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Gadget Talk – Dan Martin | April 2014

By Dan Martin, Vice President – ConnectSMART

Several years ago I was awakened at 3am by a very irate customer calling my cell phone from the Middle East. We had trained all of our customers to reply to emails sent from our support system to request additional information or update their tickets.  He was angry because he had replied 10-15 times over the course of the previous day without a single response!  After my head cleared and he stopped shouting, I realized that he was upset by the fact that our process had failed. His office had conducted a generator test without informing us and had blown up a power supply and a bunch of equipment.  Since the President was out of town, we had communicated with the primary point of contact and ‘childed’ all of the duplicated tickets underneath the one primary ticket.  Since there were no resources on the ticket, there was no way for us to see or be notified that the customer had replied.  It wasn’t his problem it was ours! That is when we created one of my favorite gadgets.  The boring name is “Customer Responded”, our techs see it as “End of Days”.

We have a rule in our support center that engineers cannot leave if the customer updated gadget is not at zero.  I believe that the most important thing in support is to make sure that communications are handled properly.  The side benefit that we found was that since engineers started communicating back on the tickets as soon as possible that many customer behaviors began to change as well.  We began to see ticket sources shift from primarily phone to more and more email and web portal.  The reason that many customers call in is because that is the fastest way to get their issue resolved.  How do you convince them that they can get better service for many issues by using the electronic means of communication that you have provided? GIVE THEM BETTER SERVICE!

Here is how it works:

As soon as a ticket is updated via email or portal ConnectWise automatically flags it as ‘customer updated’.  Instead of relying on a workflow rule, or even your reopen closed ticket options, and email notifications you can have your count of customer responded tickets go up.  You can then double-click to see the list of tickets and even open up the ticket directly and add your response to the customer and clear the customer responded flag! I must give this warning: you may not like what you find when you start using this gadget!  We found a bunch of notes from customers that we had never seen in old closed tickets and child tickets that required me to make a bunch of apology phone calls.

Like many of the other gadgets that are in the managing by exception category this gadget starts to change the way you do business and really fine tunes your support delivery.


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