Where is Live Chat?
Help & Support brings me to Adobe, fine. Submit case....get it. But where is the white label help and support with my customers? Its all Adobe, all the time now.
As a premium partner, I expect communcations from Adobe on how to continue to conduct my business.
White label is gone but you can change the support URL in the admin to your own thing.
Information about this was released on the blog a little while ago and for launch and also as part of the town hall meetings that took place, also announced and threcordings for these can be found on the blog.
They send out the notices for stuff like this on the forums, through email, Twitter, Facebook, Adobe Blog, Partner town Hall meetings and who knows how many other ways. About the only thing they don't do is phone each one personally. How else would you like them to let you know?
They haven't changed what Premium partners signed up for, they gave us even more control than we paid for. Before we had two choices, BC support for clients or the Wiki. Now we also have the opportunity to use what ever support we want by designating support on our own site, or if you use a third partner support app you can direct to that.
Live chat is on the support page.
It is gone and missing, not there for us. I think under 100 premium partners should get more consideration than to be lumped into the free partner support workflow, something to reflect the amount of water we've carried for BC over the time.
I apologize if you feel you have not communicated this enough. The new support workflows have been published on our blog, mentioned in our newsletter and then had a 20 minutes presentation in our townhall meetings. You can see the recording for that here: http://www.businesscatalyst.com/_blog/BC_Blog/post/Townhall_meeting_re cordings/
We did this especially to allow people to comment, review, and submit their questions, so that we can address them in due time.
The whitelabel support has been modified at the suggestions of our customers, but we would be happy to hear your opinion about it and try to integrate it in future improvements brought to the system.
As for our 100 sites limit.
We are trying to offer access to level 2 support to our most experienced partners. The only way that we could realistically separate partners was by number of websites built. This would give us a clear image as to their level on the system. This does not mean that should you require level 2 support and have only 12 website you will not receive it. The workflow for such a partner would be the same as before. Contact support, get escalated should this be the case, get the problem solved.
The changes only mean that partners with more than 100 websites will go straight to level 2, to help minimize the duration of a case for them.
We are only in the beginning of implementing these changes, and with your suggestions we will definitely improve on the process.
I really encourage you to attend our next townhall on the 24th of May, so that you are up to date with the timeline and roadmap. If you are not able to attend the meeting live we always provide the recording to it. The registration for the meeting will be announced here and on the blog.
Really is a bad idea though, Many go quality over quantity Magda.
It also should be experince.
If you know more then 1st level support having to always deal with them can be a bit of a pain. not their fault but when your after experience level in terms of issues and bugs you want that second level support. We do not have 100+ sites but never have 1st level support ever to help when we use support. It is all more high end requirements.
Setting a mark of "100 sites" I do not think is a good true mark.
My experience with 1st level support recently has not been positive. I actually terminated a call this morning with "doesn't matter" after I could not get them to understand what I was asking.
I will try and avoid now until the staff gain more experience.
If I understand what you're saying is that someone can build 1 site, replicate it 99 times and be considered a "more experienced" partner... and therefore, get privileged access to level 2 support. That makes no sense.
Level 1 support is basically useless, and having about 25 years of IT industry experience, I don't say that lightly.
experience is very difficult to quantify. Saying that someone is experienced is difficult to put into numbers. We chose 100 sites this time. Because if he was able to build one, replicate 99 times and sell it 100 times, then there must be something to it.
We are open to any suggestions you might have, that would replace the 100 websites limit with something else.
But it needs to be something measurable, quantifiable, that can be put in the support system as a simple clause: If partner has ..... then move to level 2.
Time on the platform is not valid, since people can be long time partners, but actually have built just one or two websites. Certifications are not valid since only few people actually got them before we discontinued the program. So there needs to be a measure that would allow us to put "experience" into numbers.
We also wanted to move from quantity over to quality, by providing this to a restricted number of partners. How we restrict that is an issue, but we are happy to work with you to solve this problem, if possible.
With an MLM-style business, you really only need to build one or two sites, then replicate from there..so there's really no more experience than someone who has built one or two sites, except that they know how to sell to a single MLM business.
For qualifications for level 2 support, I would think that being a paid partner would be a good place to start. At least a paid partner has a level of committment to BC that free "partners" do not. There are ways to determine qualifications in terms of experience, however, doing so in this case would over-complicate the process and make it inflexible for future growth.
