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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Widoch View Post
    Maybe nothing. Vulgarity and hateful ranting is always 100% the wrong way to go about providing feedback.

    Not if it's effective it's not.

    Again, it depends on the one receiving the criticism. If you don't think harsh criticism can be effective, you are denying a history replete with examples of it being so. Anyone even slightly familiar with politics for example can vouch for this.

    And to just dismiss a criticism because it's not cautious or sugar coated I believe is a mistake.

    In the end wrong and right are simply subjective terms. What you see as "hateful" another may not so. Though I will admit judging by the results and continued direction of LOTRO... the criticisms have certainly had the look of being ineffective. But was this due to the fact they were often made harshly? I kind of doubt it.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteberry_Laurelin View Post
    Definitely. However, my point was that if you make a perfectly civilized post (according to Turbine), sometimes the responses and how the discussion evolves will get the thread closed.
    They have seemed a little over-zealous lately with closing threads in my opinion.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damojo View Post
    I run a support team for a software house. We provide first-line support and the QA function for the business. My team have instructions that anyone who is rude or abusive is passed to me to deal with, we don't pay them to be someone's training dummy when the customer is having a bad day.

    As with all software systems, sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes it's our fault, sometimes the customer has broken it, sometimes it's a third party (looks sideways at Microsoft and automatic updates...). The focus of our work is to get it fixed, and get the customer working. By far the majority of customers help this process by providing us with information calmly, and politely. Some (all people being different) have to "bark" to vent their frustration, that's fine, they shout at me for a minute or two, calm down, and then we discuss it rationally.

    One customer has an IT manager who is banned from ringing the support line under any circumstances. This ban was put in place by me, and has the full support of his company's board. He's banned as he had a habit of abusing, swearing at, insulting and threatening anyone who had the misfortune to pick up the phone. I found this unacceptable, but that's by-the-way. The main reason for the ban is that while this guy was blowing his top we got no useful information at all, the problem continued, we couldn't do anything useful. His lack of civility served to make the problem last longer and potentially get worse. It did precisely nothing to solve it.

    So yes, I would very much agree that how a person complains is as important as the nature of their complaint. And I really don't agree that being rude and insulting to your provider's staff gets results - quite the reverse in my experience.
    As I stated... it depends.

    It may not "get results" with you. But I can assure you it has with other companies more eager to retain their customers than you might be. And I know this from experience as well.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadd_EU View Post
    I'm with the rest here. Ranting is never, ever, a valid form of feedback.

    It does have its function as a venting mechanism, but that should never be directed at the person you want to give feedback to.

    First vent, wherever you have someone you know is willing to listen and maybe rant along. Then gather your thoughts and form civil, actionable feedback.
    And that's fine that you hold this opinion. But it is still just that, an opinion.

    Not all rants are sourced by hatred. That is what I was pointing out. They can be born of other means, such as frustration or disappointment. And just because a criticism may be laced with what you would consider vulgarity and ranting doesn't automatically mean it's not "actionable" either.

    That would depend entirely on who was receiving the criticism. And how they would react to it. People have different tolerance levels for this kind of thing.

  5. #55
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damojo View Post
    ... while this guy was blowing his top we got no useful information at all, the problem continued, we couldn't do anything useful. His lack of civility served to make the problem last longer and potentially get worse. It did precisely nothing to solve it.
    This. Generally speaking people who are just yelling and being abusive are doing exactly that. Just yelling and being abusive. They are providing no useful feedback. Even the reasons for the yelling and abusive behavior are often time lost in the process. So sure, it tells us someone is upset to the point they feel the need to be abusive, but literally nothing else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremi View Post
    They have seemed a little over-zealous lately with closing threads in my opinion.
    Ignoring the 34 posts closed/removed for being spam (sorry, you just can't have an Irish passport! I will not allow it! ), there have have been slightly less than 4,000 new threads started in the past 30 days. About six of those were closed as part of being posted by the staff, so they don't count. of the rest, 7 player created threads were closed during that same period. Roughly 0.00175% of new posts in the past month were closed for violations.

