(rant) Sitting home affects people ability to think?

I have been looking through the support tickets and see a surge of tickets with odd stuff like:

  • Using a SaaS, when they need to prolong subscription, they purchase a new package instead and get surprised that they now have two services and old package gets suspended for payment overdue;

  • Order multiple services and lose track of which they need and which they don’t, cancel service, then uncancel, pay for a wrong service etc;

  • Register multiple customer accounts, of course lose track of everything, make random payments and ask us to sort all this out.

We always had a certain percentage of such bs in support, but now it a majority :man_facepalming: I mean really this requires minimal thinking effort from the customer, it’s not some technical problem that requires special knowledge, it’s just a general understanding of stuff.

Does anyone else experience anyhing like this?

Thanks for posting this…somehow helps to know I’m not the only one receiving these types of issues at times.

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We’ve received a couple of these support tickets as well recently. (I think, our campaign to get people to renew/extend/upgrade their support-subscriptions is more of a factor than people staying at home.)

On close inspection there was always some ambiguous/missing/unclear information on our part involved.

Review your processes, UI, and information first before blaming the customer. Maybe people are somewhat distracted and upset by the current situation. Nevertheless, it’s your job to make your user interaction as easy and foolproof as possible.

It’s a big question actually, I don’t think I want the kind of customer who uses the service and billing like 3 year old child. The thing is that there are more and more people like this. We do have barriers like technical slang here and there, not-so-detailed manuals, lack of video lessons etc - that should keep away people who are not our target audience. But this stopped working for some reason.

I’d say there are minimal requirements that customers should meet in order to be served. While this is obvoius that they have to be at least literate and have basic computer knowledge, there’s a tricky case with people who suffer from functional illiteracy - no matter what the processes are and how detailed are the instructions/guides, they are not able to effectively use them.

I do not see a recent uptick in these types of issues, but perhaps that’s because I’m in B2B.

More generally, I do see a problem: there are certain things that people do without thinking and I can’t see how I can convince them otherwise. A good example is when I ask them to register a personal account (terms of use are one account per person, and the sharing model is like github: many people have access to a single company database), and they register a handle like “office” with an email like “staff@company.com”. I tried many explanations, but this keeps happening. Seems people are wired to register “general” accounts.

I decided to give up for now: if people want to see “office” in their inventory history entries instead of something pointing to an actual person, fine.

As for other problems with subscriptions, I always had a small number of those, but it was never a noticeable issue. I try to resolve those quickly, but I do draw a line: when a customer did a chargeback without even contacting me because someone in engineering didn’t talk to someone in accounting, I thanked them nicely for their business and asked them to move on.

Sure. And Everest really should be smaller, then it would be much easier to get to the top.

Or: you can design your system for the world, and the customer, that actually exists.

For me, it was never a problem too. It just started in April all of a sudden, when everybody started sitting home a lot. However things seem to calm down a bit as of now. We parted with some people, solved some other people’s problems so they are happy and we’re happy too.

Your point being, there are only customers who can’t use billing and understand simplest payment terms? The ones who always have requests similar to the ones I listed in the first post? Certainly this is not the case. The world has enough customers who are aware of what they are doing, who we enjoy doing business with, I can tell you for sure.

Doing business with people who requirte constant assistance with simplest things and who have lots of problems almost every day is no fun absolutely. I can hire more support staff to serve them but this is no fun either. I mean when it’s like 0.5% of people who generate 99% problems it doesn’t make a lot of sence to have such customers aboard.

Sure, and you can totally stick to that, it’s fine.

It is not! I just wonder whether you system is actually the simplest thing, or whether it could be made simpler so that these problems don’t happen. The people who use the current version with no problems might even prefer a simpler version. The history of computer UI is filled with people bemoaning how dumb users are for not being able to understand a simple command-line interface/point-and-click interface/touch-screen interface, and when something simpler and better comes along, it gets used way more.

But maybe not! Maybe there’s inherent complexity in your service, and most users are served really well by it in its current design. If so, that’s fine.

It doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with people who find it too complex. It just means your system isn’t right for them.

This is true, it requires experience to understant the cause of the problem - either it’s users that do not want to learn, or it’s a product that’s difficult to use (or poor documentation). It can also be a combination of all these factors in a certain proportion :slight_smile:

I’m going to guess that most users don’t really want to learn, they just want some problem solved by your service.

Looking at what users do, and maybe asking them about it (user research), can really help to provide insight into why users are behaving like they do, and how your system could fit their expectations better.

If you go in with the attitude of users being the problem, that’s fine, but the only solution to that is to get different users.

Please read my first post. One of the issues is like this: purchase a monthly service, then when the time comes to prolong the subscription, purchase another, new account instead, and have their original account suspended for overdue payment, then write rude emails to us as if it not their fault. The invoices have details on what the invoice for and for what time period. Why not pay this invoice, it’s created in advance, sent to the email and available in the billing area, why order a new service? Why not spend 10 seconds to at least look at what you pay for?

Or what about having a zoo of email addresses, order services with one email, contact support from another and make payments from yet another email, occasionally mess all this up, of course lose passwords for everything, and then ask our customer support to sort this all out for them.

It’s OK when a few people have problems or if the problems are occasional. People lose things, or are tired when they manage services, or other reasons, no problem. But when it’s a system this is not good.

It’s not possible to overcome issues like this by improving the service, unless one wants to babysit customers or offer them a consierge-like service to allow them performing trivial tasks.