Following on from @PhilippeM ’s post, I’m Noaman Ali, Technical Support Director for Khoros Communities. I’m going to provide additional context on the challenges we face specifically with Community support and the steps we’re taking to overcome those obstacles.
Khoros Communities are best-in-class for a number of reasons: configurability, the diverse feature-set, the variety of SSO and integration components and above all, customizability. As many of our seasoned customers can attest, depending on the complexity of their setup, these very things and the infinite ways in which they can be used can require a steep learning curve for newcomers. This rings especially true for our Support team.
In addition to learning the basics of Community, our team of Technical Support Engineers have to be ready to confront new problems, on unfamiliar configurations and wildly different customizations across a variety of use cases, every day. The sheer effort and inventiveness that our customers put into pushing the boundaries of the product means that rarely are any two issues wholly alike.
Obviously, for someone just starting, effective training becomes paramount. Last year, we introduced our first-ever bootcamp for new Support employees to help reduce ramp-up time from an estimated 9 months down to 4-6 months. We’re using what we learned to build Bootcamp 2.0, which we’ll be trialling with the current team of new hires, to bring that time down even further. That, combined with shadowing and our buddy program, we aim to make new hires case-ready on non-complex issues in 4-6 weeks.
Beyond initial training, it still takes time and experience to become a truly effective troubleshooter on Community. Very few issues come with a cookie-cutter solution, so our teams have to be technically agile, applying both knowledge and experience to figure out answers. To counteract the lack of experience in our mostly-new (<1 year experience) team, we’ve also added some seasoned heavy-hitters, able to hit the ground running and tackle our most complex puzzles. Overall, for Community, we’ve added 6 frontline support engineers, 2 senior engineers and have one more senior position yet to be filled. We still have to put in some effort to combat our backlog but we now have the right people to make it happen.
We’re grateful to you, our customers, for continuing to use our products and for your collaboration in resolving your problems. There is no question that we’ve hit some low spots recently, and ask that you bear with us as we recover our strength. We really appreciate the time you take to document your issues through our case portal. Please remember, the more information you can provide, the better for us, and fewer questions we have to come back to you with. We, in turn, promise to understand and read the information you give (I know this hasn’t always been the case). It may not always seem like it, but we’re genuinely happiest when we’re able to truly help.
Finally, I find that personal contact, even over video, goes a long way towards establishing solid, trusting relationships. If we’ve never spoken before, or only in reaction to a problem, please feel free to reach out, I’d be happy to talk through your challenges. If you’re interested in meeting some of our team and putting faces to the names of the agents handling your queries, and have them learn more about you in turn, DM or email me at email@example.com and we’ll make it happen. We would love to learn more about you.
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