A Help Center & personal note from Michael

Hello, everyone!

This is Michael from Viki community support. I hope everyone’s having a great week so far.

As some of you may remember, we launched the Viki Help Center a few months ago in an effort to quickly respond to your incoming requests for technical help, new shows and pretty much anything else you can think of. So I’d like to take this opportunity to answer some of your questions about... the Viki Help Center :)

Submitting Help Center requests and getting auto email replies makes me feel like a number. Who’s exactly answering my messages and why can’t I directly PM Viki staff the way I used to?

We now have two full-time staff (including me) dedicated to gathering and synthesizing all your emails and feedback, and working across Viki to address your concerns. We also get help from other members of our community team, content acquisition team, product managers or engineers -- all of whom we talk to in order to find out when bugs will be fixed, when and if we’ll be acquiring the shows you want, clarification on policy, etc.

Because we receive about 3,000 emails every month (this number is growing as Viki grows), we needed to find a solution that would allow us to receive, respond to and track every message we get so that we can better service everyone. To do this, we use a popular customer service software called Zendesk, which is the backbone of the Viki Help Center. The software allows us to know whether multiple people are writing about the same issue, whether we’ve responded to everyone and how quickly, etc.

The downside of implementing more efficiencies -- and, ironically, providing better customer service -- is that the process itself can feel less “human.” When you receive auto-reply emails, it can seem cold, especially for those of you who were used to PMing Viki staff directly.

Please know, however, that the intention is better support, and that I or someone else on the team will review and respond to every single person who writes in. If we sometime seem like “all business,” it’s really not intentional. I truly love Viki, and I know that the community is what makes Viki so unique.

It sometimes feels like it takes forever to get a response from you guys. Why the wait?

In the past, we were horrible at getting back to you in timely manner. Even as recently as December, we still had messages from the previous July that were waiting for an answer! That’s why we launched the Help Center, streamlined the response process and hired dedicated CS team members.

I’m very proud to report that the vast majority of people who email us now receive an answer within 72 hours and often within 24 hours. On a related note: while we value every Viki user, inquiries from Qualified Contributors also go to the top of the queue (to learn more about becoming a QC, click here).

Most Internet start-ups -- even ones that claim to be about community -- don’t even respond to user emails, so I’m proud to be part of a team that thinks differently.

My goal is to get our response time down to 24 hours or less. On a more personal note, I’d like to improve my relationship with some community members (you know who you are! :) who have had issues with me, CS or Viki’s “lack of understanding” about community pain points.

We’re a very small team and trying the best we can, so please bear with us as we make mistakes, figure things out, and try to make things better. If I or any of us mess up along the way, definitely tell me, but your patience is always appreciated!

No matter how great the customer service is, it still doesn’t change the fact that I need my issue fixed or I still don’t see the show I want.

Fair point. :) We’re hiring as many great engineers as we can so that we can be on top of video performance (your number one request!), more content (see Razmig, our CEO’s blog here about content licensing) and generally being faster to fix bugs and improve the site.

Hopefully you’ve already noticed many changes -- some big and some small -- for the better. And believe me, I’m bugging the engineers and content acquisition team on a daily basis with your requests! I’m on your side, so keep writing in!

What’s the best and fastest way to get help for my issue?

Barring the Internet going down, here are the best ways to get help that will guarantee a response from us:

  1. Send an e-mail to info@viki.com, OR

  2. Go directly to the Help Center (click “Help Center” at the bottom of every page on viki.com) and fill out the help request form


Finally, quality customer service is my passion, so if you ever feel that you received a message that was less than friendly, please let me know. As I frequently mention in my messages to you, my door is always open, and I am always happy to chat about anything.

I have a lot of experience working with various Internet communities, and I have to say that the Viki community is the most passionate and most vocal I’ve ever encountered... which is awesome, and to which I will always be...

At your service,