I recently spoke with Joanne Wilson, Director of Intacct Customer Support, on the recent growth in the team and the increased emphasis within Intacct on customer support service.
Brittany Benson: You’ve been at Intacct for two years now—how would you describe the support team’s role within Intacct and why it’s so important to our organization?
Joanne Wilson: Intacct Support is the group that is responsible for assisting customers with any Intacct product issue, assisting with understanding the features/functions of Intacct and to ensure customers are successful using our product through the various services Intacct offers. We are all about helping our customers be successful with Intacct.
The group is highly collaborative across the entire company to make sure the customer gets the attention that they require—whether this means working with the account manager, the channel executives, engineering, sales, or services.
We also work closely with our marketplace partners to ensure our customers are successful using any of the integrations we jointly offer. Should issues arise, we work closely with the Intacct Business Development team and do our best to resolve it or facilitate a resolution with the marketplace partner. This is an extension of the level of support service we want to offer users. For Intacct, it makes sense because of the importance the organization places on the customer experience and success with our solutions.
BB: That’s really insightful to hear the role Support has within Intacct. Can you tell me a little bit about the team specifically?
JW: We’re all located here at Intacct headquarters in San Jose, and the team is made up of a combination of accountants and software support professionals—quite a few that are studying for their CPA exams.
Intacct makes sure that when a customer contacts us, they’re reaching someone who understands accounting, like general ledgers, accounts payable, etc. To ensure this, everyone on my team has a strong accounting background and/or strong software support skills. With the combination of those two skill sets, we have highly efficient organization that can leverage each other’s expertise to address customer questions and issues.
I recently did a complete reorganization of the entire support team to enable us to meet our customers support expectations and deliver on the various business needs our customers have. In order to meet these goals and achieve our support expectations, the team continues to grow and evolve!
BB: What are some of the support team’s goals in the near-term and within the next year?
JW: Well we’ve already grown from 12 to about 25 team members and added various levels of management within the team. I’d love to continue that!
The support team was also an active participant in the rollout of the new Intacct Community. Taking part in that allowed us to present information and promote self-help. Customers already have access to knowledge articles, but we’re trying to expand those offerings so they don’t have to rely solely on us to answer their questions or resolve their issues. Our goal is to give them the tools and resources to be self-sufficient. More to come on the Community!
We also are looking to hire more people! I look for two different types of people—they all have to be customer service oriented—but I also want team members with either a strong accounting background and a high level of customer service experience, or someone that has been in software support before and has been exposed to accounting.
I think this formula works because the team has fantastic retention. Intacct takes pride in promoting from within, and some of our team members have been promoted within the support team or have joined the Intacct engineering or professional services team. We also like to provide the team with great career paths in support - I enjoy helping to facilitate those opportunities and watch our team grow and mature.
BB: What’s been the biggest obstacle your team has encountered, and how have you dealt with it?
JW: My team members are so awesome that other groups within Intacct want to snag them away! :) One of the biggest challenges that we deal with is product knowledge, developing it and retaining it; While at the same time, growing a high performing team that can deliver excellent customer support service.
BB: Can you describe the biggest support team success story?
JW: I recently changed our case management methodology so instead of marching to a timeline, employees are measured on progressing their cases. I ask, “Are you communicating with your customer? Is there a resolution being worked towards?”
I don’t measure my team on how fast they close a case. It’s all about understanding the issue, progressing the case and keeping the customer informed. When it’s done, the customer has a resolution and it’s to their satisfaction.
To measure the impact by our customers, of this case management methodology change, I altered our customer survey in the spring to see if it worked, and the feedback confirmed it did—which I was thrilled with.
Customers have noticed a huge difference in today’s customer support experience and our support satisfaction rankings continue to reflect a positive customer impact.
BB: What excites you most about coming to work every day?
JW: I’ve been in technology for my whole career, and the last 15 years have been in support; prior to that I was always on the IT/development side.
One of the things I enjoy about working with Intacct is the collaborative nature of the company. The customer is the most important aspect of what we do here as a company. If my team is encountering an issue, there is never any challenge for me to get help, regardless of who I need to get involved. I just go and ask, and we get all the help we need.
For a support organization, and I’ve worked in several, that is highly unusual to be able to get engineering or product management on the phone with a customer if need be. Sometimes even various teams will get involved on the phone with the customer at the same time if that’s what needs to happen.
And sometimes things simply aren’t going to work. But our approach is always, “What are you trying to do and how can we solve it another way?” The customers appreciate that the team is dedicated to hearing them out and helping in any way we can. That’s the Intacct mentality.
If you have questions for Joanne or want to learn more, be sure to leave a comment below so she can respond. Or if you’re interested in working at Intacct, check out our jobs page.