Meet Jim. He’s an American expat living in Australia working at Red Guava. But I’ll let him tell you more about himself rather than me going on and on in the intro.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Unofficially my title is “Vampire Hunter”, but officially we don’t have job titles, so really everyone wears whatever hat is needed at the time. I do spend most of my day offering support to our wonderful customers, whether it’s over the phone, Skype, email, or anything else.
How did you get into customer support?
I’ve been doing support in one form or fashion since I was in high school, working the service counter at a local supermarket. I’ve also always had a huge fascination with software, so when Joel approached me to be Cliniko’s first “Support person”, I discovered a way to blend my two passions.
What’s one app that you couldn’t do without?
I couldn’t do without a lot of my apps… though I think our Hubot named Red Yoda is quickly becoming my favourite one.
For those who don’t know, Hubot is an open-source robot program for Campfire. We use it for a variety of tasks, mostly centred around our development cycle – we use it to run tests and deploy, restart the servers and monitor errors. We also use it to keep up to date on in-bound communication, and are looking to keep expanding it to cover more and more.
Who said Skynet had to be scary??
How do you handle feature requests that you know aren’t going to make it into your product?
You NEED to be honest with your customers/potential customers. If something isn’t going to make it, you need to let them know so they can plan accordingly. That even goes for things you would like to add, but aren’t likely to get to in the next 6 months/year. Generally speaking if it’s something we want to add and plan on soon, then I’ll tell people that. If it’s something we don’t plan on, or won’t be seeing soon, I’ll mention a good alternative for them (if it exists).
Give us your best piece of advice for people who want to be a customer support pro.
Remember that each and every person is contacting you because they have a problem that needs to be solved. They might not know what their problem actually is, and they might be saying things in a way that doesn’t convey their problem at all, but that doesn’t change the fact that they need your help. The art of Customer Support focuses on working with that customer to establish what the issue is and how you can lead them to a solution.
This is part of our new Customer Support Pros series.
Know someone who’s a support pro? Drop me a line about them!