If you’ve ever been involved in pay per click campaign management, you may be aware of the difficulty of contacting Google with customer service problems. Phone contact can be almost impossible, leading to frustration and stress. DeWitt Clinton, a Google employee, posted a “Thought of the Day” which puts the customer service issues that the search giant faces in perspective. The original post which appeared on his Google+ account said:
Thought of the day:
If you have a billion users, and a mere 0.1% of them have an issue that requires support on a given day (an average of one support issue per person every three years), and each issue takes 10 minutes on average for a human to personally resolve, then you’d spend 19 person-years handling support issues every day.
If each support person works an eight-hour shift each day then you’d need 20,833 support people on permanent staff just to keep up.
That, folks, is internet scale.
Clinton’s breakdown of the numbers shows that for a traditional customer service plan to be effective, Google would need to hire an army of representatives to aid its clientele.
The company has worked around this issue by employing a large amount of Googlers with a digital presence to answer questions. There are also thousands of Google-enthusiasts not affiliated with the company that provide information in a litany online sources (forums, blogs and social media sites).
Regardless this post brings up that sheer number of customers that Google has for both its paid and free services. With such staggering numbers, how will issues like this be addressed as Google continues to grow? How will the addition of a mobile division and the expansion of their digital services affect their customer service plans?