In the last SL Etiquette 101, I discussed how to deal with irate and difficult customers. As promised I am back with tips on how you the customer can handle bad customer service in Second Life.
I have heard numerous stories of how friends have been on the receiving end of bad customer service in Second Life. From dealing with rude club managers to buying items from the marketplace that were not as described or pictured. Bad customer service can leave you frustrated, annoyed, and even quite angry and here is how you can channel these emotions to resolve any issues you may have with a Second Life business or organization:
Read, Read, and Read! It is very important to read all or any documentation that comes your way in Second Life, especially product instructions, descriptions, covenants, rules, and regulations etc. Reading can save you a great deal of time in Second Life and chances are, your issues and questions may be resolved by reading any documentation that comes with the product or service you have purchased or are trying to access.
Follow the Organization or Business Customer Service Steps: Most reputable organizations and businesses in Second Life have steps in order to resolve most issues. For example I have seen steps on business owner’s profiles that document how to obtain redeliveries, while some organizations prefer you to notecard or leave them offlines to resolve issues. Following such steps can allow for your issues to be resolved quicker and in a timely way.
Be Detailed: If you are having an issue with an object or a service in Second Life, be detailed in the steps you took to resolve the issue and be sure to list any error messages completely. Take screenshots if you can and send the information to the business or organization owner/coordinator or the customer service representatives.
Be Patient: Remember that not all business owners are online the same time as you are. They may be on a different time zone or work in real life or have other commitments that means their Second Life window of time is quite narrow. With this in mind, do not panic if no one responds within the first few hours you are having an issue with a product or service in Second Life. Give it at least 24 hours and remember to follow the steps above when starting the address any issues you may have with a particular business.
So if you have followed the steps above and you still feel that the customer service was poor or could not resolve your issue. You may also have had an encounter with the business owner or the managers that was less than pleasant. So how do you proceed?
First make sure you have contacted the right person. If you encounter a rude manager, take your complaint to the business owner. Also think about what you are asking the business owner for. Are you asking for redress in the form that goes against the organization’s policy? For example some businesses in Second Life do not issue refunds and they include this information on their documentation. While you may want your lindens back if you feel that you are wronged, you more than likely will not receive a refund if it goes against the business owner’s policy.
Next if the business owner if offering 0 remedy for your issues, you can simply stop shopping at the business and/or stop using their services. Speaking with your lindens is a great way to make a statement. If the item was purchased off of the marketplace and your situation was not remedy, consider leaving an honest review of the product. Honest means actually discuss the specifics of why the product and/or service did not meet your needs, do not use the review section as a rant section, this will reflect badly on you. Be thorough and honest with your review.
I strongly have to recommend not spamming groups and social media about a business owner and/or service, no matter how tempting it may be to you. The reason is that remember, not everyone will know what has occurred, while your friends may know and will believe you, the general public may see you as a trouble maker or just someone who is attacking a business owner. Try to remain dignified in all instances.
In our next edition of SL Etiquette 101 I will discuss how to deal with competition in Second Life.
Until next time!