With a total of 30 employees VDG Security has a small but high-end support department. Maarten van der Heijden is Technical Consultant with VDG, among others having the role of senior support engineer. In this interview, he tells us more about VDG Security’s special approach to support, his day-to-day work and the company’s vision on support.
“My main responsibility as technical consultant is to provide support for our clients by helping them solving issues or to advice them on how to design their installations. Secondly, I organize and lead training courses on our products and services for both installers and end-users. In both cases we are talking about a worldwide operation. Thirdly, I am also personally active on a global scale – working on projects with consultancy, training and implementation.”
VDG support: facilitation
When asked about his company’s vision on the issue of support, Van der Heijden states: “We have a small organization. At the same time, we are working on projects around the world. So, support-wise we are managing a large number of contacts with many different installers and clients. In this landscape we need to be smart in providing support. Basically we would like our installers and clients to be as self sufficient as possible.
He explains: “In addition to our training courses, we have an expanding customer knowledge base on our website to help us achieve the above-mentioned goal of client independence. Further expansion of this knowledge base is necessary and ongoing, due to having clients in extremely varying time zones – ranging from the United States to Asia. Both videos and webinars are great instruments to meet our clients’ support needs even better.”
Support is ‘a people’s business’
“Of course, providing support is and will always be ‘a people’s business’: clients want to be heard and have someone to talk to in case of problems or to discuss new opportunities. That is something we always bear in mind as we need to be in close contact with our customers. So, for example, we organize many product training sessions each year in our office in the Netherlands and also several take place outside our office at our customers. Our approach is to ‘train the trainers’ – i.e. our installers, who then train our clients in using our products and services.”
‘Smartening’ VDG support
Van der Heijden says ‘smartening’ support is a win-win situation for clients, installers and VDG Security. By smartening he means providing full and detailed information online, so people can access it at their own convenience. Finally, he emphasizes VDG’s quick response time when questions come in via our customer support portal. “Due to the time saving approach by supplying as much information online in various formats, we can respond much faster to any (other) support questions. Moreover we have designed our customer support in such a way that we are able to easily extract statistical information out of it. For example to detect repetitive questions or how many questions come in from specific customers. This can be used to depict future support policy by expanding the online knowledgebase or providing extra training for specific customers. With the goal of improving customer experience“, he concludes.