    At least three of them were closed because they were reopening previously closed topics (as spelled out in the community guidelines). Which means 4 were closed for other violations. Or, roughly 0.0009% of all new posts in the past month.

    I'm not sure I'd call 7 out of some 4,000 'overzealous'. In fact, I know quite a few people who would view that as being very lax and even too 'hands off'.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reximus View Post
    No maybe, people who can't act civilized and engage in civilized discourse should not only be ignored entirely, .
    Again, words like "civilized" are entirely subjective. That alone ensures there is a "maybe" involved.

    I grew up in the south and then later on in life moved to NYC and I can tell you without any shred of doubt that there is no wholly accepted standard about what is civilized behavior and what is not. Not even inside single countries... to say nothing of the world at large.

    In other words: a criticism one developer may cringe from another might suck it up and act upon it. There is no "right" way to provide feedback. It just depends on the individual, like I said.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    I'm not sure I'd call 7 out of some 4,000 'overzealous'. In fact, I know quite a few people who would view that as being very lax and even too 'hands off'.
    Well maybe I just have bad luck then

    Because I think 3 out of the 5 or 6 threads I have participated in within the last few weeks have been closed.

  8. #58
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Since there seems to be so much debate about what is and isn't acceptable, let me remind everyone that it is actually, in the framework of discussions within this forum, a very clearly spelled out set of guidelines that everyone is held to. There is no ambiguity (though some like to rules lawyer and debate what the definition of "is" is). You can find those Community Guidelines right here: https://www.lotro.com/en/content/community-guidelines

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Damojo View Post
    Some (all people being different) have to "bark" to vent their frustration, that's fine, they shout at me for a minute or two, calm down, and then we discuss it rationally.
    [...]
    One customer has an IT manager who is banned from ringing the support line under any circumstances.It did precisely nothing to solve it.
    (hightlight mine)

    Quote Originally Posted by Damojo View Post
    So yes, I would very much agree that how a person complains is as important as the nature of their complaint. And I really don't agree that being rude and insulting to your provider's staff gets results - quite the reverse in my experience.
    Your closing remark directly contradicts what you say above.

    You cite just ONE example of it not working after stating that there are SOME (ie: more than one) where it actually helped to let them vent a little and STILL listen to them afterwards.
    Which is precisely what people are saying: dismissing anything outright after the first sentence ("stopped reading right there") isn't helping anything, either, especially in the long run and when "rude and insulting" is applied selectively to stuff ranging from truely so to simply sarcastic comments.

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  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    . There is no ambiguity (though some like to rules lawyer and debate what the definition of "is" is). You can find those Community Guidelines right here: https://www.lotro.com/en/content/community-guidelines
    Unfortunately words are not precise instruments and there will always be ambiguity.

    Guidelines can help. But they are just that, guides. They are not exact measurements you can compare and define. And I'm not trying to be a pain here or give you a hard time. Just trying to stress my points that people express their criticisms in different ways and they are not always meant to be hateful.

    For example, and from looking at your guidelines it states NO HARASSING.

    But just that word alone could mean so many different things to different people.

    That's why I think it's best just to ignore posters who you find offensive. Because trying to apply a standard of what constitutes acceptable speech and non-acceptable speech is impossible to do fairly.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremi View Post
    As I stated... it depends.

    It may not "get results" with you. But I can assure you it has with other companies more eager to retain their customers than you might be. And I know this from experience as well.
    I can't really see how requiring our customers to be as civil as my staff are required to be in return correlates with being "not eager to retain our customers". We have an excellent customer retention percentage, for a package software house in a vertical market with plenty of competition it's outstanding in fact.

    The reason that shouting and screaming does not work is this: we prioritise our work, just as every other professional outfit does. Just this reprioritising can take a big chunk out of my day if we're busy, because we deal with issues in strict priority order. If I've two customers with server issues who can't access their system, a third requiring an amended print layout or website change can scream until his/her vocal chords rupture, it will make no difference. Which is not always well received, but then when asked "Would you like us to leave your system down while we deal with a low priority call, if the situation were reversed?" usually understanding breaks out.

