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by Kent Gale
As of Tuesday, 1 July 2014, we will stop accepting new support requests by email and will direct all customers to submit requests via the Support Help Center web interface. We will continue to support email as a convenient channel for customers to update all currently open and future support tickets.
Why? This is part of our continuing effort to provide excellent service to our customers, and it is very difficult to treat emailed requests with the same consistent level of service as requests received online or by phone.
As of today, we deliver support services for over 30,000 sites from three global support zones at the rate of 1,000 to 1,500 requests a week (and climbing) across multiple products ranging from free to premium enterprise offerings. In May 2014, 97% of customer requests were submitted online; less than 2% were submitted by email, and a little more than 1% by phone.
Small groups with tribal knowledge of all their customers and those who deliver support services at lower volumes can often make support delivery via email work, as we did for quite a while. It becomes much more challenging to provide consistent and responsive service when delivering support with a larger, global team on a 24x7 basis across multiple products at higher volumes. This is particularly true when requests are received from an e-mail address which is associated with multiple sites and subscription levels.
To properly handle any request, Acquia needs to know:
- who you are, what organization you belong to
- the pertinent product or service
- which codebase / site(s) related to request
- the problem description
- the urgency of the request
- the terms of service for your subscription level
This is made easy for tickets submitted online because you provide this information explicitly or implicitly through choices made when submitting a support request. Our request management system then automatically routes and prioritizes your request based on region, urgency, type of issue and subscription level. When an Acquia Support Engineer opens the ticket, our system displays additional account information, support history, system information, and other vital contextual data needed to start helping.
Requests submitted by email carry only the email address as structured information and none of the other important information needed to automatically determine how a request should be treated. A single customer contact may have multiple subscriptions for different products each with different service terms so our system cannot determine which site a request is related to. An email does not carry an explicit level of urgency which is a crucial distinction needed for prioritization, especially for critical and time sensitive issues. The delay and extra interactions needed to request additional data and context often lead to customer frustration, which is the opposite of what we want to achieve.
Another factor in our decision is the widespread availability of mobile internet access and responsive websites. Getting to a site to submit a support request these days requires no more effort than sending an email from a phone. Of course, during normal business hours you can always call to request assistance and we will be happy to speak with you. If your subscription level includes off-hours support for Critical issues, then you can call the emergency support line for a return call from a Support Engineer.
Ultimately, our goal is to provide customers with an excellent service experience; accepting all new support requests via the Support Help Center or by phone helps us deliver on that promise.
For more information about submitting support requests and about other service offerings, be sure to check out and bookmark our Acquia Support Users Guide.