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Why is it so hard for addon devs to not alienate customers?

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45 minutes ago, birdguy said:

That got me what I consider a lifetime ban since after over a year I have been back to the site several times and find I am still persona non grata.

I wondered what happened to you. 🙂

Grace and Peace, 


I Earned My Spurs in Vietnam

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55 minutes ago, DavidP said:

In my opinion the OP in the "raindrop" thread was the one who picked the fight from his second post onwards.

I could see it coming.  I was surprised the thread lasted as long as it did.  🙂

Grace and Peace, 


I Earned My Spurs in Vietnam

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1 hour ago, DavidP said:

In my opinion the OP in the "raindrop" thread was the one who picked the fight from his second post onwards. While there may be deficiencies in the responses from support staff, there are always two sides. Customers have their role to play too - if you try and pick a fight or be "obtuse" as that poster was told, you should expect push back.

Just because you are the customer, don't expect the right to behave any way you like without recourse.

I partially agree. It takes two to tango, and in this particular case there are two things to keep in mind:

1) on one side there's a paying customer, whether he's liked or not by the developer.

2) the other one is a support staff who is in charge of setting the tone and developing the situation as it comes (at least that would be my expectation if I was the owner of the business). In my opinion, a simple "sorry, it's not ready" should have been enough. Instead, the thing got out of control. And, again in my opinion, when said staff made the "weather" reference he totally lost the argument. Then again, I reckon he's a young guy and everybody has their temper, specially when dealing with a difficult customer (not saying that particular OP is one, like I said: it takes two to tango).

Nevertheless, it certainly did more harm than good, otherwise this thread wouldn't even exist in the first place.

 


Enrique Vaamonde

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21 minutes ago, evaamo said:

I partially agree. It takes two to tango, and in this particular case there are two things to keep in mind:

1) on one side there's a paying customer, whether he's liked or not by the developer.

2) the other one is a support staff who is in charge of setting the tone and developing the situation as it comes (at least that would be my expectation if I was the owner of the business). In my opinion, a simple "sorry, it's not ready" should have been enough. Instead, the thing got out of control. And, again in my opinion, when said staff made the "weather" reference he totally lost the argument. Then again, I reckon he's a young guy and everybody has their temper, specially when dealing with a difficult customer (not saying that particular OP is one, like I said: it takes two to tango).

Nevertheless, it certainly did more harm than good, otherwise this thread wouldn't even exist in the first place.

You would like to think it would have been enough, but it seems for that particular individual that it wasn't good enough. It definitely isn't the first time there were issues with him. Last time there was a different issue, I responded, and he had a go at me simply because I was not PMDG staff. So somebody from PMDG responded with the exact same answer that I had given him, and that still wasn't good enough for him. In particular, he seems to think that things are a simple fix, even when it's been explained to him multiple times that it isn't. Just throwing that out there.

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1 hour ago, DavidP said:

In my opinion the OP in the "raindrop" thread was the one who picked the fight from his second post onwards. While there may be deficiencies in the responses from support staff, there are always two sides. Customers have their role to play too - if you try and pick a fight or be "obtuse" as that poster was told, you should expect push back.

Just because you are the customer, don't expect the right to behave any way you like without recourse.

Not the first  time   he  made  a  fight  with  pmdg, he  made  a similar  fight previously  on a  similar  topic  on  when  a  addon was  going to be  released  


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Peter kelberg

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2 minutes ago, pete_auau said:

Not the first  time   he  made  a  fight  with  pmdg, he  made  a similar  fight previously  on a  similar  topic  on  when  a  addon was  going to be  released  

If it were one interaction, with one customer, it would be a different story; however, the OP was thorough enough to detail multiple instances.  This is a problem withing our community....


Matt King

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I'd be interested to see how someone else would have handled the situation some have referenced, in the full context of that thread.

 

Here's my own explanation of this latest example, in hopes it might shine light on others - mine or otherwise - and perhaps get a little feedback:

A customer asked a question, and he got an answer. The answer was provided by another customer, who received nothing more than what I would term 'abuse' from the person asking the question. The answer provided was exactly what he would've gotten from the team, should any one of us had chosen to answer it. Again, as others have noted, given the history of behavior, I wasn't too keen on providing a response, so I didn't engage until I saw a completely unnecessary shot at another customer who I find to have a history of being helpful. In hindsight, I probably should have left the barb out of my initial response, but a customer who is regularly helpful, getting abused for volunteering to help (by providing a legitimate answer) - I will admit to letting a little emotion creep into my response. Best move? No. Unreasonable? I'd argue no, but I can see how others might not be particularly impressed by it.

