Can we chat?

As many of you haven't noticed, we've added a chat function to our web site. We're trying to figure out if this is valuable to people or not.

We'd envisioned it as a way for people to ask last minute questions as they decided on product selection details or placed an order. What it's actually been is more of a way for people to check on order status (the number one thing) or to ask broader "top of the funnel" questions. Both of which are fine, we're not going to try and tailor what people ask and don't ask by chat, but if that's how people want to use chat, we might be better served by nixing chat in favor of just email. 

Though we'd love to have the capacity for instant response all the time, we're almost always understaffed to do so. And while it's tough as hell to call any customer contact input "disruptive," when you are deep into a wheel build it's best to stay deep into the wheel build. One builder whose work we respect has a "please just email me and don't call" policy, for the above stated purpose. Building wheels is the core function of what we do, and it rewards deep focus. Balancing that need with our desire to give people a better communication experience than the broader industry generally provides is tough. 

I think you'd have to say we're quite good at email. Comprehensive and timely responses are the definite norm. We miss some chats simply because sometimes you don't hear the "ding" or you can't get to a point where you can leave the wheel build within the chat's response time frame. And though we pride ourselves on comprehensiveness of our answers, and though we're loathe to obstruct access to us, stopping work for x amount of time during the day is tough. Is it ok to answer a chat that requires a long, detailed response with "thanks for the question, may we answer more completely by email soon?" Is our having chat something that people find inexcusably valuable? 

 


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  • Mark Blackstock on

    Your communication thru email was good enough for me. No interest in the chat thingy.

  • Rob on

    Long live email, and blog posts. Instant online Chat is a waste of your valuable time.

  • North Krimsly on

    I’ve built a few sets of wheels myself….and, if you are in the middle of building my wheels, I want you to keep building my wheels and not get interrupted. I suspect most people would feel like this. Email response is great.

    As a side note, I bought a set of AL33’s with White hubs from November Bikes, ridden for several months. Only issue is the rear hub bearings seem to have more play (pushing rim sideways and feel clunking) than they should. I brought it to my local bike shop twice but they can’t seem to fix it and they don’t think it’s a big deal. It doesn’t seem to affect function but it’s unnerving. White says side-to-side play at the rim is OK but play at the axle is not. I can’t feel any play at the axle but it’s hard to believe the amount of play at the rim I’m feeling is OK. Any other high-end hub I’ve had does not have any play at the rim.

    So if you have any thoughts on that, I’d love to hear them.

  • Sam on

    The only time I have found chat useful has been for technical support. I have emailed you in the past and not only gotten a fast response, but a very through response. In my opinion, ditch the chat for a big email us here button.

  • AC on

    Email over chats for me, virtually every time. Chat makes sense when you are of sufficient size to have support people who can always be there to jump on. If not, don’t bother. Just explain why you’re email only on your site and people will get it. At least the ones that you want as customers anyway.



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