Failure of the Phone

Following on from my previous blog about how you can help us to help you, I thought it might be worth explaining a little more about our position on telephone support. It's often raised in support requests and feedback forms so seems fitting for a blog post. 

Providing an inbound phone support number promises a quicker way to get a response but we don't believe it's necessarily the quickest way to resolve your problem. Waiting on hold isn't fun. It costs time and money and there's an uncertainty about how long it will take to get connected. Even when you get through to someone there's no guarantee they're the right person to help you. 

We're not suggesting email doesn't have its own frustrations, but it does mean your request gets automatically relayed through to the right person. It also provides you with the opportunity to include screenshots or attachments, and also means you can be getting on with something else whilst waiting for us to respond. 

There are also a number of benefits to us (that may also benefit you) of operating email support. For example, providing inbound phone support would create additional costs for us which would increase the price of our services. Also, the increased efficiency we have in being able to manage email enquiries rather than phone enquiries actually translates into us responding and resolving queries much faster. We're able to get through more queries quicker. 

It really boils down to our prior experience and resulting confidence that we can offer better customer service via email than an inbound phone number. We appreciate this won't suit everyone and we understand there are times when phoning is quicker and more efficient.

That's why we'll gladly phone customers in instances where we believe it's the most efficient option. We'll also happily contact customers that request a phone call, but to avoid the inefficiencies mentioned above, we do ask for details of what the query relates to before we'll pick up the phone.

Help Us To Help You

I recently spent a week covering a support colleague who was away on leave. There are many benefits from walking a mile in someone else's shoes but I'm going to focus on one thing for the time being – helping us to help you. 

In my short time at the coalface of support I was amazed at how little information was forthcoming in customer queries. Reflecting on it, I knew I often overlooked important information when contacting support teams. It's the result of me holding the assumption that because I know what I'm talking about that others will too. It was commonplace therefore to see queries such as: 

"Please ring me"
"I'm having trouble using your software can you help?"
"The balance is incorrect" 

You might think they sound like reasonable requests or statements, but the problem is that these are examples of entire queries and not just excerpts. Half of my time was spent emailing responses with questions eg. "What's it about?"; "Can you describe the problem or provide screen shots?"; "What balance do you see at what date and in which software and what should it be?" 

These are just a few examples, even something as simple as including the job name was often overlooked from enquiries. 

This piece is just meant as a friendly reminder to try to include as much relevant information as you can. The more information you can provide up front, the less times we'll have to go back and forth asking for more information and the quicker we'll get things resolved and move on to the next query (which might be yours). 

If you're wondering what general information we might find useful then here are some examples (but remember we need specifics for your query):

  • Job / Company name 
  • Software name and version
  • Examples including balances and dates
  • Screen shots
  • Stating in which report you see the balance
  • Stating in which software you see which balance

Thanks for your ongoing support.

Client records are never correct - just deal with it

Over on Accounting Web, an accountant is bemoaning the fact that clients never provide complete and accurate accounting records to him, for the purposes of year-end accounts: 

Not one client who does their own bookkeeping has ever provided me with a TB, Creditors ledger or Debtors ledger that has been correct.

I think he must have been having a bad day, because that's a sweeping statement and in my experience clients usually do a pretty good job of their bookkeeping - considering they are not trained for the job.

However, even when the client does a good job there are almost always errors made, and therefore corrections needed, before the numbers can be used for HMRC and Companies House purposes. This is as much the case when the client uses traditional desktop software as it is if they use one of the new cloud offerings. It is a fact of life for accountants. And one that gives them work and therefore fees.

So, given that clients are always going to supply incomplete and inaccurate information, accountants need the best way of dealing with it. Moaning about the situation doesn't help. Checkmybooks does.

Xerocon London 2015

After exhibiting at the 2013 London event with our Movemybooks hats on, for the 2015 Xerocon in London we went in Checkmybooks mode.

It was a great opportunity to show accountants our new design style and the new features added in recent months. We were also able to grab some excellent feedback for use in future development.

As nice bonus was being able to listen to some influential speakers and catch-up with other add-on partners.

Party time!

The continued growth of Ledgerscope means that this year we had enough people to justify having a Christmas party. So we moved on from last year's "Pie and a pint" in the local and held a swish event for all of the team at the Austwick Traddock.

We managed to rack-up an impressive wine bill, despite which everyone behaved themselves (ish).

 The staff at The Traddock really looked after us so many thanks to all involved.

Looking forward to next year already.

Xero - Meet the Add-ons event

We had a great time this week attending Xero's event in London. This gave us chance to talk to accountants about how Movemybooks can help them migrate their clients from Sage and QuickBooks over to Xero.

As ever, it was also good to mingle with other Xero Add-on partners over a glass or two. It's a friendly and helpful community, which is growing all the time.

I drew the short straw and had to present the 5-minute pitch, easily beating the countdown clock - no need for "the hook" this time!