This is part 2 is a series from Atlassian’s support team asking how we can help you better.

The best support case I ever had

Here’s a story of the best support case I ever had. At the time, I was the manager of a support team for a product that helped kids train the auditory processing skills they needed to learn how to read. The program lasted 8 weeks and required 100 minutes a day of intensive training. Often, parents of struggling kids would put their kids through the program over the summer. It was important that they maximize their time – they’d need the full 8 weeks on the program and needed to start promptly.
It was during this narrow window of a start time that I got a call from a parent on the verge of tears. She knew how critical it was to start her son on the program in the next few days, and her computer was giving an error – I’ll never forget it – a Projector Skeleton Error. We’d been tracking this problem in support but had never really gotten to the root cause and didn’t have a solution. By the time the case got to me, she was incredibly frustrated and wanted a solution, no matter what it took. She had gone to the computer store to buy this computer just for this purpose, brought it home, and it didn’t work. If a brand new computer doesn’t work, what was she supposed to do?
At that point I realized a lesson I’d learned over and over again – there are lots of different ways to solve a problem! At the time, our licenses cost $850 per participant. I suggested we’d give her a complementary license if she’d ship us the computer. We’d be able to get a hold of this Projector Skeleton Error we were seeing, and she’d get her son started. Plus, we could have used a new end-user machine for our sandbox. She hung up the phone and went straight back to the computer store, then called me while on site. I gave her the thumbs up on her alternative choice, and within a few hours her son was started. A few days later, I received her computer, sent to us on good faith, with a thank-you card to our whole team.
I remember this story because it was so emotional. Not only was I able to help her and her son through this, I was also able to help our team make better products. This customer was able to get her son the training he needed, to overcome her short-term obstacle. Our team was able to finally dig into the root cause of a problem and make things better for all future parents and children who would use our software.

Helping people on a bigger scale

After a ten-year career in support, I’ve moved on to working on tools like Hercules and Atlassian Answers. I still get to help people, but in a different way. With Hercules, my goal is to help people help themselves. With Answers, my goal is to help people in our community to help each other. Building tools has also given me a new perspective.

Thanks for raising a support ticket!

Sounds like a bit much, right? But this is really how I feel. When someone raises a support ticket, they’re doing me a favor by telling me what’s wrong with my product. Many people would just go away and forget it! That’s a much less appealing option. If someone takes the time to tell me what’s wrong, the very least I can do is listen and try my best to make it right. So, what can I make right for you?

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