Customer service chat is a staple of most online retailers. Instead of pulling out the phone app, selecting the number to call, and waiting for hours, the chat system’s response time is usually much faster. The design of these systems can be pretty intimidating for the workers behind them, and the edge He recently posted a demo about what it’s like to work as a chat representative for Samsung.com. The story paints a picture of an exploitative system that pressures employees to work for free.
At the top of this article, you can see what Samsung’s chat system looks like. After just a few seconds on the main page of Samsung.com, a “Chat with an expert” box appears, and with one click, you can contact someone. This popup appears on almost every page on the Samsung website, and at a glance, it looks like a customer service line. The Verge report says that this is in fact a system filled exclusively with salespeople who are “only commission, no hourly pay”. If they don’t make a sale, they won’t get paid. On closer inspection, the phrase “Chat with an expert” Our best offersIt gently conveys the sales intent behind this popup. However, it’s not hard to imagine that most users would see it as a customer service line, especially given it’s ubiquitous on the Samsung website.
These employees are not technically supposed to handle customer support inquiries, are not trained in customer support, and will not be paid to have a customer support conversation. However, none of the people who visit Samsung.com know this. Official documents direct salespeople not to respond to customer service requests and instead direct people to the Samsung support page and close the chat. The catch is that customers can also rate the salespeople after this interaction. Employees told The Verge that not providing free customer service leads to lower satisfaction scores, and lower satisfaction scores lead to them being fired. Employees say they are also invited to make these free customer support calls by both Samsung and its partner in this chat organization, a company called “Ibbu”.
Even the days that are supposed to be big sales days don’t always work out well for Samsung’s authorized chat staff. The report says the Galaxy S22 launch was “created as if it was Christmas” for chat reps, but Samsung’s website was down For most of the launch day, so the salespeople couldn’t turn a profit.
Samsung.com has a chat system for customer service, but it only appears if you specifically go to it samsung.com/us/support/. A support chat looks like a different chat system, and because it is concerned about overburdening its employees, it starts with an automated help list before it connects you with someone, unlike a sales chat. Samsung can The most prominent sales chat system connect this support system when users request support. Samsung can Proactively ask users in the site-wide chat popup if they’re looking for sales or support (this would actually reverse the way most corporate phone systems work). If Samsung does any of that, you won’t be able to get salespeople to work for free.
Photo listing by Getty Images / Smith Collection
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