This is an updated version of the original blog post REV23 Support and You
At REV23, support and customer service are very important to us. Okay, of course, you hear that from everyone you do business with, but we actually have facts to back this up later in the post. When you run into an issue with our software, just have a question, or want to request a new feature, we always want you to feel confident that you're important to us. We always want you to walk away saying "wow!" or "damn, that guy that sounds like Seth Rogen was awesome!" Yep, I hear at least a few times a month that I sound like Seth Rogen.
Email vs Phone
Some new users may naturally be concerned when they realize our support is email only. It hasn't always been this way. We used to have a phone number you could call from 2010-2016, but as our user base has grown over the years and staffing has changed, we've decided to adopt email as our primary support channel, and honestly, I think this is the smoothest support has ever been in our 9 years serving the tattoo and body piercing industry. The main reason for the lack of a phone number is that a ringing phone and writing code don't mix very well. And because the same person (me) that writes the code for all REV23, including REV23 Desktop, this website, our backend, etc... is the same person that answers your support questions, the ringing phone can be a bit of a distraction.
That doesn't mean we only communicate via email. I do like to call for some issues or questions when it may just be faster to flesh it out over the phone, but in most cases I can get back with you faster via email if you provide enough information in the initial message. Sending emails that just say "call me" or "I got an error" can’t be resolved as quickly. For the "call me" questions, if the question can be answered for you by our user guide or other material, I like to send you there instead of getting on the phone right away. This helps build the accuracy and value of those resources, as well as helps you realize these materials exist, so that next time you run into something, you think to check there and perhaps get an instant answer without ever having to type up an email to us.
As we enter 2019, almost two years after the original blog post, we have seen a drastic reduction in the need to make outgoing calls. Our recently launched documentation at REV23 Docs has created a better and more streamlined user guide than we’ve ever had and allows us to answer questions faster by having the most common topics already fleshed out and even for complex topics, we’re able to provide a fast answer that easily guides you through the necessary steps. As a result, we are contemplating removing phone support. We pay extra for a phone line for us to make outgoing calls. While it’s not a huge expense, it’s hard to justify paying for something you’re not using. It’s possible by later this year or 2020, phone support may no longer be existent. With as fast as our email support is, would you be willing to optionally pay additional for phone support or something like Skype support? If so, would you prefer this be an annual thing or a per-incident? Again, we don’t believe this to be necessary, but know some people like the personal touch of the phone and are weighing our options here.
Support through Zen
Internally, REV23 uses the help desk service Zendesk Support to track support issues. We've been using Zendesk for about a year and have found it invaluable to providing you with quality support. Whether you send an email, post on our Facebook wall, or fill out the contact form on rev23.com, it is sent directly to our Zendesk, where we track and respond to the issue. Once the issue is solved, you're sent a survey asking you to rate how we did and allows you to optionally leave a comment. This is an important piece of data for us to know what you thought of your support experience and get any additional feedback. Zendesk shows us up-to-date metrics which compare REV23 to others software companies.
Compared to other software companies that use Zendesk (and there are a lot), our average first reply time is 3.48 hours vs 14.80 hours. In fact, sometimes we reply so fast, users have occasionally missed the response thinking it is part of the auto-responder. So, for non-urgent issues, especially for newer users that aren't as familiar with our response times, we will often artificially pad our reply to try and avoid this. And of course, there is still our 100% satisfaction rate!
Comparing to the original blog post, two things have changed here that are worth noting. You may notice our Average First Reply time has taken a small hit by increasing slightly (less than an hour). At the time of the original post, we were not traveling. We now travel to conventions one to two times per month and generally leave early on Thursday mornings and return Monday afternoons, meaning for five to ten days per month, we may be out of the office entirely. Yet while busy at conventions and during travel days, we retain a fantastic first reply time.
Additionally, our New Tickets figure has decreased from Industry Standard. I attribute this to our new REV23 Docs! Since the launch of our new Docs site new REV23 users are finding their way around better than ever, reaching out to support less and less for the basic questions. We hope to improve this number even further over 2019!
24-hours after your issue is solved, you're sent a survey where you can click a link indicating if you were satisfied or not. When you click the link, you also have the option to leave a comment. On average we receive extra comments on less than 10% of surveys, but the image below shows surveys that actually did have comments in the last 3 months of 2018.
Was it good for you?
How have your support or customer service experiences with REV23 been? How has it compared to other companies you've worked with or your expectations of a software company? Let us know in the comments!