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When 'live help' is no help

This isn't meant as a dig at Adobe - although they don't come out of this well - but a number of our clients have 'Live Chat' help facilities on their web sites, and an article I read recently listed the presence of
a 'live help' feature as an essential part of an ecommerce store.

Of course like most things, that depends on how you've implemented it. Let's take......hmmmm... Adobe for example. We at Focus have some Adobe software on a monthly subscription - paid for on a company credit card which is all good until you want to update the card details, as I wanted to today.

Having logged into my account and found my 'subscription', I see a nice big 'Edit Billing Info' button - all looking good. Pressing the button though reveals that "the page cannot be found" and I am advised to ring the North America / Canada helpdesk on a very expensive international phone number. Hmph.

Luckily though, I see a equally nice, big 'Live Help' button just to the right, so I click again. I'm asked my name and a friendly agent welcomes me by asking how I am. I say I am very well.

So how can Adobe help me today? I explain - in some detail - my situation, hoping it's pretty standard, easy stuff. But no. Despite being labelled 'Live Help' on a page that is only available for logged in Adobe users - he can't help. He doesn't have access to accounts or user details. I assume he can help though if I wanted to buy something - but probably couldn't help me pay for it (as that needs an Adobe account).

Just a little thought (and dare I say it Adobe, usability testing) would have helped - I guess (sigh) broken links on web sites happen (although still pretty poor) but the link to 'live help' that doesn't help is even poorer. Remove it for logged in users, or re-label it (Live Sales Help?), do something rather than have people like me blog about stuff like this.

Grudgingly I logged out - only for another live chat window to pop from nowhere, and ask me if I wanted any help....

Simon Newing

Created on Wednesday April 25 2012 09:20 AM

Tags: ux usability

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