I sat down with RapidScale Director of Technical Support Dustin Martinez and Support Desk Supervisor David Mattatall to get their perspective on the organization, their roles and goals, and the future of support and IT.

How long have you been with RapidScale now? Describe your position and responsibilities.

Martinez: 2 months. I am the Director of Technical Support. My responsibilities are to make customers happy and to make my employees successful.

Mattatall: A little over 2 years. My roles and responsibilities are to handle the day-to-day operations of the support desk team across the U.S. In addition to laying down the groundwork for the success of the team with policies, procedures and monitoring the ticket queue to make sure these processes and policies are being followed, I also handle any emergency situations or customer escalations. I’m here to help and make sure things go right, and fix them if they don’t.

At first glance, how do you see RapidScale positioned in the marketplace and how do its strengths offer a unique competitive advantage?

Martinez: Coming from a vendor I had no idea how any customer that provided cloud services was positioned. After being here for 2 months and getting the opportunity to attend new hire training and hear CEO Randy Jeter share the state of the business I feel we are well positioned for today and tomorrow.

Mattatall: It’s really our approach to customer service. We have a ‘customer first’ mentality that we drive home pretty hard. We want our customers to be the centerpiece of our world, because they are. At the end of the day they have a job to do and we’re here to make sure they can do it, no matter what.

What goals does the support team have for this year?

Martinez: Support has many goals this year: training, development of processes, headcount growth, and most importantly being the reason why customers want to come to and stay with RapidScale. We want to become the face of RapidScale!

Mattatall: We’re working on building a comprehensive training program for our support organization – this comes from within the support team. We want our training to be built around the knowledge of our engineers. Tribal knowledge shouldn’t exist and this will in turn build a significantly better customer experience from day one engineers. This will help build trust in not only one customer support engineer, but all of them.

How do the interactions between support and customers convey RapidScale’s overall business strategy: providing the best customer experience?

Martinez: Support has the opportunity to educate and help customers be successful with our personalized cloud solutions. A great customer experience includes more than solving a problem. Support should be seen as a partner.

Mattatall: We care. I have personally seen my team get frustrated because a customer is not happy and we want to make that right. It’s not the technical challenges that really push my team, it’s the customer’s experience. When they hang up the phone with a happy customer they’re excited to share it with everybody else, and the rest of the team shares that joy. We’ve done our job and we’ve done it well if the customer is smiling at the end of a call.

With the growth of the cloud computing industry and RapidScale, how do you see engineering’s processes changing and improving in coming years?

Martinez: As the industry and RapidScale grow we will gain more customers that need our services. To support the customer growth, the answer isn’t always headcount growth. The answer is creating efficiencies through processes and data that will help us make smart business decisions. Some people hear “process” and they think it means more steps to follow. Process is about improvement, not extra work. One process that makes a huge difference is the onboarding and training process for new hires. A well-trained engineer is a confident and efficient engineer, and that benefits everyone.

Mattatall: Cloud engineers are not the same as your basic support engineer. The skillsets required by a RapidScale cloud support engineer are significantly higher than what you would see from, say, the support guy you get from your ISP or even local MSP. These guys have to understand complex networking, Citrix, VMware Horizon View, Exchange, RDS, etc. The interesting thing is seeing how now a system administrator finds his or herself in a role taking calls from a customer and being more customer-facing than ever before. Technology, while easier for the user, is now becoming more complex for the technicians, and the skillset requirements to sustain these technologies are ever expanding.