eLabBlog

Utilising the SMART Approach to Enhance Our Customer Experiences

By Apsara Ghising 5 min read 16 Nov 2023

Here at eLabNext, we support you at every step in your journey with our Digital Lab Platform, from implementation to scaling usage and expanding functionality! We understand that investing in a long-term commitment to lab management software like this requires trust and confidence, so our ultimate goal is to provide an exceptional customer experience. 

To ensure our Support Desk meets or exceeds your expectations, we have implemented the SMART approach, a proven tool for planning and achieving goals, which means solving your problem. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound and provides a clear framework for creating trackable goals that align with your needs and our objectives.

In this blog post, I’ll share how I use the SMART approach to illustrate how we consistently achieve remarkable outcomes when supporting our customers. 

Let’s take it one letter at a time…

“S” is for Specific

When a ticket comes into our Support Desk, my first priority is understanding the nature of the request. I carefully analyse each ticket and sort them into one of three categories – bugs, requests, or questions – each requiring a different approach.

Bugs

If the ticket pertains to a bug – an error in the software causing unexpected results or unintended behaviour – my goal is to recreate the issue to pinpoint the root cause. To achieve this, I involve the customer in troubleshooting actions to determine whether it is a local or platform-related problem. Once I have successfully diagnosed and reproduced the bug, I escalate the ticket to our developers for resolution.

Requests

Requests can be classified into two types: feature requests and improvement requests. A feature request involves a customer requesting the addition of a new feature that currently does not exist in the platform. An improvement request, on the other hand, suggests changing or enhancing an existing feature. For these types of tickets, my goal is to submit them to our development team via our project management platform, JIRA, for careful review and consideration. Feature requests are prioritised based on the number of customers requesting them, guiding our implementation decisions.

Question

Questions we receive usually revolve around product usage. To address these, I aim to help customers understand and utilise the features effectively. I try to make my responses clear and easily understood by including visual aids such as relevant pages from our Documentation section or step-by-step actions with screenshots. 

“M” is for Measurable

I employ several strategies to measure customer satisfaction with the quality of their support experience. Before closing any ticket, I always ask for written confirmation from the customer that the issue has been resolved. Suppose the customer stops responding to messages at any point. In that case, I issue a series of follow-up emails to either re-engage them in the troubleshooting process or verify that their initial request has been satisfied.

I’ll also place bugs or feature request tickets that have been escalated to our developers “on hold” while they are being reviewed. When our development team resolves the issue, we promptly provide a follow-up email to inform the customer of the resolution or implementation. 

Once a ticket has been officially closed, our system automatically sends a satisfaction survey to the customer. These surveys provide direct feedback on the customer’s experience and identify areas where we can improve our service offerings. 

“A” is for Achievable

We ensure that our goals are achievable by implementing a well-defined resolution process for each type of request. For reported bugs, we have a systematic approach to diagnosing and resolving the issue. I ask the customer to perform standard troubleshooting actions. Suppose these do not immediately resolve the problem. In that case, I gather all the necessary information to investigate the issue and escalate the ticket to our Technical Support team to diagnose the root cause. The Technical Support team ranks the issues by severity to ensure that the most critical problems are prioritised first in the queue.

Our developers carefully review each feature request suggestion to determine its feasibility. Requests are ranked based on the resources required to build the feature and its potential impact on the entire eLabNext community. If multiple customer requests for a particular feature exist, we raise its priority within the development queue to deliver these high-interest improvements more quickly.

“R” is for Relevant

Ensuring their relevance to our customers is crucial in effectively addressing their needs and concerns when evaluating tickets. To determine the relevance of request tickets, we follow a comprehensive process that starts with fully understanding what the customer wants to achieve. I carefully analyse if their goal can already be accomplished within our platform. If so, I notify the customer of the pre-existing solution or a workaround to achieve the same result. 

However, if the solution does not currently exist, I meticulously evaluate the ticket to assess its alignment with our goals and its importance before passing it on to our developer. We value the feedback of our entire eLabNext community, so as more customers request a specific feature or enhancement, the relevance gauge for that particular ticket increases. This guides our development team in their decision-making process to implement features accordingly. 

“T” is for Time-bound

While we strive to resolve all requests as quickly as possible, specific organisations may require faster responses due to the nature of their industry or compliance standards. eLabNext offers a choice of three support tiers within its Service Level Agreement (SLA): Bronze, Silver, or Gold. Based on the customer’s SLA tier, I prioritise responses to their tickets to expedite the diagnosis and resolution of issues these customers face.

Conclusion

By following this SMART approach, I try to deliver exceptional support and ensure our customers have a positive and fulfilling experience with our platform. Your satisfaction is my top priority! So, if you have any questions or need to submit a request, please don’t hesitate to contact our Support Desk at support@elabnext.com, and I’ll be happy to assist you!

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