Forum Restructure: Customer Service Forums


Customer Service

Paizo Employee Director of Community

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We're looking at some forum restructuring to help support our staff and our community. We will be working on these changes over the next few months. The first change will be shutting down the Customer Service and Website Feedback forums and opening an Announcements channel on Jan 3rd. We've found that most of the threads started in CS forums are also reported via email. To keep staff from duplicating work, we want to handle all issues (including website feedback) through our ticketing system. This will help streamline our workflow and make sure we handle issues in the order submitted!


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Will the Announcements channel allow for us to post responses?

I've found that I can often avoid sending CS emails if I simply check the CS forum and read what's happening for other people.

And I can avoid sending excessive emails about a problem that other people have (clearly) already reported.

Eliminating the sharing of information between customers sounds less than effective, especially with website issues which can often be solved more quickly with a little technical advice from other posters. That's much less frustrating than waiting for staff to have time to respond. Especially during weekends and holiday breaks.

Paizo Employee Director of Community

Dancing Wind wrote:

Will the Announcements channel allow for us to post responses?

I've found that I can often avoid sending CS emails if I simply check the CS forum and read what's happening for other people.

And I can avoid sending excessive emails about a problem that other people have (clearly) already reported.

Eliminating the sharing of information between customers sounds less than effective, especially with website issues which can often be solved more quickly with a little technical advice from other posters. That's much less frustrating than waiting for staff to have time to respond. Especially during weekends and holiday breaks.

Where relevant, yes. Some announcements benefit from discussion and some won't. But we can set that on a per-thread basis. If we find we need to add back a channel, we can do that as well. Will keep an eye on workflow and communication and try to optimize both.

Silver Crusade

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I think you're making a big mistake here. The customer service forums have always been helpful to me, not just for getting my own problems solved, but for showing what sort of company Paizo is and so I can see if others are having similar issues. The response to forum requests has always been prompt and courteous, and easy to track because you can see how many requests from before yours are unanswered. Email is far less personal, and usually takes far longer. It also is completely lacking the community building component that these forums have.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Or maybe at a minimum keep it open for general issues affecting many people, such as the tracking issue I noticed just before the Christmas break.

So the general idea would be that any individual issue that you would object to having bumped by another customer should go to email, but anything that affects many or most people would be perfect for that forum.

Edit: Maybe it would make sense to close the Customer Service forum but leave the Website Feedback forum open? It is rather rare for an issue appropriate to the Website Feedback forum to affect only one person.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I realize that workflow is important, but having the redundancy is a desired feature from the customer side of things -- with email it can take weeks for the email to be answered if at all.

When there's a post on the Customer Service Forums, the response in my experience is timely, direct, and to the point.

Please reconsider the options here, because this does not sound like a productive or positive move forward to help either Paizo or Paizo's customers.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

One has to wonder if part of this might have been the flurry of subscription cancelations we saw a few months ago, and a desire to keep that sort of thing more private in the future. That coupled with the shipping schedule problems we've seen over the last few months don't leave a whole lot of confidence.

If you really wanted to reduce workload, I'd say the first step is to fill the three openings that have been left in recent months.


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Tonya Woldridge wrote:
We're looking at some forum restructuring to help support our staff and our community. We will be working on these changes over the next few months. The first change will be shutting down the Customer Service and Website Feedback forums and opening an Announcements channel on Jan 3rd. We've found that most of the threads started in CS forums are also reported via email. To keep staff from duplicating work, we want to handle all issues (including website feedback) through our ticketing system. This will help streamline our workflow and make sure we handle issues in the order submitted!

Have YOU tried to reach customer service via email? Because I have and it was horrendous! Maybe you should actually make sure you have your s!@# together before you throw all your faith into one bucket.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tonya Woldridge wrote:
We're looking at some forum restructuring to help support our staff and our community. We will be working on these changes over the next few months. The first change will be shutting down the Customer Service and Website Feedback forums and opening an Announcements channel on Jan 3rd. We've found that most of the threads started in CS forums are also reported via email. To keep staff from duplicating work, we want to handle all issues (including website feedback) through our ticketing system. This will help streamline our workflow and make sure we handle issues in the order submitted!

