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Support Center Spotlight: The Heart of the BEMO App Experience

Support Center Spotlight: The Heart of the BEMO App Experience

Welcome to Part 2 of our BEMO App “Built in Public Blog”, where we give you firsthand information about the BEMO App product vision, ongoing updates from the build itself, transparent discussions of the problems we are setting out to solve, and direct insight into how we incorporate our core BEMO values into everything we do.  

  1. Support Center Intro
  2. Design Decisions
  3. Customer Zero and Beyond 

Support Center Intro 

The first part of BEMO App that we are building is the Support Center – the element that allows you to contact us easily from anywhere in the App to get the help you need when you need it most. Why start with support? Because supporting our customers is the central part of all that we do. 

In surveying the competitive landscape, we found that too many products and services treat support as an afterthought. Something that was clearly tacked on after the “main” product was developed. We see a lot of products that promise to make security easier, but in their attempts to do so, just create new barriers for customers to get help when they need it most.  

Not at BEMO. We made a conscious decision from the beginning to ensure that support was easy to find, easy to use, completely transparent (know who you are talking to and how long they are taking to respond), context specific, and would take as few clicks as possible.  

In later blog posts, we’ll talk about Microsoft Copilot and BEMO Copilot and other AI features that will come – and we feel they will truly help our customers – but not at the expense of being able to get help from a human who cares as much about your business as you do.  

So, no matter how good the product is and no matter how simple we make managing your security and compliance, we know that one of the biggest values we can bring is the promise to be right there with you, every step of the way. And the BEMO App is an extension of that promise.


Design Decisions 

One of the best parts of product development is that we get to solve problems. And setting out to turn the industry on its head in the SMB space left us no shortage of problems to solve.

I wanted to spend some time in this post to talk through the core problems that we set out to solve, show you how we think we solved them, and overall, give you an insight into how our product team thinks and how they work together to make things better.

How can our customers get help in as few clicks as possible?

The current support request process (on, where all our current support requests originate) takes 14 clicks to submit a request. You must enter your name, email address, priority, topic, and what kind of support you need, etc. 

We tasked our User Experience Architect with making this process easier and, after much trial and error, we got the process down to only 4 clicks (a 350% improvement in efficiency.) We know who you are already and how to contact you. We assume your request is of high importance and we know what area of the BEMO App you were in when you made the request. Cutting a lot of this out of the process allowed us to boil everything down to the general topic and the description of the need itself.  

What if our customers don’t want to type in their request?

We are seeing a full-scale removal of humans from the support process. Direct telephone numbers disappear from support pages, chatbots try their best to make things “better” but are only able to help with the simplest of questions, and the race to AI continues the trend of removing human contact when you need it most. 

Not at BEMO. We do plan to bring all the best artificial intelligence that Microsoft can provide to our services (leveraging Microsoft Copilot and our very own BEMO Copilot) – but sometimes you just want to talk to a human. We provide choices – easily find our number and call us directly, schedule a callback at your convenience, or send us a text message. You will know exactly who you are talking to, and we love talking to our customers because it helps us understand how we can make things even better for them.  

How can customers get help no matter where they are in the application?

A lot of products offer a specific Support page where you go when you need help. We decided to go with that approach as well, but we also took things a step further by integrating support into every page. If you click the Support button, it will take you directly to the Support page and it will know what you were doing when you needed support. We also created an integrated support button for each element on the page, allowing you to request support for a specific page element, no matter where you are throughout the application.  

How can we best utilize our existing knowledge bases to help our customers?

A lot of companies have tons of products and help documentation. BEMO is no different. We have documentation, FAQs, blog articles, how-to training content, and helpdesk articles. The standard approach would be to create a customer-facing search engine that searches through this content and returns results, ranked by some perception of relevance, and make the client do the work of finding answers to their own questions. 

