Communication is at the very heart of every organization. Especially a Support organization.
One of the keys to achieving effective Support operations is ensuring communication channels are efficiently utilized – whether internally with other departments like Engineering and Customer Success or externally with customers and partners. Communication enables us a better understanding of issues experienced and the ability to convey urgency, get detailed reproduction scenarios, provide adequate workarounds, deliver fixes and execute any other aspect of support work.
In our effort to improve our service, we’ve moved to a new backend system a few months ago which helped immensely in increasing efficiency, improving communication rates and case prioritizations, and introducing better overall management of cases.
The communication channel, however, remained email based as it was before. Working well for the most part, but limiting in their ability to track progress, monitor multiple cases and get a full view of all open issues.
Over the past few months, we’ve been working on creating the Customer Community, a portal for all communication with the Support department, which is meant to complement the new backend system and new Support processes. Whether it be opening new Support Cases or communicating and tracking existing ones.
From the new Customer Community, it is easy to view all cases, track existing cases, view statuses, get notified on case updates, approve or re-open cases, easily attach files.
Access to the Community is secure.
Login to the community is restricted to WhiteSource users only and requires username and password. Existing community users can invite other colleagues to the community and are also restricted to that account following a verification process.
Only your account’s cases are shown and colleagues can participate and collaborate on those cases.
See below more on working with the community site and main community points.
Important announcements are also shown in the community site. You can subscribe to receive important updates to your email immediately or on a daily or weekly basis.
This marks the first stage of the Customer Community deployment. Over time we expect to gradually enrich it. Stay tuned for our upcoming comprehensive knowledge base, including how-to articles, videos and more collaborative tools.
I’m confident this community site will prove to be a meaningful communication channel with WhiteSource Support and one which provides increased visibility and management over the Support department.
As always, the Support team and I are looking forward to assisting on any issue and helping you make the most out of your WhiteSource experience.
Sr. Director Customer Support
Logging into the Customer Community
Whether you are logging in from the UI or directly to the Customer Community, you will always need to provide your username and password.
If you do not have credentials for the community yet, you can click on the ‘Request Access’ link, fill in your details and send it to the WhiteSource administrator in your company. The administrator can approve and add you to the community site.
If you do not know who oversees WhiteSource administration in your organization, enter your WhiteSource Customer Success Manager’s email address as the approver.
Once approved, you will receive an email containing a link to the Customer Community. You will be requested to set a password upon the first login.
As a Community user, you can also invite other users to the community by clicking on the ‘Invite User’ button on the top right corner and add in their details. Invited users will receive an email notifying them of a pending invitation to the community and asking their approval of the user creation and requesting them to enter a password.
Communicating with Support on a Case
Communication on a case is done via Case Comments.
Click on the ‘New Case Comment’ or the ‘New’ button in the Comments section to enter and send a comment to WhiteSource Support.
Files are added by simply dragging them to the ‘File’ section in the relevant support case or by clicking the ‘Add Files’ tab on the top right corner.
WhiteSource Support communicates via comments as well, so any new comment from WhiteSource Support will appear under the ‘Details’ tab.
Status will reflect the state of the case in its life cycle. ‘Waiting for Customer’ status indicates further information is required for WhiteSource Support r to continue its investigation. ‘Waiting for Approval’ indicates that a solution is ready and deployed. You can approve or reopen cases by using the ‘Approve’ and ‘Reopen’ buttons on the top corner of the Support window.
Whenever additional information is required, WhiteSource Support will change the status to ‘Waiting for Customer’.
Support Case Life Cycle
A support case will start its life in the status ‘New’. This status indicates a new case has been submitted and is pending 1st analysis.
Once a Support engineer reviews the information and delivers the analysis of the information provided in the case, the case will be marked as ‘Open’. The outcome of this 1st analysis might be a plan for troubleshooting, a request for further information, a workaround or a solution. Each outcome is represented in a different status.
The status ‘Open’ indicates the case is being worked on by a WhiteSource Support representative. If the Support engineer requires more information, the case’s status will reflect it and indicate ‘Waiting for Customer’. At this point, the case will remain in this status until more information is submitted by the customer. The status automatically changes back to ‘Open’ once this information is sent.
If a product fix is scheduled for deployment, the case’s status changes to ‘Awaiting Product Fix’. We will notify the contact once the fix is scheduled for deployment and once it is deployed into production.
If a workaround or a solution was proposed, the case’s status changes to ‘Waiting for Approval’. At this stage we would like your approval for the suggested workaround or solution. Product issues may follow a separate internal path of requesting R&D for a code fix which we will take with our R&D regardless of whether the case was solved with a workaround or a configuration change.
‘Waiting for Approval’ cases can either be marked as ‘Approved’ if the suggested solution was accepted by the customer or changed back to ‘Open’ if the solution was not accepted.