Showing posts tagged customer support

Customer Service: Doubling Down in Las Vegas

By askdotcom // March 18th, 2013

Many industries throw around terms such as “double down” and “big bet” and “big win” which may be an indication of why so many conferences pick Las Vegas as the location for companies to showcase their bets on their new products, new strategies and of course tout the successes of past wins. It was particularly fitting to spend time in Las Vegas at the Parafest conference focusing on industry trends and best practices in customer experience and support. Gathered together were 400 representatives of B2B and B2C companies as well as industry analysts and customer support product vendors.

My role there was not only to learn a lot (which I did), but also to present Ask’s story of the past year concerning our own efforts in this area. In addition to launching new products last year, we also rolled out a new Help Center to support those products. It was designed with an eye toward self-service, allowing our 100 million users the option to get the information they need at any time without having to wait for an agent to respond.

At the Parafest conference, I discovered the industry has taken notice! During the keynote, Ask’s Help Center was showcased as a trend to watch in 2013, and I fielded a lot of questions throughout the duration on why we’ve done what we’ve done.

The “why” is very simple: to connect our users with answers as quickly as possible, just as we try to do with all of our search products. We’re pleased to have a Help Center that lives up to our values. It’s a big bet which has really paid off!

- Eric McKirdy, Worldwide Customer Care and Technical Support Manager,

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Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

By askdotcom // August 15th, 2012

When my office phone rang late in the day last month, I answered it and was greeted on the other end by Doris, calling from Knoxville, Tennessee. However, this was not a courtesy call. Doris got right to the point.

“You have to give me my money back,” she said. “All of it.”

It seems Doris had posted a question about how to list items for sale on eBay, paid her money, and then received no helpful answers. But there was just one problem, here: is 100% free for consumers to use, and we don’t take money from people for posting questions.

I explained this to Doris, and we figured out which other site she had actually visited. Then, I was able to answer her eBay question as well.

“Now I just need to figure out how much all this stuff is worth,” she said, referring to her soon-to-be-listed items.

Those are great questions to ask our community, I told her. We have over a million registered users, and some of them are bound to know what kind of value to attach to the Motley Crue leather jacket (signed by the band), and a vintage, first-edition Cabbage Patch Kids doll signed by Xavier Roberts.

Doris signed up a free account with that evening, and has been posting questions ever since. She also knows the answers to a lot of things, too; she owned a bar in Knoxville for ten years, and before that she once won a fishing derby off the Florida Keys. “I caught the biggest fish of the men’s and women’s competitions,” she proudly told me.

If you run into her around our community, be sure and ask her how the auctions are going.


Who Are the People In Your Neighborhood is a monthly feature by Eric McKirdy,’s Customer Support Guru, spotlighting members of the Q&A Community. Have you run into someone other people should meet? If so, tell Eric about it by sending a note to cs (at)

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