Support for investors needs improvement

Support for investors needs improvement. When things go wrong or appear to go wrong, investors need immediate support. Urgent requests for support must be acknowledged ASAP. The current support process involves sending an email to support@centrifuge.io. Unfortunately, however, response times are alarmingly slow. More than 24 hours in some cases, based on my experience. Discord and Telegram are hit and miss. I propose that a support desk be manned 24/7 and that funds be allocated for this purpose if necessary. The support desk should immediately triage all incoming requests, immediately acknowledge receipt, and promptly provide a material response to requests deemed urgent. This would require that team members capable of fixing and/or addressing problems also be available 24/7. Enhanced support recognizes the importance of investors to the Centrifuge protocol. Happy investors will stick around and spread the word.

Hello Blahar
What’s your issue? Feel free to contact here or in TG or Discord as well.

Hi BLahar.

Centrifuge has several support channels (Discord, Telegram, Email-Support) which are handled by staff and ambassadors from different time zones. A response on an email within 24-48 hours isn’t “alarmingly slow” and help on Telegram and Discord will be given within max. a few hours. As well is Centrifuge a community driven project where everyone can provide help to each other (if possible).

I agree that enhanced support is important and values investors. Which is your issue you didn’t get help with (or not fast enough)?

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Depending on the issue, a response one or two days later, may indeed be “alarmingly” slow. Why not implement a support request mechanism whereby the requester can select the urgency level of his problem. An instant response such as “We have received your request. It is being handled according to the urgency you have indicated” would assuage those seeking help.

Those in need of help must be able to get it, where warranted, immediately. And where warranted, the help must be available from a team member who understands the issue and can fix it.

As an investor, I stand by my earlier comments.

Investors should not have to rely on “ambassadors” on Telegram and Discord - no disrespect intended - when those persons may not themselves have the answers let alone the ability to resolve issues. Further, some investors may have never even heard of Discord or Telegram.

PS I would be happy to collaborate on design of a support mechanism.

Yes, I agree the speed of problem solving should increase with the severity of the issue. We had several reports of missing funds in Tinlake - if this is the same issue you are talking about - and immediately contacted the devs from the team to analyse the problem. Within 30 min a solution plus an explanation of the problem was presented and given back in Telegram to (known) affected investors.

Can you please check if your funds are restored again?

The problem that prompted my proposal involves the seeming disappearance of invested funds. Support was contacted at 1120 PM EDT (Wednesday). Still no response, 12 hours later and counting.

Hello! I manage the support@centrifuge.io inbox! Touching on the above quote before addressing anything else:

@BLahar I don’t actually see an email from anyone last night that I hadn’t replied to before this forum post. Did you reach out to support@ or a different address, or are you referring to reachout you made in Telegram/Discord?

I replied to two investors who were worried about the portfolio UI bug in the morning my time (~10am EDT). With the help of our community / ambassadors, the issue was already identified + being worked on by Tinlake front-end engineers even earlier, as of 3:30 AM EDT.

Want to be sure people are routing support matters to the right place and there isn’t an issue here!

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I used the wrong email address: support@centrifuge.com not .io (Due to a previous error, the .com version had been pre-saved in my mail client.)

My above comments must be seen in light of this error on my part.

To help (panicking?) investors avoid stupid mistakes, eg using wrong support email address, and to facilitate support requests, why not add a link to support in a conspicuous spot - at least somewhere - on tinlake.centrifuge.io, perhaps in the footer (next to “Investment Disclaimer” “Data Privacy Policy” and “Imprint”). Or on centrifuge.io. Can’t seem to find the email address for support noted anywhere conspicuous.

Ahh gotcha. That makes sense. I shared this post with the apps team — I agree that it would be nice to have the proper support@ email at a place it can be more easily found as it isn’t clear enough!

That being said, I also requested that we be smart with how we place it and message this. Users should also be okay with reading the documentation or even consulting the community with questions (i.e. “how does an epoch work with Tinlake?”) vs. immediately reaching out to a more centralized support desk.

