When you’re in the process of considering a new textbook, it’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole of digital features, instructional supplements, and auto-grading capabilities. While these tools are important, there is one element of a textbook selection that often goes overlooked in the decision-making process: the customer support team.

When you choose a textbook, you also choose the customer support team that comes with it, for better or for worse. Having earned a 96% approval rating in 2022, FlatWorld knows what makes support teams great. These are the six qualities that indicate exceptional service:


Few experiences are more frustrating than hearing hold music loop for a third time as you wait for help on an urgent or high-priority matter. When an issue arises, you deserve a timely resolution. 

Your choice of publisher can be the difference between getting a response in four minutes, four hours, or four days, and you don’t want to wait for an emergency to arise before you learn which type of team you’re working with. One way to evaluate a publisher’s responsiveness ahead of time is to review what platforms their support team uses. Live chat options tend to be the quickest path to support, followed by phone support and email support. 

Consider what type of support will best suit your needs, and the needs of your students, throughout the term.


Despite all efforts to the contrary, sometimes problems occur outside of normal operating hours. When that happens, you may not be able to wait until the next business day for help to arrive. 

Whether you’re dealing with Sunday night submission deadlines, evening course schedules, or a late-night finals week crunch, you need support you can count on. When researching a publisher, check their customer support hours and verify that they have off-hours availability.


When it comes to complex issues, talking to a responsive customer support representative can be the fastest way to resolve the situation, but sometimes an issue is simple enough to solve on your own. In these cases, it helps if a publisher has a catalog of self-service articles that provide answers to frequently asked questions.

If you’re the sort of person who prefers to skip the customer support queue, incorporate that preference into your decision-making process. Take some time to explore the functionality of a publisher’s self-service catalog. How robust is the catalog? Is it easy to navigate, with clear and concise solutions to the presented problems? Has the publisher included images or video screen shares to better illustrate each step?

This often overlooked asset can play a key role in reducing the amount of time you spend waiting for help.


Many teams are able to answer simple, routine questions in a quick and efficient manner, but an exceptional customer support team can provide a swift reply for complex issues as well. When you come to your publisher with a specific question that pertains to your exact textbook, it helps to know you’re speaking to an expert in the product.

Keep an eye out for knowledgeable, internal teams that know their catalog from front to back. If you ever feel as though you know more about a product than your support representative does, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.


Issues that require support are rarely an isolated occurrence. Complex issues often require the help of multiple teams within an organization. When these issues arise, you want a publisher that is able to communicate between teams quickly and efficiently.

In addition to exceptional internal communication, it’s just as critical that a publisher can communicate externally. Be it via email, social media, or a banner message on the website, it’s helpful to have a publisher that will keep you in the loop with any large-scale issues. 


Exceptional customer support teams view support as a collaborative problem-solving process, rather than a task in need of completion. 

When you reach out for help, you want an empathetic ear on the other end of your chat, call, or email. To get a better sense of this, you can read a publisher’s reviews or ask other instructors about their experiences. The publishers that put instructors at the forefront of the customer support experience will become evident.