# Client Support at Datopian

We provide exceptional client support at Datopian.

We are patient with our clients, help them achieve their goals, and use our support experiences to improve the delivery of our services. Providing exceptional support starts with a really clear process for how support is done, how responsibility is taken, and what we do when we get stuck on an issue. This document gives an overview of client support at Datopian, and the complete playbook is available here (staff only access with additional information).

# Roles

Client support is run as a project (an β€œinternal” project). It is staffed based on required capacity, with clear assignment of roles and responsibility.

# Product Owner

As per the normal role of Product Owner at Datopian, the Product Owner represents the needs of the client, and is accountable for the value delivered via customer support at Datopian.

# First-level support

The nominated first-level support person receives all incoming support enquiries, and triages issues based on their nature and urgency. For issues that are clearly technical support, the first-level support person creates technical support request on the technical support issue tracker.

The person performing first-level support also functions as a scrum leader, ensuring people performing tasks generated from customer support are unblocked.

It is important that the first-level support person is not the same person as the nominated technical support person, as we receive a range of requests that are not directly related to client support, or that do not require technical implementation work. Examples of other types of requests that come to support at present:

  • Business enquiries for CKAN and other data management solutions.
  • Requests for help that can be resolved with a quick answer by someone with some domain knowledge but not necessarily a developer.

We require that there is always at least one person responsible for this role, 24/7.

# Technical support

The nominated technical support person is responsible for all technical support requests that arrive on the technical support issue tracker. She manages these requests when they arrive, by either doing the required work directly, or, assigning another member of the technical team, due to specific knowledge or familiarity.

When a technical support request requires further information from the customer, then the technical support person responds to the customer directly via the original email support thread. If there is a communication problem, the technical support person can ask the first-level support person for help.

We require that there is always at least one person responsible for this role, 24/7.

# Tools

Our support setup is very simple: we use Google Group features for multi-party email addresses, a static web frontend, and some custom applications in Twilio for phone number management.

# Web

All support enquiries come to support.datopian.com. This is a simple web UI to [email protected].

# Email

All support enquiries come to [email protected].

# Phone

We have a range of regional phone numbers with call forwarding to the appropriate first-level support people. First-level support people who receive requests via phone then email the details of this request to [email protected] and thereby the request enters the normal customer support flow.