Thursday, December 13, 2012

Blizzard Customer Service Live Chat (12/13/2012)

The Blizz CS live chat through CoveritLive just wrapped up. I figured I'd sit through it and bring you some highlights.

The chat was moderated by Zarhym, one of the community managers. The following panel was available to answer questions:

  • Vrakthris: CS Forum Representative
  • Marcus Maczynski: WoW Game Support Manager
  • Angelo Concepcion: SC2 Game Support Manager
  • Andreas Unger: D3 Game Support Manager
  • Charles Areson: Senior CS Information Specialist
  • Antonio Achucarro: CS Social Media Manager

A few of the questions and responses dealt with the "right-click to report" feature. This feature was brought up on a wide range of topics, including: investigating botting, hackers (they carefully investigate these complaints to make sure that only the guilty are punished), offensive names (you can appeal if someone claims your name is offensive by opening a ticket here), and language/behavior complaints (reporting temporarily "squelches" the player and initial warnings are short, but this may be changed).

One question that related directly to reporting player misbehavior was not honoring in-game agreements. The CS staff doesn't support certain types of agreements, namely cross realm trading or open loans, but some agreements are easily enforceable. They will try to resolve these.

Another question directly relating to player misbehavior involves a pug raid leader who sets masterlooter, doesn't set raid rules, and then does whatever he/she wants at the end. Basically, CS will evaluate the situation and handle it on a case-by-case basis.

The "right-click to report feature" and self-service features, such as item restoration, were touted by the CS staff as things that are working right with serving players. They're looking for more of these opportunities. Unfortunately, no specific upcoming self-service features were discussed. One person did ask about the possibility of a self-service option for deleting an account. CS shot this down, and rightly so, because players often regret this "days/weeks/months/years" later.

CS gave a bit of insight into how tickets are handled. The GMs are not assigned a specific realm or realms. Rather, they all pull tickets from the same pool (putting certain wording in the ticket doesn't bump it ahead) and work to answer them in the order received. Some tickets can be responded with a simple in-game message or email. Often, these are issues experienced by a few players and a mass mailing is sent out with the resolution. When an issue is more complex, however, the GM may contact the player directly and open a dialogue. They try not to do this unless it's actually necessary because of the volume of tickets in a given day. Here's Charles' response regarding how many CS team members answer how many questions:

"Blizzard Customer support consists of hundreds of employees, and we take thousands of calls and tickets every day. Our support volume can fluctuate based on things like recent game launches and major patches, so we adjust our daily schedules and priorities (and our support channels) to account for that."

(By the way, if any of you are looking to become one of those hundreds of employees, there are 2 positions open. Check out Blizzard job postings here.)

I had one of my questions answered too! It involved lost/stolen authenticators. So, if you're having a problem with a lost/stolen authenticator, go check out this page. I had better questions, but oh well, they can't answer them all.

There were, of course, some light hearted. off-topic questions/responses. In case you're interested in joining the Blizzard CS team, know the following:

  1. They don't work from home; everyone goes into one of the many offices all around the world;
  2. The office is decorated with BlizzSwag and other nerd stuff, such as Star Wars, Nerf guns, Legos, and My Little Pony... I guess some of the CS team are Bro-nies;
  3. They play Gangnam Style non-stop... This explains a lot;
  4. They have air conditioning and play "violent ping pong".
There were a few polls taken during the chat, also -

Preferred way to contact Blizzard CS:
In-game, 76%
Phone, 10%
Battlenet, 10%
Twitter, 3%
Facebook, 1%

Using an Authenticator:
Mobile Authenticator, 46%
Physical Authenticator, 41%
None, 13%

And one poll conducted by a player, PIRATE VS. NINJA
Pirate, 75%
Ninja, 25%

And finally, Marcus shared that one time he had to "trouble shoot someone's jelly donuts for having too much jam in them." Sounds like a great job. Good work, guys.

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