Continuity of Service - The (Small) Team Advantage

Posted by B/P Community & Culture on March 2, 2017 at 12:11 PM

 

Picture this: Your personal computer has crashed. It's a problem you've encountered before, but long enough ago that you cannot remember how to fix it. Fortunately you have a service plan through the store, so you've called into the help line. You're at home, so you've put your phone on speaker. Maybe you're making dinner or watching TV while you tune out the cheesy hold muzak. You've been prompted three times by a digitized voice to enter your account information and give a general summary of the problem, but now you are caller number who-knows-what with an estimated hold time that doesn't seem to be getting any shorter the longer you wait.

Finally, there's a real person on the line, and while they greet you appropriately for the time of day, you're pretty sure they're in a different hemisphere. Again, you provide your account information and a description of the error. This time you might even mention that you have dealt with this problem before and know that the way to fix it was with a certain setting; you just can't recall which one. You even tell them the things you've already tried to fix yourself.

Much to your dismay, the voice on the line asks, "Have you tried turning it off and then on again?" Ten minutes later, you're back on hold waiting to explain the problem to yet another support technician, hoping (but not optimistic) that at least the first person you spoke with has given the next person a run down of what you've already done.

We've all been there. It's frustrating and annoying. But hey, at least you're able to do things around the house while you're waiting.

Now imagine that it's not your personal computer. It's your company's server or enterprise management software. You're not at home doing other useful things while you wait for your call to be answered, and everyone else in your department, or worse the entire business, is stuck until the problem is resolved. Your company is losing money, your employees can't get anything done, and your customers are being neglected while your system is down.

The stakes are higher when your business systems aren't working, and you don't have the time or money to spend listening to annoying hold music while you wait for several live people to provide support. Explaining the problem to a new person each time you finally get someone on the line costs money, as does every repetitive, "Have you tried ___?" What you should hear from a dedicated person is, "I'm sorry you're having this problem. I remember what we did last time. Let me show you where you can find that." Or, "It looks like you just upgraded your software, which may have affected one of the customizations you work with, so here's what we'll do..."

When your business is being affected, you want to be confident that the person you're talking to for support understands how your company runs and how your systems work together. From the moment you call in to report your problem, you want a live consultant on the other end of the line who knows you and the ins and outs of your business as well as its hardware and software. When you partner with a small support team, there is a continuity of service that you just cannot get with (inter)national support companies. Is a 24-hour support line really that helpful when each time you call you have to explain not only the problem, but also how different components of your software talk to each other?

When you work with Bennett/Porter & Associates; you know you are working with the same team of technicians and consultants every time. In many cases, the consultant you talk with for support is one of the consultants who helped implement your software or hardware in the first place, maybe 10 or 15 or even 20 years ago. Our team of consultants understand the unique challenges your company faces. They understand how your enterprise software and IT infrastructure was customized to create the most efficient system for you. While you may not be able to reach us 24-hours a day, you can trust that when you do call you won't have to waste your time providing the entire history of your system. We'll remember that information for you. And we'll probably even remember your name.

Topics: People. Ideas. Technology., Business Essentials

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