Normally, I’d write a post like this closer to the long anticipated “Customer Service Week.” But it just doesn’t seem right to arbitrarily hold back information which would benefit the customers on their support experience and their overall satisfaction with SalesLogix. Attend closely. Below are the ancient wisdoms of Sage SalesLogix Support, passed down from trainer to tech from version to version. Their simplicity belies their sagacity.
Read The Fine Manual
You were perhaps expecting another adjective?
In all seriousness, a large number of simple questions, particularly of the “how to” variety, can be answered without ever contacting Sage SalesLogix Support. The Help files that come with the product are definitely not the sort of poorly written wastes of data that you may have experienced with other programs. They are broken up by product, so you won’t be seeing information directly relating to the Application Architect in the SalesLogix Administrator’s Help file. Additionally, three of the components users deal with most commonly (the Administrator, the Windows Client, and the Web Client) all have sections in their Help files specifically on troubleshooting the application. They aren’t comprehensive, but they are useful.
In general, if you verbalize the situation in the form of a question, and that question starts with “How do I . . .”, you should stop and look through the Help files first.
All Our Knowledge Base Are Belong To You
Well, maybe not absolutely all of it, but certainly the parts germane to the use and ongoing maintenance of Sage SalesLogix. As I mentioned before, the Help files do contain troubleshooting sections for common issues. However, there are scenarios which come up that aren’t covered in the Help files, particularly in regards to highly specific error messages you might receive. For those situations, the Sage SalesLogix Knowledge Base can be of assistance. Searching the Knowledge Base is fundamentally similar to using any other search engine out there. The difference is that the dataset is more limited, and the search terms are more keyword-oriented. With that in mind, you can still pull up a great deal of information if you’re careful and limit your keyword selection. If you have an error, the first couple of words can be used along with the word “error” to help limit the search. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the Knowledge Base. You can’t break it just by searching and it costs you nothing but time to learn how to get the most out of it.
Know Your Implementation, Know Yourself
Socrates wrote, “The ancient Oracle said that I was wisest of all the Greeks. It is because I alone, of all the Greeks, know that I know nothing.” Admitting that you know nothing about a particular subject is the first step to learning something about that subject. This does not, however, excuse you from having a certain degree of proficiency in related areas or an understanding of how your particular Sage SalesLogix implementation has been set up. Not knowing how many bits make up a byte is fine. Not knowing the difference between your operating system and your web browser is not. If you admit you don’t understand the finer points of how a certain web form was designed, that’s all right. Admitting you have never touched the product in your tenure with your employer is going to not only hamper the analyst you get hold of, it’s going to hamper you as well. The best advice is to know what you don’t know, then go about improving the deficiencies in your knowledge. The analysts in Sage SalesLogix Support are all highly talented and very experienced, but they ultimately rely on you to execute the instructions they give.
Friendly People Posting “Howdy, Neighbor!”
There is a reason why we have a Community Forum. We want our customers to be interacting with each other, swapping information, building relationships that they might not ordinarily have made otherwise. Plus, Sage employees are also posting on the forum, and reading the posts people make. Sometimes, we learn things from our customers that we would have never picked up from internal sources, and that knowledge can be applied to help make the product and the support experience better. It’s a virtuous circle of win-win. It’s also a useful communication channel outside of the regular phone calls and web tickets. While we can’t open tickets based off forum posts, if a scenario turns out to be less theoretical than we thought, we’ll recommend calling in to Support for more formal troubleshooting.
Honey Over Vinegar
There’s one final piece of advice, and it’s a little disheartening that I have to actually spell this out for folks, but it really needs to be said. When you call into Support, any Support line and not just Sage SalesLogix Support, it is a tacit admission that you do not have the answers and have not been able to figure out the solution on your own. There are some people out there who cannot or will not grasp that concept. Because they cannot or will not grasp that concept, they behave in an obnoxious, boorish, and counterproductive fashion. They will operate in the erroneous belief that they are still in control of the situation. Calling into Support means you have temporarily lost control of the situation. When you contact Support knowing this and accepting it with a modicum of graciousness, Support is more than happy to help out. It’s not just asking for help, it’s being willing to accept help.
In a similar vein, some people call into Support knowing they need help, but are angry and resentful about it. They lash out at analysts, make idle threats about either suing the company or dropping the product, and generally behave in an antagonistic (even abusive) manner. This is not just counterproductive. It embarrasses and diminishes you as a customer and as a person. Every analyst you talk to is a human being. We understand when things go awry and how people can be upset. We can even sympathize to an extent when an issue causes problems sufficient to threaten a customer’s livelihood. But screaming at the analyst for a situation they did not create will do nothing to advance the resolution of that situation. We’d much rather be able to connect to our customers and work with them in a friendly, respectful way than be used as a verbal punching bag.
The best support calls are the ones that move smoothly because of mutual knowledge, mutual respect, and a spirit of collaboration between the customer and the analyst. And as much as we here in Support like talking to you, we like knowing that our customers have the wherewithal to take care of themselves just as much. It’s a thrill for us when we get presented with genuinely new issues, and we smile a little bit when we’re asked a “silly question,” because it’s not silly as long as you ask.