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And a frothy toast to customer support!

Beermat Software “Chief” Ian Wall jokes that a new customer support system the company implemented will give his development team the luxury of more time to ponder its next project or to order a pint at the local pub.

It’s not surprising that the irreverently named Derby, England-based company, with the irreverently named game product called Dope Wars, would have an irreverent approach to press releases.

In the software industry, lack of adequate support staff is a common problem--and one that ironically is aggravated by success and rapid growth. Says Wall, “It’s easy to overlook [customer support] and hard to justify spending resources on when there’s a million and one other seemingly more important things to allocate it to ...

“For a company like ours with limited people resources, providing good customer service can be a doubled-edged sword. Time spent servicing customers is time spent away from developing and enhancing our products. The exponential growth in popularity of our products led to a huge influx of customer e-mail requests for support and information, which quickly swamped us.”

Beermat began to look for an online customer service solution that was powerful and flexible enough to help its customers, yet affordably priced. The company chose iCommunicate.net support technology from iCommunicate, which has become the “help button” at www.dopewars.net, the Web site that serves as a portal for game players. The software provides a knowledgebase that includes a self-help/self-service searchable library.

“When we replaced our basic FAQ with iCommunicate.net, within the first 24 hours our usual 30+ e-mail requests dwindled to five,” says Wall. “Overall, incoming e-mail requests for help have been reduced by more than 80% ... This has allowed us to focus our time on product development and yet still offer superior service to our customers.”

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