One of the most common questions we hear here at Martfox is “why don’t you guys do phone support?” And it’s a fair question, because so many people are accustomed to it. But in our industry, and with our product, the drawbacks to phone support outweigh the benefits. We’ve maintained that we won’t offer phone support, and I’d like to take the opportunity to explain why. I think you’ll see that when it comes down to it, it’s not that we don’t want to talk to our users- it’s that we want to give them the best support possible.
When you send in a support ticket, we see a user dashboard that displays your account information, including all your services, addons, invoices, orders etc. You can tell us where the problem is, and then we can go in and take a look at it for ourselves. We can diagnose it accurately, and typically, we can do this quickly. The opposite is true if we’re on the phone. If a user were to call us and say, “my site isn’t displaying correctly” — well there’s a hundred reasons why that could be happening, and we can’t see any of them to make a correct diagnosis. The conversation becomes a long, drawn-out process of trial-and-error, when the problem could likely be fixed quickly and easily – if we could see it. Remember that support tickets are a “help me help you” type of scenario- the more information you can provide us, the easier and more efficiently we can answer.
Online, there’s a variety of ways we can answer how-to questions or help you solve a problem. We have screencasts, screenshots, help docs, help videos, blog posts and even code snippets at our disposal. All of these methods make answering support questions a breeze. On the phone, however, those tools aren’t available. Clicking a link is much easier than writing down a web address, or signing on and hoping you’ve got the right answer.
After you submit a support ticket, you can get on with your life and check your email later for a response. Phone support, on the other hand, comes pre-packaged with long hold times. That’s because correctly identifying, replicating, and testing problems takes time. We’ll spend an hour or two on a single ticket just to make sure we get it resolved. And if you have, say, an advanced cPanel or server problem, you’re going to wait even longer while we track down a server administrator and get his input.
It’s incredibly rare that we get an angry support ticket. But you can’t please everyone, and we do get angry customers from time-to-time. This may be selfish on our part, but we don’t want to subject our awesome staff to angry support calls. We want to foster a fun, enjoyable work environment, and we believe that not being yelled is an integral part of this.
Finally, we like the support ticket system because we can see your account information. We know who you are, which Plan you’re on, the status of your account, and much more. This verifies your identity, which assures us that we’re talking to the right person.
In the end, we want to provide you with the best support possible, and I believe this is how it’s done. Seeing your problem, using all available tools to answer, spending the necessary time, making sure you get the right information, protecting our staff, and ensuring security are all integral to quality support.
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