A recent blog comment brought this subject to mind. The comment was actually a tech support question. This caused me to think about all the different ways people try to communicate with us, and made me think I should let you know what works best.
First, no insult intended, but posting your tech support question as a blog comment is kind of inefficient. We don’t monitor these comments as frequently as we monitor tech support emails and trouble tickets. And we don’t have any full-time staff whose job it is to monitor blog comments, but we do have full-time staff covering tech support trouble tickets.
Another common mistake is to use the BizRate survey to submit your tech support questions. BizRate sends a follow-up email to everyone who fills out the survey after placing an order on our site. Quite a few people every week use the BizRate survey to ask tech support questions. The problem with this is that it takes several days before your comment filters through BizRate and gets to us. Then someone has to copy and paste it into a tech support ticket. Needless to say this isn’t a high-priority task. It can take a week or more before you hear from us if you choose this indirect method of support.
Not to mention the problem that results when you do a great job of describing the difficulty you’re having, then choose to submit the BizRate survey anonymously. It’s a little tough to reply when we don’t have your email address.
A lot of people reply to our email newsletters and marketing pieces with tech support questions. The problem here is that your message can be very easily missed in the flood of email bounce messages we get back in response to those mailings. It’s pretty easy for your question to get lost. Of course if we see them we forward them to tech support, but again you’re adding time delays to getting your question answered, and you’re risking it will get lost in the shuffle.
My favorite is when I receive a letter in the mail (or a fax) describing a problem. The letter almost always includes an email address. One wonders why the customer didn’t just send an email in the first place. We will almost always respond to letters and faxes by email if we can figure out an email address for you. In the almost eight years we’ve been running Laridian, I’ve yet to send a written letter to a customer. (It’s an interesting comment on our changing communications preferences. When I was at Parsons Technology I spent several hours each week dictating letters, 1950’s style, to customers. We just don’t get that many written letters any more.)
The best (and only) way to get tech support is to go to our Web site at http://www.laridian.com, select your platform, then select Help Desk from the menu. Go through the process of searching for an answer to your question and if you don’t see an answer, submit a trouble ticket. We monitor these closely and you’ll almost always get an answer within hours (sometimes minutes) during business hours. The beauty of this system is that even when our tech support person is on vacation, we still answer these trouble tickets. And when it gets busy we can easily add more people to handle this type of support.
With respect to the trouble ticket system, here are some tips: First, always search the Knowledgebase for an answer to your question. You can save a lot of time because a huge percentage of the problems we encounter are already answered there.
Second, going into the trouble ticket system is better than sending an email to email@example.com. Trouble tickets are sorted by platform so it allows us to put a Palm OS specialist on the MyBible queue and a Pocket PC specialist on the PocketBible queue when necessary. Emails to the general support address are handled after these queues are empty, and emails to the firstname.lastname@example.org address are handled last.
Finally, give us as much specific details as you can about your problem. We waste a lot of time with customers who say “it doesn’t work” but don’t tell us what product they’re using or what they’re doing when they encounter the problem.
Hope this helps you navigate our tech support area more efficiently.