Why We Replaced Phone Support with this Forum

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Phil,

Why did we go from having full phone support to using this forum?

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Remember the halcyon days when you could call a company and talk to a human being? Now, every big company sits behind an  automated voice system and a banks of dismally-paid customer support employees whose only job is to be yelled at. The only time you really can get someone on the phone anymore is when you want to order a pizza for delivery.

We are as frustrated by those experiences as you are. So why did we do away with phone support, too?  We love to communicate with our students, but most of the calls were not from students. And the number of phone calls we were receiving were increasing dramatically.

Over the past year, we went from receiving 4  calls a day to over 40. That wouldn’t be a problem if they were from our students, but they are not.  It was becoming impossible to keep up with the volume of calls.

50% of phone calls are from companies that want to sell us something.

25% of phone calls we receive were from companies that wanted us to “partner” with them (i.e. they don’t want to pay).

10% of calls are from a group that want’s us to outright donate wine or money.

5%  of calls are from people who want  to something for free or discounted. Oftentimes, this is the “If you don’t give me a free ticket, I will write a nasty review on Yelp” sort of person.

5% of calls are from actual students. These were about 2 calls a day.  Our favorite two calls every day.

As we have always believed in talking to our students on a person-to-person basis, it was becoming painfully obvious that we had to change the formula. We were spending spend an average of 3 hours a day talking to people who saw us as an easy mark for a quick buck, and that is something we couldn’t continue doing.  We could either bring in a customer support person, and spread that cost to  our students  or we could go to an online-only system. We opted for the later.

On this forum, anyone can ask a question or request help.  You will be answered by myself of Keith Wallace, the founder of the School. We have maintained our commitment to answer each and every of your questions, personally. This  forum is the most open and honest type of customer support available anywhere. Take a look around, and we are sure you will agree. We  hope you enjoy it, and we look forward to hearing from you!

 

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