Will Your Vendor’s Mission-Critical Support Rescue the Day?
Providing quality technical customer support is crucial, often mission-critical. Suppose you suddenly are unable to print labels for your 20,000 plots and you must plant tomorrow. This is a mission-critical problem. Will your vendor be there for you? It can really cost you if they are not.
In our company, we have worked as breeders. We know the urgency of maintaining a schedule, and we act accordingly — often within hours if not sooner — when your critical issue needs immediate support. A seed company in India says our support is “supersonic.” Our clients in Australia are surprised to receive replies during their daytime hours.
On the backend, it only takes a few minutes in the evening here in Winnipeg to support our Australian customers. Because we have an office in France, our European clients get their first replies and support at the beginning of the day, often by 7 a.m. from one of our staff. Our clients in Europe and beyond really appreciate the response times we’re able to provide when it comes to support.
Mission-Critical Support Understands the Context
Quality technical support is more than just solving the problem of the moment; it is about understanding the context surrounding the problem. Maybe the client is not using the most optimal approach with the software, so we ask questions and go beyond a “fix-the-immediate” mentality. We want to do more. With our two plant breeders and staff with agronomy backgrounds, we know the mind of the client. Our clients appreciate it – who doesn’t appreciate being understood?
We want to develop a relationship with our clients. Each support request is seen as an opportunity to get to know our clients, not just give them an answer and say goodbye. We go the proverbial “extra mile” by asking all our clients each year how our software is working for them – any needs, any help we can give, any questions, any way to improve efficiency?
Support that goes Above and Beyond
We have learned through experience about the importance of supporting our software with critical service. This is a frequent concern we hear from prospective clients, especially in countries, such India, where differing time zones is a challenge. Will we be there when they need us?
Mission-critical support is about keeping promises, keeping your word, going beyond and offering more than asked. Support is being there for your clients. We have been here as a company for almost 30 years because we support what we sell.
(First published as part of SeedWorld INSIDERS on seedworld.com, April 2018. There it was entitled: Will Your Vendor’s Mission-Critical Support Rescue the Day? Edited September 2020)
Dieter Mulitze, PhD. is Founder and CEO of Agronomix Software Inc.