March 23, 2011

Crawford Technologies Support – talking about fast response times and glass trinkets…

The Crawford Technologies support department has a reputation for being able to answer customer issues quickly and effectively. Often receiving unsolicited emails, letters and gifts (yes, even gifts), we took time out with Tim Ciceran, Technical Services Manager, to ask him about his team and discover what makes them special.

Tim has been with CrawfordTech since 2001, starting out as a support technician and working through the ranks. He is now responsible for the entire support team, overseeing the good work they do every day.

Q: What makes this team different and why are so many of our support calls answered without the need to escalate?

A: “We have purposely built a ‘flat’ team. By ensuring the person on the end of the phone or email is as highly qualified as the next person, we reduce the need for escalation. This means that our customers get answers quicker since we don’t have to push the problem around the support department. It also speaks to the skills and experience of each member of the team – we have a full peer group who all work well with each other.”

Q: What equipment does the team have access to?

A: “We have at least one, and in some cases two or more, dedicated systems in each platform that we support. Whether the client is running Windows, Linux, UNIX, z/OS or any of our other supported platforms, we can test and duplicate the error on real hardware. Add to that our industry-leading quality assurance and regression testing suite and you have a recipe for success.”

Q: Why do we go to these lengths when it comes to hardware?

A: “Most of our clients need to run our software in a ‘lights out’ environment. CrawfordTech products are instrumental in producing high-volume transactional output. If a client wakes up to the fact that 50 million statements didn’t go out overnight, it would cause a real problem for that business. We’ve chosen to invest heavily in systems that ensure our clients can be assured the software will work, day in and day out.”

Q: You’ve been involved in this industry for 12 years now – what keeps you going?

A: “For me, it is all about enjoying the challenge and enjoying solving problems. It is particularly satisfying when we can resolve a client’s problems effectively and quickly, and those are the moments that make this job so exciting. The best moments are when we receive unsolicited comments and emails from clients telling us how we’ve great our support is. We often receive commendations and comments on our professionalism, skill levels and knowledge. We’ve never actually solicited a recommendation or endorsement of our support team, but we get them every week.”

Q: Can you give us an example of a commendation that stood out?

A: “Sure. I remember clearly the day that a customer sent us a coffee mug and a glass Inukshuk. That was really nice of them!”


Q: How have support issues evolved over the years?

A: “Transform issues and document fidelity used to be the key to our success. At this point, most CrawfordTech transform and conversion products, such as AFP to PDF, have reached a high maturity level, so document fidelity is not a typical issue any more. Now, we generally support more of the advanced capabilities of our products, such as document re-engineering, document enhancement, indexing, mail-piece sorting, address correction and other advanced topics. As a result, we have seen a move from pure support to on-site services and training, which gives the people on our team a chance to flex their muscles in the field.”

Thanks to Tim Ciceran for giving us the inside story on the CrawfordTech Support team. You’ll find our support options on the main Crawford Technologies website if you need to talk to any one of our experienced support engineers.