More companies are now making use of the Chatbot add-on as a quick and easy way to ‘resolve’ technical issues for customers. The Chatbot is defined as “A software application used to conduct an on-line chat conversation via text or text-to-speech, in lieu of providing direct contact with a live human agent.” However, not everybody wants to talk to an automated cyber technician that often runs through a pre-programmed number of responses which the company or its artificial intelligence (AI) have deemed appropriate in similar instances.

Duxbury Networking – a local distributor of reputable wireless, networking, surveillance, VoIP, switching, and IoT security technology – is a firm believer in upholding the personal, one-on-one approach to customer service and technical support.

“We have conducted extensive research with our customer base and there is an underlying theme in all of the responses – people like to speak to people. While Chatbots may well serve the purpose of addressing a series of stock questions, they simply cannot replace the satisfaction people gain from interacting with a living, breathing experienced and well-trained human being who can discuss their issues with them on a more personalised basis,” says Shamiel Kimmie, Technical Manager at Duxbury Networking.

Duxbury Networking has spent many years leveraging the collective knowledge, capabilities and experience of its individual technical team members to provide customers with a customised experience before, during and after a solution is delivered to the customer.

Kimmie says that the ability to provide solutions design; the implementation and deployment of services; ongoing maintenance services; help-desk and telephone support; and pre-sales advice and assistance is enabled by these differentiators:

  • Sales certification across all products in the Duxbury portfolio. All support engineers have received extensive training on the products that they support and currently retain the highest possible level skills set for products from various ranges.

  • Pre-sales support. This function comprises the comprehensive logging of queries. The company boasts an extremely fast response time and the qualifications held by its engineers enable them to assist customers all the way from the pre-sales process through to the handover of the customer’s query to the sales team.

  • Post-sales support. Through proactive, regular meetings with the business unit managers and ongoing communication with the sales team, the technical team is able to prevent small issues from being escalated to problem status.

  • SMME support. By working together with small companies, Duxbury removes the necessity for these SMMEs to acquire the skills needed to support the technology they use. The Duxbury technical team therefore becomes an extension of the SMME’s own team.

  • Time taken to resolve calls. Kimmie says that 80% of all calls received are resolved on first contact. “The remaining 20% is for queries where we need to obtain more information to resolve the issue or where additional testing may be required.”

  • Laboratory facilities. Duxbury has allocated a defined area at its offices that is equipped with preconfigured servers and equipment. Customers meet with a Duxbury engineer in this area where they undertake tests, resolve issues and perform system configurations. This allows for the simulation of a customer site without the need to perform live testing, thereby removing any risks.

  • Soft skills. In addition to the hard skills required to provide an outstanding technical support service, the team is also required to have the necessary soft skills that provide customers with a holistic service. This enables the technical team to become a natural extension of the sales function.

A survey recently conducted by the company to ascertain service levels concluded that customers rated the technical support team as follows:

  • Professionalism and efficiency – 96.6% said ‘excellent’

  • Time to resolution – 93.1% said ‘perfectly acceptable’

  • Communication (verbal and written) – 100% responded as ‘excellent’.

Some customer responses included: “First class service. I have never experienced this level of support in 20 years of running my own company. The Duxbury support technician was available at 3 a.m. to support and assist me on a live link call to a vendor that we could only do after hours.”

“The proactiveness and communication are greatly appreciated.”

“We have taken a non-negotiable approach to these separate but synergistic elements, but we believe that talk is cheap so we reinforce our own beliefs with the valuable feedback we receive from our customers,” says Kimmie.

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