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Communication from SEFollow

#1 Oct 28 2010 at 11:29 AM Rating: Decent
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Hello to the ZAM community!

I am a PR student writing a report on SE's Corporate Communications.
Seeing how the internet is by far the fastest and easiest (and cheapest) way
to communicate with all of you, I am posting here seeking some feedback from you
as Square Enix stakeholders.

In all, I am looking forward to reading your opinions about the company's
way of communicating; be it style, promptness, availability, quality, sincerity, etc.

It can be anything from your general image of the company to your experience
with customer support. Do they share a lot of information with us?
Are they efficient in dealing with customer dissatisfaction? Does what they
advertise/say turn out to be the truth? Is their communication one way, or do they
expect and value our input? That's just some ideas.

Thank you very much in advance!
#2 Oct 28 2010 at 12:00 PM Rating: Good
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Yikes, you chose a very bad time to ask this question. I will try to be fair and balanced in my opinion, although I cannot say there will be some personal flavor thrown into my statements.

SE is a very large company with many divisions and I even believe some separately owned companies which operate independently while working for SE. Being a North American customer I believe we are dealing with one of these separate entities, that although in essence owned by SE, is really just another company striving to succeed. My experience with the customer service available to NA clients can be described in one word, frustrating.

From automated responses to customer service reps that seem void of life, the feeling of communicating with another human being is all but absent. This would not be so much of a deal breaker if the information given would suffice, but rarely does it achieve this mark. When paying customers who have done no wrong are wrongfully banned, SE's response is that they cannot give you an answer. For a user who feels they have done no wrong, it is impossible to change their actions without being given something to change. Had your account hacked? Fill out a notarized form and wait for SEs approval, which is not guaranteed by the way.

That said, there are some positive aspects about SE's customer service that I appreciate. In my experience the response from SE has always been very prompt, making me wait less than 24 hours for most e-mail responses (if by phone less than 20 mins, if by chat less than 30 minutes). Although sometimes their rules are annoying and cumbersome, it is good they will not bend...every customer gets the same treatment, its just unfortunate the treatment isn't slightly better.

So in summary, SE has very little style in their customer service, but they understand the importance of a prompt reply and easy accessibility. SE fails in giving a quality reply that feels sincere, almost as if you are speaking to a robot.

Best of luck with your report!
#3 Oct 28 2010 at 12:00 PM Rating: Good
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You just missed the sh#t storm... My suggestion to you is to look through the older threads. Specifically more recent ones concerning some bannings of accounts. I believe they actually had some copy paste conversations from online chat with customer service which is generally considered poor. There were also a bunch following the announcement of the November and December patches that had conversations of SE and their communication, and what seems to be a recent turn around from their usual lack of communication with their player base.
#4 Oct 28 2010 at 12:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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just a fyi to anyone who hasnt seen this before. this exact thread was made when ffxi came out.. also on the wow forums when it came out.. and its always by a 1 post newbie who is "doing a report for school"

i think its safe to say this is just a meme form of trolling
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#5 Oct 28 2010 at 12:13 PM Rating: Decent
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If you were to score Square on a 1-10 scale in regards customer service and communication with their players they would be lucky to get anything higher than 2. Blizzard are the benchmark for both of these things, I don't play WoW but I know how well they operate in terms of fixing problems for players and communication with thier valued players.

They are so bad at this important aspect of running an MMO your question is actually funny. They were and still are terrible on their first mmo that they have run for 10 years, they are terrible on this new game. At least they are consistent.
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#6 Oct 28 2010 at 12:18 PM Rating: Default
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Thanks a lot for your quick replies!

I did browse the forums for a few days (for academic purposes, ...right), so I am aware of what is
going on at the moment.

Though I obviously did miss the chatlogs! Very good to know, thanks again!

I e-mailed Customer Support with a scenario I thought of, and I have to say they replied
within a few minutes.
(I'm pasting it here in case it actually helps anyone. I asked if a player would be able to
play in a Japanese net cafe if he or she had registered his or her copy of the game in the EU region.
The reply does 'feel human' and pretty on-spot:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for contacting the Square Enix Support Centre.


Please note that if you purchase the EU version of the game and register your Square Enix Account as an EU account, the billing will be tied to this account. You will be able to log in from anywhere in the world with the system on which you have installed the client.

If you move to a different location, the client can be re-installed on any system and you will have to log into the game servers with your previously existing EU account.


Kind regards,

Square Enix Support Center Team)


I would like to expand on a question I proposed: Did anyone notice a change in their comms policy during the years?
I to read about how they seem to actively look out for player feedback. Is that the case?

Edit: @Galkaholics
That's embarassing. What I can say in my defense is that A) I have little to contribute content-wise since I do not
own the game yet and, B) I want to seize the moment, since players will have a lot to say regarding this matter
and I want to monitor and present this objectively. I have no problem in e-mailing you an assessed copy of my work.

Edited, Oct 28th 2010 2:24pm by Camoga
#7 Oct 28 2010 at 12:41 PM Rating: Good
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i will admit it COULD be possible your not lieing but look at it from my point of view.

obviously this has happened many times in the past. and we finally started getting all the complainers and QQ ers under control and a thread like this just stirs the pot to get people complaining again. i agree with the above posters and add.

1 search for yourself theres tons of complaints to read.
2 please dont make a new thread for information thats allready here as i said it just stirrs the pot

Edited, Oct 28th 2010 1:43pm by Galkaholics
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#8 Oct 28 2010 at 12:48 PM Rating: Good
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I know a lot of people have had nightmarish experiences with SE support, but my personal experience has actually been good. Now with that said, I've never had a serious problem with my account, like being hacked or banned or anything like that.

