How businesses deal with customer support differs from company to company. Traditionally, a support role is often defined as being responsible for helping customers to resolve issues with products or services.
I’ve worked in the support space for many years now, and to me, support is so much more than merely escalating issues to troubleshoot problems and answer questions.
At its heart, support must focus on building relationships with customers, discovering what makes them tick and how they prefer to engage with information, to be able to soar beyond ‘mere support’ and enter the realm of, what I like to call, ‘superhero support’.
Investing in the relationship starts right at the beginning of a project and continues, hopefully, forever. So, as the primary point of contact, support is often where a consumer’s confidence in a product or service is cemented and maintained.
I know that business development teams think they make the money for a company, however, I truly believe that support teams are the critical cement that holds the building blocks won by sales teams in place for the long term.
On the front line at CodeSafe
Really, let’s face it, customers don’t want to know that issues exist. So my job is to make sure that it should never be too hard for one of our clients to use a product or service. I focus on making sure I’m always pushing for improvements that lead to our clients having a seamless experience. That means quickly finding a solution and resolving problems, even before customers realise there is an issue or liaising with our development teams to enhance software behaviour to meet specific requirements.
Sometimes, problems are caused by external factors that we can’t control, so my focus then is to be proactive in coming up with a workaround that will enable the user to keep working without delay.
It could mean talking them through a phone operating system update like a recent iOS update that stopped an image taken with the camera from within the QIN app embedding in a form. The user rang our support line and explained that he couldn’t use the camera within the app after updating his phone overnight, and he needed a workaround to complete a pre-start form.
Once I had all the details, the next step was to identify where the problem originated. Our developers confirmed the operating system update was the root cause of the problem and quickly created a fix for the app with minimal disruption to customers. In the meantime, I made sure my team contacted all our users to let them know that we were aware of the issue and were creating a fix. We also made sure they knew how to apply the workaround until the update was released. This is just one example of how communication can be used to build trust because it shows we are proactive in assisting with a seamless experience.
These and other challenges inspire me to push the QIN CodeSafe software platform to its limit to create the best solution for our users. At the same time, resolving issues helps to grow my knowledge.
Even though we have a full development and testing team, as a support team member, I also make sure that I test any updates to the platform and app before they are released. I regard this testing as one of my more fun job tasks because I love to try and ‘break’ the platform. By doing this, the support team can proactively resolve an issue before a new release can become a problem.
Finally, receiving customer feedback is extremely valuable to the support team. We use the input we get from feedback to create a development ‘wish list’ for how the app and platform could look in the future. It’s a great way to show our customers that we listen to them, that their ideas matter to us and that their opinion is valued.
What I learned about support from CodeSafe
- You can never spend too much time listening – It’s essential to let customers know that they can reach out to support no matter how small or trivial they think a question is.
- Moments of comprehension bring joy – When I see the ‘lightbulb moment’ as someone understands how to do things for themselves or realise how much they can do with the QIN platform, it brings the biggest smile to my face.
- Support work is never dull – There is such a diversity in the work I do. I deal with people at the coal face, the app user, and the back-end administrator. I enjoy the banter that comes from building those relationships and the rapport I have developed with all levels of app and platform users. I have my ‘regulars’ that ring in and say, “It’s that time again,” when they are preparing their monthly reports. It makes for a fun day, most of the time.
In the two and a half years that I have worked at CodeSafe, the QIN platform and app have matured in leaps and bounds and my knowledge and confidence have grown with it. CodeSafe is one of the most customer-focused companies I have ever worked for in my career. While I work in support, I also get help from other areas of the business, so I know that I can always find a solution for my customer base.
I have worked in graphic arts and manufacturing for most of my working life but have always been passionate about technology. I’m a bit of a nerd, so it’s great to combine both support and technology in my role at CodeSafe. Every day brings something new. I talk to users, meet people, conduct training sessions, play with an innovative platform, and get to satisfy my passion for helping customers.
I’m a support ‘hero’, and I love it!
Helen Loucas, Support Team Lead