Joan Phaup

Posted by Joan Phaup

We decided at our last U.S. Users Conference in Memphis that it would be good to set aside a special place for attendees to meet with our support technicians one-on-one. Thus was born Tech Central, which was such a hit that it’s become a regular part of our conferences.
As we get ready for our 2010 Users Conference in Miami next March, I asked Ed Bell, our technical services manager, a few questions about this recent addition:Ed (2)
What’s Tech Central? Tech Central allows customers at our Users Conferences to meet one-on-one with the technicians. We sit down with them for 20 minutes or half an hour and work through issues we would normally talk about on the phone. Tech Central gives us a dedicated space for meeting with people. Now they know exactly where to find us instead of hoping they’ll be able to find us in passing.
How did customers respond to the first Tech Central in Memphis? You couldn’t ask for a better response. The customers could see that we really cared. The first day was sparsely attended, but once word spread we got more and more visitors. Some of them would check in with their office after visiting us and then come back again with follow-up questions. About three-fourths of the people who attended the conference came to see us. Tech Central was such a hit that we took it to the European Users Conference in England this fall.
How was Tech Central for Techs? It was hectic because we had so many people coming through, but we thought it was great! Sometimes people were queued up because it was so popular. Luckily we had a really large space with WIFI, so people could email while they waited. What made it so wonderful for us was that it gave us a chance to really connect with our customers as people.  That face-to-face contact makes a big difference in our relationships with customers. When they call us on the phone, we know who they are!
What are you looking forward to most about the next Users Conference? Reconnecting with people I’ve met in the past! I enjoy seeing customers at Breakfast Briefings and our conferences. That personal bond you build from being with people is wonderful. I also look forward to seeing the customers’ reactions to the new features in Questionmark Perception,  and I always like hearing customers’ success stories and seeing how enthusiastic they are. People generally call tech support when they have a problem, and it’s our job to take care of that problem, so hearing about successes does us a lot of good! And those of us who attend the conference share those success stories with our colleagues, which gives them a boost, too.  I can’t wait for 2010!
If you can’t wait either, here’s a gentle reminder that earlybird-registration ends December 4th.
You can learn more about the 2010 Questionmark Users Conference at