Regarding certifications, I do believe they could be a part of the qualifications, but the ceritifcation should only be available to paid partners. The certification program was only around for a very short time, and a lot of that was before anyone really had heard of BC. Now that there is a serious marketing effort and more time has passed, BC should seriously reconsider the program.
I also feel that beyond FAQ's, forums should be only available to paid partners. When the free "partner" program was created, I suspect many paid partners felt a slap in the face, or at least to the forehead for investing. This free program cut out many of the benefits that a paid partner program provided.
As far as Level 1 support goes, a part of their job should be recognizing when a support issue should be escalated, and this should happen before paid partners reach a point of having to beg. My experience with BC's Level 1 support was that a BC update broke worflow notifications, and their response was that the forms I had created with BC's form builder were broken. Their positions was that I had code in the forms that was the reason the forms didn't work, yet some of these forms had been working for over a year without modification. Every form on every site that had a workflow notification process suddenly stopped working but somehow BC Level 1 support was convinced it was my mistake since all they had to do was create a new form that would work. I never got to Level 2 support because I didn't have the time to waste. My clients sites were not functioning which made them and me look incompetent.
The message is simple - put aside the cosmetic updates and put the Business in Business Catalyst.
Gday BC users and staff
At my rate of site creation—as a solo operator and premium paid partner since 2008—I won't have 100 sites for at least five or six years. My sense of value just decreased tremendously.
I would feel valued with premium partner live chat, and failing that solving my query, an escalation via a general support ticket for higher experience support. And if I had access to areas and knowledge that I wouldn't have as a free partner.
Now, that sounds like what everybody might want—a good question might be, 'who deserves higher support'?
I have an idea that might help. How about at the closing of a support case (whether live chat or otherwise), the case is categorised according to the problem and solution. This would have to be agreed to by both parties. For example:
- bug (BC responsibility)
- how does this aspect work (the user doesn't yet know)
- somethings broken (BC is broken)
- somethings broken (the partner/user just stuffed something up)
- somethings not working (nobody knows the answer)
- is this possible, no, put it on the wishlist (BC responsibility)
- is this possible, no, put it on the wishlist (new idea)
Whatever terms and categories are used, they could be useful for dividing the support clients up into further groups. Then those groups could be assigned varying levels of support.
Let's say I'm a premium partner but I'm always asking things of support that could be solved quickly by looking in the knowledge base. At the close of each post, the categorisation and any data (such as KB links) could reflect this. If I'm constantly asking things that I could have learnt by a better channel, but instead am a drain on the support staff, then perhaps I should be moved into another category of support.
On the other hand, if my support queries often show a high amount of situations that did actually require a high level of knowledge and experience, then wouldn't that suggest my particular style of working requires that higher level of support?
In reality, people move between diferent aspects, but perhaps there's something in there that might trigger better ideas from other people. Surely there's a way to measure the case in some way and adjust my overall support package accordingly?
Main thing for me Magda is that is not set in stone in the system that only people 100+ sites have that.
Talk to your support staff, they know who needs what. That is your source of information. As long as they have the ability to set somoene to this other support level access then that is fine.
On your notes Darryl,
Knowing the forums, what people ask, involved with support with other software in the past, knowing some of the BC support team...
Your things do not work.
What is a bug for example?
See often, get often from our clients - "BUG BROKEN FIX IT" when actually it is their error or lack of experience or understanding for example.
This is why you have tier level support. Your more experienced guys are less in number then the first level support. This is the case for any company and just is how things work for varius reasons. So how BC structures support is fine and will not change for most people.
People who like myself for example fully know if they go live chat the first level support wont be following me.
If I told you most some things about web form action changes for example or told them about not having pagination and ajax loading content, or manipulation of cookies or system modules in complex ways... I have several "Can not be done" Even from BC and did them anyway. These such people, like people deep into API need more direct lines.
So BC impvoing and allowing those such people to skip is a valid update and I am all for that, I just think the quanitifaction of numbers is not right, like I said, Magda, if support can add people into the group or remove people in the group if they feel they are indeed a waste of time and can be better managed through 1st level support - Great. You do not want 100+ site people asking constantly basic questions to higher level support team members.
