While cloud computing can take a lot of stress off the user’s machine, there are still some functions, such as desktop extensions, that can require customer support. Plug-ins are still popular with SaaS users and the big players in that space have them. But what happens when there is a problem with the user’s configuration? Finding a problem with an incompatible library or two plug-ins that may not work well together can be a painful and tedious experience for both the customer and the support team.
In order to address this issue, we at Genius.com have built a support toolkit that helps customer support find the problem area and gather important information quickly. This shortens the customer-facing time on a support call and increases the amount of data that can be useful in getting a correct diagnosis and solution.
The Quick Test Utility scans the user’s machine for the most commonly known problems. It searches for required resources and configuration options. It displays a simple “go/no-go” graphic to eliminate well known issues. If a “red flag” area is shown it tips off the customer support rep to look at that Tab more closely.
The log files function checks for the presence of the log files that should be available for examination. These utilities will access the log files on the user’s machine quickly and prevent the customer support rep from having to search the machine for them or remember their location. The utilities also have a feature that consolidates the log files into one report that can be attached to a problem report ticket. The utilities can also toggle on the system error logs without the customer support rep having to edit a registry setting or access a separate utility in the system control panel.
GAC and PIA Utilities examine the Global Assembly Cache and the Interop Libraries to see if they are properly installed and if there are any conflicts.
The registry utilities allow the customer support rep to examine key entries in the windows registry to determine if they are set correctly. It also allows for quick access to the registry editor if needed.
A system menu utility is included that helps to gather the information about the OS and application versions the user has installed. There is an integrated help file with URLs embedded to keep the customer support reps up to date on changes in the components in the application.
Future additions to the toolkit could include more rule-based scanning routines and some intelligent log file filtering to help illuminate the results. In the field, the toolkit saves the customer support rep time; lowering the time with a customer from 35-40 minutes to 5-10 makes a big difference in customer satisfaction and the company’s bottom line.