In an “interview with Kevin Hoctor on episode 5 of the iDeveloper Live podcast”:http://ideveloper.tv/shows, Scotty referenced my comment from Core Intuition that customers are so used to terrible support that they don’t mind a few days or even a week delay. I thought this was maybe taken out of context a little since we were talking about vacations, so I went back to listen to what I said:
“Most people are thrilled to get a response in a few days, maybe a week they’re still cool with it. They are used to sending support email to companies and not getting a response any time soon or maybe not at all in some cases.”
Of course I didn’t mean I strive for week delays before a customer gets a response, but looking back I think Scotty’s interpretation was right: in a way this was a confession that I’ve fallen down when it comes to support. My response times for Tweet Library questions are still very good (usually same day), but it’s dragging for my other products. Even when I’m quick to respond to an initial email, difficult follow-up questions often won’t see an answer for some time. I’m just not as responsive as I was when I wrote “this blog post about good support in 2007”:http://www.manton.org/2007/02/customer.html.
The worst part are the emails that fall through the cracks. They are on their 2nd or 3rd response to a problem that I don’t understand, or they’re waiting on a solution that isn’t ready, and months go by before I can pick up the thread again. I hate this.
I’m going to use this opportunity to get back to where I should be: less than 24-hour response in all cases, for all products. I’m adding a “stats section to my support page”:http://www.riverfold.com/support/ to keep me in check, and I’ve seeded it with response times for the most recent support questions via email and forums. This will also give customers an idea of what to expect without an explicit promise from me.