Life Lessons learnt in support

On 1 December 2012, I started working full time as a support ninja at WooThemes.

Besides motoring away everyday at making clients happy, I have also been monitoring my progress along the way. Now by monitoring I mean physically counting the tickets and doing analytics and basic reflection. During  this time  I have found out that there are some valuable life lessons and disciplines that I got from simply doing support from day to day.

I’m continually learning, but I’ll be happy to share my lessons with you:

You need a Recipe

Routine is your recipe for success, write it down and stick to it. I know there is a lot of talk goin on regarding Zen and not having any routine,  but consistency always wins over random action. Hitting the nail on the head constantly, drives it into the wall.

The way you start is very important. Don’t start your day with the news, I can guarantee you that 80% of what you’ll see is negative. Start with something motivational and get into Work. Starting with new tickets is a great way to get into the Job as you don’t have an bad feelings about a difficult client or a bad experience

It is your Problem, Solve it!

As humans we really honestly only focus on the  things we can see and that immediately affects us, but the true beauty of life lies within our collaboration and how we can work together.  The only  way that we can solve problems, is when we take ownership. This is the key to effectively collaborate. Solving client issues is actually just another form of collaboration.

If you take  ownership of the issues and focus on it with the same intensity that you would your own will result on quality solution that will satisfy the client and yourself.

Make sure you understand the problem take time to understand the user and the question as you would your own.  It all boils down to treating your clients as you would love to be treated and respected. Remember for that moment, the client is the only one alive.

Rethink common assumptions

The client can be wrong. The setting might just work. The basic installation could just work. That silly question could just be the right one. You might be right .

Keep Learning

Learn more about yourself. Tracking what you do is one of the most important things. It goes above your feelings and really tells you how you’re doing. Studying and knowing yourself brings along a level of experience not easily matched.

Learn more about the client. Do what they do, go through the same thing they do. Fill in the form, install the product. Use the tools. Get in there. Know as much as the product creator or at least be very close .

Be Human

Metrics and Stats are vey important but you wouldn’t have them without the client

  • place the clients needs above your performance metrics (within the guidelines of the policy
  • Everything revolves around the client.
  • You’re talking to a person just like you. Be human and be helpfull to the best , there’s no magic words, only you trying to help
  • clients come before numbers (one ticket at a time the problem wont go away untill you solve it)

Take the bitter with the sweet

  • Avoiding a problems doesn’t make it go away, take the difficult things head on.
  • Press through the difficult task, there are only so many of them.
  • Let your attitude determine the clients response and not the other way around.

 

Published by

Dwain Maralack

Servant, Husband, Software Engineer and all round fun-loving guy, I work as a Developer at WooThemes.

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