Much of the magic that happens behind the scenes of great customer support is never known to the outside world. That’s not going to remain the case, however – not if we can help it.
That’s why, starting with our recent webinar on how Freshdesk uses Freshdesk, we’re gearing up to tell these compelling stories that capture the inner workings of support making customer happiness possible.
Today’s story is an interview with Thriyam Ravi, a customer support agent here at Freshdesk, on what makes a typical day for him. Why don’t we start with getting to know him a little?
Thriyam Ravi is a Technical Account Manager (TAM) in our customer support team here at Freshdesk. With three years of experience, Thriyam is an expert in the product and now shoulders many responsibilities. He enjoys a casual game of cricket in the support bay and, on occasion, gets hilariously confused with the company 3M.
Hey, Thriyam! Tell our readers a little about your role here at Freshdesk.
As a Technical Account Manager, I handle general support queries and act as a point-of-contact for the customers assigned to me. I’m personally responsible for those accounts and need to ensure that their requests are being taken care of. I see to it that I have a good rapport with these customers.
I also mentor a group of agents under me, training them in the product and coaching them on how things are done around here. If anyone in my group has a question or hits a dead-end, I’m the one they turn to.
What’s the first thing you do everyday?
When I come in to work, I check on my open tickets for replies and respond to my high-priority tickets, first thing. Then, I touch-base with my TAM accounts, keeping them informed about any issues they’ve raised and ensure that we’re on the same page about everything.
How do you prep for customer interactions?
If I have a call scheduled, I read up a bit about the customer to understand what they do and their use-cases for the product. I’m often looped in mid-way after the pre-sales team sets up the product for the customer, so I familiarize myself with how their helpdesk was set up, to make sure that the customer is able to relate to everything I say. With TAM accounts, the nature of interactions depends on each individual customer. The trend is usually skewed towards casual interactions, and we often have customers who are Facebook friends or LinkedIn connections.
What does your workload look like?
I handle 5-6 tickets a day, manage my TAM accounts and mentor newer agents on the team as part of my responsibilities. A regular support agent would handle around 13 tickets a day, including calls and chats. We have a helpdesk analyst who ensures the load is distributed equally amongst the team. When a new ticket comes in, our analyst categorizes it and decides which agent should work on it. They also keep track of the number of tickets assigned to every agent and update it every hour.
How do you share information and collaborate on issues with your team?
A lot of support issues require multiple sets of eyes. We use HipChat, Hangouts and private notes inside tickets to correspond with each other, and sometimes we use email too. Oh, and we also just started using the Team Huddle feature to discuss issues with anyone on the team right there in the ticket page.
Knowledge sharing is vital in support and we make sure we pass on important communications without fail. If someone comes across a new issue or a weird bug, they share the information with others on HipChat. This is also time-sensitive, because if I find something on the Australian shift, it’s important for agents working the next shift to get a heads-up on the issue. That way, if a customer comes in reporting the same thing, they’re already on top of it and can go straight to helping the customer without having to find things out themselves.
For updates such as new features being introduced, we use Facebook’s Workplace to share the relevant documentation.
How much time do you spend in meetings?
Working in support, it’s essential that we spend a significant amount of time in internal meetings and syncing up with external teams, apart from collaborating on issues as they crop up. We share learnings and get everyone up to speed in internal meetings every now and then. For instance, I meet with Customer Success Managers across the region about once a week so we’re on the same page about the TAM accounts that we’re both responsible for. As a team, we also meet the devs every two weeks and the product team about once a month. This helps ensure that all of us are helping each other move towards the same goals.
How far does gamification motivate you on the average day?
Helpdesk gamification creates an environment of healthy competition that goes a long way in motivating the team. Everyone has their eye on the prize. We track the metrics pretty seriously, and sometimes we even have our own little competitions outside gamification. It’s all taken very seriously and agents go out of their way to make sure they come out ahead.
Okay, Thriyam. I think we’ve got a snapshot of what the average work day entails for you – it seems exciting and overwhelming at the same time! I don’t think we’re quite done with our interview, though. As far as I’ve seen, every support agent has had some really cool experiences that are the stuff of great stories. Care to share one with us?
There have been quite a few, but I’m not sure how much I’m at liberty to share.
That sounds like something James Bond would say.
It does, doesn’t it? Alright, here’s a story for you. There was this one call I remember, where this customer needed a fix immediately and we couldn’t get it done. He told me it was pretty late in the day for him, but that he wanted to sort this out. He wasn’t frustrated, but he was being pressured by his boss. So he drove home with his phone on, and I was along with him for the ride. And then he went to grab dinner with his wife and I was with him for that too and it was like we were ordering food together. It was really quite amusing.
There sure is no telling where the job will take you. For an average day, what’s something unusual that’s happened to you?
Well, sometimes folks from marketing randomly come up to me and ask to hear about my day…
Touché! Thank you so much for making time for us Thriyam, it was great talking to you.
It was my pleasure. See you guys!
Thriyam’s favorite Freshdesk features are agent collision, parent-child ticketing and linked tickets. Sign up to receive a recording of our webinar on how Thriyam, Andrew and the rest of our support team use Freshdesk to deliver a seamless support experience to every customer.