Undercover boss: what I learned trading in my CEO hat for a technical support gig

Posted September 13, 2017

Last week, I wrapped up my first technical support ticket at a customer’s office in the Silicon Slopes outside of Salt Lake. For background, last month I started sitting with our Technical Support (TSE) team and taking tickets from the queue. I wanted to learn more about the technical issues facing our company, and our Director of Technical Support Ruth was kind enough to hire me for a temporary gig. This time, I took a voice call quality ticket. We are huge proponents of outbound sales and the power of cold calling at Outreach, so a voice ticket seemed only appropriate.

I had my work cut out for me. Voice quality tickets are especially tricky. It can be hard to identify the root cause, which can then result in our TSE team going back and forth with customers in a frustrating loop. The plot thickened as we learned that the call quality issue was not caused by poor network bandwidth, as it commonly is. The customer had plenty of bandwidth, yet the call quality still suffered. What gives? I wondered.

The problem turned out to be a complicated technical snarl relating to the company router and a configuration issue with the switches. I’ll spare you the technical details. Luckily, our resident voice expert Josh was able to come up with an innovative solution to the problem. The customer’s IT manager installed it over the weekend and boom! The problem was resolved.

Solving the problem is only the beginning of the story.

Of course, solving the problem is only the beginning of the story. The future of customer service is paved in proactivity. The challenge of today’s truly service-oriented companies is not to simply solve current problems, but understand potential roadblocks and proactively solve for them before they become a problem. On that note, I paid another visit to the customer’s office, along with our Chief Product Officer Andrew and the Customer Service Specialist Alex, to make sure the router solution was working and also to check in on how Outreach was working for them in general. What an insightful visit. This customer is a robust user, with the majority of SDRs and AEs using Outreach on a daily basis. As such, the level of specificity in their concerns blew me away, as did their creativity and innovation in how they used the product. For example, they use Outreach’s voice recording tool as a feedback tool, taking a call recording and then sharing it with their teammates on Slack to ask for coaching from their peers. We also got the best kind of customer feedback-request for features we already have, which lets us know we need to do a better job of making it visible in the product (for the record, we have call duration per rep! Let us know if you can’t find it at support@outreach.io!)

Not only did this experience give me terrific customer insight, it gave me insight into my own team as well.

Technical support is a hot bed of tough issues and can feel like a very thankless job. Unless of course, we take the time to say thank you. This post is to do just that- thank the technical support teams, those everyday heroes who tackle the complicated and at times unpleasant issues that no one else wants to take. To my technical support rockstars at Outreach and all the technical support teams out there, thank you for what you do.

Originally published on LinkedIn


Read more

Stay up-to-date with all things Outreach

Get the latest product news, industry insights, and valuable resources in your inbox.