One of our frustrations is people not reading what we say or listening to our words. While this discussion may seem arrogant please stay with me and decide at the end.

We publish our after hours numbers in our newsletter, by email, on our Help Cards, on our Advice Sheets, on our website and on support faxes.

Despite all this I personally get at least 10 calls a week from users saying they are calling me because they do not know how to reach after hours support people. They say they don’t get newsletters, do not have internet access, have never been sent advice sheets and don’t know what a Help Card is.

I check our database and find them listed with current correct details.

So we fax out a current newsletter with the after hours numbers circled. The fax goes through. And, sure enough, I get a call a day or two later from some of them saying they need help and that they don’t have the numbers. I say I faxed them and they say they never got it.

We focus on service, answer the questions and wish them well for the day.

So, we’ve taken to writing personally to the users involved and pleading with them to put the numbers (which NEVER change) in the wall next to the phone. If they’re local to one of our offices we visit and do it ourselves. We reckon there’s no choice if we are going to get them using the infrastructure we have put in place to help them.

We have an excellent support infrastructure with fifteen of our team involved full time on any day of the week. This team is backed by 100 pages of current advice sheets – accessed from our website. More than half the calls which come into our help desk are self resolvable thanks to advice on the advice sheets.

Our goal is to respond to every call for help within 15 minutes maximum. This is hindered by people who do not follow our advice. One option we have is to put a cap on calls per year. We don’t do this. Never have. We’ve said we would do it but never did. Gee I wish we had though – to make people accountable for us training new staff over the phone rather than them doing it themselves.

Of course we’d love it if people never had to call – if our software was that perfect and our help and advice sheets that amazing. We’re human. We get it wrong. We make the road more complex than it needs to be sometimes.

So, where’s all this going? We’re looking for ways to make support even more self accessible – so people rely on us less. This means better content accessed in more useful forms. We’re also looking for ways of bringing the fringe dwellers – those who don’t file things and don’t stick our numbers on their walls – to today’s world so that their life is better.

We have 2,000 customers and it’s our goal to ensure that every one of them has an enjoyable and useful experience through their partnership with us.

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