Why we made the choice of email customer service and why we don't have phone support (yet?).
Most people who contact a company's customer service over the phone do so in the hope of getting a quick, immediate assistance.
In the vast majority of cases, the support requests we receive require a bit of investigation before a support agent can respond properly. The complexity of the state-of-the-art application of our product in Research or cutting edge applications, make it ultimately difficult for a support agent to be able to respond immediately to such specific problems. It is often necessary to put ourselves in the situation experienced by the customer to fully understand his problem. Before we can even start advising a fix.
Most people who contact a company's Customer Support over the phone or ask for support through video conference do so because they worry about being ignored and want immediate assistance. When using a phone (or via VC) the requirement for an immediate verbal response often leads to haste, and ultimately to a poor handling of the requests received, making phone support often an elusive goal.
Email has several advantages, and using it for customer support makes it possible to never forget the questions submitted, nor the answers received, and allows our agents to easily share a request between experts from different fields, which makes the email a more effective tool than the telephone to reply, handle and follow-up on customer requests.
For some customers, a lack of real-time support is a real issue, and that’s completely understandable, because they want a verbal conversation to ensure the support person is truly listening and willing to engage with them on a personal and conversational level.
This may come as a surprise to some, and yet we believe that email support is a good thing for our customers.
Because the truth is the actual phone support experience is likely to be very different from your expectations.
Not sure? Let’s go through the steps of how a support call to any company works:
The receptionist greets you. Based on your issue, they transfer you call to the appropriate department (Support, Billing, Sales, etc.) and you have to wait for someone to pick up the phone again. Finally someone connect and you have to explain your situation or question, again. The support agent has to check for your customer information. More wait time. They will then try to replicate the issue based on the information they could get from your call. This could take a lot of rewording, and more waiting time.
Eventually the support agent concludes that they are unable to reproduce the bug you described and that it would be best if you provided additional pictures or a video of the problem via email.
With email support, Elveflow chose an approach that values your time while having your back.
With many years of customer support experience, we realized no good support can work without us collecting basic data like serial number, purchase proof, and usage information to diagnose the issues.
With email support, you just describe the issue you have, and we take it from there. We’re able to pull up your account information and quickly get a deeper understanding of your issue. This allows us to easily troubleshoot and eliminates any back and forth verbal narration.
With email support you get to carry on with your day while we diagnose the problem.
And because Elveflow devices are used in cutting-edge academic or industry research, this contexts calls for an appropriate expert care, and mails allow us to enrich our responses with links, or illustrate them with images.
Once the issue is fixed, we can give you clear answers, which you can read, and read again as many times as you want. And that you can even transfer to anyone. All of this is impossible orally and as soon as the phone conversation is over, you have no record of it.
Our experience shows that phone Customer Support can be very relevant in a minority of cases, but less effective than email in the vast majority of cases.
Maybe one day we will provide phone support, we are not ruling out this idea, but for now, e-mail support delivers a much more satisfying experience.
Email support enables our team to care about all of our customers in the timeliest manner. Each Elveflow Support Agent is able to connect with tens of customers a day versus just a few over the phone. This leaves us with more satisfied customers, and we love satisfied customers!