So, in a situation where you have a customer who has a reputation for being helpful, and a customer who has a reputation - and I stress that you can see others above this post who have made the same exact observation - for being abusive (of others), and a bit loose on facts and logic, where is the line?

-Do you allow one customer to abuse the other and not step in because they're both customers and both are equally covered under "customer is always right?" ('Always' leaves little room for argumentation of the comparative 'rightness' of one or the other.)
-Do you step in and tell the one on the offensive to knock it off and not answer the question? Keep in mind most people will persist in this case, and at that point, is ignoring the likely upcoming quote-replies of "but what about my answer" acceptable?
-Do you step in and also answer the question? How do you continue in the case in which facts are intentionally muddied in an attempt to assert a stance?

-If any of you being critical (note my use of 'critical' and not 'unfair' here) of my actions were the person who had been on the receiving end of the abuse from the OP, would my actions have been more understandable, or perhaps even appreciated?

Many in here seem to have a good handle of the uniqueness of the situations here: this community is large, but not really large enough such that devs would have the luxury of dedicated PR staff. I'd honestly argue that customers would like that angle even less. Dedicated/trained PR people would likely be even more evasive with their language, post more fluff (less info-heavy posts in an effort to not have to commit to anything), and probably not engage at all on the same level (both to avoid any commitments, and the fewer interactions means there's necessarily fewer flare-ups like this one to have to handle). This is a remarkably tough job, even as a full-time thing, but many of us fill more than just this role. In the context of the fact that devs usually write a bunch of code - following strict rules of logic - is it any wonder that they occasionally find themselves questioning the logic of behavior at times, and persisting where need be?

Contrary to the belief of many, I'm really not here to start arguments, or dent egos, but if I feel someone is being misleading, or isn't being fair to someone (anyone), then I prefer to call it out. Some in this thread, and one of the others, have pointed out the weather bureau statement in the most recent flare up. Best move? Perhaps not...but a metaphor that illustrates the point: a prediction was offered that was not met - we got fury, but the weather bureau likely gets a pass. Why? The difference in behavior in the two cases further shows a disconnect in the logic being applied to similar situations.

"Anticipate X function Nov 1 (expected version .0001)." - No update as of Nov 1, despite now being on version .0009 - Fury and arguments
"Anticipate rain Nov 1 (expected arrival 3PM)." - No rain on Nov 1, despite it being past 3PM - Passive tolerance

Sure, it's not a 100% solid argument, but relatively decent comparative case in which someone is seemingly ignoring the clearly vague/hedged language in the linked post to note that it was an estimate, and not certainty. It was meant as a way of pushing people out of the "logic lane" and into a parallel lane in which they could step out and see how a similar situation does not get the same treatment. Going back to the earlier PR points, it's likely that this flare up would not have even occurred, because the PR people would not have even shared that kind of info. Is that preferred? I'd argue that many would say no.

 

In the end, I'd much prefer to share what knowledge I do have, enjoy the knowledge people share in return, and interact with people in the forum. That isn't always how it works out, however. I would have much preferred to open that one thread and see:
"Question"
"Answer"
"Thanks!"

Done.

 

TL;DR:

Why is it so hard to not alienate customers? I'd answer with an alternate question: would customers prefer more direct interaction with devs, at the potential cost of flare up causing direct 'alienation'...or would customers prefer indirect 'alienation' that results from the barrier that a more professional PR staff would set up? I can only answer for my own interactions, but I'd argue that the logic always contains the answer, and I'd be curious to see if there are any direct references to a case where a question remained unanswered in order to write an essay on how said remark was stupid/rude/irrelevant. I don't find that assertion to be particularly fair.

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Kyle Rodgers

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1 minute ago, Raging Bull said:

Snore fest, Kyle. And that’s half your problem, zzzzzzzz.....

True; plus, as evident by the drivel above, he always needs to be right, which is a poor attribute for a customer service representative.

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Matt King

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Would it have been so difficult to have replied to Kyle's post in a more constructive (and respectful) manner, guys? The question that the OP asked at the start of this thread works both ways.

