Regional FlagI'm uhnappy w/ the current representatives II (Show MVP Posts)Source
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#1 - 2012/11/06 10:02:00 PM
Since the last one capped ...

No. They're fine.

This community deserves this. They're a petulant lot that spends all their time dog piling on any blue or green that posts.

The blues/greens are wearing thin, and who can blame them?

A small percent of the actual players ever come here to the forums, so chasing off a few basement dwelling missing links won't damage the bottomline much.

While I agree that the members of this community are generally pretty terrible people, I consider most CM blue posters (not GC, he is a developer, who just so happens to take some time to communicate with us [and this includes the other developers and class designers and whatnot]) and the MVP green posters to have a "customer service/relations" type of role here on the forums.

That said, here is what my view of such a role is:

a) They chose to either be employed as a blue-poster, or take on the mantle (i.e., cloaked in authority - or agency) of responsibility that comes with being a green poster.

b) They knew coming in that the forums are a "wretched hive of scum and villainy", showcasing the worst of what this gaming community has to offer. They knew it is where people come to vent their frustrations, make suggestions, seek answers, pick fights (troll), and generally just be ignorant.

c) The customer service role is one where you are employed to have a thick skin, take a certain measure of abuse from the customer, and do so with a crap-eating grin. If the abuse of a certain individual is too much, they should be reported/banned/whatever. At no point should the customer service member talk down to the customer. Their job is to grin and bear it, regardless of how wrong the customer is. They tell them what they want to hear (and let's not pretend that Blizzard doesn't do this to us) so that they go away.

Most of the blues and all of the greens need to be reminded of this.

Someone also commented about how they think it's gotten worse. Well, that's what happens when there are no reprisals for the people who are rude to their paying customers. They get more and more bold, until they get completely out of line, and then you have the potential of a major incident.

In closing, I'd say that I don't want to discourage wit and sarcasm from the coloured-posters entirely. It just needs to be used in a way that is not being derogatory towards the customer-base.

Community Manager
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#16 - 2012/11/06 10:42:00 PM
This thread has been locked for violating Forum Guidelines.

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#17 - 2012/11/06 10:49:00 PM
I'm reopening this thread since it's a broader discussion about the role of Community Managers. Rygarius is right though. We strongly recommend that feedback regarding Community Managers or any of our specific posts be sent to [email protected] We want to make sure gameplay discussions remain the central focus of these forums.

Umumaru, you make some fair points about professionalism. I'd rather not break them down to provide feedback on everything said, as I don't think this is a topic that most players on the forums would prefer I spend much time focusing on.

All that said, I want to briefly address this statement:

Their job is to grin and bear it, regardless of how wrong the customer is. They tell them what they want to hear (and let's not pretend that Blizzard doesn't do this to us) so that they go away.

We just don't agree with this. I'd like to avoid a semantic argument so I'll agree that, on some level, the community team is a form of customer support, as much as we're also a function of public relations. But, while we're linked directly to public relations as a communications branch at Blizzard, we're not directly tied to customer support.

One of the biggest components of our jobs is community engagement. We can't effectively be functioning members of the community, relate to the community on a personal level, and maintain a two-day dialog in discussions which largely revolve around subjective experiences and opinion, if our job is to "grin and bear it."

Everyday I'm sharing with the community on the forums, Twitter, and email my view of things, even as an official representative of Blizzard. I wouldn't love my career so much if I didn't actually believe what I'm saying or have the freedom to share my stance on things, or if my only role was to be someone's mouthpiece. On a personal level, I approach the forums each day hoping I can do some good, share helpful insights or new information, and encourage people to want to come to the forums for constructive reasons -- to speak reasonably and frankly about World of Warcraft with other players and representatives of Blizzard.

Community Manager
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#67 - 2012/11/06 11:44:00 PM

I know my brother would eject people from his store if they spoke to employees the way people on these forums speak to the Blues. There is a line between providing customer service and taking verbal abuse.

Oh, and what Zarhym said about them not actually being Customer Service.

So a representative of a company that interacts with customers has nothing to do with customer service? Riiiight...

This is what I meant by saying I'd like to avoid the semantic argument. :)

Yes, on some fundamental level we're providing support for our customers, but we're also not a part of the CS department at Blizzard. PR & Community form the Blizzard Communications branch. There is some two-way crossover between CS and Communications. Each side performs some functions that relate to the other. For example, having CS reps on the forums, Twitter, and Facebook links them to the company's overall communications/engagement strategy (which is largely determined by PR/Community). On the flipside, CMs answering player questions and sharing information with the public is a function of providing customer support (while CS policies and strategies are determined by CS).

There are major differences though. CS has access to tools that allow them to verify in-game matters and other situations reported to them, and offer billing and technical support to players on an individual basis. We don't have that same access and aren't trained to do what they do.

Meanwhile, we share design insight and philosophies to discuss World of Warcraft gameplay with the community in a public setting. This isn't a function of CS, as PR/Community is responsible for talking regularly to the developers about design, upcoming content, and gameplay feedback.

As I said before, our discussions with players tend to be subjective in nature, whereas CS is often assisting players with X issue which has Y solution.

I feel it's important to reiterate how I distinguished one-on-one interaction from public interaction. I never appreciate when people use some analogy to a retail customer service situation to make a point about how we don't treat customers correctly:

11/06/2012 03:00 PMPosted by Opolis
Go ask any manager of any store what he/she thinks a customer service reps job is to do in the face of a "rude" customer.

Are there tens of thousands of other customers standing around, listening in, and given the opportunity to share their opinion of how the interaction between the store manager and the "rude" customer went? I don't find this relevant.

You'd be better off comparing what we do to a town hall debate, but I'm not running for anything. ;)

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#132 - 2012/11/07 01:35:00 AM
The discussion has gotten a bit too meta and is no longer on-topic or about World of Warcraft.

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#133 - 2012/11/07 02:57:00 AM
You're too meta.