Customer Support: Improving the Customer Experience

My laptop has the Wobbly Hinge problem. I’d be okay with that, provided Framework provided the expected solid support and helped me resolve the issue. Unfortunately, that’s not how it’s gone down. (I’ve been posting my support saga in the Wobbly Hinge topic as it happens).

I’ve spent a lot of career years in the customer support world, including as a consultant to support organizations. It’s a tough business, but one that’s critical to the long-term success of most companies, and for Framework too, I suspect.

In the interest of putting a positive spin on a not-so-positive experience, I’d like to provide the following advice.

Dear Framework,

I realize you’re understaffed, but based on my own experience coupled with what I see in the forums, your customer support really needs improvement. If I may offer a few suggestions to help get the ball rolling.

  1. Prioritize the customer experience. Getting laptops out the door is important. Having folks that buy Frameworks continue to recommend them is equally important. Make a good product; take care of your customers should be on everyone’s mind all the time.

  2. Implement an issue tracking system. This provides several benefits. First, support staff can easily follow the history of any customer issue. Second, it ensures nothing gets lost in the cracks. Ticketing systems don’t need to be expensive. A few free ones are pretty good.

  3. Make sure every issue is resolved. Sometimes they will be resolved to the customer’s satisfaction and sometimes not. But if more than a few aren’t, then you have bigger problems you need to deal with.

  4. Communicate in a timely manner, and treat every customer with professionalism and respect, no matter what.

If you want to be taken seriously, you have to take your customers seriously. You folks can do this. But please at least make the attempt.

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This ^

Few projects (like drm/amd for linux kernel) use a read-only repository just for issues too, might try using something like that. It’d be way easier to track the first time issue appeared, any debug/files attached, and if it is fixed or not.

Also I’m not sure if its internally enabled, but having a open roadmap (not too open), will let framework help in design choices. A place where public can put their thoughts/ideas, prioritising one idea over the other by voting or/and pinning by admins. And for open source, like the EC, will give moment for community to collaboratively make changes and make updates faster to deliver.

I changed the name of this topic to Improving the Customer Experience. Everyone’s happy to provide positive and negative feedback on the hardware, but I haven’t seen a good place where we customers can provide suggestions on how Framework can better serve us as a business.

I don’t intend this as a place to complain about Framework’s service or about your service experience, but rather as a place for helpful criticism and suggestions.

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I’m just going to link this here, as it might be of interest: OFFICIAL - Status of Framework Support

Thanks for adding this in, Jason.
@Twistgibber

We always appreciate the feedback. Copying in my response from the hinge thread:

Hi, just clarifying that we do indeed have a ticketing system internally, and all tickets are directly associated by the email address that you are using, which also lets us reference order numbers and the hardware that you have. If the support form submission states a different email address, we’ll request your order number in order to merge the profiles.

On the hinge, we’ve tuned the hinges to enable one-hand open while also staying stable when the system is stationary. It’s possible that the hinge will move when the system is used in motion, like on a vehicle or when typing on your lap. That said, we can provide a replacement hinge under warranty, but we can’t guarantee that this will be significantly different than the hinge you currently have (assuming it does hold when stationary. If not, that is definitely out of spec). We are also currently developing a higher-force hinge that will be available as a Marketplace item for those who prefer higher hinge stiffness, but with the tradeoff of compromising the one-hand open experience. We’re adjusting our support policies around hinges to clarify this.

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I don’t want to detract what the great work you folks at Framework are doing. The laptop’s an amazing product, especially for a first release.

Every new product has glitches–how the company handles the glitches is an indicator of what sort of company they want to be.

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