However, the support desk is still important IMO for a product like Tinlake where there will indeed be more serious, pressing issues that needs support from the team. Tinlake isn’t a perfect product (does such a thing exist?) so there are also times when a team member needs to step in to help!

At the end of the day, we’re not like a bank or a broker whose business model supports them being able to have <30 minute response times — and I don’t think we should be. What we are doing is developing infrastructure, ecosystem, and community. We’d be inching ourselves towards being a centralized product if we really hammered in single-silo support desk, IMO.

What we can do however, is make sure the channels for solving problems — whether simple confusion or an urgent, urgent bug — are very clear. People should know how to reach out to support@, how to reach out to ambassadors on Telegram, even reaching out on Twitter/etc. I think from there we have been doing a good job of hopping on urgent issues — but very open to suggestions in this area.

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I can confirm that Ambassadors now cover and provide support around 20h/24 hours in TG, Discord and forum.
Anyone who has some issue, problem or just requests help could contact via TG and for sure will get help and will attract the attention of Ambassadors about the problem. Then Ambassador (if will be not able to solve a problem) will contact Team.

+1

BLahar

Just today I helped to solve 2-3 issues with Tinlake (of course with Team help), but however, TG actually provides fast and efficient help with any problem.

Of course, if you want to solve all in a private email is the best way to do this directly with Team.

Bear in mind that Centrifuge is likely attractive to conservative investors and risk-averse “normies.” You cannot assume that such types use Telegram or Discord or even know what they are. (I know: most of my friends and family fit this description.) They might not participate in the forum or even have an account on Twitter. Meanwhile, support by email is ubiquitous; everyone is familiar with the concept. Largely for this reason, it’s important to have an email support desk with an email address conspicuously displayed at tinlake.centrifuge.io, on centrifuge.io and in the supporting documentation. Investors should not have to dig for it.

I agree with Devin that a support desk is important mainly for pressing issues and that a “single-silo support desk” is not the solution. I still maintain, however, that a support desk should be manned and watched carefully, without pause, 24/7. If a hack occurs, and one or more investors lose their funds, they must be able to notify support, and be acknowledged, immediately. It’s imperative also that the team learn about such problems the moment they occur. Or, if there’s a coding glitch and investors’ funds only appear to go missing, such investors need to have their concerns allayed ASAP. 30 minutes of waiting can be agony. We don’t want heart attacks.

I agree that investors with questions on non-urgent matters can be directed to appropriate resources. Or such questions can be answered directly later. But emails from those with non-urgent queries should trigger an immediate, if boiler-plate response, acknowledging receipt of the email, explaining how their request will be handled, and providing links to resources.

Until investors are conversant with use of the protocol, some hand-holding is likely inevitable. Having a visible support desk - in addition to other help channels - is both welcoming and reassuring to the nervous newcomer.

A big part of the solution to non-urgent support lies in comprehensive, well-organized documentation that addresses all of the questions that an investor might have.

PS As an investor who has experience with on-boarding, investing, rewards claiming, staking, and even the seeming disappearance of funds, I am well positioned to assist with fine-tuning of the relevant documentation.

You make a very good point re: not everyone being familiar with Twitter, Telegram, Discord, etc, and the ubiquity of the support@ email. Particularly in the context of more traditional investors entering the space here given our work with real world assets!

Something we have talked about internally is onboarding some of our top community ambassadors to the support@ email flow. These ambassadors are worldwide, in many different time zones, some around on weekends, etc.

So far this idea has only been for if inbound were to exceed our current capacity, but this could also allow us to provide the immediate response / acknowledgement for urgent heart-attack-inducing situations :slight_smile: — even if the core contributors team isn’t immediately available. We will explore this idea!

A big reason for making an email support desk the mainstay of help provision - especially regarding queries involving actual fund transfers or the disclosure of personal information (eg, wallet addresses, real identities) is that posts requesting help on Discord (where my experience has been) and no doubt, also Telegram, virtually always bring scammers out of the woodwork who prey on the unwary.