Edited by Christopher Low
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Christopher Low

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May I ask why was my post deleted? 


Ivan Majetic

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28 minutes ago, Christopher Low said:

Would it have been so difficult to have replied to Kyle's post in a more constructive (and respectful) manner, guys? The question that the OP asked at the start of this thread works both ways.

well  written Chris  


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Peter kelberg

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To offer two sides to this. When I was making freeware tools, regions and airports, I often received PMs, emails, posts etc from users demanding support or demanding something be changed etc. Some were polite, others were rude and very self-entitled and just not pleasant to deal with. In the beginning, I just brushed it off but eventually I simple stopped responding to everything, because I was doing it for free and it stopped becoming enjoyable. This community can be extremely demanding, many don't want to read instructions/manuals and a few simply can't ask for help without clearly showing aggression and threats. Of course, not everyone is like this, but in my experience the majority are. I think respect is a two-way street, treat the developer how you'd like to be treated and you'll get much further with them.

Of course there are developers out there are just by nature rude. I can think of a few who simply should not be put in front of customers at all. What doesn't help is the mob crew that often follow these developers around and join in on the attacks. This mob crew are part of the problem until it effects them personally, then they wonder why it happens in the first place. There are certain companies I refuse to buy from, not because their products are bad, but because of their attitude. I stick by "vote with your wallet"

I think @HiFlyer summed it up nicely, we are an incredibly demanding community. A simple change in attitude when looking for support will often help, e.g. instead of starting a request with "My plane's trim doesn't work properly, I demand my money back now...." or "Why is this feature is missing, this product is poor and rubbish", try something like "I don't seem to be able to trim the aircraft properly, can anyone help?". For companies that simply can't be polite no matter what, stop buying their products 🙂

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Whist I have had what I consider a rude rebuffle from Kyle before now which resulted in me choosing not to buy any of their products again, this problem of how customers should be treated  appears to be prevalent amongst those that think they can throw their weight around regardless of the consequences. When I had my export business my attitude was always the client is king, and that he is correct and i am wrong , even when i knew the client was lying and i was correct. Because I knew if he went away happy he would come back again and bring friends as new clients.

I recently posted a support question accidentally  on a review page of a dev in xp.org , and it was answered by the dev, however without any warning at all I was banned straight away by some erk , and not allowed to post for 10 days , as it wwas posted in the wrong area,, when i had a genuine problem with a product they were distributing. there was no recourse or any way of communicating with the .org, so I voted with my feet and now have nothing to do with them , there are plenty of streaming sites where you can get anything you want without grief.

Looking at the recent spat between Froogle and JV, what did JV hope to gain? Froogles question was perfectly warranted and judging by the hundreds of customers inc myself we were all under the impression one needed the expensive scenery to make an airport work ( the reason I never bought into the PNW)  So what should JV have done? in my book publicly admit that they had worded the requirements incorrectly , and not get involved in a argument that he had lost before he touched the keyboard, If he had turned around and apologised  that the requirements could have been better layed out, that would have been the end to it , but by jabbering on as he did one has to come to the conclusion that they were worded like they were expressly to gain more sales.

A last point that i would like to make is that we mostly write in English which may or may not be the natural language of the dev, Churchill was correct in his statement about the Americans , that we are 2 nations divided by the same language. I am in daily contact with people on the other side of the pond who from time to time get perturbed by my use of words which mean nothing in the uk but cause offence in the US.  I have also noted some Scandinavian moderators that appear to speak very good English but totally fail to really speak our language because they do not understand the nuances of our language, if i was trying to speak their language the last thing i would do is get angry with one of them if he was trying to correct my use of their language. 

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Nigel Porter

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5 minutes ago, Britfrog said:

have also noted some Scandinavian moderators that appear to speak very good English but totally fail to really speak our language because they do not understand the nuances of our language

In my job, I sometimes have to work in Norway/Sweden etc. What initially got me was just how blunt and to the point they can be, not just in person but also over email and on the phone. At first it was somewhat of a shock having worked mostly with US/UK clients who can sugar-coat everything, but once I realised it was nothing personal and that's just how people talk, it's no longer an issue. Once I got to know the people and work with them, they were some of the nicest and most pleasant I've worked with. 

 

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