Bolded for emphasis

We were TOLD in the past by Customer Service to use this method, as well as calling the Paizo phone number to verify that the case was being handled.

Is the phone number going to be turned off as well?

EDIT: Big mistake on my part thinking it was 1-800, it wasn't toll free, my apologies on the error

EDIT2: Cannot find phone number to contact Paizo!

Some of us don't live on email nor do we trust it to work based on over twenty-five years of dealing with email over the Internet. Please do Better, Paizo.

Dark Archive

My experience with Paizo customer service email has been positive and efficient with the exception of the Great Golem sale debacle close to 10 years ago now. This includes a number of times in the last year. I never even went to this section of the boards for years, and with the shipping update emails that have started I absolutely appreciate the changes.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

What is the current turnaround time for an email to CS? If it's same day or next business day, that's one thing; if it's longer, that's going to be a pretty negative customer experience, I'm afraid.

Also, is there any way that some "Announcements" threads can allow responses? I really enjoy the excitement in the monthly Shipping threads, and if there's any way to post that thread so people can still respond to it, I think that's pretty important. Even if it has to be in a separate area instead of the new Announcements thread. Please?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

She said that announcements can allow replies. No way to tell yet which will and won’t, but the ability is there.

I choose to think positively about this. Forum threads alway struck me as a weird way to do this, albeit one Paizo does make work. If this means that emails will be answered quicker, I am all for it. Though a dedicated form expressly designed to create subscription cancellation tickets seems like it would be even better method.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

If this is part of a greater trend to disconnect the current forum/website/shop tangle so that they can update their site without business interruptions, I find this pretty exciting.

If it's not, and if this update doesn't improve CS turnaround (or actively slows it, as some here have worried), then I'll be pretty bummed.

However, I know running an RPG company is hard in the best of times and this is definitely not the best of times. It's a new year just about, so I'm really rooting for all the folks at Paizo (and on these forums) to have remarkably great 2022s.

Grand Lodge

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Finally! It is about time Paizo stopped using a public forum to conduct private account business. Switching to email as the primary method of contact is appreciated. That all my recent emails to the customer service team have been answered within 24 business hours shows you have overcome whatever challenges existed in the past. Thank you.

Personally, I would not activate responses to your announcement threads because that just means you'll have to monitor it which will create additional work for the agents and defeat the purpose of the streamlining.

Silver Crusade

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Pretty sure “whatever challenges existed in the past” was a lack of CS employees, which they’re still suffering from.

Silver Crusade

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Also when someone who is best buds with Director of Community in charge of CS has prompt and special service over other customers is not the commendation you think it is.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'm largely indifferent to this. What I really have grown tired of, and cancelled my subscriptions over, is the lack of communication regarding subscriptions.

If removing the CS forums will prevent duplicate requests and allow CS to work more efficiency then that is change I welcome. I just hope that subscriptions get better communication regarding when the estimated shipping date will be missed, as well as when shipping actually ends.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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If this is driven by trying to implement a new and or better ticketing queue or system, then removing the CS forums as a way to enter the queue isn't a requirement. It wouldn't be that hard to have one CS rep on call each week to handle various things like triaging the CS forum, and creating a ticket on behalf of a customer who posts a request, then updating that forum post with a message along the lines of "created ticket #12345 which will be handled in order of the combined email/forum queue". or if it is a duplicate "This appears to be a duplicate of ticket #2345, submitted via email, and will be handled in order of the combined queue".

Does having someone take some time each day to manage this take away from the overall CS bandwidth? Yes. does it provide better customer service to maintain the 10+ year old primary communication method with the customer service team? Also, yes. Is this trade off worth the cost? I'd say yes, unless Paizo is specifically looking to cut costs and reduce the level of customer support, which is historically something Paizo has excelled at and has a strong reputation for.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yeah, like where I work we have a specific Triage team to assign tickets to their respective owners as they come in from multiple different sources. It shouldn't be that different here. Another thing I'd recommend is clearly communicating Service Level Agreements so customers have an idea of how long a particular type of request should take to get responded to and resolved.