I've had to contact customer support 3 times for FFXI. The first was the first time I quit the game and came back. I had to call customer support to get my POL password, but I'd lost my registration codes. I remember it being about on par with what I expect from customer service. I don't remember being on hold for a long time, and I already had all the info I needed. The CSR reset my password for me and it got taken care of easily. This was also back before the mass hackings and bizarre inflation, so they may have made the process of resetting your password different from what I experienced back then.

The other 2 times I had to contact customer support I used the online chat support. This was when they still made you enter your registration codes to create additional content IDs. Both times the CSR took care of my problem, made the content ID for me, and it was easy.

I know we've all heard what a nightmare SE's support can be when you've actually got a problem, but for the few menial tasks I've had to call them for, it's been fine. Just wanted to give at least some positive feedback.

Edited, Oct 28th 2010 2:53pm by DomfranciscoOfIfrit
#9 Oct 28 2010 at 12:55 PM Rating: Good
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This forum is a little difficult to post on in some ways, some think anything negative should be locked and asking this is usually asking for a ton of negative posts.

If you want another outlook and possibly a better idea of how this company runs its PR dept ask this question on the FFXI forum on this same website, they are the same staff for both games and you will get people experienced with them answering your question there.
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#10 Oct 28 2010 at 1:15 PM Rating: Default
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Thanks for the hint.
I am asking here for a few reasons - the first being that FFXIV being a new title,
I might get responses from current players, potential players and those who have
experienced both games.

Also, I'm doing this because it's a very decent thing to be transparent about what
you are doing and I will ultimately ask for permission should I need to quote anything.
Didn't expect it to be a problem though.

Please continue to contribute your opinions!
Thanks!
#11 Oct 28 2010 at 1:48 PM Rating: Decent
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Camoga wrote:
Thanks for the hint.
I am asking here for a few reasons - the first being that FFXIV being a new title,
I might get responses from current players, potential players and those who have
experienced both games.

Also, I'm doing this because it's a very decent thing to be transparent about what
you are doing and I will ultimately ask for permission should I need to quote anything.
Didn't expect it to be a problem though.

Please continue to contribute your opinions!
Thanks!

Threads like this are frowned upon if you haven't cleared it with an admin at first. Here's a link to the site rules:

http://ffxiv.zam.com/forum.html?forum=3&mid=122844326723865525&page=1

This is a survey of sorts, so you would be looking for the below:
Quote:
Amendment 1. Posting Surveys

Survey posting by outside parties is allowed only for educational purposes. Commercial surveys, or surveys without an academic background are expressly prohibited and will be immediately removed.

Prior to posting any survey, you are required to contact one of the following Forum Administrators:

Kaolian@allakhazam.com

darqflame@allakhazam.com

And to provide verified contact information and academic credentials, including a university associated e-mail address from which the request originates. A full, unaltered copy of the survey questions must also be provided.


All other survey posts will be removed and the originating account banned.

In-forum poll system exemption: This amendment specificlaly does not cover in forum polls generated by forum users. The intent is to prevent unnecessary spam by outside entities with no real investment in the forum system.


Section updated: 3/16/2010


If you haven't done so you may want to do so fast. And if you have already, great.

Edited, Oct 28th 2010 3:49pm by Ravashack
#12 Oct 28 2010 at 2:07 PM Rating: Good
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Considering how quickly negative threads get locked I would guess this has already been seen and deemed not a problem. This thread has been here for quite a while.

Maybe an investigation paid for by Square to gauge what the playerbase thinks of their public relations sections, many companies do these kinds of things. I don't really buy the student thing either.
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#13 Oct 29 2010 at 2:47 PM Rating: Default
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Thanks for all the feedback.

Comparing your input with the last few Annual Reports from SE makes
it obvious that they have a pretty skewed idea of customer relations..

One thing I'd like you to validate is this: Do you think they consciusly
prioritize the home (JPN) market / player base?
I've heard about GMs favoritizing JPN players, did you ever notice that?

I'm also aware of the situation with South Korea (where they operate as
Taito Korea Corporation). Next thing I'll do is try to dig up their response
regarding the blocking of SK IPs (do you remember what year it was?).
SE clearly has a hard time there;
the 2009 Annual Report mentions JPY40 million loss in Korea, while the 2010
Annual Report does not even mention the word 'Korea' except in the list of
subsidiaries.
#14 Oct 29 2010 at 3:18 PM Rating: Decent
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Camoga wrote:
Thanks for all the feedback.

Comparing your input with the last few Annual Reports from SE makes
it obvious that they have a pretty skewed idea of customer relations..

One thing I'd like you to validate is this: Do you think they consciusly
prioritize the home (JPN) market / player base?
I've heard about GMs favoritizing JPN players, did you ever notice that?

I'm also aware of the situation with South Korea (where they operate as
Taito Korea Corporation). Next thing I'll do is try to dig up their response
regarding the blocking of SK IPs (do you remember what year it was?).
SE clearly has a hard time there;
the 2009 Annual Report mentions JPY40 million loss in Korea, while the 2010
Annual Report does not even mention the word 'Korea' except in the list of
subsidiaries.


Although it is said, I feel that the catering to the japanese players is more a product of the game being created in a region local to those players. The language barrier is not present, the thousands of miles of distance is not present, and they have a much deeper cultural understanding of the people. Also, since GMs are actually local to the region playing (JP/NA/EU) it doesn't make sense that the GMs are favoring Japanese players. I cannot say if JP GMs are given different rules to go by, but in my experience it hasn't seemed this way. All of these factors can make it seem like SE is catering more towards JP players, but IMO, they have actually shown pretty decent effort at serving all regions equally.

*edit*
There is actually 1 thing I just thought of. SE does seem to cater to japanese media MUCH MUCH more.

Edited, Oct 29th 2010 5:20pm by burtonsnow
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