And no, nothing to makign 100+ BC sites and whacking them out. I could get a junior, show them some bits and if there were the people to buy them whack out 100 sites in less then a few days using the BC basics
So if a Partner has purchased templates from us and others like TribeVita. Sold each template a couple of times to different clients and signed up a handy 100+ site base, but has never 'built' a site with BC they get higher tier support?
I understand most Partners with 100+ sites would have the experience, but it doesn't mean Partners like Brad above with 12 are any less experienced. I've worked with partners well under 20 that have outstanding knowledge of the system. I've also worked with Partners that have well over 20 and have appauling understanding of the system.
I am also positive that I have provided more support to the new team than they have to me. I get asked a myriad of questions so that they understand what part of the system I'm refering to - maybe each support person should have to build 100 sites before they are allowed to give support!
This is a three part problem to me.
When we our clients look bad, we look bad.. When we look bad, Adobe/BC looks bad..
The message is simple. Put the Business in Business Catalyst.
I can see both sides of this story. I may only have less than 15 sites right now because I have only been using it for 9 months but I have 15 years Dreamweaver experience. So the people that are saying number of sites shoudn't be counted have a point. However, even with 15 years Dreamweaver experience, Business Catalyst is a whole different animal. For me it was like starting over again. Most of the support tickets I have had were my own lack of understanding of the system. So even though I have experience I should not be taking up a Level 2 spot from someone that has a bigger API issue or something. I also know that every website I do with BC I learn something new. If I have done 100 websites, even if it is the same template, I am sure that I would have the basics down and could bypass the main level of support. Business Catalyst has a point there. Right now I am on the Business Catalyst side of the issue for one reason. Partners like SimpleFlame and HotPress Web and fellow developers like Liam.
Between those three resources and their generosity to share their knowledge and experience I have found that I can get level 1 answers pretty quick as I learn the system. The new user forums here will be a big step as well once a good number of posts have been made.
Is the system perfect? Heck no, but I do believe that the BC team is listening. The fact that actual employees participate on the user forums is unheard of on these forums. I can assure you that BC Partners get better support from the BC Team than Photographers do with Photoshop and Photoshop is their baby. More people make a living with Dreamweaver and I can tell you first hand that the support for Dreamweaver is not where it should be either. No other Adobe product has an advisory board that they can channel through. No other product has invites to the big name guys to meet with them and go over their needs.
In short, when you look at the big picture the support from not only BC Team but the community is not that bad.
Is it true that White Label is gone and all of the Support Documentation will be re-branded BC and Adobe just like the new Terms of Service and as the Blog post suggets? You note that "The white label support has been modified at the suggestions of our customers”. Did you talk to any of the smaller Partners that use BC as a White Labeled solution?
I think the new changes need to be taken one step further by allowing Premium Partners the choice to also give our customers access to the non-branded White Label support/help documents, videos and Terms of Service (Has anyone read the new T&S?) as well as a link to our support page if I can't have both I'll take the white labeled help documents and videos over a link to my support page any day. I can see where a larger Partners might be able to fully support BC without access to the help documents but as a smaller shop I cannot, I think it's great that you allow us to provide a link to our support site but by turning off the support documentation it leaves our clients hanging without the basic help documentation and videos that they are used to being able to access while using the system.
As a Premium Partner I've jumped in with both feet and built my business around a White Labeled BC Solution, now along with the new Adobe Terms of Service that my clients have to sign off on (Which are Terrible) and support/help documentation BC seems to be giving them the full BC and Adobe branding treatment. Where does this leave Premium Partners that signed on so they could resell a White Labeled solution? Please do not forget the Premium Partners out there that use this as a White labeled solution.
Regarding all of the changes to the support site noted in this forum post, I don't have 100 sites on BC but hope to at some point, I have a large number of client sites on another system that I'd love to move over to BC but that takes time, I think the 100 sites number may be a bit tough if not impossible to reach for some partners, leaving them to deal with Level1 support no matter how much experiance they have with BC. I would agree with Rwtconsultants I think they have hit the nail on the head…
As noted I have a number of sites on other systems that I'd love to move over but until issues such as Support, White Labeled Help Documentation, Videos and the Wording in the new Adobe Terms of Service get sorted out I'm very hesitant to move more of my current clients to BC.
If my understanding is correct, we still have all of the same white label features as before. Only now we have the extra feature of adding a link to our own support so we can serve our clients needs better. Also being able to white label the support also can provide an extra stream of revenue for a partner that is willing to go that direction.
