[Marketing-Public]Mozilla vs Opera

Jason Kersey marketing-public at mozilla.org
Tue, 23 Mar 2004 23:13:08 -0800

Robert J. Accettura wrote:
> Daniel Wang wrote:
>> Users have three alternatives: newsgroup, 
> Most users don't like newsgroups.  Associated with spam and porn.  I 
> don't think many general users even know how to use a newsgroup, much 
> less use one.  Were talking average joe here.

I agree with this.

>> MozillaZine forums
> Slow, slow, slow.  Not to mention, it's external, feels real unoffical.  
> Not really support, but just a community they can use.

I don't fine them slow, first off.  Second, if it feels 'external' how 
can we change that.  I also disagree that it's not really support, we 
get a ton of people coming ONLY for support, and not for community.

>> and IRC Chat, 
> Again, lets face it average joe isn't familiar with IRC, they have been 
> on the net and used to AIM, MSN, etc.  Not the primative IRC.  I don't 
> know many friends who have ever used IRC, or even know what it is.  I 
> don't think many here know non-geeks who know how to use IRC.

Mozilla ships an irc client.  If we can provide an easy way to get to a 
support channel in it, i think it's worth some effort.

>> and none of them require registration. I don't think we need a new 
>> real-time support system. We have limited numbers of people willing to 
>> do peer support, and I believe most of them are already contributing. 
>> If our existing help forums are not meeting the needs of users, it is 
>> because we don't have enough peer helpers. Creating a new support 
>> channel may create confusion among both helpers and users as to what 
>> channel people should go to.
> The goal would be to get people away from the fussy loose network you 
> mentioned above, and channeled through 1 appropriate method.  We would 
> accomplish more, and with less effort in a real time system.  It would 
> also be better for the end user.  Most end users don't like spending 
> hours figuring things out.
> Again, this comes back to the focus.  Is Mozilla targeting end users?  
> Or just developers?  The above methods are very developer/techy savy.  
> But not very user friendly or intuitive for an end user.

I don't agree with this either.  First off, there are different classes 
of end users.  Don't lump them all together.  Second, who will run this 
'1 method' ?  Who is wasting effort now that doesn't want to be?  Let's 
not just wander off into the cosmos here.  I'm not even convinced we 
have a problem.  I rarely if every see anyone say they can't find 
support or answers for Firefox or Thunderbird.  I often hear them point 
people in the direction of Firefox/Thunderbird help and the forums, 
which seems to be working.  As far as Seamonkey, as far as I'm concerned 
it's not for end users, and we should stop focusing on it ASAP.

>> I prefer community support over one-on-one peer support. Nobody is 
>> perfect, and if I were helping a user, I'd like others to help me out 
>> also and pointing out any mistake I made.
> There's no reason why we can't link it to an IRC channel, and allow the 
> support reps, and others to see all that's going on, and even consult.  
> All phone support is recorded for training/monitoring purposes, so it's 
> nothing strange.  Not to mention a growing knowledge base, and great 
> bugzilla for research.
> Ultimately the user wants the following:
> Good product            - We have that
> Good documentation  -  Knowledge base will help that
> Good support             - We seriously lack here

Again, I don't agree.  Where are real examples of people having trouble 
getting support?  No more waving of hands and saying end user or 
Seamonkey, either.

> At this time, to the end user, we are saying, it's "at your own risk", 
> and "your on your own, and have a chance at help here:".  That's just 
> not great marketing.

Not true.   We have a strong, and supportive community.  That to me is 
great marketing.

> Look at any consumer reports like guide, and support is just as 
> important as the product.  Most corporations realize this, and 
> successful ones act upon that.  That's why companies like Dell advertise 
> about it.  Why CompUSA makes ads about how good it can be with support.

> Mozilla already has a good sized community, but it's dispersed and not 
> very efficient.  We need to gather it all together, and make it more 
> efficient and targeted.  There quite a few who would more than qualify 
> for such a role, and already do it.  Problem is end users will never 
> have the patience/knowledge/comfort to find them.  I wonder how many 
> have parents who are on IRC?  Know what IRC is, or how to use it?  But 
> how many can click on a button and type their question and get an answer?

My parents use Google and can surf web pages.  If they can't do that, 
why do they need a browser at all?  Again, please don't generalize.

> A great recent study is here:
> http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/03/20/1916216&mode=thread&tid=126&tid=133&tid=186&tid=187&tid=95 
> Proof of concept.  Read some comments while there.  Give it a try too.  
> We could get away with less people, and less time.  But most likely 
> could do 2-3 spread out through the day.
> Users don't like to wait on hold (email, forum), users don't like to be 
> told to "figure it out", and given links to the land of the unknown 
> (mozillazine isn't known to the average end user).

I again disagree.  Who would man this?  Who has time to sit there for 
hours just answering questions?  I think you vastly underestimate the 
number of people who would be needed to run something like this. 
Support is not sales.  Rackspace makes money off of having these folks 
hit people up right away.  We end up with nothing but a warm feeling 
about ourselves.  Warm feelings are nice and all, but they don't really 
pay the bills.

> It's the same reason why Walmart hires "greeters" (those people when you 
> walk in the door imediately greet you and offer to help you or direct 
> you if you need help.  Those inviduals are responsible for a signifigant 
> part of their sales.  It makes customers feel it's easy to get help when 
> needed.

Sorry, I can't think of the last time a greeter helped me with anything 
other than a cart.  That I didn't want or need.

After going through this, I really think we're whipping up a frenzy over 
nothing.  I think we're doing pretty well at helping out users.  The 
problems I see right now are shortcomings of our products and marketing, 
not of support.  Things like features we need to have, and bugs we need 
to fix, along with getting the message out to these so called 'end 
users'.  And, for the most part, the support issues can be fixed by 
being smart with what we distribute.  What's the number one support 
question I see for Firefox?  "How do I install flash?".  If we could fix 
this, and other issues like it, we're going to get a lot farther than we 
would having someone sitting in a Java chat for hours on end getting 
overwhelmed by questions.