  12. #62
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremi View Post
    Unfortunately words are not precise instruments and there will always be ambiguity.

    Guidelines can help. But they are just that, guides. They are not exact measurements you can compare and define. And I'm not trying to be a pain here or give you a hard time. Just trying to stress my points that people express their criticisms in different ways and they are not always meant to be hateful.

    For example, and from looking at your guidelines it states NO HARASSING.

    But just that word alone could mean so many different things to different people.

    That's why I think it's best just to ignore posters who you find offensive. Because trying to apply a standard of what constitutes acceptable speech and non-acceptable speech is impossible to do fairly.
    Which is exactly why we clear up any possible confusion early in the guidelines...

    Because every situation is different, all enforcement and application of the community guidelines are at the discretion of the Turbine Community Team. These rules are subject to change without notice; please review them regularly.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    Since there seems to be so much debate about what is and isn't acceptable, let me remind everyone that it is actually, in the framework of discussions within this forum, a very clearly spelled out set of guidelines that everyone is held to. There is no ambiguity (though some like to rules lawyer and debate what the definition of "is" is). You can find those Community Guidelines right here: https://www.lotro.com/en/content/community-guidelines
    dude. left me hanging. not cool.

    anyway... on that subject of Community Guidelines - "These rules are subject to change without notice; please review them regularly."

    can I give a few suggestions if we can review it a little?

    8. Provoking, Trolling, and “baiting.”

    Threads or posts that are intended to create a strong negative or emotional reaction, provoke conflict, or are made simply for ‘shock value’ are considered trolling. Debating a topic on the merits or holding a strong opinion are acceptable, however making posts to provoke conflict or incite, bait, or mock others who disagree with you are not.

    this is very much up for debate what you (administaters) class as provoking / trolling / "baiting". you should clarify another fact in this one at the top of the CG - "Because every situation is different, all enforcement and application of the community guidelines are at the discretion of the Turbine Community Team."

    it's kinda impossible to clarify perfectly what on such a gray line subject matter, so I understand that, just the 2 bits are more so connected there.

    EDIT: 100% sure thats been changed since it's first made as I was sure it was less clear. much better now.

    3. Grammar Police.

    Any post or comment made with the intention of embarrassing another player based on spelling, typos, or grammatical errors is not permitted. Not everyone speaks the same language. Keep in mind that the person you are addressing may not be a native speaker.

    you make special mention of non-native speakers, however, you don't mention disabilities or learning difficulties. it would be nice to add on if your editting it ^_^

    EDIT: I was writing this before sapiences post above me I kinda was just an echo now
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  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damojo View Post
    I can't really see how requiring our customers to be as civil as my staff are required to be in return correlates with being "not eager to retain our customers". .

    Why did you put that in quotes? Because I didn't say that. I never said you weren't eager to retain your customers.

    What I did say is there were companies out there who were more eager to retain their customers than you are... and are willing to put up with all kinds of rudeness and verbal abuse as long as they keep giving them their money.

    So while you may be eager to retain customers. You aren't eager to the point you will suffer their wrath. Other companies however are.

    That is what I was saying.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    Which is exactly why we clear up any possible confusion early in the guidelines...
    So then you admit there is ambiguity? ^^

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremi View Post
    And that's fine that you hold this opinion. But it is still just that, an opinion.

    Not all rants are sourced by hatred. That is what I was pointing out. They can be born of other means, such as frustration or disappointment. And just because a criticism may be laced with what you would consider vulgarity and ranting doesn't automatically mean it's not "actionable" either.

    That would depend entirely on who was receiving the criticism. And how they would react to it. People have different tolerance levels for this kind of thing.
    People are still people, even gaming staff. If you rage and insult someone, your main point is always lost. Doesn't matter if you actually had a valid point in there, your opponent will only think about how you insulted him and all the strong words you used. He will not consider you serious or sane.

