In Support of GSupport

Google is somewhat renowned for their lack of customer support.  Have a question that isn’t answered in their help section? Ask it in a product forum and cross your fingers.  If it doesn’t get answered, you’re SOL.While this might be true for some of their products and services, I’ve actually found the exact opposite to be true in our experiences.

[Side note: their help sections are so ridiculously thorough in comparison to most similar companies (ahem Facebook) that in most cases I never even need to contact them].

When we had that weird issue with Google Drive, I heard back from support within hours and it was a pretty well thought out response (although it should be noted that we are a paid Google Apps customer).  When LockerPulse was featured in the Chrome Store at launch, I was always able to get in touch with whomever I needed to, and they always answered my questions promptly and politely.  That relationship has continued for almost 2 years – we’re currently part of one of their pilot programs.

The most frequent product we contact support about though is AdWords.  We’re always experimenting with the latest features as soon as they come out, and we’ve encountered countless tiny bugs.  Usually a five minute phone call solves the issue, but if it doesn’t they’ll follow up via email with a solution.  Which they always do. And it’s always the same person I spoke to on the phone.  And if I want to follow-up with more questions they’ll actually have a conversation back and forth.  Imagine that!

This morning I had a wacky issue involving Analytics remarketing lists within AdWords. I asked our rep via email.  He couldn’t figure it out so he gave me a number to call.  I spoke to an Analytics expert who tried a few things and also couldn’t solve the issue.  As they usually do, he took down my contact info and assured me he’d follow up with an email. The overall experience is very satisfying because it’s simple to talk to someone (dial a 1-800 number, enter your account number), they are always polite, and they are always knowledgeable.  Google also gives them the tools they need to properly debug. Not once has someone not understood the problem after my explanation.

All in all, I feel like Google gets all of the details right that other companies struggle with.  I think it’s time their reputation changes.

6 comments on In Support of GSupport

  1. Rob says:

    Interesting writeup Adam – I wonder if your customer support experience is so different from many simply because you pay them and because you’ve got something in their chrome store. It seems like most of the complaints are from free users.

    I had a friend just recently whose sent items on hotmail all just vanished, and nobody has been interested in speaking to her – presumably because she’s not paying them they don’t care about her custom. Many others in the official support forums are left similarly without assistance. On that note – have you found a good solution to ensure your google apps, docs and emails are backed up?

    • Adam McFarland says:

      Yea absolutely, I’m sure that paying makes a difference. I realize we’re in the small minority in that sense. One of the selling points for paid Apps is that you get 24/7 support guaranteed. And with AdWords we certainly spend enough to justify getting quality support.

      I’ve never had a reason to contact them as a free user (say for my personal Gmail) but I’m sure it would be much tougher to reach someone. Then again, I’m not necessarily sure I expect customer support when I use a free product…unless something goes drastically wrong like with your friend’s Hotmail account. That sounds horrible.

      As far as the backups, we use Backupify and it works great. It auto backs up all of our Google Apps and is very affordable for what it does. I hope we never have to use it, but the peace of mind is worth every penny.

  2. Tim says:

    Being a paid user opens a lot of doors at Google, but it doesn’t allow you to conquer all short comings. Just last week there was a problem we encountered with Google Calendar, there is no way to print a calendar view with event details, it cannot be done. The only way to print event details in a list view, which is not convenient at all.

    The company I currently work for spends over 7 figures annually on Adwords and has a team at Google assigned to them, this is ENORMOUSLY helpful. There is an account rep who handles all things Google and there is a dedicated Adwords account manager, in addition to an industry specific rep that focuses on just the industry the company I work for is in. Google actually comes to see us at least twice a year, more if there’s a lot going on and a need to meet, our corporate office is no where near a Google office.

    With that said the corporate Youtube channel (which they spend over 6 figures annually promoting) was tied to an email address of an agency employee who has not been working for the company for at least 2 years. It always bothered me, but as any one who has ever tried to connect a youtube account to a different Google account knows, it is entirely impossible. For some reason someone changed the password and we were totally locked out and we couldn’t retrieve because we didn’t have email access to that account, the account was dead in the water with no way to transfer it or any reasonable solution. I contacted our Google team and they got back to me within an hour and that same day, with reasonable data to support the change (an email from the existing owner stating it’s OK to transfer), the account was reclaimed and never to be lost again! So occasionally they can move mountains, yet other times seemingly simple things are impossible.

    • Adam McFarland says:

      Good examples Tim, nice to see how take care of both smaller and larger companies. Certainly there are examples where they don’t have a good solution. They are a massive company and I don’t expect them to be perfect, or the software to be perfect.

      The confusion between normal Google accounts and Google Apps accounts definitely creates some problems for us. It’s impossible to go solely Google Apps – there are some products that just don’t work with them – so you’re always stuck with this weird mix of personal accounts and Apps accounts. It’s gotten better but still a long ways to go.

      When I compare them to when I’ve had to contact Amazon, eBay, Facebook, etc for business reasons, Google seems to be leaps and bounds better though.

      • Tim says:

        What I find so remarkable about Google is that their network of applications/services is HUGE! I’d bet no single person actually uses all of their offerings, yet the integration between these services is amazing. There are little quirks here and there, but when you think of just how much is going on it’s incredible to believe it actually works with only weird fluke problems.

        I’ve worked (or at least tried to) with Facebook and Microsoft and both experiences were terrible and the problem wasn’t even identified let alone resolved. A lot of people give Google a hard time, but considering all that they do and how they handle it they are doing a fantastic job that I’d challenge any company their size to replicate.

        • Adam McFarland says:

          A lot of people give Google a hard time, but considering all that they do and how they handle it they are doing a fantastic job that I’d challenge any company their size to replicate.

          Couldn’t have said it better myself!

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