Tech Support Showdown 2012
|Samsung Tech Support Results
|Average Call Length||6 minutes and 40 seconds|
|Phone Grade 2012||A-|
|Web Grade 2011||A-|
|Overall Grade 2011||A-|
|Overall Grade 2011||A-|
|Overall Grade 2010||C|
Since we last tested Samsung’s tech support, the company has rolled out a number of improvements, including a new website design focused on usability, a new community section and improved monitoring of its social media channels. Samsung also claims that it has increased the knowledge base for its call center agents, as well as the size of its video help library. For our testing, we used a Series 7 Chronos and asked a Samsung-specific question about its Kies media library, as well as more general questions about the notebook’s touchpad and battery life.
Web & Social Networking
On the homepage, Samsung lists a number of ways to contact its support staff, including email and social networking addresses. Live Chat is clearly the preferred method of support, with separate links to start a Live Chat session for televisions, mobile phones, computers, washers and dryers, printers and general chat.
The homepage prompts visitors to enter the name or model number of their notebook in a search box displayed prominently in the center of the screen. Typing in part of the name or model number launches a handy drop-down menu that lists possible matches. The product pages to which you’re directed are robust and well-designed, featuring user manuals, a list of downloads (such as a Battery Life Extender application) and links for various support options (such as email, Live Chat and Twitter).
Below that are product support videos, a Community Q&A section and a list of frequently asked questions and how-to guides. Samsung even provides a dedicated search bar for its FAQs and How-Tos, a feature we found incredibly helpful. Using the search bar, we found how to enable three-finger swiping on the touchpad and how to use the Battery Extender and Battery Manager applications (although the tool didn’t provide any specific tips for how to extend our battery life). Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any explanation in the FAQ or user manual on how to import our music into Samsung’s Kies media library.
A Live Chat session with Shawn resulted in an incorrect answer. When asked how we could import music into Kies from a Sony VAIO, he informed us that Kies could only transfer content from one Samsung device to another.
We received a correct answer about Kies within hours of posting the question on the Samsung Facebook timeline. When we tweeted @SamsungSupport about our battery life question, a representative responded to our queries within 30 minutes, and Samsung pointed us to useful troubleshooting articles such as “How to Calibrate Your Battery” and “Multi-Finger Functionality.”
We had a much better experience with Samsung’s phone support than last year. When we called at 10:30 a.m. EST, we asked Sarah in South Carolina how to import music from an old computer into the Samsung Kies media player. Sarah correctly walked us through the process of putting our music on a flash drive, moving it onto our computer and then using Kies to automatically import the files. The call lasted less than 5 minutes.
We called again at 1 p.m. and connected with Adam in the Philippines. When we asked him how to enable three-finger swiping on our notebook’s touchpad, he first asked us to search for the touchpad using the search bar in the Start Menu. When that failed to produce any results, Adam told us to open up the touchpad properties in the Control Panel, without first explaining how to do that. It took significant prodding on our part to get him to explain, step-by-step, exactly which icons to select in the Control Panel to find the touchpad properties. Once there, however, the Samsung rep quickly pointed out how to enable the gesture, and we successfully concluded the call in less than 10 minutes.
During our call at 4 p.m. with Karen in South Carolina, we asked how to extend our notebook’s battery life. She suggested calibrating our battery in the notebook’s BIOS (the same solution offered by the Samsung representatives on Twitter). She also suggested turning down the brightness of the screen and running fewer programs simultaneously. The call lasted 7 minutes.
While it’s hard to improve upon last year’s A-, Samsung certainly maintained excellent customer service this year. The support site is still as easy to navigate as before, and compared with other companies, Samsung makes excellent use of social media to solve customers’ problems. While our experiences with Live Chat proved less helpful than in 2011, the company’s phone support improved markedly, and Samsung’s representatives were as friendly as ever. Plus, we like that Samsung’s phone support is always free, even if your device is out of warranty. Add it all together and it’s easy to see why Samsung earns another impressive A- grade for 2012.