Mar 3, 2011

Where's the support calls? Not that I'm complaining.

At the beginning of February I launched several new web based training modules on a new LMS.  This training is available to nearly 22,000 employees.  I've been in the web business long enough to know that something will happen that I didn't anticipate.  Usually this is because of an odd configuration by an end-user.  It can be a toolbar with a pop-up blocker causing problems, a corrupted plug-in, unusual accessibility settings, or a whole slew of things.  But to my surprise there have been hardly any support calls in the first month.

After doing some brainstorming, here are some possible explanations as to why support calls have been very low.

Support Structure

The support structure in my organization is distributed among the school locations.  While there is a central support team, the local technology coordinator serves as the first line of defense for support issues.  This person is well qualified to be a first responder and help diagnosis the issue.  If this person solves the problem, it never is reported to me.

Organizational Culture

As with many academic institutions, employees are geared to work with those around them before calling for help.  "Can you get this to work on your computer?  Then why isn't it working for me?"  For better or worse, employees tend to work within their silo to solve problems.  Unfortunately, if its not solved there, it often becomes abandoned.

Being Proactive

In the development of the training, I took time to understand my learners and draw from my web development experience.  I know the standard system setup in my organization so I was able to gear the training towards those capabilities.  My years of experience have helped me anticipate issues that might arise and I was able to address them before they became a support issue.  I also spent some time writing quality help files that are referenced from each learning module.

The employees in my organization are often not technology-savy at all.  Sure, there are a growing number of folks who are good with computers but a large portion of my audience or technophobes and some don't even believe online training is a good solution.  I say this because I'm reiterating that the low number of support issues is not due to a tech-savy audience.

What do you think helps reduce support calls in your organization?

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