Whose Customer Support is it Anyway? | Inflectra

Whose Customer Support is it Anyway?

April 14th, 2016 by inflectra

When you need multiple tools to get your work done there are multiple points of failure. You want to get stuff done, but what if widget A suddenly stops talking to widget B? Is it because of widget A? Widget B? The plugin that gets them to play nicely together? What do you have to do to get things fixed?

A Moving Target

We wrote recently about how we combine customer focus with development in-house. This is really important to us. It means we can dive deeply into a customer's problems quickly to find a solution--if one can be found. It also means we can learn from our customer's problems to isolate bugs, iterate enhancements, or to realize our limits.

Some of the hardest problems to solve involve more than just our software. Syncing and translating data across networks, between databases and applications is hard. APIs, add-ons, and plugins help a lot, but things can still go wrong. Tracing the cause and then solving it is no mean feat. It can feel like trying to hit a moving target while riding a horse blindfolded.

Who Can You Trust?

Humans are pattern spotters. We can use one point of data to extrapolate complex theories. If the sun rose yesterday, it should rise today. If your baseball team does better when you where that special hat, you'd better wear it to the next game. If customer service was good or bad last time, chances are it will be just as good (or bad) next time. Forming patterns is a rare gift we have (except when it makes us dumber than pigeons).

So when people look to us to solve a problem between our software and another tool, we're flattered. It means we've earned your trust--you come to us first because you see a pattern of us having the highest chance of solving your problem.

We've seen this belief, even after it's clear to everyone that the root of the problem lies beyond Inflectra. Maybe it's a network issue, a bug in another tool, a local server configuration glitch. When there's nothing more we can realistically do, we are asked if we can do more. Could this be because no one trusts the next customer support team to get contacted?

When to Say No

If we can take responsibility for a problem we will. If the problem lies elsewhere but our flexing a little can help, we'll flex. If another provider doesn't know how to investigate or refuses to? That's where we stop. We can't give support to another company's customers.

Customer support is hard and an area every company can always improve at, Inflectra included. We hope our customers continue to call us first, to trust us to do all we can to help. We hope too that our partners will all do the very best they can. And if they don't, then we hope their customers give them clear feedback of how they can improve--so, in the long run, problems get solved faster.

support integrations