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12th May 2017

Interview Part 1: Satcom Global COO, Alex Stewart on The Changing Face of our Technical Support Team

We recently announced big changes to our customer support function; including the launch of a new 24/7 UK based technical team and a new online support hub. In addition, Satcom Global launched its first ever Ku-band VSAT service in 2016, Satcom Global Aura,  and this introduction of a new and more technically sophisticated service, has had a direct impact  on the way we looked at our customer support function.

We quizzed Chief Operating Officer, Alex Stewart on the changes, in the first in a series of insightful interviews. In this first installment we look at why Satcom Global decided to make changes and build a larger support team in the UK.

  1. Why after all these years did Satcom Global need to change its approach to customer support?

"Our focus for last few years has been very customer centric, and we’ve prided ourselves on that. However the products we offered traditionally have shifted up a gear over the last 18 months, as we have moved into the VSAT arena – a more complicated proposition for customers. We needed a team that could support aggressive roll out of VSAT and at the same time manage the existing product portfolio. So that involved upskilling some of our core team as well as bringing in new team members."

  1.  You decided to move your whole technical support function to the UK. Why?

"As mentioned before, although our support team in Asia were doing an adequate job, we felt that given the direction we were going with the portfolio, we needed a lot more hands on and centralised approach with the support function. It goes back to the sophistication of the proposition, and pushing forward with VSAT as our new service.  Our focus has been on getting in support personnel who are Cisco IP network trained; a certain level of IT skills we felt were lacking in our previous support team in Asia. Bringing support back to the UK was an obvious choice for us because most of the core functions that support our portfolio are based here. We also realised the remote team weren’t necessarily getting the right information and training from head office at the right time. By centralising support with the rest of the organisation back in the UK, we can make sure that the information flow is well oiled and staff are as up to speed as they can be. We can also  keep more regular training regimes going as our product and service portfolio continues to grow and develop."

  1.  Is it really 24/7 support?

"Absolutely. The whole point of the move back to the UK is to get a true and reliable system of continuity for 24/7 support. Some organisations adopt a ‘follow the sun’ customer support structure where they locate customer support in UK, Asia and the US. However, we felt given that we wanted to make sure we had the suitable skill sets and training, and the right people in the team, that a 24/7 shift structure in the UK was the right decision.

We now have a shift structure based out of our head office that runs all hours of the day, covering the three core regions we operate in, working on a 12 hour on/off shift pattern basis. We have a rota of well-matched team members working with each other on a consistent basis, moving away from ‘over the phone handovers’ between team members in different locations in the previous structure.

Our focus is all about teamwork and people learning off each other, shifting the dynamic of the way the team operates. We have a shift pattern involving four teams of three people, and we can chop and change those teams, depending on the skillset, to make sure we always have a good balance of skill within the team. For instance one person may be stronger on VSAT, another on IT networking and another on our IPSignature 4 smartbox.  We also make sure we have experienced support team leaders looking after the newer members of the team, which is absolutely essential. That was much more difficult when we had a split team based in Asia and the UK."

  1. What is the reason behind the name change from Service Desk to Technical Support?

"That’s quite simple. We used to have two service desk functions in Satcom Global which caused confusion – our engineering service desk, and secondly the team that provided technical support was previously known as Service Desk. We changed from Service Desk to Technical Support as it does what is says on the tin;, we needed a title and name change to reflect exactly what the team does.

The technical support team liaises closely with internal teams such as Airtime Customer Services who run off the same ticketing system, Radio Traffic and our Infrastructure team where there is a technical support crossover, but with this name change we hoped that routes to support would be made clearer.

We also wanted to ensure we had a fresh change from our old customer support regime. We now have a new team, with new tools and a fresh outlook, and changing the name to reflect what they do was part of that process."

Looking forward to the future, Satcom Global is committed to offering world class customer service through a strong and knowledgeable team of experts based at our Headquarters in the UK at the disposal of our customers, 24/7.

Please stay tuned for the next installment of our  interview with Alex, covering more on the improvements to Satcom Global Technical Support in the coming weeks. To ensure you don't miss out, you can sign up to receive our news alerts in the footer of our home page.

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Looking for Satcom Global Support?

Update your address books with the details below:

For technical troubleshooting, equipment and remote support, please contact Technical Support  (Previously Service Desk) at technicalsupport@satcomglobal.com

For airtime support and service provisioning requests you can contact Airtime Customer Services at airtimecs@satcomglobal.com  or traffic@satcomglobal.com

 

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Alex Stewart
We needed a more hands on and centralised approach to our support function, as well as an upskilled team that could support a more complicated proposition, as we push forward with VSAT. "
Alex Stewart, COO at Satcom Global