Something about Claire...
I've been a runner for 5 years, I'm training for my third marathon at the moment. That gets me out of the house on weekends and evenings, as otherwise my hobbies are more of the indoor type: video games, reading and embroidery (needlepoint and cross-stitch for many years, and more recently I've taken up blackwork as well).
Tell us about what you do at NDP
As the support manager, I make sure that our clients get the best service, that their requests are managed in a timely manner and that their questions receive clear answers. We have a fantastic team who do a great job, so I mostly need to make sure they are able to work in the best conditions: I assign developers to tickets, clarify priorities, check that their workload is manageable, and help find ways forward when they get stuck on complex issues.
I also monitor the use of support retainer hours and keep clients informed to ensure that we focus on their priorities. I work closely with our account manager Kath for this, so that we have a complete knowledge of everything that is happening in the support space, but also what is happening more widely for each client, such as other projects we might be working on or important campaigns for our clients.
Finally, as my background is in information management, I drive initiatives to document known issues (and their resolution) and frequent requests to improve resolution times.
What do you find exciting about support?
I find support very rewarding because it is about resolving problems and helping clients. Of course, I generally don't directly investigate and fix the issues that clients report (as I am not a developer), but my role does involve problem-solving when I manage priorities, make sure that the most suited developer available is assigned to each request, and provide useful information to the team if I have any - for instance, I might remember that another client reported a similar issue in the past, and share that ticket with the developer to help the investigation.
The support we provide is not only about fixing issues - support requests also include adding new features, providing training, or putting in place a new design as part of a rebranding. And of course the best support is not reactive, it is proactive - so we also monitor our clients' websites, alert them of possible risks (server disk space running low, components becoming unsupported, accessibility issues, changes in regulation) and propose solutions.
What is particularly exciting about the way support is managed at NDP?
Customer support in general is being transformed with the increase in automation (with the use of chatbots in particular) and so-called optimisation (for instance, asking support agents to stick to pre-written scripts in their interactions with customers, or outsourcing support to external agents who have no experience of the product or service). I am glad that NDP is not following this trend at all. I find it essential to have real people answering questions, and this is what we do. Our clients' support requests are managed by our team members, who know our clients and their websites, and we encourage our developers to talk directly to clients, whether it is via tickets or email, on a call, or in a meeting at the studio. We care about our clients, we know their work and their goals, and we rejoice of their successes - like CLPE recently receiving the Eleanor Farjeon Award, which recognises outstanding commitment and contribution to the world of children’s books.