Warning: this is a bit of a rant.
I want to talk about support, access to support, and follow-through from support. I’m not sure where to post it. I was going to post it in the Product Feedback forum, but I wasn’t able to do that. I’m guessing because the forum is “muted”. Is that like “locked” or “deprecated”? When things are deprecated, there is usually some info about what replaced them.
I’ll open with a crash from September 10th, 2019 where I received this email:
We wanted to reach out to let you know we have a team looking into your report. Stephanie is our support engineer and she’ll investigate what caused the crash and how to prevent it from happening again moving forward. We’ll do our best to get this resolved for you as soon as possible, but we aren’t able to provide an exact timeframe.
I wanted to open with that because I never heard anything from anyone again. There was never a follow-up email. Was the issue fixed? The designer still crashes but I don’t get error codes so I don’t know.
I opened a support ticket today. Maybe. I’m not sure. I went through the support bot and it said someone would be in touch but it’s been hours and I don’t have an email confirmation or ticket number, so who knows? I spent a good chunk of the intervening time going through forum threads. Specifically, the big thread, “An Open Letter to Webflow.” Read that one start to finish. And since it’s been a hot minute, I had some follow-up questions around what I think is the single most important issue:
- What’s the status of the support team?
- How much has it grown?
- The stated goal was 80 by the end of the year, what was the starting number in January?
- Does the team have public facing goals?
- Why can I still not even chat with a human being?
- Will that ever be a thing? If not, why not?
I moved from WPEngine where I hosted mine and my clients’ sites (and still host half a dozen of them). I moved my site and a bunch of clients’ sites. I built new clients’ sites on Webflow. The tool is good. It’s missing a ton of basic stuff and not necessarily what the rest of this form considers basic, but that’s a different topic. The tool is good. But when I have a problem or even just a question, I can talk to a real human, day or night, at WPEngine and I don’t think I’ve ever once even had to wait for that privilege. The difference between WPEngine support and Webflow support is night and day.
When a customer needs support, they’re in crisis. It could be a small crisis or a big one but, for them, it’s some kind of crisis. I cannot begin to stress the importance of good, clear, and timely crisis communication. If we go back to that throwaway support email I opened with, why was I never contacted again? Why wasn’t an expectation set up front in the one-and-only email that I received? I honestly don’t care or even remember the particular crash (it was two years ago!) but it illustrates my point. If we go back to the Open Letter, there were multiple stories of people waiting days to even get a response from support. If we go back to my ticket today, I don’t know if I have a ticket today.
Do you know what that feels like? It feels a company that doesn’t care. I don’t know if you care or not, but that’s the feeling you convey with every one of these interactions. I’m a brand designer and I can say with absolute certainty that a brand isn’t the logo I design or the fonts I choose or the palette I put together. A brand is the sum of the experiences people have with it.
It’s a good tool. But it’s not good support and it’s not clear communication. And I’d really like to know when, if, and specifically how that is going to change.