As with many growing web companies, one of the issues that has plagued LinkedIn has been providing timely response to customer service requests. For at least the past year, that has been clearly the most common complaints voiced by users on the various LinkedIn-related Yahoo! Groups.
LinkedIn users got their first glimmer of hope of some relief of this situation back in december when they announced the opening of a new sales and service center in Omaha, Nebraska:
“We chose Omaha as the location for our service center because the caliber of employee in the Omaha market is unsurpassed,” said Sarah Imbach, LinkedIn VP and Chief of Staff, who was the senior executive in charge of the Omaha-based PayPal center in 2001. “We’ve recruited April Kelly, one of our first management hires at PayPal-Omaha to run LinkedIn’s Omaha organization. We’re confident that we can once again recruit a great team and have the same success. I’m thrilled to again have the opportunity to bring a successful start-up to Omaha.”
LinkedIn spent most of the first quarter staffing up, and quietly opened the doors officially mid-March, according to this message posted to MyLinkedInPowerForum by April Kelly March 20:
Dear LinkedIn Power Forum Members,
Hello. I would like to introduce myself, my name is April Kelly. I am the Director of the LinkedIn Service Center in Omaha, Nebraska. We officially opened our doors a little over a week ago. I have established a team of service professionals anxious to assist our valuable members with their service needs.
I have been reading your submissions on the board and I appreciate your patience and support. I realize we have not met your expectations and I am dedicated to changing this in the near future. First, our response time to your email inquiries will be much faster. We are also looking for the most economical and efficient use of phone support.
I want to drastically improve our voice of the company and even more important I want to establish the voice of the customer. Your feedback and support is vital for our continued success. I am absolutely positive that you, the community, are our best source of ideas and enhancements for the future. I want to be an active member of this forum and I will do my best to proactively close the communication cycle.
I welcome your feedback and look forward to working with you as we continue to build a valuable and dynamic community.
The news was generally met with a warm reception and a few questions about quality control processes.
This is an essential step forward for LinkedIn for customer retention and for attracting corporate/organizational customers.