VoIP provider Voxee shows how to get customer support right

You may not have heard of a fairly small VoIP provider named Voxee. But the way they handled a system-down issue on Friday should be a best-practices lesson for all VoIP providers.

You may not have heard of a fairly small VoIP provider named Voxee. But the way they handled a system-down issue on Friday should be a best-practices lesson for all VoIP providers.

The issue first came to light on the VoIP Forums section of Broadband Reports.com. At 1:13 p.m., Member raderator asked whether Voxee was down. Apparently, that was the case- not only with the service but with the website, too.

Eighteen minutes later, Member gkong posted: "Yes, seems to be the dns server ns1 and ns2 of voxee.com is not working and also 66.246.246.52 is not responding to pings as well."

So what does Voxee do? Keep customer service representatives half a world away in the dark about this issue? Update the Knowledge Base with a "Known Issue" report hours or even days later? Do nothing at all.

No. They stepped up to the plate and took responsibility.

Only Thirty-two minutes and 44 seconds after raderator first posted the problem, a Voxee representative went to Broadband Reports and posted an update:

Hi raderator/gkong,

"Yes our website is currently down because the main server which handles DNS and the mysql database backend have been under DOS attack for the past hour (yikes!). We're all mobilised and working hard to bring back services asap, and should be ready in an hour's time."

The rep then added:

"Apologies for the inconvenience caused, we will be deploying some DNS redundancy and database fallovers once this issue is resolved."

Less than 15 minutes later, the rep made another post advising that the service was back up. The rep also asked Voxee users with continuing issues to contact customer support.

OK, here's what Voxee did right:

  1. Rather than hide behind outsourced Bangalore phone banks, they appear to troll the board regularly.
  2. At the first sign of trouble, they responded immediately.
  3. They didn't respond immediately with a standard "system down" Java crawl, but with a precise explanation of the problem.
  4. Their response indicated the time frame in which the problem was expected to be fixed.
  5. Their response indicated how the issue would be remedied.
  6. The response addressed the service-down posters by name- a nice personalization touch.
  7. When service was back up, Voxee posted a note about it immediately on the Broadband Forums board.
  8. The service-up note allowed for blips. By inviting customers with service access issues to contact customer support.

Now, I wonder how many of the better-known VoIP providers would be responsive in this way?