Second Life Hype Taken To New Levels

from the the-future dept

This past year has seen a wave of companies enter Second Life, ostensibly for the purpose of doing business there, but mainly because it’s an easy way of garnering some free publicity. However, some companies are actually drinking their own Kool-Aid, as they argue that Second Life represents the future of customer service. One consulting firm is trying to pitch the idea that Second Life offers many advantages to traditional phone-based customer support, noting, for example, that customers can amuse themselves in the virtual world while waiting for a representative to deal with their issue. Of course, it’s not clear how this is superior to the status quo, since it’s easy enough to put the phone on speaker, place it on your desk and continue about your business, unrestrained from the limitations of the virtual world. Furthermore, for any company that has to deal with a high volume of customers, it’s ridiculous to think that things would be more efficient if only operators communicated through avatars, not to mention the disruption to business that would occur if prank-making griefers were to show up. There’s no doubt that there’s a lot of room for innovation in the world of customer service, which remains dreadful at many companies, but it’s highly doubtful that Second Life holds the key.

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Comments on “Second Life Hype Taken To New Levels”

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Eric the Grey says:

Customer Support

I was a volunteer CS person for Asherons Call before they disbanded the program and let me tell you, if anybody thinks doing CS in a virtual environment would be easier, they are mistaken.

The final hour of my training involved every rep on the server, and several from other servers all trying to get my attention to help them with their “problem” at the same time. What a nightmare.

It was cool, since none of the ‘problems’ were real, but if it were a real emergency, things would get out of hand quickly.

I’ll stick with a phone that I can put on hold, thankyouverymuch….


Chris says:

So I'll have to...

Odds are if I’m going to be calling customer support for anything beyond a billing matter, or a reactivation of an acoount where I actualy have to speak to someone with the authorization to change something on the provider side of whatever service it is I’m going to be needing, and wish to do so through the game second life, I probably can fix the issue already. Seeing as I’ll not only need to have a highspeed connection, with a fairly decent graphic capable computer, and above average computer competancy skills, I doub’t the average american is going to get anything beneficial out of virtual customer service. Especially when they can be shooting off the latest plasma gun, making their own whatever, or trying out a new set of genitals for their avatar, why would they care to pay attention to someone with slow typing skills in broken english?

Jazzmyn says:


I’ve been around since the days of text based MUD gaming that we did on 1200 baud BBS connections, and I couldn’t explain Second Life to anyone, even if I tried! I get the game part, but I’m baffled beyond confusion about how real life companies are getting their products involved in a virtual game, in a place that doesn’t even exist?

Angry Rivethead says:

I think...

They should move Customer Service reps to World of Warcraft. That way depending on class, I could sheep, fearkite or sap people that are ahead of me in line waiting for service.

I’m a warlock and the prospect of being able to step up to a line and hit Howl of Terror has always been a cool thought…

Or or or I could use my succubus! Yeah thats it! I’ll use my succubus and have her whip the shit out of the people in front of me!

Or my voidwalker…he could hold aggro, while I just stroll up to the front of the line….

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