- We are taking concrete steps to improve our customer service response time.
- Right now, we can’t provide individual customer support on the Soylent Discourse.
- To keep the Discourse relevant to its original purpose (discussion of DIY engineered staple foods, Soylent, nutrition, science, and food tech) customer issues pertaining to subscription/order fulfillment should be shared in the two dedicated threads pinned to the top of the Discourse board.
Last week, we sent out an email to all customers that outlined the steps we are taking to improve the Soylent customer experience: increasing the number of Soylent manufacturing lines and doubling our customer care team. We want to discuss how these steps will affect the Soylent discourse.
Right now, about 40% of all discourse topics are directly related to Soylent customer service. This is largely due to the long (very long) response times experienced by customers who email us with their questions and issues. These customers are seeking customer service on discourse instead, which is a fully understandable course of action. Unfortunately, the Soylent discourse was created for the discussion of DIY engineered staple foods, Soylent, nutrition, science, and food tech, and as such was never intended to be a primary channel for customer support. The team member responsible for providing discourse customer support (among many other responsibilities) has been overwhelmed by this increase in volume, and we have regrettably not been able to provide even a baseline level of discourse customer service.
Several steps are being taken to address this issue. We are aggressively hiring more customer service agents and have hired a new head of customer service who has direct experience scaling up customer service teams. Over the next few months, we aim to reduce our reply times to under 24 hours. Providing timely, high-quality service via email will lessen the volume of customers seeking customer service on the discourse.
Unfortunately, until we get these new hires ramped up, we will not be able to provide individual customer support via discourse. Our reasoning is that it’s better to make this an official policy rather than attempt to continue providing a sub-par level of support without explanation. Once we have a better handle on our primary customer service activities, we will resume offering discourse customer support.
We also want to ensure that the discourse remains a space where customers can share their experiences (positive/negative) with each other. We aren’t interested in censoring anyone’s opinions, but we want to make sure that the many customer service topics on the discourse do not continue to dominate the homepage. You may have noticed two new topics pinned to the discourse homepage – subscription customer feedback and one-time/general customer feedback. These topics are places for customers to share their experiences and issues. We will try to address these concerns in a general manner, sharing how we are working to resolve various common pain points and issues, rather than attempting to address specific customer service requests on this platform.
Soylent presence on Discourse
One of the most frequent complaints we hear is that we are not active participants on the discourse, and that we are not listening to our customers. We admittedly have not had an active enough presence in recent weeks, or, frankly, ever. We have not been vocal about the fact that we do listen to customer concerns and try to integrate them into our evolution as a business. This has been a function of limited resources – trying to cover too many bases with too few players.
Up to this point, we have not been able to dedicate a Soylent team member to engage consistently with the discourse, leading to ad hoc and intermittent participation. It also has resulted in a barrier to information flowing from the Soylent team to the community, since no one is charged with collecting, crafting, and sharing news and information about our business.
In addition to hiring several more customer service agents, we have also hired a discourse community manager. Once they get onboarded, the community manager will work to facilitate the flow of information between discourse and the Soylent team. This should be happening by the end of next week, and we will certainly be introducing them to the community as soon as possible.
Thanks again to everyone who has made the Soylent discourse community such a positive, meaningful, and civil space. It speaks amazing volumes about our customers, and we genuinely want to do right by you. Our growing pains have made it hard for everyone, and we do not take your understanding and patience for granted. Thank you.