I was following an interesting conversation earlier about creators who are “up their asses” and never responded to someone’s friendly alert of copybotted items, or that customers feel like they are thinking that they are better than the “normal people”etc etc just because they are succesful with their brands.
I would like to point out that no brand in SL becomes successful without a lot of hard work and dedication of the owner/creator. Also, when you have a brand in SL, that means you usually are not only the owner, but also the sole employee. Responsible for the entire production, marketing, accounting, customer support etc etc. Some of the succesful creators are lucky enough to support their RL off their SL income, but for most it is just a very welcome addition of a few cts per transaction on their income of a RL job.
Now what does that mean? For a successful creator with lets say 250 transactions a day (could be more, could be less depending on what they are making), it is pretty much impossible to respond to about 50 more or less serious customer service requests. Serious issues like broken products, non deliveries or double purchases will likely be addressed as soon as possible (on a daily basis, which means 7 days a week and I bet you don’t work 7 days a week), but other things like “I saw this and that item of yours in a ripped version” or “i’d love so see such or so item in your shop”, unfortunately can’t all be addressed.
That doesn’t mean it is not noticed. Most creators have inspiration lists/mood boards full of ideas for new items and when their items are being ripped frequently, they will likely sigh, file another DMCA with The Lab and continue what they are doing, because it make s them just sad having to talk about their work being ripped again and again with people they usually don’t even know. Also, if what you report is, for example a 2009 creation, chances are that said item has been reported at least twice already.
Furthermore IM’s get capped, notecards can’t be opened or arrive blank (the quirks of SL), RL may need their attention for a while for whatever reason (which is none of your business, really) so the reason why someone is not responding to your individual message may be various and valid without you knowing. The most righteous people when it comes to complaining about customer support, are often also the people who claim SL is just a game when they do not want to take responsibility for their actions in SL. Apparently it’s not a game when it comes to other people assuming responsibility for customer support.
Now, when I am unavailable in RL, I close my office door, I don’t answer the phone or just go out and take a ride til I am done with whatever it is that it bothering me. In SL this apparently is not accepted easily. Customers want to be helped, and want it now. On my own dealings with customers, I have had some pretty rude reactions from people who were annoyed that I wasn’t online when they messaged me (at 3 AM my time for instance, I know… sleep is for the weak) or that I couldn’t do the adjustment to the shape or pose that they wanted/bought right away, because I would be late for RL work. To them I say… here is a refund, take your Linden$ elsewhere.
I respect my customers, but I do expect the same amount of respect in return, and I refuse to be your punch bag for when you and your SO are going through rough times, or whatever (it’s none of my business anyway).
Anyway… there is so much to say to this subject. Such as… why not hire a CS rep if you don’t have time for it? There is no easy answer to this, but my experience as a CS rep is that it is mostly limited to helping people find stuff in the shop, and acting as a filter for the owner (read, make sure you will not disturb the owner in their work) but not able to actually solve most of the issues customers are dealing with (read above: broken products, non deliveries or double purchases). But I want you to consider this… when it comes to running a successful brand in SL, key is quality content and on a regular base.
When the creator has to spend several hours of his/her day responding to all customer messages, or thanking you profusely for yet another mention of their stuff ripped, that is time they could spend on creating new content for you and others as well. And in the end, what is more important… your retail therapy, or the recognition that you are a good resident reporting cheating assholes?
You may hate me now, but keep it civilized, will ya? 😛