I believe it’s important to start the day by getting active as I’m going to be spending most of it sitting down answering enquiries.
The day has begun; quick swill and dress, and I’m out of the door and down to the gym for the first 90 minutes of my day.
Then I’m onto the next part of my day: the journey. I’ve made the same 20-minute trip for the past 12 months and it’s the most relaxing period of my day. I can read a book, catch up on social media, or watch gaming events.
I get to work and the first thing I do is finally have something to eat. After a bowl of cereal and a mug of coffee, it’s onto answering support tickets, which lead me to reply with a few quick questions like:
“What version are you using?”
Each version has its own problems and finding out which version the customer is using can go a long way to finding out if their problem is fixed in an “upgrade”.
“Have you tried doing this?”
Sometimes there are checks that can be performed to determine if it’s a software bug or a configuration problem.
“I’ll just have a quick word with dev.”
The people who fix the software know the answer, right?
If we can’t find the solution to a problem then the next step would be to escalate this to the developers, who should hopefully be able to spot any issues at a more in-depth level.
I was originally part of the Test Team but, after a short stint of covering support, my previous experience shone through and I proved to be even better at supporting customer queries.
A classic case of “if you’re better at something else why not do it?”. My skills on paper are specialised for security analysis but in the real-world, helping people with all things tech is what I’m best at and what I spent my placement year during my university time doing.*
*I was part of a team at VocaLink responsible for testing ATM capabilities and helping customers pass our certification standard for transaction possibilities.
After 9 am the official support hours start and it’s onto answering phones in the classic way:
Despite the surprising amount of times this works, the script often goes a little more like this:
“Panintelligence support, Nathan speaking, how can I help?”
It’s always important to have the “smile in your voice”; the customer has an issue, a query, or a task that may require your assistance and despite being up for three-and-a-half hours already and still recovering from the after-effects of a strenuous gym session, it’s my job to be what is perhaps the first friendly voice they hear that day. So, it’s important to answer the call with a friendly “pep in your step”.
As third-line support, we’re only responsible for issues with the product itself, which could range from enhancement requests within the product to a simple password reset due to a locked account, or a “why doesn’t my chart work?” type of query.
There are many questions that see us pass enquiries onto the consultants for assistance.
Also, we often have to rebut enquiries from our partners’ customers and state: “please ask your 1st/2nd line support”.
This can be quite a problem when your whole purpose is to be there to help people and, quite often, my day is extended by the need to check who’s a direct customer (and therefore we can answer their query) or whether it should be directed to consultancy or 1/2nd line support for that company.
Another part of my role is supporting Panintelligence staff and this often consists of “have you tried turning it off and back on again?”.
However, these requests can be anything like:
The next problem of the day is lunch. Being an avid gym goer, the best thing to do for lunch is to prepare your daily meals for the week, but this isn’t always possible and, more often than not, it’s a quick trip to the local sandwich shop or the chippy.
Then it’s back onto support, answering calls and ticking off the Zendesk tickets.
The rest of my day continues in the same fashion – internal and external support, while also updating support materials and manuals in my “free” time.
This helps to make both my life and our users’ lives easier through the medium of easy-to-follow user guides that aim to provide a quick solution to dashboard-related problems when we are unfortunately too busy to answer a call.
As with any customer-facing role, the reward is the instant gratification from both internal and external “customers” when we fix their issue or help to pass on their query while providing feedback to them about the lifecycle of this query.
It can be stressful at times but it’s also important to note that you’re not required to know everything, and everybody still needs assistance – even we support guys!
In the end, customer satisfaction is our main priority and the reason we do what we do.
Despite the workday ending after the same 20-minute journey back home, my overall day still hasn’t finished.
In my spare time, I use the tools of our business (the Panintelligence Dashboard) to help with my hobbies, particularly amateur gaming.
The ability to use the BI product for predictive analytics helps greatly from a strategic standpoint and is something that I use to both enhance my learning inside and outside of the business.
I can apply my knowledge of the product from both a testing and now a support role perspective to further my understanding of the dashboard and its workings to provide better support to our customers.