Our PCB troubles a month ago gave us the opportunity to dig into our support process (really, it forced us to), and we found a lot of things that could be improved. The net result is a 2x to 4x improvement in our response times, depending on the day of the week.
This is inside info that may not be interesting to most people, but it explains what goes on behind the scenes, and what we do to try and help users out. It may be interesting to those trying to figure out the best way to get help.
The biggest change is that we now work from a single queue of both emails, website callback requests, and voicemails. Before we had separate queues for incoming phone calls and emails, and we had diffeent people working in each queue. This led to a couple of problems:
With a single queue, and we're able to work through it much more efficiently.
The first change is priority. We now give full priority to the tickets already in the queue over incoming phone calls. If everyone is helping a customer, either on the phone or via email, we don't answer the phone, we let it go to voicemail. This respects the people who were already waiting for help. Once the oldest ticket in the queue is under XX minutes old, we start answering the phone again. (We're still tweaking what the value of XX should be.) If you get voicemail, leave a message. Every voicemail is handled, as long as we can understand it.
Second, we will not do impromptu training sessions. As we dug into the phone log, we saw a lot of hour-long calls that were really training sessions. We're happy to do training sessions, we include them with every machine, but they need to be scheduled. We can't take a support person out of service for an hour at a time like that.
Third, we reply in the most efficient manner to close solve the problem. If you leave a voicemail, you might get an email reply if we know the problem, or you might get an email asking for more information before we call back. If you email, we might decide that calling you back is the most efficient way to solve the problem. Our end goal is to solve the problem as quickly as possible.
As we mentioned in a prior blog post, we now mandate that everyone in product development spends time in the support queue and we have email support folks that work extended hours. That means we have more people doing email support than phone+email. It's very possible you'll get an email reply, even if you called in. Trust the reply, we know what we're doing, and we're trying to get you a quick fix.
With these changes we've been able to reudce our response time by 2x - 4x, depending on the day.
We're hoping to keep improving, but we're happy with the results so far.
We'll keep you up to date on new things in the world of Carbide 3D, and CNC in general.