Communication

  • 5 November 2018
  • 7 replies
  • 1618 views

Userlevel 6
I'm going to put this one in "off-topic" to see what you think.

I've done a Google search to have an idea of how many times the community has the phrase "message the team" (100's);

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=pure+community+%2B%22message+the+team%22+site%3Acommunity.purepla.net

In a lot of cases its down to not realizing how PP works, but then I thought, how often do I go to a website and then scroll to the very top, or very bottom of the home page looking for "Contact Us".

With the PP site and APP, this "text" does not appear, even though it could then say the normal comment about asking Wattbot first etc.

Just an observation to try and make things clearer by having the text in certain places on the site and app to guide users on this point?!

7 replies

Badge +2
I didn't realise this text had to be inserted into Wattbot if human intervention was required and only discovered the fact after reading some forum posts. It would be helpful if this was explained on the 'For help, ask Wattbot' screen. Also, it does resemble a chat session, which is also a bit misleading.

As I understand it, Wattbot serves two distinct functions:

1. A slightly more sophisticated way of searching a list of FAQs.

2. A way of getting the attention of the team.

It would be preferable to separate these two functions out and have a single, unambiguous way of contacting the team.

The fact that so many users end up appealing to @Marc through the forums to sort out their problems suggests that Wattbot isn't working as intended?

Perhaps this thread could be shifted to the 'Testing and feedback' thread?
Userlevel 7
Badge +11
I agree, Wattbot needs a new brain and I’ve already posted about this. The same applies to not having call centres, I said that fact wasn’t prominent enough and the number of posts asking shows that to be the case.

- - - Updated - - -

I would add that it’s not quite as you’ve written, marc replies as he sees fit, the default for anything the community can’t help with should always be wattbot and almost always a human response. People aren’t appealing to marc(should I rephrase that??), they are appealing to the community.
Lenny;15787:
I didn't realise this text had to be inserted into Wattbot if human intervention was required and only discovered the fact after reading some forum posts. It would be helpful if this was explained on the 'For help, ask Wattbot' screen. Also, it does resemble a chat session, which is also a bit misleading.

As I understand it, Wattbot serves two distinct functions:

1. A slightly more sophisticated way of searching a list of FAQs.

2. A way of getting the attention of the team.

It would be preferable to separate these two functions out and have a single, unambiguous way of contacting the team.

The fact that so many users end up appealing to @Marc through the forums to sort out their problems suggests that Wattbot isn't working as intended?

Perhaps this thread could be shifted to the 'Testing and feedback' thread?
Hi @dgilbert @Lenny @woz
Interesting thread.
The community is, as @woz says, about members, not about me!

Now, about WattBot.
Most people who use WattBot get the info they need without needing to message the team.
It's built using AI tech which means it 'learns' more over time.
This is really good news because, as you know, we don't have a call centre and so can pass on those savings to our members.
If everyone chose to message the team it would effectively mean the same thing as having a call centre (except it would be chats, not calls).
And nobody wants to pay more!
So we don't want people to message the team unless they really (and I mean really!) need to.
The huge majority of queries are general switching/billing/app questions. There's no need to wait 2 days for our team to reply if WB can answer straight away (or, if you can find community members talking about it).
That's why we don't promote 'message the team' and I always want to find a way of helping someone without need to send messages. They're usually much, much happier getting reply when it comes quicker and answers their question!

Does that help explain it a bit?
Badge +2
I must confess I almost gave up on the switch when I (like a number of others, judging from the negative comments in the Play Store) got into a loop with an email giving me a link which led back to another email...

Even now I'm not quite sure how I broke out of that cycle, but Wattbot certainly wasn't any help and it seems that quite a few other users have had the same experience.

However, now that I'm up and running I'm glad things have worked out. I guess your approach will have the effect of selecting members who are fairly tech savvy and low maintenance, which should keep costs down.
Userlevel 7
Badge +11
I laughed when I read that, mainly because there's almost certainly some truth in it. I'd be horrified to think that was the case intentionally, but I can't argue that it's an almost certainly an unintended (I hope unintended) consequence.

You're right and I've posted about the cherry picking demographic before, the absence of a web platform is in effect an ageist stance.

The login debacle should never have happened, the entire process should have been re-thought and made bomb-proof, obviously it was not tested properly and there is absolutely no excuse for something so critical and basic being broken.
Some forgiveness as they are new, but the newness is eventually going to wear off, the stakes are a lot higher (more customers) and that means getting things right.
The same applies to the app meter reading glitches and the server issues.

I sometimes wonder if some of the people employed to test the systems should be chosen from a demographic where statistically they are likely to be more challenged by tech than the average 13-55 year old is (how about that for a politically correct cop out).
In other words employ a few old bu99ers to do your testing and breaking.

I can break things if you'll pay me to do it....


Lenny;15949:
....I guess your approach will have the effect of selecting members who are fairly tech savvy and low maintenance, which should keep costs down.
Badge +2
There are more than 60 energy suppliers, so if people want phone support or a web portal there are plenty of options for them to choose from. I've just taken another look at the PP web page and it does make it pretty clear how they operate.

With regard to the app, the multiple requests for the first meter reading has survived multiple updates in the short time since I joined. I'm sure the low app scores are putting some people off, so it is a shame
Userlevel 7
Badge +11
Indeed it does make it clear, but sadly many who read it choose to stick with their time honoured interpretation of 'the way we were' (apologies to Barbara Streisand) rather than the way it is.
I've already opined that it needs re-presenting, both in the T+C's, on the website and in the community.
Nice pooch by the way!

Lenny;16110:
There are more than 60 energy suppliers, so if people want phone support or a web portal there are plenty of options for them to choose from. I've just taken another look at the PP web page and it does make it pretty clear how they operate.

With regard to the app, the multiple requests for the first meter reading has survived multiple updates in the short time since I joined. I'm sure the low app scores are putting some people off, so it is a shame

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