A Strong Defense . . .

While it’s easy to defend something you know well, it’s tougher to mount a vigorous defense of something with which you’re not familiar. But with a solid knowledge base, not only can you articulately defend your position, you can also better assimilate new knowledge that advances a fierce conversation towards a solution.

Recently, a client contacted us about a glitch with her survey launch. Panicked, she blamed the mishap on our system. But I was confident the issue wasn’t inherent to our system but was instead caused by user error.

As we continued our discussion, I discovered a major part of the problem: too many cooks in the kitchen. Although our platform allows survey administrators to create and assign user subaccounts, those administrators must also set user permissions and monitor sub-user activity. In this case, multiple individuals had access to this account; unfortunately, however, they weren’t communicating with each other.

As our conversation progressed, I also learned our client was receiving a high number of email bounce backs. I got a sense the Email Relay settings were causing this problem — and, sure enough, these settings were activated.

When Email Relay is on, we’re not able to provide tracking information as the emails are being routed through the client’s server. While the client wasn’t sure who had changed these settings, she was happy we found a resolution.

My thorough training allows me to listen intently and ask the right questions. Rather than become defensive, I work with our clients to find solutions.

As I’ve learned, knowing your subject matter is key to helping all of us manage the insecurities that make people defensive, empowering us to provide the highest quality customer service.

Because Time is Precious

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” Frodo said. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring)

Problems often don’t conform to our timetables. Rather, they arise at unexpected times and during inconvenient situations. Zarca Interactive has clients across the country, so it’s important for us to be available whenever they need us. Because unsolved problems sap one of your most precious resources — time — we’re happy to offer night support until 8:00 p.m. EST.

The Support Team’s job is to get you through those rough patches and answer any questions about our comprehensive and feature-rich Engage platform. Never hesitate to give us a call; we are the Sam to your Frodo, always willing to help save what is most precious to you.

Depending on the size of your project, you may need either a lot of help or just a little help. Don’t let that determine whether or not you reach out to support. If it matters to you, it definitely matters to us. Besides, it can’t be as difficult as casting The One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom, right?

Dig a Little Deeper

Living at home with your teenage brother has its perks — well, for him. Being a doting sister, I drive him to practice, bake him cookies and sometimes search his messy room for the “Orange Rocket” diagrams he forgot to take to school.

When he asked me to find them, I looked high and low. During my search, which went on way too long, I found some trash — namely, granola bar wrappers and empty Gatorade bottles. I also found things I didn’t want to see such as an AP Language quiz with a few too many red marks and, of course, more trash.

Surprisingly, I also found the Ray-Ban sunglasses he thought were lost and calculus homework (which was beyond my comprehension) that he scored a perfect grade on. All these disparate items were just lying around waiting to be discovered. Looking for my brother’s diagrams in a sea of papers, trash and dirty clothes was a lot like reading open-ended responses in surveys.

Even with features to prevent GIGO, some responses will still be useless junk. There will also be a few candid comments you won’t expect, yet provide helpful feedback nonetheless. But — buried beneath it all — you’ll discover some incredibly useful insights that validate your excavation efforts.

With open-ended responses, you may not always find exactly what you’re looking for (my brother had the diagrams the whole time), but allowing your participants to provide open feedback will give you a more substantial understanding of your respondents and a better idea of what’s working and what’s not.

You Never Know Til You Try

For some time now, my team has been writing and recording training videos for internal and external use. While I had written a few scripts — because I’m usually very busy with support — producing videos was a secondary task rather than a major priority.

Recently, my supervisor took a vacation. This forced me out of my comfort zone in a number of ways — mainly, I had to quickly become competent at video production. I wrote the scripts for two internal training videos that were needed immediately, and for the first time, I had to sit down and record them myself. Through trial and error, I quickly learned what worked and what didn’t. Although I went back to the drawing board a few times, I eventually discovered an efficient way to finish the videos.

Recording each video took less than two attempts. When I sent them to my supervisor, her reaction was overwhelmingly positive. She continues to tell me how excited she is about the job I did.

I definitely wasn’t expecting this kind of response; it just goes to show that you never know what you’re good at til you try.