Reporting Posts/Conversations/Members to the Staff and Staff Response to Member Concerns

Discussion in 'Site Support & News' started by Art Andrews, Dec 27, 2010.

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  1. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

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    UPDATED 2014.06.12

    It has come to our attention that some members feel the process by which issues are reported and responded to by the staff needs to be reviewed. We have reviewed our process, looking at both current and future needs, and would like to share our findings and decisions with you.

    The RPF is a large, flourishing site. We have nearly 75,000 registered members and have about 30,000 unique visitors to the site every day. We generally have around 1,000 new posts every day.

    At this time we have 2 staff members, Monatagar, and myself (Art Andrews). The RPF is larger than it has ever been and thanks to promotion and open registration is growing more quickly than it ever has, and yet we have one of the leanest staff’s the RPF has had in years. While we don’t anticipate the staff will always be this small, we are not rushing to increase the size because we are able to make decisions quickly and be more agile at this size and with all the changes that have been made over the past year, we feel that agility is a very good thing.

    USING THE REPORT SYSTEM

    What does that mean in terms of issues on the site? It means we are spread pretty thin and we need to handle issues in an organized manner. Fortunately the site has a built in system to do just that called the Report System.

    The report system is primarily used via reporting posts or reporting PMs. To report a post or PM, simply click on the Report icon (a triangle with an exclamation mark inside) and fill in the requested information. Here are two screencaps, one showing the location of the report post icon and another showing the location of the report PM icon.


    report-post.jpg

    report-private-message.jpg



    The Report System can be utilized by ANY member to report an issue to the staff and is the way in which we are requesting our members let us know about problems as opposed to PMing us directly. Why do we prefer this method? When you report a post or PM a new thread is created in a special forum for the staff where all the staff can see your concerns and address them. When you PM a single staff member only that staff member sees your concerns and if that staff member is backlogged on PMs your concern may go unresolved for some time. Using the Report System helps ensure your issue is addressed in a timely manner. Starting Dec 27, 2010 we are requesting that all members use the report system when reporting problems to the staff. If you instead PM a staff member that staff member is not going to address the issue, but will instead respond asking you resubmit your concern via the Report System. Please do not take this as a personal affront or insult. We are simply trying to streamline our process for handling issues.

    AFTER YOU HAVE REPORTED A CONCERN

    Members often feel an attachment to an issue they have reported or have an expectation that the staff should report back to them with progress on the issue as well as final decisions. While we understand the natural inclination to feel this way, this is not our standard operating procedure. While we ask that members report concerns, your involvement often ends at the reporting stage. If you report using the Report System (which is the only way you should report an issue) rest assured we have indeed received your concern. Again the Report System is automated and a thread about your concern is automatically created for us. Some have asked if an automated response can be sent to the reporter. All that would do is assure you that the Report System is working, not that the staff has seen your concern. Again, if you send through the Report System, we got it.

    ISSUE RESOLUTION

    Some issues are resolved quickly. Some take time. Some take a LOT of time. Sometimes members will report an issue and request a particular action be taken by the staff. While we may take the action requested, it is not because it was requested but because it is what we felt was best for the situation. Likewise, members will sometimes request an action and we don’t take that action because we don’t feel it is what is best for the situation. Additionally, we typically don’t write back to the member telling how we handled a particular issue. This sometimes leads a member to believe we have done nothing because they didn’t see the public action they wanted us to take. Again, part of our standard operating procedure is to deal with issues and move on. When we reply back to the member reporting the action, we often end up expending 3 times the amount of resources responding and defending our actions to the member who reported the concern as we did in actually handling the concern itself. This is simply inefficient and often results in a battle with the member who reported the concern because they aren’t happy that we didn’t take action in the exact manner they wanted. While we do take it upon ourselves to watch out for the membership and to intervene when necessary, we are not a pit-bull on a leash to be ordered to attack perceived enemies at the whim of any member. Again, you can rest assured that when we receive a concern, we deal with it in a way that we feel is best for the site as a whole.

    STAFF ACCESSIBILITY

    Having read all of the above, you might feel we are withdrawing from the membership or moving to a “hands off” approach. This is not the case. We have more or less always operated under these guidelines but have never stated them directly which has led to erroneous expectations on the part of some members. We are stating it now for the sake of clarity. With that being said, we are very open to your thoughts and concerns and even your constructive criticism. As you have hopefully seen over the last year or so, we do not shy away from questions being asked of us and will often give very direct answers, even when those answers aren’t popular. We have no delusions that we know it all or have the perfect solution to every situation. This is why the “Questions and Answers” forums exist, for questions, concerns, and constructive criticism regarding the way we handle the running of the site. While we won’t get into a protracted debate about issues we have already made a decision on, and while we won’t be sucked into a debate by those who like to bait and troll the staff, we are very interested in hearing what you have to say and how we might better the service we are providing. Again, the “Questions and Answers” section is the appropriate area for this type of issue.

    While lengthy, I hope this helps answer some of your concerns and gives you a better idea as to how we work and gives you a clear understanding as to why we take certain actions or don’t take certain actions. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to ask and I will answer them as best I can.
     
  2. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    I just click and forget, i figure you'll get to anything when you have a chance. And as a mod i HATE that little button to report stuff lol.
     
  3. AdamL

    AdamL Well-Known Member

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    Mods

    Sorry about this, as it may be obvious to everyone else but me, but how can I get a hold of a moderator? I'd like a topic moved and I have no idea who to contact. Thanks!!
     
  4. Montagar

    Montagar Legendary Member Community Staff

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    The best way to accomplish what you want is to follow the instruction contained in the first post of this thread (under the USING THE REPORT SYSTEM heading).
     
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