Supporting our clients’ needs is a cornerstone of our business
Whilst we might regard email as evil and use lots of funky technology and a agile-delivery methodology, we do understand that most folks still communicate using good old fashioned email.
How to get the most our of us?
Our support team is tethered, 24×7 – this is via a number of different applications, all of which are hosted in the cloud to enable location independent working. Want to get the best from us?
We closely monitor performance of support and have sophisticated reporting and alerting to ensure support request are dealt with promptly. In the first example you can see a breakdown of a team member’s ticket list, showing how many tickets in the queue, how many dealt with in the last working period and how many are pending a client response.
Different clients have different Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and we also closely monitor those to ensure we are hitting the expectations of the client. This extends further, each support teamie has an SLA agreement with the business – depending of skillsets, hours worked and periods of availability.
We only use second-line support – we cant see the point of having staff who’s only job is to palm support tickets around the business and that’s generally what first-line support people do. Support is about delivering a service to our clients, not talking about it.
We also believe that everyone in our business should be involved with support – so don’t be surprised if you find your account manager fixing a small bug of your web-site. You’ll might even see the CEO rolling up his sleeves and getting stuck in. To be a successful digital business, we belive that everyone in the business understands the technology and the digital web space.
Use support triage
The best, fastest and simplest way to raise a support ticket is to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens next depends on your contract coverage, time of day, availability of support and whether you’ve made a support request before.
If this is your first email-sent support request you’ll be sent an email asking you to validate yourself – this is to remove spam requests and also so we can provide you a secure login so you can subsequently see all your support tickets. It takes 2 mins to complete the process.
Once validated (and entered a password) you’ll be taken directly to our support portal where you can see your support request. This is our triage area and you’ll be able to see progress and updates on your support tickets.
If a support team member is available you’ll get an immediate response – regardless of your contracted response time and day of week. If you are inside your support window then the clock starts running and we’ll be back to you within our contract number of working hours.
The standard support window is weekdays, 10am to 4pm. Our standard response time is 8 working hours which broadly translates to “about a day”. Accelerated response or longer coverage period means a response sooner, please consult your contract or standard terms and conditions.
When you ticket is being worked on you will be notified, via the email address you used to sign on. You can also check the progress of tickets by visiting our support portal.
If you don’t have accelerated response but the ticket is urgent you can request the ticket to be escalated. If there is a strong reason to escalate then we will normally do so at no charge. Strong reasons might include:
- Your digital services are down
- Under legal threat to make a change
- The subject of a DDOS, or other destructive event
- Content or applications that are breaching EU regulations or privacy rules
- The failure of a critical element of the web-site
Urgent is very often not as urgent as we might think and ASAP is not a reason to make something urgent. If the issue is fundamentally affecting your business now then we’d regard it as urgent.
No urgent, but you still need to escalate the ticket? Maybe because you need something done to coincide with another event, or even just a “rush” job then you can still request the ticket to be escalated – this is, however, chargeable on the following scale:
- In contract window, needs accelerated response £100 + VAT
- In contract window, needs accelerated resolution £250 + VAT
- Out of contract window, needs accelerated response £200 + VAT
- Out of contract window, needs accelerated resolution £500 + VAT
Escalation requires approval from both the client and whoever is managing the support team at the time. We do waive the charges, from time to time so just because you weren’t charged before doesn’t mean it will happen all the time!
- Most simple support queries are responded to and cleared within 2 working days
- Bigger tickets requiring investigation or more complex work should be completed in under a week
- Emergency tickets are normally handled within 4 hours, regardless of contract type
- Our target is to respond to 85% of tickets within 24 hours
- If you are not getting a quick enough response, or wish to complain or give us feedback then contact our CEO, Martin Dower via email
- If you are on a PAYG contract then can broadly expect to receive a slower response time, and at a chargeable rate of £172 per hours, minimum charge 0.5hrs per ticket and 3hrs per month.
We will periodically request feedback on our support performance. Please do feed your comments and ratings back as it helps us to provide a better service and also builds relationships. We love clients who give us feedback – especially those that are critical of our service and offer suggestions.
Geeky bit : What do we use
For the management of regular support tickets we use Zendesk, setup with alerts and pushed to smartphones and tablets. This cover the vast majority of client-driven support and change requests.
For project management we mainly use Basecamp, Pivotal Tracker or Podio. We can and will work with alternatives including Trello, Yammer and Huddle. We don’t use Microsoft Project – in fact, we shy away from most “linear project management” applications as they have a habit for generating more crap than it needed and often end up with late and expensive delivery.
We use email sparingly. Google Business Apps is the weapon of choice.