A few weeks ago, I was involved in a conference call with a customer struggling with its manufacturing ERP software implementation. During the conversation, we learned that they had encountered some unexpected turnover as well as some sudden changes in production requirements that were putting a strain on the completion of a few of their implementation tasks.
We were discussing possible solutions for the specific issues the customer brought up when one of their team members casually mentioned, almost as a side note, that if the accounting modules would "work without giving us errors, that would be helpful too." The other members of their team didn't seem shocked or upset by this comment. They all just agreed that this would be a benefit.
I, however, couldn't believe my ears. Surely errors in the software would have been number one on their list of items to discuss. I was sitting in front of my computer, so I quickly opened the customer relationship management (CRM) module and went to their Customer Central record in search of the errors they had been getting, but found nothing. In fact, I literally found zero phone calls to our technical support group.
The conversation had moved on, but I couldn't let it go. I asked if we could go back for just a moment to the comment about the accounting modules. After a short discussion, I learned three things: The issue had been going on for a few weeks, they hadn't contacted support yet because they wanted to make sure it wasn't something they were doing wrong and the accounting users were starting to lose faith in the software. This was a big deal.
Technical support can be a huge help to an organization. At IQMS, our customers pay an annual maintenance contract that entitles them to, among other things, unlimited technical support for the EnterpriseIQ product. We encourage customers to call right away when they have questions or need help with the software. Having technical support available to users can offer peace of mind because they know they have the help they need to do their jobs quickly and effectively in the software. This assurance can be especially helpful to new customers. Calling right away can ensure that good habits are formed from the beginning and that users will build confidence in the system, not lose it.
As I sat in the doctor's office recently, I thought about how long I had put off this particular visit and wondered if maybe people feel the same way about calling for support. What if it's something I did wrong? What if it will be a lot of work to fix it? What if it won't do what I need? I'm not sure what the reason is all of the time. However, more often than not, support calls end as well as my doctor's visit did ... with some expert advice and a good fix.
And if you are curious about the ending to the story above: It took a support technician about 15 minutes to evaluate the four different warnings the customer was getting in the software and determine the cause. Then another five minutes to assist the user in re-importing security roles to rectify the problems. It turned out to be a very minor issue that happened when someone had been playing with security settings in the system for training purposes.
Of course, every call isn't that simple, but this is a good example of how calling support right away could have saved time, effort and a lot of user frustration. Support is just a phone call away ... use it.
How about you? Have you procrastinated in contacting technical support and wished you had called sooner? Please share your stories below and stay tuned for Part II of my technical support blog series.