Self-serve your way to support

Ben Smith | 16 July 2021

Self-serve your way to support

Help us to help you. A pretty great description for how support works within MGISS. The more informed we are about what support you need, the better we can evolve our solutions, the better your experience with MGISS will be. Helping you helps us… to help you better! Nice and cyclical, isn’t it! And with our new self-serve customer site?… Well, we’ll get to that in a moment.

So who’s fulfilling this role at MGISS? I’m Ben Smith, I develop solutions for our clients. I’m also the first line of support for our clients.

So what, you ask, does support mean in this context? It varies, really. It’s pre-sales support, in terms of making sure a solution is going to work for a client. And it’s post-sales technical support as well.

Customers can ring up when they’ve got errors in hardware or software, and we do our best to fix those and stop them from happening again. In terms of support, that’s the day-to-day. We’ll investigate the issue, we’ll try and solve it there and then, but if we can’t, we’ve got excellent contacts with hardware suppliers and software suppliers, so we can raise a much more informed ticket with them. We give a really high level of support that allows a much quicker and much better answer for a client than going through a software supplier would be, where it tends to be a lot less personal.

And do our customers see the value in that? Definitely.   

One of the really good things about supporting our clients is that they do appreciate the time and effort we put into supporting them and solving a problem for them; we don’t palm people off. If you ring up or send an email looking for an answer you will get an answer. We make sure they know that a support contract is an option at a certain point in sale. It’s a year’s support, and there’s never been any issues with customers contacting us if they need us, every customer is heard. 

But obviously, in an ideal world everything works perfectly for a customer and support isn’t needed, but are there other benefits to a line of contact being open between MGISS and a customer?

Contact with clients allows us to see how they’re using software and how they’re getting on with it, to gather really good feedback at point of use, so that we can develop better solutions in the future and feed that back into current solutions, so that these errors and niggles that people find don’t appear in the future.

In fact this part of what we do is so important that we decided to build our own self-serve customer site.

Now look at that, I’ve organically created a perfect segue to what I really wanted to talk about. locationtoinsight.com

It’s a website that our clients can register to use as a self-serve resource for all their needs. They can raise and check on support tickets, watch live demos, access training, download relevant material and utilise our knowledge base. 

Their entire journey as a customer will be managed through locationtoinsight.com.

What’s good about it is, you get a log of what’s going on, both Professional Services and the customer can see how a case is progressing, who it’s been assigned to, when it’s closed – it’s the whole journey of support. When support is less structured, as it was in the past, someone would just phone for support or send an email. With an email, as a customer you kind of hope someone’s read the email; you leave a voicemail and hope that someone’s listened to it. 

Whereas in a customer site you can see exactly what’s happening. 

It’s also good for when what you think is a support issue turns into a genuine bug. It’s a problem that will then be able to be fixed for good.

However there’s also certain parts of support where it’s small everyday questions that clients shouldn’t have to and don’t want to ring you up about, because they should be able to get this answer quickly and immediately. Locationtoinsight.com will provide that.

Locationtoinsight.com has been a big investment for us. It’s worth it because at the end of the day, what we’re really investing in is the customers, which will always be worth the investment. We’re investing in a customer experience to rival the best of them. Support is a collaboration of access to knowledge and a good customer experience, and we’ve evolved that package. Basically, everything support related is just better this way. Documented better. Handled better. Support evolves to be better and better.

And my role evolves, too.

Honestly, I’m looking forward to people finding answers faster so that it doesn’t become part of my every-day to look after menial stuff that isn’t complicated, that doesn’t need a huge amount of interaction between me and the customer, where in the past they might have had to wait to talk to our support team.

I can concentrate on the other part of my job then. I can use the site to track common issues and analyse support. That means coming up with better solutions for clients. It’s testing the latest solutions from our partners, it’s building innovative solutions for clients before they’ve asked for them so we’ve got something new to keep people moving forward and keep making people’s lives easier and better.

To find out more, email our technical lead Dave George at [email protected] 


About

Joining MGISS almost immediately after his BSc in Geography, Ben quickly established himself as the go-to technical expert in hardware and integration. Working with MGISS customers, suppliers and partners in equal measure, Ben is a growing technical consultant with a committed approach to GIS and Geospatial technologies.