Hi my name is Jerry Ryan Ishmael or @jerry_ryan to the SD community. I work in Support at TrackTik, a security workforce management platform that has been redefining the way security firms run their operations. I was fortunate enough to come on board in March of 2015 as the sole “support guy.” Since then, the organization has seen many changes and tons of growth including being part of Canada’s top 50 startups in 2017.
My Priorities currently are ensuring that all requests through our customer channels get answered in a timely fashion and that any bugs see it through from testing to escalation then to resolution. There is also strategizing with management on future team growth, meetings with the team to optimize our processes and knowledge sharing across various departments amongst other items that fill my daily to-do’s.
I like to lay in silence and mentally prepare for my day. If I get ideas or thoughts worthy of my attention I will jot them down in my notepad for later review. I may open my phone to check news, weather and try not to look at email as it is a bad enough habit that we tend to grab our phones first thing when we wake.
After a breakfast with my 5-year-old and getting him off school, it’s time for my commute into the office. On the 40 minute public transit ride is where I will check my emails and possibly answer any pressing tickets or requests that I can manage while mobile.
Time to join the daily dev team standup. An advantage to our Support team that reports to Head of Product is that we can get insight into the dev and product world and a track on issues that may or may not impact our escalated issues. Then it’s back to tickets or a sit down to explain the details of a bug affecting our customers from their point of view to a developer or engineer.
If I’m not in the queue helping out the team or responding to customer issues, then I may be configuring or putting in place processes. I like to call this “Supporting Support.” This is a time I like to configure and check in on my help desk tools, ensure my support channels and automations are functioning, and ensure my team is responding to and seeing all their issues based on our help desk queue configuration and SLA’s.
Team check-in session. These sessions can consist of planning the future of the team as the company scales, ticket review or training sessions on new features that are soon to be released.
Time for lunch, and the fact that our office is located in such a diverse Montreal neighborhood allows for a quick lunch and walk. I may have Portuguese Piri Piri chicken, Asian bubble tea and a dessert from a French bakery all in the same lunch hour. And still I have time for a quick 10 minute walk that clears the mind away from the daily tasks and freshens me up for the afternoon stretch.
Now the office is the liveliest. The support team may be fielding questions and issues coming from the success and account management teams that require our collective minds to solve. We may need to directly escalate an issue that requires an investigation from the development team. As we escalate, we sometimes see the queue start bubbling with activity. Currently our support team handles the bulk of “how to’s?” and “where can I?” while the development team diagnoses and troubleshoots the bigger bugs in the system.
Time to hop on a call with one of our client success managers who will be checking in with a client. They need support in discussing ongoing bugs, and requests that they have escalated to my team. The bulk of these conversations are really to assure our clients that we are investigating any pending issues, explain workarounds if they exist and provide best practices for something they believe does not work as intended. This is my favorite part—I really enjoy hearing the customers’ reactions when they realize that we are really a team that is committed to fixing and resolving issues.
I like to pull data on a monthly basis to provide the organization with a glimpse into the team’s work. However, I block some time daily that enables me to get a pulse on how the team is performing and to get a handle our ongoing escalations. As the organization grows and looks to expand it is beneficial for me to keep on top of our metrics so that they are available at any given moment.
Time to wrap it up, and once again go through the queue and check any outstanding internal communications that should be actioned as priorities for the coming days. I try not to ‘take my work home’ at this point, however, when you enjoy the complexities and intricacies of a growing team and organization is it really work when you are adjusting team SLAs and forecasting future metrics at 12am?!
One of the pleasures I get from building and planning a support team is investigating how other teams and organizations tackle this space. I lean towards the Support Driven community to gain insight and reassurance that there are many folks in the same space doing this ‘Support’ thing. Whether B2C, B2B, ecommerce; SaaS, Retail, hardware; reactive, proactive or success driven, the end goal is all the same but the process and tools are all different.
Here is a snapshot of our team:
The Support team currently reports to the Head of Product with a primary focus on the technical aspects of the product from bug diagnosis to the resolution of escalated issues to improvement and requests.
- Frontline responders for issues coming through all customer channels which include email, JIRA, phone and internal escalations.
- Part of the ‘Product Group’ that includes product owners, this keeps us close to the product and the roadmap.
- Owners of any escalated bugs and issues affecting our customers and product
- Subject matter experts to internal and external users
Please share your current team dynamics with me and the Support Driven Community I would love to hear from you!