I am sure we will see more white labelled assets as time goes on. Right now there is so much changes happening that any assets may get out dated pretty quick. I'd personally rather see them continue to build the system up and then provide white labelled assets later.
Based on what I read on this blog post http://www.businesscatalyst.com/_blog/BC_Blog/post/May-release-New-par tner-support-Infrastructure-updates-Site-templates-and_bug-fixes/ they will be re-branding the support documents rendering them non-white labed.
Here's a quote from the blog post:
"The default Support experience provided by BC for your clients will be updated in a few releases to be similar to the partner support experience. This includes BC-branded support cases and documentation. If you'd like to keep a white-label experience for your customers, please set your own Help & Support URL in Partner Portal."
Basically what I was saying based on the blog post and how this works as I've tried it is:
If they brand everything BC & Adobe this is not White Labeled as before and yes the ability to link to your site is an extra feature that makes sense but by enabling it you turning off support documents, which is not the answer.
I hope you're correct about seeing more white labelled assets as time goes on.
Hey Brad, No.
White Labeling is going basically.
BC wont offer things that are white label options any more. You can go build your own support and own documents(which is not viable for many) or use the Adobe BC.
So for a lot of partners I can understand their anger and frustration on this one because they basically get shafted, many wont be able to setup/offer their own support and why the white label concept was so appealing.
A lot of the New UI changes were because of a generic look and feel with regards to white labeling so this goes agaisnt that.
Thanks Liam, not that I don't believe you, I'd like to hear if from the horse’s mouth and not have to read between the lines. Can someone from Adobe please confirm that White Label (Docuemnts, Video ect.) is going away?
Appealing you bet, I built my business around this concept and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I already do support but go build my own help documentation Ya right, like I have the bandwith to do that! I am one man shop, it's hard enough to get paid work done on time much less have to go out a create adn keep updating our own support documentation.
Anger and frustration does not even come close to explaining my feelings if this is true, that's the main reason I paid extra to become a Premium Partner! This is the first time anyone has stated this, my question is why does Liam have to be the one that explains this to us? I think we deserve some honest clarification from Adobe.
I have a certain satisfaction...I have preached for quite some time about what will happen to BC once Adobe took over. I was ignored, but now almost everything that I predicted has come true. The only thing left of my prophecies is the end of white label and partners. At this point, and I am happy to see Liam agrees, white labeling is mostly dead and there is no real reason to get a "partnership". Use logic and think about it; Adobe markets BC to people heavily and includes free account with other products, how does anyone selling products and services that Adobe itself sells hope to compete with a company the size of Adobe? Especially since you really get no consideration and nothing extra in the way of support (unless you have over 100 sites). Adobe has always been an elitest and have aggressively defended its brand, why would anyone expect that to change? I mean, have you ever seen an Adobe product, like Photoshop offered by another company with their own white label? Of course not...
I have used Adobe products for as long as Adobe has been around and even beta-tested several of them. They should just come clean, turn BC into the cloud solution they want and just make some form of resitution to the "partners".
Watch the Town hall stuff for example, Read the blog.
White Label - Gone.
The solution, change the support link is what you have.
Not a sollution for many and why I am trying to work to sort things and talk with BC people who are associated with the support side of things.
I do not think white label would return but I got some ideas to at least help.
Interesting... I have built 45 sites, but these are now spread across 2 partner portals. So this brings up the question as to how this is handled. If I have 100 sites divided between, say, three PPs, would I get the higher level of support? Or would the 100 site floor be for each PP?
The answer to this is very important to me as going forward my idea was to have multiple PPs - one for each vertical market I'm selling into.
Looking forward to youor response.
As previously mentioned on the forums/LinkedIn/Blog, we dropped the 2nd level support for partners with more than 100 paid sites, and we now focus on finding a better way of prioritizing support. When we will reach a solution that can be implemented and satisfy the partners community, we will communicate it back to you, and based on the received feedback we will adjust it and implement it.
We will keep you posted on this.
White labeling documentation is not gone. The help and support workflows for the business owners (clients) remained the same as before. Even more, now you can customize your own support & documentation page, so you can even enhance the white labeling.
Moreover, now we work on white-labeling also the new KB solution.
Please send me a private message with more details if you encounter any issues, and I'll look into them.