Managing Support, training and feature requests from civilians - Sharing lessons from the front lines

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Strategies on how to package support information? FAQ? Bucket issues - coming up with a way to standardize answers. How do you manage the questions that are tailored to a specific situation.

Triage at PTP: Convert data from other systems - train them by online webinars, and phone training, and some f2f training. They know the person who brought their data in. Support email address. Don't use a trouble ticket system at the moment.

Have to explain to the client the nature of the bug: is it in core? etc. Working with organizers - better to email immediately and tell them about the situation.

How do you provide point expertise and make that scalable? The way you organize the information as it comes in. Categorize them. Key to efficiency in effectiveness and responsiveness is organize it as it comes in. On the backside - looking at trends and looks at how these questions are organized - login questions, etc. Create buckets - identified key problem areas - put resources into those problem areas - whether it be training, etc.

Support requests go up and down - expectation setting in terms of response time - having a way to prioritize the issues is key. Letting the client prioritize the urgency.

Having a repository of information about the clients and what was deployed so that support is easier.

Human interface - do people google? Will they retrieve information?

Create a power user model within the organization that is the go to person. Identified folks within the organization - can get the easiest stuff taken care of.

Account management model - one person who is responsible for getting things taken care of - this person is responsible for this group of organization. Helping people to know what resources are available and facilitating the connection with those resources.

Community of practice - how do you help these power users? How do they share their experiences? PTP has tried to facilitate this, with mixed experiences - many people won't use it.

Mailing list - as a push thing - had a flurry of activity and then stopped.

Crowdsource a database on who is training on what - slice up the territory more effectively.

People find information in varied places (such as linkedIn, or other sources) - a good way to find out what works and what doesn't work - get a lot of great feedback. How do you leverage the community that has innate knowledge of the subject so that they can give a quick response.

Screencasts and recordings of online trainings. Codify the knowledge so that it's in a place where people can find it.

People have different ways of finding information - some via looking stuff up, and others via a person.

Options: webinars - like Salesforce has a weekly webinar where people call in forum - questions get asked answered. office hours - call someone and get answers.

PTP - charges for support - and they get funding.

Important to set expectation in terms of response via resolution. Response time in a day is good.

Triage request - does it need to go to an engineer - or can someone else handle it.

Fixed fee for unlimited support could be a problem.

For PTP - the duration and amount hasn't been a problem.

Support - bottomless pit - over time - become more efficient with that 80%

Salesforce: always adding stuff to the wiki - diverting old questions to the knowledge base. Train people to not just ask simple questions and go to the online resources

Human engineering in limiting hours of support - make the clients be more careful in asking questions.

Make videos in bit-sized chunks to make it easier to give out support. What's the topic - let the video be as long as it needs to be. What's more of an issue is what is the topic, and how to address it. - a tool that has a transcript of a video - you can search for the term, and then go right to the place in the video with the term.

Important to identify people who have expertise. Get them to tell things that they would have not written down.

One model - block of 12 hours for 3 months.

The process of figuring out how to deal with the incoming tickets will help to categorize the support questions. You can accomplish alot without investing a lot in the fancy ticketing systems.

Leveraging free resources - techie volunteers - scale voluntary efforts. Use Civi forums as well - does it make sense to use that.

Some sort of currency system between users - get credit for answering questions. Can build peer-to-peer expertise building.