How Best to Obtain Technical Support

August 22, 2014, 11:04 by Chris Perry

In the course of normal operation, systems will undoubtedly hiccup from time to time, new staff members may come aboard and have questions, or you will have to make simple, yet infrequent, changes and may need a refresher; luckily, with TelVue Care, you’re covered for all of these support-related needs.  But what’s the best way to obtain support, and what should you expect when you ask?  The following blog post offers notes from TelVue insiders on the best way to get support for your system that will ultimately provide the path for quickest resolution.

Technical Support is built into two tiers: Emergency and Non-Emergency.  As in the ER, TelVue prioritizes support cases dynamically, responding to “off the air” cases first, and general support cases (questions, information requests) in the order they are received.  There are two ways to submit non-emergency cases: email and phone.  Emergency cases should ALWAYS be handled via a special set of prompts within our phone system.

An Emergency case means you need help now, or within an extremely small window of time.  Some examples include:

-You’re off the air.

-You’ve got a meeting starting very soon and you can’t see the feed.

-You’ve got an error that’s causing, or will imminently cause, a production outage.

-You suffered a major power loss and are having difficulty getting the system back online.

In order to receive support most quickly for these type of cases, regardless of the time, or day of the week, it’s best to call 800-885-8886 and follow the prompts for EMERGENCY SUPPORT.  You can also get directly into that system by dialing extension 611.  Leave a clearly spoken message, including:

-Your name and the organization for which you work;

-A good call back number or the best way to contact you;

-Quick summary of the issue you are experiencing;

-Any deadlines that must be met.

Once this message is left, it triggers the following: First, it starts a ticket in our support system that is emailed to all support reps, and, at the same time, sends your voicemail to the on-call technicians.  You should expect a call back within 30 minutes.  For systems to which we have remote access, we do frequently start working on things much more quickly than that, especially if it’s the middle of the night (we want to go back to sleep, too!)

A Non-Emergency case mean you need help soon, or you have general questions, comments, or need clarification on something.  75% of these cases are resolved within 24 hours, and are handled within normal support hours, which are from 8AM-8PM EST.  Some examples:

-You’ve got an event tomorrow afternoon that you wanted to verify signal continuity.

-You’re working to activate a new service that you are working to take live.

-You want training on the system(s) or have general questions.

-You want to schedule an upgrade or request support at a specific time.

The first step in submitting a non-emergency support case is determining that a support case is needed.  This may sound silly, but sometimes, failing to arrive at, “I need to contact support”,  turns a non-emergency issue into a total meltdown.  I  typically abide by the rule of 5’s: five minutes of “brute force” and “sanity check” troubleshooting, five minutes of searching the manual or the web, and finally, five minutes submitting a support case.  These cases are frequently best handled via emailing support@telvue.com, as the email itself provides a great “future reference” tool.  Within this original email, be sure to include:

-The organization for which you work;

-A brief description of the issue or request;

-A detailed description of any steps taken to resolve the issue;

-Any deadlines that must be met.

Sometimes, it’s easier to highlight the improper or inefficient methods for obtaining support:

-Replying to an old support case for a new issue- once we close a case it gets archived.

-Directly emailing or directly calling a specific support rep, who may be on vacation or working on other projects.

-Calling, texting, or emailing a sales rep requesting support.

-Emailing in an emergency support case, especially on weekends or outside the Monday-Friday 8-8 EST timeframe.

-Carrier Pigeon, Ham Radio, Smoke Signals, Semaphore, US Mail.

It’s also worth noting here that if you have an issue, even if you resolve it yourself, it may still be worth submitting a support case.  At bare minimum, it allows us to track possible issues in the field, as well as relay information back to the staff at the organization if there are questions about resolving that same issue in the future.  Frequently, we even have a resolution for a known issue in the field, and letting us know gives us a chance to fix the problem and prevent it from happening in the future.

There is a third class of support case that normally falls into one of the first two, except that the resolution time is longer.  Fewer than 5% of all support cases fall into this category.  Sometimes, when integrating our systems with another third-party system or environment, there are unexpected compatibility issues that range from simple communication errors, to truly systemic incompatibility.  These would be considered “escalation” cases, as they could involve development, engineering and management.  While the path to resolution may be longer, TelVue is committed to providing tightly integrated solutions that work out of the box; your experience as a customer is our number one priority.

TelVue Support is here to help. In summary:

-Determine if your issue/request is emergency or non-emergency

If an Emergency, call 800-885-8886, ex. 611

If a Non-Emergency, email support@telvue.com

-Submit a detailed ticket using the methods above, including a brief description of the issue and any steps taken to resolve it.

-Be patient; we will get back to you as soon as we can.

In order to receive support in the most timely manner, a current TelVue Care support plan is required.  For customers purchasing new systems, the first year is included for free!  For subsequent years of support, the cost is calculated based on a percentage of the actual purchase price.  For more information on TelVue Care, feel free to reach out directly to your sales representative.

As always, we are continually working to improve the support process.  If you have any suggestions on how we can provide a higher quality of support, please let us know.  Stay tuned for our upcoming tips on system troubleshooting.

 

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