In DatoCMS, we always wanted to give personal and direct customer support to everybody.
Until now a lot of our support work has been on chats: either on Slack or on site. Both services have been used with success, but the chat has inherent problems that we want to address.
Discoverability: it's difficult, or plain impossible for 1-to-1 chats, to find the solution to a common problem.
Distraction: chatting takes more focus away from your job compared to emails, for example, as you end up waiting for messages and you are expected to reply almost immediately.
Wrong expectations: a chat gives a false impression that a real-time conversation is always possible. This leads to frustration and time wasted: you wait too much time for an answer, and we reply to someone that is not there anymore.
Low automation: it's difficult for us to help you straight away using automations, as the content of a chat is unstructured
Together with this blog post, we have released a revamped version of the support page with a new form, that is going to become the main entry point for new requests.
With the form, we'll be able to provide more meaningful automated replies, which hopefully will help you get the answer to your question immediately.
At the very least we can start by asking for the relevant information, hopefully reducing the initial back and forth of messages, reducing the overall time to get an answer.
The community forum is starting to get used consistently, meaning that more and more questions and answers are going to be publicly available for everyone to read.
All the questions and answers posted there are much more searchable than on Slack now, and can also be updated when needed.
Progressively we would like to move to Community the feature requests and also the private support requests that are useful to everyone.
We are making Community the central part of our support!
With the switch to the support form and the increase in usage of the community forum, we have two changes in our usage of chats:
we have removed our chat widget from the website and the CMS, replaced with links to our support page;
we have stopped inviting everyone to our Slack on sign up;
we'll soon close all Slack channels but #general, and we'll ask more and more to use the support page or Community to get support.
The underlying theme of what we are doing is to maximize the human time that we spend doing support for essential tasks and minimizing the repetitive and low-value work.
Meanwhile, we want to continue providing personal and friendly support minimizing the layers between you and the product.
We hope that this new approach will maintain a reasonable balance.
If you have any feedback or concern about this, let's discuss it on Community.