Google´s lack of personal support and why I’m still with them

Google Apps logoIt’s no secret that Google´s support is lacking in many aspects. Their customer relations rely heavily on their customers helping themselves and eachother. They have an extensive database filled to the brim with help articles and guides and that is all good, but sometimes it just isn’t enough.

If you have been with me for a while you know that I do love many of the products that Google put online and I rely on some of them every day. I have even taken it a bit further so that I am not only helping myself, I actually help and consult other people on how to use cloud and SaaS to help them make their daily chores less tedious and more effective.  I do this through my company NETRiK.se (shameless self promotion I know) and some external consultants here in Sweden. My focus lies on smaller companies and entrepreneurs, ranging from 1-10 employees.

99% of the time they end up in one of Googles own huge support databases filled with comments from 50 other frustrated users with the same problems…

I bump into issues with Google products at the very least on a monthly basis, with some of them falling into the small easily resolved category and with othersbeing deal breakers. And if they didn’t have me (ME! ME! ME!) the customer would be left to his or her own devices and getting in touch with Google is for most of these people a no-go. This leaves them searching the web for solutions and 99% of the time they end up in one of Googles own huge support databases filled with comments from 50 other frustrated users with the same problems and the same question on everyones lips; WHY DOESN’T GOOGLE HELP US?

I think that there are several reasons for Google not offering a more personal support:

  1. You are not paying Google for the Premium Plus and Bacon
  2. You are not paying Google for the Educationally Interselective Edition
  3. You are not paying Google for the Business Package
  4. You are not paying Google for the Enterprise Deluxe Plus Version

Why is it that they put all these free services on the market if they are not going to support them?

Well, first off, you are paying Google for all of this. Let’s face it, Google are making big bucks and these bucks are most likely, I might be wrong, not printed using Google cloud print! The money comes from you clicking on Google ads on searches or on their network. It also comes from companies that pay for the Google Apps Business (and the other) editions etc etc.

YOU pay their salaries and the pool table in their office, so, no, Google Calendar isn’t really free.

Google is at a breakpoint where more organisations GO GOOGLE as they call it. They shift over from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps and I am all for that, Google Apps is superior in most aspects. But Google need to sort out their support even for the smaller customers. You think I might be shooting myself in the foot here, yes and no, companies with Google Apps NEED people like me to help them. If not that, they need someone employed within their own company that has enough expertise with Google Apps and similar, which is rarely the case if you have 1-10 employees.

I have friends and colleagues who are very Microsoft centric…

…and they don’t take Google serious. Something that according to me is a dangerous stance to take, but part of me can understand them. They say that Google cannot be contacted, and this comes from devs aswell as Exchange convertees. I tend to shrug it off and say that you can contact me, but when I myself try to get in contact with Google about a faulty Analytics account for over three weeks and no one hears me, then I understand the MS Exchange peeps.

“..but according to me if you put a product on the market you need to be able to support it aswell. In this case the customers bad experience is related to Google Apps as a whole, no matter if it is the free version or not.”

Regarding the conflicting analytics account that I mentioned above, I somehow managed to tap into the helpdesk for AdWords and they forwarded my question to the Analytics team. Nothing happened, but after contacting the AdWords team again the conflicting account was then updated, and it is now working.

The concensus is that it takes too long and my customer is left being frustrated and unsatisifed. I should mention though that this was the free Google Apps version, but according to me if you put a product on the market you need to be able to support it aswell. In this case the customers bad experience is related to Google Apps as a whole, no matter if it is the free version or not.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like many of Google´s products…

…and I will continue to support them. It’s what I do, I solve problems and help people become more effective, so for now Microsofts solutions are out of the picture. But Google need to get a reality check and start looking into their support and make it more personal and accessible as I think this is one of their biggest issues right now and it is an area where for example Microsoft is way ahead…

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