Support-based Development: Something new, or just good Customer Service?

May 1, 2018

By Kathy Stol, XI Support Team

As a member of the XI Support Team, I make it a point to follow a few Help Desk websites. It’s a great way to stay current on trends in technology and particularly in the realm of Software as a Service (SaaS).

In my role, I’m always looking for ways that our team can improve customer service to the thousands of XI software users out there, many of whom will contact us at some point in need of help. Of course, our goal is to provide the kind of intuitive and trouble-free SaaS products that make it almost unnecessary to call the support line – but that’s a blog for another day when I’m wearing my Quality Assurance hat!

While perusing different articles recently, I came across one about how companies should try embracing this “new” concept of Support Based Development. The article stated that companies such as Google and the like were touting the fact that they were using this new concept. The focus of their efforts was to review Help Desk tickets in order to find pain points for clients, and then work with their development teams to find solutions for those problem areas.

I was astounded!! This is considered “NEW”??? That’s something we’ve been doing at XI Technologies since…well, forever! It’s part of good customer service, just like offering free support and free ongoing training. It puts the onus us, as the SaaS developers and providers, to build applications that meet the needs of our clients. To understand those needs, we make the effort to actively listen to, consult with, and ask questions of our clients. We also work hard to test and manage quality assurance on a continuous basis. We believe our clients have the right to expect our best efforts to deliver mission-critical software tools that won’t let them down.

When you call XI’s Support Line (or email, or open a chat window), we keep track of why you needed to contact us (this is the Support Ticket part). Not every call is related to product enhancements. Sometimes it’s just a small issue that requires a human touch – like resetting your password. Sometimes it’s something we can’t change or fix – like Microsoft Excel insistently asking you to “Enable Macros” and “Enable Content”. But when our Support operators (not just me, but Amanda, Elly, Nadir, and other XI-ers) hear about something that is bottle-necking your workflow, or if you happen to request a feature that would make your life easier, we listen. And then we write it up and put that issue into the queue to have it looked at and prioritized by our development team. We also keep track of who suggested the new feature or had the problem, so we can follow up with you when we implement the change.

The big tech companies may talk about implementing Support Based Development, but XI has been walking that talk for years. After all, who’s the most important influencer in our development cycle? YOU, our clients!