&A forum… I counted 9 of them with a quick search (“activation”) … all just because the expectation time for turnaround on a new account wasn’t laid out. All of these new customers started out with a bad taste because of that.

    That’s all it’s about, really. This is less a complaint and more a suggestion for how to back a stellar product with stellar service.

    EDIT: Just so everyone understands, I think the service is great here. That last sentence might lead people to think I’m saying it’s not. Bad wording, I guess. I’m very pleased with my Linodes and Chris’ service.

  4. I get what your saying. Linode is amazing, but for someone new to the concept, idea, and community, coming from a bad experience with their previous host they jump to the conclusion too fast that Linode is doing the same thing to them. Also, a lot of people don’t normally see services like this being sold in this environment and can get the idea that with as loose of a community as there is here, that the quality of service isn’t professional. They’re too used to closed up companies that keep customers from even knowing other customers for fear of bad review from one bad experience.

    I sometimes get the feeling that Linode is like the open source equivalent to businesses. The customers actually help make the company better.

  5. —- ged wrote —-
    But if you don’t set the expectation ahead of time, and don’t respond within a day to the ticket being opened (“this will take two weeks, I’ll update you later”) then the customer doesn’t know if the ticket was even viewed.

    I agree with this, as I’ve been waiting for a response to a ticket since 3 Dec! Yes, I’m also a happy linode customer so far (in the past, my requests were seen to relatively quickly), but if the response times aren’t improved, I will no longer be so happy 🙁

  6. I agree with everything that has been said here. I’ve been waiting for an upgrade for a week (which I understand is lower priority), and I don’t mind waiting but if I was given an indication of timeframe or if I was sure that my ticket updates had been seen, I wouldn’t be disappointed that it hadn’t been done.

    I would love to see a priority dropdown box in the support system (perhaps with a selection of support types and an automatic priority allocation), and an indication that a ticket has been read (kind of like an email read receipt).

    I am a happy Linode customer and one of the reasons why I am happy is that I know that Caker takes these comments into account and does something about them.

  7. I am sure if there was an option to do a priority upgrade for a small charge Many people would pay for the convience of knowing it will be done in x days.

    Don’t get me wrong I still think that upgrades should be free but A little money does make everyone happy.

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