When we review online meeting services we go out of our way to measure and evaluate vendors objectively. When we’re comparing features side by side, this is easy to do. But measuring subjective things like audio/video quality, reliability, and customer support is a lot harder to measure.
How You Measure is More Important Than What You Measure
To maintain our objectivity, we go outside of our labs to survey and interview other users. We diligently research and analyze other websites and publications too.
For example, if you were to measure customer service based on your own experience, you wouldn’t have enough data to rate the service. I could call GoToMeeting, talk to one of their top customer support reps, and rate them exceptional. I may call WebEx, talk to one of their reps on the firing block, and rate their service as terrible. These two isolated incidents don’t necessarily reflect the overall quality of their customer support and satisfaction.
How We Measure Customer Satisfaction
Here’s an overview of the 4-step process we use to evaluate customer support and satisfaction for online meeting providers:
- We follow each brand on Twitter using Hootsuite. We monitor tweets and evaluate responses from each web conferencing vendor.
- We read and analyze other website reviews.
- We subscribe to online meeting forums, blogs, and social media sites to monitor and analyze conversations about each company.
- Personal experience
As you can see, this process is not difficult, but it takes a lot of time to cull all of those sources and do meaningful analysis.
Customer Satisfaction Showdown: GoToMeeting vs. WebEx
We recently re-evaluated all of the online meeting services on this site. We used our reliable four-step process to measure each vendor. We also added some new tools to our arsenal to improve our measurements and analysis. Here’s a breakdown of our latest evaluation:
We follow GoToMeeting and WebEx on Twitter. We see the good, the bad, and the mundane tweets about each company. We also monitor the replies to see how each company responds.
1. Twitter Winner – GoToMeeting
GoToMeeting has an active social media presence. They have a small team of dedicated personnel handling support and customer service on Twitter. When people reach out for help, somebody from the team is there to respond within minutes (in most cases). When customers express trouble or dissatisfaction, GoToMeeting doesn’t shy away – even when their customers are grumpy about something.
GoToMeeting’s tweets are not automated. They’re handcrafted and curated by their social media team.
From what we’ve observed, WebEx also has a dedicated team handling their Twitter account. They use their Twitter persona to respond to customer support issues, promote their product, and share web conferencing tips and ideas. WebEx has an active blog, and they’re constantly sharing useful and interesting content on Twitter.
The WebEx social media team is also actively monitoring customer mentions on Twitter. We’ve seen them provide excellent support and service, however, their response time lags when compared to GoToMeeting. We’ve also noted that some customer support and tweets go unanswered. We’ve also noted that they’re not as likely to respond to a customer who has expressed dissatisfaction.
WebEx appears to use a combination of humans and robots to handle their Twitter account. For example, we’ve seen promotional tweets go out on the weekend and during non-business hours (suggesting a tweet bot), but their support goes dormant during these times.
While neither social media team is perfect, both are head and shoulders above other online meeting vendors. In this particular showdown, we give the edge to GoToMeeting.
2. Website Reviews Winner – GoToMeeting (by a slight margin)
Finding objective reviews of online meeting services is a challenge. Whether we like to admit it or not, every publisher suffers from bias. Sometimes bias comes from personal experience (not objective). In other cases bias comes from advertiser/vendor relationships. Therefore, one must take each individual review with a grain of salt, and aggregate them to come up with an overall score. It’s also important to read comments and discussion from the website’s user community.
In the reviews that we analyzed, 2/3 of the sites rated GoToMeeting higher than WebEx. Our sources included PC Magazine, Top10 Reviews, Cnet, MacWorld, and others. We noted that many of the reviews were very close. In fact, many of the reviews were within a half a point.
GoToMeeting’s victory was not as decisive in this category, but they still came out ahead.
3. Social Media and Community Winner – GoToMeeting
Measuring opinions on community and social websites is particularly difficult. First, you have to understand the context behind the post, tweet, or status update. Once you understand the context, you must quantify it as either a positive or negative experience with the company.
Another way to analyze customer satisfaction is with Google. By typing in queries like “GoToMeeting problem” (491 results) or “WebEx problem” (1,140 results) you can see how many search result pages are returned that include these phrases. Conversely, if you search for “Love GoToMeeting” (1,440 results) and “Love WebEx” (749 results) you can see how many people have mentioned each service in a positive context. As you can see from these results, GoToMeeting has fewer complaints, and more love than WebEx.
4. Personal Experience Winner – GoToMeeting
As real customers of both services, we have personal experiences worth sharing.
The first thing worth noting is the accessibility of customer support. If you visit GoToMeeting’s support website, you will notice two big buttons – one for phone support, and another for live chat. Their support desk is available 24/7.
If you go to the WebEx support website, you will see plenty of help desk articles, and a help ticket submission system, but no phone number or live chat.
Our experiences with both support teams was positive, but we give GoToMeeting the edge because of their accessibility (easy to find support, and 24/7 availability).
Customer Satisfaction and Support Conclusion
Grading subjective factors like customer support and customer satisfaction isn’t easy. In fact, some may disagree with our methodology. But if you apply the same measurement standards and criteria to each service, patterns start to emerge. In our testing, GoToMeeting came out ahead in all four tests.