    I work in the broadcast/publishing industry myself. We get way more "hate" and insults than any Turbine employ will ever see in his entire lifetime. Even threats of violent or sexual nature by anonymous users, readers, viewers. It's the same for me in that situation. I don't care if someone's criticisms could potentially be useful. Not if he/she is behaving like a rabid dog, calling me all sorts of things, telling me how useless I am, telling me what cruel fate I deserve. If you mainly deliver hate and resentment, you don't deserve to have you criticism or frustration considered.

    I can agree that some posts on this forums aren't particularly hateful or insulting towards the staff. They still get labelled as whining haters and treads are trolled by militant soloers, than closed. But again, we all have a different amount of tolerance when it comes to criticisms and strong words, just like you say. There is no equation to measure hate, its subjective.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damojo View Post
    I can't really see how requiring our customers to be as civil as my staff are required to be in return correlates with being "not eager to retain our customers". We have an excellent customer retention percentage, for a package software house in a vertical market with plenty of competition it's outstanding in fact.

    The reason that shouting and screaming does not work is this: we prioritise our work, just as every other professional outfit does. Just this reprioritising can take a big chunk out of my day if we're busy, because we deal with issues in strict priority order. If I've two customers with server issues who can't access their system, a third requiring an amended print layout or website change can scream until his/her vocal chords rupture, it will make no difference. Which is not always well received, but then when asked "Would you like us to leave your system down while we deal with a low priority call, if the situation were reversed?" usually understanding breaks out.
    If your customers understand why their request / change etc has been de prioritised because you've taken the time to communicate the reasons to them and keep them engaged as to when they'll get a resolution then yes I will agree with you that you should expect a level of civility from your customers - that's an absolute given.

    However, I've seen the reverse happen - incidents & change requests being "lost in the system" with no follow up actions, incidents raised being flagged as closed without any reply or confirmation that the problem has been fixed. When that happens, even the most mild-mannered customer gets frustrated and can sometimes lose their temper. That does not make them the issue - their behaviour is the result of the bad service they received.

    Organisations with the best customer service teams are the ones that can filter out the "ranters" from those who have a genuine grievance and who are at the end of their tether. Because that could be a symptom that the internal organisation is dysfunctional and could result in a loss of revenue.

    Back to your point regarding your customer who always ranted & raged - did you ever find out why he felt the need to do that? Just curious.
    <A sig goes here>

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremi View Post
    Why did you put that in quotes? Because I didn't say that. I never said you weren't eager to retain your customers.

    What I did say is there were companies out there who were more eager to retain their customers than you are... and are willing to put up with all kinds of rudeness and verbal abuse as long as they keep giving them their money.

    So while you may be eager to retain customers. You aren't eager to the point you will suffer their wrath. Other companies however are.

    That is what I was saying.
    I wouldn't actually go so far, because that implies "the customer is always right" (he isn't, but then, neither is the customer representative, wo, when in doubt, is getting PAID for the job) and a carte blanche is certainly not something you will want.

    What you WILL want, though, is apply your rules on a case-by-case base (as Damojo already does) so as the listen to reasonable requests, even if it sometimes means to endure a little sarcasm, venting or what-have-you.

    Also, I need to agree completely to what BangoTwinkletoes wrote.

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  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarabelle View Post
    People are still people, even gaming staff. If you rage and insult someone, your main point is always lost. .
    You are missing my point.

    What you consider "rage" and "insults" someone else may not. People may be people, but we don't all think alike.

    In other words: Some developers may react negatively to harsh criticism about their games, while others won't.
    Last edited by Jeremi; Nov 14 2013 at 02:47 PM.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNy-lotrolinux-EU View Post
    I wouldn't actually go so far, because that implies "the customer is always right"
    It was not my intent to imply that.

