In my role as social media manager for SAPStore.com, I regularly receive customer support requests via our accounts on Twitter and Facebook. More often than not, customers and prospects decide to get in touch with us via our social channels rather than the traditional way via phone or e-mail. However, all roads lead to Rome, or – in our case – to SAP Store’s customer service teams, and that’s where I direct them. This is our hub for all incoming questions, and it’s where to find the answers.
So, to shine a spotlight on their great work, a Q&A session seems most appropriate, and I reached out to Gabriel Schroedter, team lead of one of our three customer support teams. By way of explanation, Gabriel and his colleagues are responsible for supporting SAP’s online store, where a variety of “digitally native” offerings are available, including software, education, and data, from both SAP and partners. Their job is to field inbound inquiries from customers from all over the world, helping them with questions about licensing, downloading, basic product info, and the like. Here’s some insight from Gabriel.
Question: Gabriel, I understand you have some big news to share.
Answer: Yes. In mid-July, we began offering 24/5 availability for inbound phone calls. With service centers in Vancouver, Galway, and Kuala Lumpur, that covers pretty much every time zone. Till now, we’ve offered email and live chat, and have now added phone support in all three locations.
Question: Wow, that’s great to hear. Tell me a bit about your team.
Answer: The people taking inbound calls and chats are a small group, and we’ve been working together for quite a while. There are calls from customers I remember by name and company that I get by chance on the general line. Most customer questions are not new to us; because we’ve often heard it before, we can usually answer a question very quickly. We have access to the systems we need to get customer information, and we’re in communication with each other. If one of us gets stuck, someone else is always there to help. In any case, we don’t just put in a ticket; each of us takes ownership to help customers get what they need.
Question: What types of questions do you typically get?
Answer: They might need help with getting additional licenses, or understanding what a maintenance contract covers, or how to download the products they’ve purchased – those are typical requests.
Question: But SAP Store is self-service.
Answer: Yes, but sometimes people just want to talk to a rep to walk them through the process. Sometimes, they’ll end up saying, “It’s that easy?” Yes, it really is that easy!
Question: Tell me about some of the more challenging queries you’ve handled.
Answer: Every once in a while, someone will end up with the wrong customer service number. I recently received an inquiry from someone working at a department store looking for her shoe delivery. I had to explain that SAP provides only the mechanism for the software that supports the shoe delivery, not the shoe delivery itself!
And we once heard from someone who needed support with SAP Crystal Reports version 7, which I believe was released in 1996. Version 8 was released in 2000, so 7 is quite an antique. Of course, I suggested an upgrade, but walked the person through posting on the right section of SAP Community Network in hopes that he could get help from other users in the meantime.
People occasionally contact us about a delay in delivery of their activation key, which could happen for any number of reasons. That problem is solved simply by sending a temporary key code, which is valid for 30 days. I can do that immediately via chat. With the customer’s pressing need addressed, I have more time to go into our system to find the paid-for code, and the customer doesn’t have to miss a step.
Most people just want to get up and running, and we do our best to send them on their way with a resolution on that call or chat.
Question: You mentioned the “make it amazing” theme for your group. Tell me about that.
Answer: Another way we try to deliver an amazing customer experience is to follow the purchase process through the cart to make sure the customer doesn’t get stuck along the way. Typically, I part ways with our customers when they’ve received an order number and they’re just waiting the 15 minutes before getting the permanent activation key and download link. With the follow-the-sun coverage, you don’t have to worry about calling back before we’re out of the office, at least not during the business week.
Question: Is there anything your team doesn’t do?
Answer: We’re not actually trained in support for all of our individual products, but we can direct people to get the help they need. That said, our digital offerings, for example SAP Digital CRM, include built-in wizards, checklists, and support, and are very intuitive. If customers do need additional product support, there’s a customer success team available to support SAP Digital CRM, and we always have the right contacts at the ready. The Twitter handle for product support is @SAPSupportHelp.
Question: What would you like to leave our readers with?
Answer: SAPStore.com, store.sap.com, sapappcenter.com, and crystalreports.com are all sites that we take chats from, but people don’t always realize they’re separate, and searching on one doesn’t search on the others. Just like in a brick-and-mortar store, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, ask for help through the chat window. You can also phone us at +1-866-776-6567, and we can walk you to the product you’re looking for and help you buy it online today.