It's a challenging and unprecedented time for everyone, and BQE Support has tried to meet the challenge during this pandemic by expanding our presence into multiple areas. We want to give our customers more options on how to reach us.
BQE Core is Part of the Community
In early March, California became one of the first states to shut down and we were suddenly working from home. We didn't know much about the virus back then, but we were determined to continue to do what we do in a different environment.
After making a good cup of coffee (yes, better than what they make at the office!) and sitting down at my desk for my first home shift, it was indeed business as usual. In those first days, it was clear many customers were getting used to their new situations too. “We are all in this together,” we thought. We all had kids home schooling, and had the same worries and thoughts about the future health of our communities and businesses. It's easier to relate to others when you are going through a common experience.
5 Keys to Successful Customer Support During Coronavirus
We provide a business software platform, so there needs to be business! Everything that happens with the economy affects us the same way as our customers. So the empathy is already there, we feel it too!
Here’s what we’ve learned about business during this unprecedented time.
- Patience — This pandemic isn't going to end any time soon, so we keep that in our minds during all communications.
- Empathy — We all have worries about our health, our community, our families, our businesses, and our careers. Unemployment is high, society is on edge due to recent protests, and the economy is in a recession and may continue in this direction for some time. It is part of knowing your audience as we have this common experience.
- Humor— Probably not as much now. Not that finding a missing time entry or going over a billing discrepancy is ever a ton of laughs. Now is a time we get things accomplished
- Hope— Now more than ever, we need hope, and it should be part of our exchanges.
- Common Courtesy — This is something we should always practice, but it's more important than ever now. We must team together to face our common enemy, which is the virus.
How is Customer Support Now?
After a couple of months where America was flattening the curve, we are now faced with a more rapid spread again, especially in our home state of California. Our return to the office is delayed again so our reliance on our online tools continues. Luckily, we had already moved to a virtual phone and conferencing system months prior to the pandemic.
Although the support team is involved in instant collaboration through Slack, of course, we miss working together in the office. It's also disappointing that the BQE User Conference was postponed. We were looking forward to meeting and interacting with our customers.
We hope to have the same relationships with our customers after the pandemic as before and during it. Support has been doing our part. We are available on more channels and have prioritized having fewer open tickets. We have worked at improving our knowledge base, documentation, and overall service.
We are also helping out in the community. We have been involved in a company-wide “Acts of Kindness” challenge, and our team has done a lot of great things for the community through various donations and services.
More Ways to Reach Us!
Recently, we had already expanded our hours to provide 24-hour phone support, but we have made it a priority to also be available through other online options.
As a senior support engineer for over eight years, I have taken part in the amazing change in our offerings. When I first started, we had phone support from 7am to 3pm, and at the time, that was more than most in the industry. Having live agent phone support available to customers was a big differentiator for our products.
The partnership between the application and those that use it and support it has always been a big part of our experience. Customers are involved in the design of our products, from both their submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org and their feedback to customer service.
The Core Help Center has excellent documentation and is also equipped for collaboration with the Core Community. It's another way of reaching support at your convenience. Videos, blogs, webinars, and Facebook user groups are also available. Our online knowledgebase has expanded, having added many of the common issues. This has resulted in fewer calls and other requests for support.