Please see Part I, right here. As our story continues, I am now on the chat floor speaking primarily on the phone with Customers, though also taking random chats as well between calls. Starting to get into the swing of things, but still not completely at ease. I’ve managed to not break anything or anger anyone, so I figure I’m doing well enough. Many of our Customers are familiar with the firstname.lastname@example.org email address, which is directly read by Management and is intended for use any time anyone has any complaints or praise about anything at all related to their HostGator account or the related support they’ve received. Thus far, I have assisted a few Customers who took the time to email in to let my Supervisor know about the quality of my work. It’s always nice to have nice things said about you by strangers.
Having never provided technical support to the general public in any capacity before, those first few days were interesting and full of constant learning. I wanted to do the best I could and maintain HostGator’s stellar level of support, but at the same time I lacked the actual experience which is what ultimately leads to complete confidence. Time would solve this circumstance, but time takes time. I can honestly say that working on the chat floor was fast-paced and exciting and there was truly never a dull moment.
I decided to query some veteran Gators on their initial impressions from when they were brand new Hatchlings, fresh out of training. The consensus seems to be pretty similar to my own experience. Presenting, in alphabetical order, some initial impressions from my fellow Gators:
Cody (presently a Linux Admin): “When I first started as a Chat Tech, I was kind of overwhelmed by the huge amount of information, but very excited by the huge learning opportunity in front of me. I did all I could every day, studied the KnowledgeBase, and life got easier and easier each day.”
Dominic (presently a Sales Representative): “It felt like my first time swimming. I was scared, splashing around trying to quickly find answers to questions I just learned. As I was flailing wildly, I held on to whomever was there: Quality Assurance, Level 2 Chat Agents, Supervisors… whoever didn’t mind that I had a deathgrip on their arm”
Kristi (presently a Retention Specialist): “I was so nervous. Fortunately the resources, tools and overall assistance provided allowed me to quickly grow to where I became much more confident and comfortable working directly with the Customers.”
Russell (presently a Linux Admin): “I felt overwhelmed at first, but the more I worked with customers, the more knowledgeable I became and the easier and more enjoyable the job became to me.”
Zach (presently a Linux Admin): “It was like playing that lightening reaction game: each time you start a new chat it’s panic until the Customer describes the problem… and then you realize that yes, you can actually fix this.”
It seems that almost all of us start out with a certain degree of cold feet, but ultimately we have all risen to other positions within the company and made room for dozens and dozens of new Hatchlings that will follow in our paths. Speaking of new Hatchlings, this is a picture of our Austin Training room on the day this post was written. Behold, the future generation of HostGator, likely presently feeling that initial nervousness of which we’re speaking:
It should truly go without saying that most of our interactions with our Customers are overwhelmingly pleasant, but anyone providing front-line support will always have an interesting or unusual interaction. One of the Customers that sticks out for me was an individual who initially took a shine to me and began requesting me each time time they called. This particular Customer wound up calling up to discuss a myriad of topics, including their recent doctor appointments and on-going health issues. Another call was to request my assistance in repairing a hardware issue on their home computer. We have a very soft “scope of support” here at HostGator, but troubleshooting home PCs (or doctor appointment visits) is simply not a service we can really provide, with our apologies.
Before too long, I would be promoted to a position where I no longer actively accepted telephone calls, thus was the end of my interactions with that particular Customer… at least as of this writing, but one never knows. As for the position to which I was promoted, we will certainly come to that as we further speak on this topic.
Once again, if you have any questions at all about our front-line Agents, or anything at all that has been discussed up to this point, please leave your question in the comments section and I’ll be happy to elaborate.