Changes this year to customer support channels have left some customers frustrated, according to sources familiar with the matter and user complaints.
Despite promises from NI management that the direction of the company would “improve the experience for all users of our products,” users may see constrained support options and increased service backlogs.
Native Instruments did not mention cuts to customer support in its statements to me earlier this month. NI cut an estimated 30% of its workforce this summer — fully 20% in a single day, as reported by the company. They now have told us in a statement the support impact was “minimal”; see statement below, though we do understand there was some impact to support staff.
These changes weren’t the only changes to support options in the year 2019, however. As part of a move that NI describes in their statement below, some existing direct support channels changed earlier this year (in March).
You can see some of this if you try to navigate support options on the site currently:
Software support now dead-ends at a set of documentation articles; then you’re able to create a post on the community forums if you don’t find an answer, but direct contact is no longer available.
Hardware support does provide some direct contact options – you can directly contact repair service if you have faulty hardware, which allows you to open a ticket. But even most hardware options now also lead only to the knowledge base.
It’s also possible to open a chat for presales or order and account support, but that
Your best bet if you are having problems is still to make a post in the forums – or talk to other users. But reaching NI support is more difficult; a message across all support pages now reads:
“Due to the high amount of incoming requests, we currently cannot achieve our desired response times. We thank you in advance for your patience until we get to your request.”
Separate to the question of product support, NI do continue to release software updates. You will find a September 10 update to Traktor DJ 2 on the site, and Native Access has recently delivered updates for Komplete Kontrol, Controller Editor, and Maschine, though at least some of these involve development that would have preceded this summer’s reorganization.
Native Instruments has disputed the accuracy of this report and issued the following statement in response:
Native Instruments’ Customer Service Team was minimally impacted by the recent reductions of staff. Unrelated to these changes, we transitioned to a chat-based system on March 25th, 2019 to better support our global audience, and currently sport an average customer satisfaction rating of 92% across chat-based support. For more information on our support, please visit our help center at https://support.native-instruments.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001775458-How-to-Get-Support-at-NI
(Note that the chat-based system to which they refer, as detailed here, appears not to be available for all kinds of support requests. Native Instruments declined to respond beyond the above statement.)
This article was edited on 27 September, in order to clarify that changes in support channels did not coincide with staff reductions (but took place in March) and to add a statement by Native Instruments.