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Blog post • Sep 242019

10 values our Customer Support Team live by

Tomáš Vykydal
Vice President of Customer Success at Kentico Xperience

Why should you read another random article on what Support does? You already know what Support does. Plus, you don’t use Support; it usually means something is wrong. On top of that, there’s documentation, DevNet, blog posts, and online training, just to name a few. It’s easy to find Kentico-related answers yourself. Right?

But what happens when you have a problem, you look through all your resources, and—oh no!—you can’t find the answer? Support is here for you. Even when you don’t want us, we’ll help you find the answer. (By the way, we’re pretty good at it.)

For #KenticoTurns15, I wanted to do a deep dive into how we do it. Here are the top 10 values we stick to at Kentico.

1. Be Easily Accessible

It's super easy to contact us. You have two options:

  1. Go to our Technical Support issue form and fill it out.
  2. Shoot an email.

That’s it! We see your request immediately and pick it up as soon as we are done helping the previous customer.

With Kentico Kontent, it's even quicker. (Is that even possible? Yep.) Wherever you’re in the app, our product website, or in the documentation, Support is just one click away, and you’ll always find yourself talking to a real person.

2. Be a Problem Solver

At Kentico, your success is our success. Cheesy, but true. We enjoy working on difficult issues and saving your day. Every issue is personal, and we discuss and brainstorm solutions at great length in our Support offices and online channels. Even though one Support Engineer signs your ticket replies, there’s much more that goes on behind the scenes. More than likely, a few people collaborated to find the best solution for you (including our colleagues who wrote the code for the part of Kentico or Kentico Kontent in question). Nothing gets us started like a complicated or unusual problem reported by a customer!

3. Be Online—Whenever, Wherever

We have more than 20 members on our Support Engineer Team that will help you find solutions at any time. We manage this from our offices in Brno, Czech Republic and Bedford, New Hampshire. With these two teams and a bit of shift organization, you can rest assured that, whenever you need some assistance or guidance using our products, our expert Support Engineers will always be online to help.

4. Be Deliberate

We don’t assign support tickets to Support Engineers with some sort of automatic process or by a “queue master”. Support Engineers are free to pick up tickets from the queue based on their best judgement, experience, and (often) curiosity—they might see an issue they want to help with so they can learn more about how to fix it in the future.

Some questions can be solved within minutes, but some need backup restoring, reproducing the issue, lots of testing, consulting with developers about this or that feature, and generally a lot of digging for the answer.

But don’t worry. We won’t be experimenting and delaying answers for real, pressing customer issues. We know when to ask a colleague who may know a little more about an issue and is usually just a message or desk away.

5. Be the Owner

A support ticket (or “case” or “conversation” or whatever you want to call it) is not a hot potato for us. We’re not driven by the number of solved tickets, and we know every single one is different. Our top priority? Satisfied customers. Which is why we love solving issues. At Kentico, Support Engineers own the issues. They take care of the entire lifespan of the issue, and they’ll use every resource available.

6. Be Equal

We don’t believe in tiered support in the traditional sense. It isn’t our job to send you links to documentation (because that’s no fun for anyone). Any one of our team members can pick up any issue and work on it. Apart from the signatures in our emails or in Intercom, you usually won’t notice whether you are talking to a Tech Lead or Support Specialist, a junior or senior. You’ll never see us say, “Hey, this isn’t my area, so I’ll pass you on to another level of Support. Have a nice day. Oh, and by the way, you’re at the bottom of the queue again!”

7. Be Ever Learning

By giving everyone the choice to pick up any ticket and never considering any question silly, we ensure that we always keep learning and broadening our experience. We try to have as much real-life experience as possible. Support Engineers build sample or real projects using our products in their personal development time (we call it “innovation time”), and we work with our products the way our customers do. This helps us understand our customers a lot better.

The whole team also “brainstorms” every day, which is a time we think about solutions in a group or share interesting solutions to tricky customer issues.

8. Be a Team Player

Everyone on the Support Engineer Team has a role. That doesn’t mean we limit what customer issues our team will be working on—we strongly believe in cooperation and have experts in various parts of our products. Some of our Support Engineers, who we call “specialists”, actually do sit next to our developers in their offices, so they’re just one question away from the deepest and most expert advice possible for any product-related question.

9. Be Extraordinary

We do what makes sense within specific contexts and try not to be limited by rules and processes too much. At the end of the day, our solution should help solve your queries. Customer Support is a very diverse business full of surprises and new challenges, which means too many rules or tightly defined conditions don’t help our overall goal much. Our mantra is “Make the best effort to do as much as you can do to delight the customer.” We have the knowledge, sense of balance, and freedom to know when to go the extra mile and continue working with you, even if it means we won’t be the Support Champion who finished 100 tickets. And really, that doesn't matter to us.

We also appreciate hearing from you. After any support ticket is solved, you’ll receive a short questionnaire asking about your experience. Every ticket response gives you a link to rate the answer. Technical Leaders, the head of Support, and Support Specialists and Engineers all see the ratings almost immediately, and if there is a less-than-perfect score, we look back at through the conversation and try to learn from it. Whenever there is an opportunity to help you further, we will do it.

10. Be Collaborative

A Support Engineer means a lot of things in Kentico. We believe we should always have the best person for the job on the job, regardless of titles or roles. Makes sense, right? Even though we keep a pretty high baseline of knowledge and all our colleagues are Kentico experts, some people excel in specific areas, or there might be different parts of the products closer to their hearts.

With knowledge gathered from talking to our customers, we have a pretty good idea about how they’re using Kentico products and how they would like things to be. So we try to use this knowledge to contribute to other departments’ work.

Deliver feedback to Product Teams and Developers? Write DevNet articles? Blog posts? Create MVC widgets or Kentico Kontent custom elements? Improve documentation or trainings? Work on open source projects? Whenever and wherever they can make a difference, Support Engineers are there.