Convenience in Customer Support

Today I was trying to run “yum update” on one of my RedHat 5 lab system when I saw the following exception appeared,

up2date_client.up2dateErrors.SSLCertificateVerifyFailedError: The SSL certificate failed verification.

I searched and found some solutions on RedHat support site. When I accessed the links, I was asked to login. Since I had never registered at the site, I decided to be a good citizen to register. After I went through their long Sign-Up procedure (15 fields) , I submitted the form, and I was thrown back to the same sign-up form without any error or warning. All the filled values are blanked out. I was really pissed off.

I am working in the customer support and understand how customers are frustrated when they have a problem. We would not only try to provide solutions into their hands such that they could resolve their issues quickly. So all of our answers and technical notes are open to public to view. They are also searchable on search engines, like Google, Bing, etc.

For high quality technical support, all your contents are created for your customers to read. I don’t see any reason someone has to register and log in to be able to read them. I understand you may want to have some statistics. If you are still using this login mechanism to count site visits, you are really way behind technology. I can understand some controls to be applied when downloading files from your site, because there are regulations that you have to follow.

I want to bring another point. Even you want your customer to login, you should seriously consider using widely used single sign-on solutions like OpenID, Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. These are really easy to implement and customers will appreciate that.

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