But we want to do better. As you type your Support request, we’ll do additional searching for you. We’ll assume you still wish to interface with a human, but we’ll also show you the top 3 most-relevant sources related to your issue. And through a custom recommendation engine, we can determine which information sources have been helpful to other customers in the past. Over time, this recommendation engine will improve to the point where it will become the foundation for the BEMO Copilot for even better and more advanced help options. 

How do we keep the Support process as transparent as possible?

Keep the Support process transparent 
Have you ever submitted a support ticket to a company and never received the help you needed or worse yet, no response at all? While this should never be acceptable in any industry, in security and compliance, where time is often of the essence, this can mean the difference between being protected and being breached. 

We tasked our User Experience Architect with the goal of how to achieve transparency at the Support level and they delivered a design that puts ticketing metrics at the heart of the application:  

  • Ticket history: Show me what tickets I’ve entered (and what tickets my company has entered)  
  • Open tickets: Show me how many open tickets there are  
  • Closed tickets: Show me how many tickets have actually been closed and resolved  
  • Average response time: Show me how quickly my tickets are being opened, on average over time, and show me how my response time compares to other BEMO customers 
  • Average resolution time: Show me how long it has taken for my tickets to be resolved, on average over time, and show me how my resolution time compares to other customers at BEMO  

How can we retain the human element of the Support process?

Support Human Element (1)

As mentioned earlier, we were cognizant throughout the design process that a key value of BEMO to our client base is our people. Our customers know our team members by name and have personal relationships with most of the people they interact with at BEMO.  

Tasked with preserving that, our UX Architect came up with several solutions: 

  • Integrate the BEMO Support and Customer Success team calendars with the BEMO App so that customers always know who is supporting them at any particular time 
  • Add pictures of BEMO staff throughout the BEMO App to put a face to the name 
  • Allow customers to add their own avatar pictures to make the human connection work in both directions 

How can we help customers understand that sometimes their issues are related to Microsoft downtime?

MSFT outages

The scenario: You are experiencing a technical issue. You spend time troubleshooting, can’t figure out what the problem is, reach out for help, only to be told “Oh yes, we’re aware of that issue. Something is currently down at Microsoft, and everyone is affected, us included.” You can’t get the time back that you spent trying to troubleshoot. 

With this in mind, we are integrating Microsoft outage information into the BEMO App. We have a few concepts that we plan to add, and we’ll measure the effectiveness of each over time to determine which method(s) best serve our customers:  

  • Outage notifications on the Support page. If you are entering a Support ticket, you will know if there are any Microsoft outage notifications.  
  • Persistent outage notification indicator in the top menu bar that will be constantly visible throughout the BEMO App. 
  • BEMO-branded outage notifications delivered via a Notification Message bell as in the top bar of the application (part of a larger notification system to be discussed in a future blog post). 
  • Opt-in outage notifications delivered via email and/or text message.  


Customer Zero and Beyond 

We are an SMB, just like our customers, with many of the same problems and constraints. The BEMO App builds on top of a foundation of custom tools, processes, and support applications that we have been using for over a decade to manage our business. 

Customer Zero of the BEMO App will be BEMO itself. We will use the BEMO App to manage our own tenant, our own security, our own compliance, and to get help from our own support team.  As the BEMO App grows, we will move all customers to the App to use the same tools.

“If it’s not good enough for us, it won’t be good enough for you.”

This provides the perfect real-world environment in which to build the BEMO App, to evolve the features and functions, and to test these features in a meaningful way – both for us and for our customers. 

Our approach to product development for the BEMO App will leverage lean mechanisms that will enable us to learn as quickly as possible by monitoring usage metrics over time along with direct feedback from users to inform our design and development decisions as we continue to make our product better with each release.

The goal is to run lean, learn fast, and be more agile than our competitors so that we can turn our learnings into client value as quickly as possible. Your opinions, actions, and usage metrics will help us constantly evolve to meet your needs.  

Thanks for reading today’s blog post. Tune in next time when we’ll cover our next major product component, the Learning Center.

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