- Apr 4, 2004
Phone support gives customers direct access to support people that can help. PROPERLY done phone support would be entirely based in the country they are supporting, even if it was only during office hours. CSRs with good training can solve issues quickly and easily. There is no reason for them to not have phone support. Email support will never be as good.
Why can't the properly trained CSRs do email support in exactly the same way?
This allows for level ballancing and all sorts of other stuff. The problem with email / web support has never been the interface it was always the relaxed attitude companies took toward it, they view it as non critical support. Go do some web hosting where they have ticket based support which allows you to set priority, in that business almost everything is critical web sites cannot be down. I use pretty cheap web hosting about $15 / mo and with properly done tickets 3 of the 5 companies I deal with solved every problem I had within 30 minutes. And if I set it to urgent it was typically as fast as I could write out the problem the and respond with any info they needed. They could hire people all over the world typically someone in Europe, India and the North America. Then they had a 24 hour time course handled. The person could work from their home and do whatever they wanted when no emails were coming in.
As others said Valve is a big company now who has matured from a user base of mostly self helping cutting edge tech savy users to a mass market company like walmart. Because of this they need to commit to support. And so far they have not done that. No excuse ever for a ticket sitting in the que for days. Phone support will not solve the problem of lack of commitment. You will just end up with a half ass job of the lowest paid indian support with little to no training and almost no guidence or power to change things fast enough. And you will wait around for 30 minutes to get that then they will read back the same exact thing you found in the self help section. That is what lack of committment does no matter what the interface is.
It is also my feeling that this is a game not a time critical item like a web site, so I think of all the companies that do support this is one that has a very reasonable arguement to do it through a web interface only.