Pharos Support: Discovery in Action

Frank Piazza

Our core belief at Pharos is that the best solutions come from a mindset of discovery. For Pharos support engineers, this open mindset is crucial. Effective problem solving requires both critical thinking and listening. When Pharos support engineers are faced with a unique challenge, we can’t assume to know where the problem lies; it must be revealed through discovery.

Visualization often helps people to improve in a task. I enjoy jogging and was recently instructed to visualize stepping over a log to help my running technique; doing so helps the knee to project up and forward. I was amazed by how that visualization helped accomplish the task. I was coming off an injury, so maybe I was more receptive to the idea than I would have been otherwise. But that open mindset helped me to discover a new technique that I will use going forward.

Similarly, our engineers keep our brand belief close; they use it to embolden and inform their troubleshooting efforts. We run into a very wide array of environments and scenarios, all involving unique network and hardware topology, workflows, third party software applications, and numerous print devices and models from a variety of manufacturers. The expertise of our engineers must extend far beyond the software we support. It must include a variety of third party applications, core system software, hardware processes, and network architectures. While this expertise and experience is critical to problem solving, we are driven by more than these tactical requirements.

Our Customer Support Team seeks to solve not only the technical challenge at hand, but the larger strategic issues facing the customer. We take a holistic approach with our customers, always asking the question, “What are you trying to achieve?” Are there other ways to use Pharos software to solve the “big picture” concerns of the customer?
Customers call support when they are experiencing a problem. The following exchange never happens:

Pharos Support: Hello, what can I do for you today?
Customer: Nothing, I’m good! Thank you – I was just calling to see how you are doing today!

Each problem offers an opportunity, a chance for us to strengthen the relationship with the customer and add more value to the software. Our first step is always to focus on the critical task at hand—our job is to ensure that our clients have fully functioning, high-value software performing as intended. But we also explore what else we can do to benefit the customer, whether that be a configuration adjustment, the introduction of additional services, or some other factor.

To discover the best solution, we ask ourselves these questions and offer observations beyond the problem at hand. We are always learning, and always recording what we’ve learned—in our knowledge base and our support blog, for example. We have invested in new talent to bring a fresh perspective and we offer regular webinars to provide ongoing training and support. We are also active participants in the Pharos Community Forums, where customers can search for known solutions and discuss topics of interest.

When a customer purchases our software, they are buying more than its high-value functionality; they are also purchasing a support organization that extends its value, providing ongoing help, advice, training and documentation, all of which turns the transaction into a relationship.

I recently attended the Help Desk Institute Conference and I was happy to hear one of the Keynote speakers focus on the direct touch that support has with the customers we serve. Presenter Scott Stratten was speaking our language when he said “the sale is not the end but the beginning of the customer transaction and relationship.” We are the team that carries the relationship forward, always looking for new ways to do more for our customers. Thank you for your patronage and valuable feedback on our support efforts.


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