Helping us to help you help us help you

By Andrew Davies

Here at Simwood, we like puzzles and problems, it’s part of what drives our spirit of innovation. This means we don’t go about avoiding issues or tickets you raise.

With this in mind, it’s worth a review of how our support process works.

Firstly, it’s a process. We have a staged escalation procedure that begins with first line. There’s no avenue for direct escalation because we don’t need one, we’re a close-knit team. We can contact everyone in our company at almost any time. A ticket raised via our support site can be seen by anyone up to and (more often than you’d expect!) including our CEO!

When you do call us or raise a ticket you’re going to be encountering our first line team, of which I’m a part. The bulk of what we do is triage, and triage is vital – we don’t work from a call script, we need to know what the issue or query is so we can get it to the right place for resolution. Just as a good triage nurse wouldn’t send every broken leg to a consultant osteopath, we don’t escalate until we know where best to go – asking for a matter to be immediately looked at by the second line team is rarely as productive as you’d think! This is where your cooperation is most vital – answering any questions we may ask is never to stall you for time, it’s always so we can gather more information to diagnose the issue more effectively.

If there is a wider issue, the chances are we already know about it – this is why we have our status page and we like to show the stats – it’s not just to show off our awesome uptime, it’s to let you see that everything is operational, or (rarely) to let you know of an ongoing matter – more often than not, it’ll be due to maintenance or something industry-wide. It is always worth checking status.simwood.com as your first step and be sure to subscribe for updates there.

If we’ve not got back to you it’s most likely because we’re working on getting the matter resolved, not because we want to keep you in the dark!

Basic Triage

Most issues fall into one of three categories:

Something is broken…

…and needs to be fixed by us – Urgent / High priority
…and needs to be fixed by someone else – Moderate priority
…and needs to be fixed by you – Your call

Anything falling under these categories will get the most urgent attention.

Something isn’t broken…

…but needs to be fixed – Moderate priority
…but could be improved upon – Low priority

These cases are never urgent but always need logging and actioning, and will be assigned to whoever is best to deal with them.

General enquiries…

…are always welcome and ideally the prime reason for having a helpline you can call for a chat. But in reality, a ticket raised will still be better all around because then you have your answer in writing for future reference.

So with this in mind, whilst we are always happy to talk to you – after all, a phone company that doesn’t do phone calls is a bit of an oxymoron – by and large if we’re on the phone to you discussing an issue it means we’re not able to make test calls to diagnose said issue, or send that important message to chase up the matter. If you have an open ticket, updates will always be posted as soon as we have an update for you.

If you call us to chase something, whilst your intentions are laudable, they’re misguided at best because all you’ll do is slow us down sorting out the thing you want to be sped up. If you call us because you want to pick our brains or have a chat, that’s absolutely fine, we like talking to you, but please don’t be upset if we ask you to raise a ticket – we’re just taking what you say more seriously than you realise!

Helping Yourself

We have an expansive support site which will cover the bulk of any first-line type query, and there’s some lovely really technical stuff to sink your teeth into but remember the more confidential information requires you to be logged in. Give it a good going over, it’s there to help you get set up and running!

If you do need to raise something with us we ask you to raise tickets for two important reasons: So you have a log of what has taken place, and so we have a written record of the details you provide, which is vital for escalating and diagnosis. A message on a phone call can be mis-transcribed or worse, misunderstood, which is unproductive for everyone, whereas an email can be referred back to at any time. Similarly, you can’t send us a SIP trace or list of calls over the telephone!

Think of it like going to ER and seeing the duty nurse – you don’t immediately need a consultant for a runny nose, and an ENT specialist isn’t much help if you’ve acute brucellosis.

If there is an honest, actual, service affecting, all-round emergency, even out of hours, then raise a ticket via support.simwood.com and mark it as Urgent. We’ll see it. If it’s not any of the above, don’t mark it as urgent. Think of it much like you’d treat a 999 call – an urgent ticket pages our entire team and we get grumpy if you wake up the company for no good reason.

In essence; if something is amiss:

And finally, please do leave feedback – it lets us know how we’re doing, and remember it’s not feedback for the outcome, it’s feedback for how we’ve handled the matter, which is important to us and a part of how we’re paid!

Thanks!
Andrew and The Support Desk