    What I am saying is some companies are willing to suffer their customer's wrath as long as it means their continued business. I'm not implying anything else.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNy-lotrolinux-EU View Post

    You cite just ONE example of it not working after stating that there are SOME (ie: more than one) where it actually helped to let them vent a little and STILL listen to them afterwards.
    Which is precisely what people are saying: dismissing anything outright after the first sentence ("stopped reading right there") isn't helping anything, either, especially in the long run and when "rude and insulting" is applied selectively to stuff ranging from truely so to simply sarcastic comments.

    SNy
    Your second edit has to be the most selective edit I've ever seen, but no matter. There is no contradiction at all. The customers who "bark" at me might use phrases like "we're down again after being down two weeks ago, completely unacceptable!" or "Why didn't you guys see this coming and do something about it!". Still civil, but excitable. They don't get any form of priority treatment, they just get to vent at me while my staff are released to do something constructive. The venting doesn't help me, or them. It just delays the resolution of their problem. If they feel better, so be it, but there's no chance their antics will get them bumped up the queue.

    The banned customer made threats against my staff, swore at them, abused them. Completely uncalled for, unproductive and bereft of common manners. And a significantly different circumstance. Hence the ban.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damojo View Post
    The banned customer made threats against my staff, swore at them, abused them. Completely uncalled for, unproductive and bereft of common manners. And a significantly different circumstance. Hence the ban.
    yeah we know that. What I asked was did you ever take the time to find out WHY he was doing it?
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  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    Sadly there are those who choose to believe that anything they say, in any manner, is valid in both message and tone. This is, of course, not true and usually results in disruption more than useful feedback. How you say things has a very heavy impact on how your feedback is taken and what kind of weight it is given. It is possible to give very critical feedback in a polite manner.
    I agree on that... In general, when I start using "sir" or anything like that the person I am talking to is about to get some very polite, very critical feedback... but if we get to the "sir" point, we are usualy already at war anyway.
    Roses are red, Polar bears are white, if you meet one at night you'll get quite a fright.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damojo View Post
    Your second edit has to be the most selective edit I've ever seen, but no matter. There is no contradiction at all. The customers who "bark" at me might use phrases like "we're down again after being down two weeks ago, completely unacceptable!" or "Why didn't you guys see this coming and do something about it!". Still civil, but excitable. They don't get any form of priority treatment, they just get to vent at me while my staff are released to do something constructive. The venting doesn't help me, or them. It just delays the resolution of their problem. If they feel better, so be it, but there's no chance their antics will get them bumped up the queue.

    The banned customer made threats against my staff, swore at them, abused them. Completely uncalled for, unproductive and bereft of common manners. And a significantly different circumstance. Hence the ban.
    "The customer is always right" is one of the biggest lies XD

    it's what companies say to beat there competition in the public's eyes. there very quick to change there tune when the terms change :P

    the "knee-jerk" reaction isn't always right. I can think the deer who stands still at an oncoming truck can prove that very quickly
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  25. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by Damojo View Post
    Your second edit has to be the most selective edit I've ever seen, but no matter.
    I messed up with the quote blocks and was using the wrong button (submit vs. preview) (again) and was too quick to correct it into what I actually meant to write, so I needed a second go. But selective edit, I am not sure I follow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Damojo View Post
    There is no contradiction at all. The customers who "bark" at me might use phrases like "we're down again after being down two weeks ago, completely unacceptable!" or "Why didn't you guys see this coming and do something about it!". Still civil, but excitable. They don't get any form of priority treatment, they just get to vent at me while my staff are released to do something constructive. The venting doesn't help me, or them. It just delays the resolution of their problem. If they feel better, so be it, but there's no chance their antics will get them bumped up the queue.

    The banned customer made threats against my staff, swore at them, abused them. Completely uncalled for, unproductive and bereft of common manners. And a significantly different circumstance. Hence the ban.
    I haven't hinted at treating them with priority at all, just at treating them, if the request is reasonable after all, without resorting to "stopped reading right there" or similar in 100% of all cases, as is presented here as the true path.

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