giffgaff ARE getting a bad reputation from the lack of clear, informative and helpful responses from it's agents (which may have been replaced by computer robots by the sounds of things), AND its clearly NOT getting any better yet.
A theory I have is that it's actually EASIER for the average newcomer to ask an agent a question rather than ask the community. In fact, to get to the 'ask an agent' page, it requires just ONE click after log-in, where as it requires THREE clicks to get to the 'ask the community - new message' page (which by way, is more difficult to find).
In an idea posted by me (and apparently accepted), I highlighted how the 'my giffgaff' page included NO MENTION of asking the community at all, and an idea to attempt to educate newcomers of the community and agents: LINK HERE (It's still not implimented)
But that's not all, asking an agent is so easy, it requires a subject, category and a message, and that is it. That's the simplicity of asking an agent. So why are we wondering why agents are so robotic with their simple pre-written answers and 24 hour waiting times...
Just a reminder, this is what the CURRENT 'ask an agent' page looks like:
IT IS WAY TOO EASY TO ASK AN AGENT!
So I propose a more detailed and more sophisticated 'ask an agent' page for giffgaff.
It includes an idea posted by Jamesd2010 which suggested that asking an agent requires people to understand that agents are there to answer issues and queries which require personal details, and all other questions can be asked on the community. You can find the idea, and kudos it by clicking here. His amazing idea can be seen at question 3 on my graphic below.
So here it is, to replace the current 'ask an agent' page (seen above) :
A detailed explanation of what giffgaff agents are there for and how to use this resource.
Several worded links to 'ask the community', of which is clear and more prominent, advertised to be easier and linked on the page 3 times (one link in each of the 3 segments). The link will take people to the immediate 'new message' page on the 'ask the community' forum.
An advertised link to the 'help' tab.
(Question 1) A feature which will allow people to prove they asked the community before asking an agent. When doing so correctly, it will prioritise the query to an agent (providing that their question requires personal information to resolve or answer it at question 3) and therefore get answered quicker.
The prioritising of queries is not made clear on this page, in order to avoid users cheating to get answers quicker.
(Question3) A fundamental filter, which will ask if the user's question requires personal information in order for it to be answered or resolved. For more information, click here to see jamesd2010's idea.
(Question 4) A question which will ask if the user is going to ask a 'query' or ask about 'help with a problem'. The 'help with a problem' questions will be prioritised and therefore answered quicker.
Includes all the previous questions of the 'ask an agent' page to keep it understandable.
The logic is simple. To reduce the number of questions asked to agents that DO NOT need to be asked to agents, and to further educate people (specifically newcomers) of all features of help that giffgaff offers, including the help tab, community and the giffgaff agents, the correct order they should be used and when to use these resources.