Silver Crusade

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To buy an item from Paizo always costs me more than elsewhere, often double as much. I considered this worthwhile when I could see how well Paizo not only took care of me as a customer but also took care of everyone else, as evidenced by the customer service forum. If that is going away, I have no reason to spend all that extra money.

Verdant Wheel

For those of us with unresolved threads, will those be grandfathered in or should we go ahead and duplicate with an email?


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I can understand the arguments in favor of removing the customer service forums, though I don't actually think it'll result in an improvement to customer service, but removing the web feedback forum as well is a really bad idea.

As that forum stands, it's a place where people can see if there's a site issue affecting more than just their own experience, and offer feedback on problems that are causing issues for more people than just that one indivudual customer. By eliminating a public forum for wider technical issues, it seems more likely to increase the workload of customer support and technical staff as multiple reports of the same problem flood the support system.

As a personal impression based on Paizo's overall pattern of behaviour over the last months, my own reaction is that this is more of an attempt to hide bad publicity like multiple subscription cancellations and other complaints from the public forums than it is a real attempt to improve customer service. Trust broken is harder to regain.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Sad about this. CS engagement is one of the core reasons I've remained a customer. Been very vocal about this. Won't be surprised if this is another short term misstep and I hope Paizo can weather any damage caused by it.

I've always felt it was weird to host personal business in a public forum. I agree that having tickets made this way is abnormal. But the CS forum, and mostly the monthly sub updates, is a great way to not only engage with the customer base and put names and sometimes faces to the people behind the screen helping us, but it is also a way for us to be able to gage issues like shipping and delays. Some of my best engagements on the forums is here in the CS forum.

Changing how tickets are made could be positive, removing the avenue of engagement is definitely not.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The CS forums were generally my first point of call when I had an issue or concern since I could actively check if this was a known issue or something that required me to reach out. Removing that means I'm now going to be wasting both employees time and my own with mails that didn't need to exist. This just feels like throwing things at the wall and hoping they stick without actually considering the customers and staff it effects.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It puts the onus on the CS team to actually announce known issues, with a consistent place to check. There's nothing about the plan that strikese as inherently regressive in terms of quality of customer interaction, but like anything, it's a matter of execution.

I mostly check the subscription threads to know what's going on, but a lot of times issues end up being discussed on product threads (PDF errors and whatnot) or other random places. Having one place where they get aggregated/announced once tickets start showing up on their internal system would actually be an improvement.

Customer Service Representative

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Hi everyone! I posted this in another thread but thought it would be good to post here as well. When it comes to the CS forums we have a great new ticketing system that Sara Marie implemented that has been significantly helping with our response times. I have mostly been the one working in the CS forums for the last few months and a large majority of the forum messages have also been sent in as an email. This creates a lot of extra work for us and takes away our time and attention from other issues and customers. We have only 4 CSRs right now and this will hopefully be a way to help us manage our workload.

I also wanted to add something that Brian brought up in the previous thread. Moving away from posting personalized issues on the forums should also help reduce the opportunity for customers to accidentally post personal/sensitive information.

We plan to share known issues that are affecting multiple customers in our announcement forum as well, that way we can keep everyone updated :)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Having a good ticketing system is wonderful. I can see peoples point about the forum being more open and communicative and email in the past being horrible (because email is the oldest thing there is on the internet). But a good ticketing system should get rid of the bad parts of email, help keep track of things better than a forum, which is not designed for support. It will also allow for reference, accountability and tracking.

We will miss some of the interaction on the CS Forum, but not necessarily the things like "This book was missing" and "Order #######". I think that some of the things we will miss will show up other places, and the things needing a ticketing system finally have one. You folks did an awesome job without a ticketing system, I think that you will do an even better job with one.

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