By Chris Thomas, Technical Support Manager, Ascertus Limited
What makes a good Support Helpdesk? The latest survey conducted independently by iManage highlights that Ascertus is very highly rated for the quality of its Support services by customers. We have also significantly improved our rating from last year. Such instances are always a good time for introspection – what are we doing well and how can we improve our offering even further?
It boils down to the holy trinity of the three ‘R’s – responsiveness, responsibility and reliability:
Responsiveness – In the last few months, Ascertus has won a significant amount of new business and therefore the number of seats we are supporting has increased significantly. Like any Support organisation, we have agreed Service Level Agreements (SLA) with individual organisations of course, but our objective is to always be responsive to customer requirements – regardless of the SLA. It’s imperative to acknowledge and record receipt of the issue in a meaningful way, be it with a phone call or a personal email to the customer by a HelpDesk team member, reassuring them that we will deal with the problem in a way that is least disruptive to their organisation. At Ascertus, to make sure that we achieve this, besides the core support team, we have additional support technicians on call, so we always have the bandwidth. Clients are never impacted by changes in our workload.
Responsibility – Typically, customers reach out to their support partner because the measures they have already undertaken haven’t worked.
Larger clients usually reach out regarding higher severity cases, which whilst less common will have a much greater impact on the business, when they do. So, we are mindful of the effect the situation is likely having on both the business and individuals, and have escalation processes in place to ensure that cases are speedily progressed.
On the other hand, smaller organisations who don’t have dedicated IT resource in-house are generally more reliant on their support partner for lower priority issues, which purely based on SLAs do not require the same level of responsiveness, but occur more often which has a bearing on the businesses’ day to day operation. We appreciate that low priority cases (based on SLA criteria) may appear higher priority to those affected, and we are aware of our responsibility to such situations.
Therefore, sensitivity to customer requirements in both situations (higher volume, lower priority / lower volume, higher priority) is a must.
Even where there’s an issue that impacts a product we support – although the fault may not be of the supported product – we try to help identify the problem and point them in the right direction for further assistance. Our customers appreciate this responsible attitude.
Reliability – When requesting support, consistency is key. Support technicians with a wealth of in-depth knowledge and experience individually is important but their ability to work closely together and pool knowledge will greatly enhance the support service. This ensures that regardless of who in the team a customer speaks to, they always get the same, consistent quality of care. At Ascertus, Support undergoes regular training so that the team is up to date on the various solutions the company provides, but also more broadly on the technological landscape, given how quickly technology is evolving.
In addition, we have well-embedded internal processes for record keeping of conversations, notes and communications, so that in the absence of an individual, service is never compromised.
We are delighted that the quality of our Support services is being recognised by customers. We are constantly fine-tuning our processes and looking for ways to enhance the service so that we can address issues in the most speedy and effective manner.