Most would know them from emails or recognize their voices from the phone. That’s right, we’re talking about our colleagues in the Support Department. We spoke with the specialists and now we know for sure: Support is much more than the notorious question: “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”
Our three telephone experts likely have more customer contact than anyone else at the firm: Nicole, Dennis and Andrea.
Inquiries from every channel…
“The day-to-day routine in Support varies,” agreed Nicole, Dennis and Andrea unanimously. “We stay busy dealing with problems that our outside customers experience daily and try to solve them as quickly as possible.” With such a position, one never knows what’s coming their way, but this is also the beauty of the job. The questions come from every conceivable channel. “Via email, telephone, through the customer management system, Facebook, the blog… and of course there are still internal inquiries as well.” Sometimes it’s astonishing to see where it’s all coming from.
… and from every continent
“Geographically, most of the inquiries come from countries in which our direct customers, sister companies and partners are located – so Germany, then quite a bit from Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and Holland,” explained Nicole as she pointed to a world map riddled with little red flags. The concentration of flags in Europe is particularly high, but flags are also pinned in the middle of the Indian Ocean and on barely-visible islands in the Caribbean – even inquiries from places like Antigua, French Polynesia, Mozambique and Gabon land in the Support Department.
A different type of translation
The variety of languages isn’t so much an obstacle when it comes to communication – rather the “language barrier” is slightly different: “Sometimes users will call and are experiencing a problem in pCon. Then you have to first clarify which product they are actually referring to – pCon.planner, pCon.basket, pCon.update – which data is installed and what was possibly clicked or done.” So, many support cases aren’t cleared up in just 5 minutes. “It could be that afterwards the problem must be passed on to the developers, in which they have to do something here or there.”
Support is therefore always the interface. “The customer knows that they can always contact us,” said Dennis, “and we know who we have to turn to internally in order to solve a user’s particular issue.” When the customers are satisfied, the team can be happy; when someone can tell them “there you go, you can continue working!” Sometimes they say thank you in extraordinary ways – with a basket of apples, for example. This helps get the worn down Support workers back on their feet again.
The work of the three isn’t just reflected in satisfied customers. User feedback is also passed on to developers, product managers, technical editors and other internal positions. The work then flows from the Support Team to product development and help documents, for example. Even the FAQ wouldn’t be what they are without Nicole, Dennis and Andrea – the friendly voices on the other side of the telephone.