RecChat: Support Changes and Updates - 05/04/2023
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We're changing things up a little on the support side. Join Directors Rob Coli and Cullen Barber for a discussion of upcoming changes and improvements to the RecTrac support department and processes.
Zach Malloch 0:08
And welcome RecChat. I always love that music to introduce a fabulous panel of guests today, with me as always as Bret, but our focus our star attraction of the afternoon is Cullen Barber and Rob Coli. Cullen, of course, Director of services and Rob, Director of Operations. And we have a couple of different couple of changes that we're going to talk about. And we're going to translate what that means for everybody participating here today. And we're just gonna get right into it, I think. So I'll go ahead and pass the microphone right over to you, Cullen.
Cullen Barber 0:42
Great. Thanks, Zach. Yeah, we just want to take a few minutes and let everybody know about some changes that are happening kind of behind the scenes here at Vermont systems, and they've been kind of happening slowly over some time. And, you know, hopefully, you know, maybe you haven't seen on your site, a lot of changes from a customer standpoint. But end result is we hope you do see some improvement in, you know, support themes and services down the road. So we'll just do a quick little history brief first, to talk about, you know, where we were, and where we're headed to, you know, for many years, prior to 2018, come on the support and services side, we had one big team that supported all of our different customers, and, you know, are kind of customer groups that we categorize you into our municipal parks and recreation, military, and then universities and private organizations. And back in 2018, we made a decision to essentially kind of split apart our military from the rest of the groups. And it certainly made some good sense, you know, back then, the military was primarily going to be staying on the 10.3, RecTrac. And WebTrac program for what we knew is going to be several years, while our municipal and you know, universities and private organizations we're moving ahead with with 3.1. So we decided to make a split at that point. Well, you know, more recently, the military has, you know, made the move to or 3.1, or they're in process to 3.1. And we knew at that point, we thought it'd be a good time to kind of bring bring the team back together. And that's, that's kind of what's happening behind the scenes. So it actually is things have started to kind of move that in that direction, starting last July. And, you know, a couple things triggered that one was the army saying, Hey, we're ready to move to 3.1. And the other was, was was kind of my decision to say how am I want to step back from being, you know, the director of services for Vermont Systems. So we started working on a transition plan. And that plan is certainly includes Rob, Rob's gonna be a big part of that. So Zack mentioned he is moving into the director of operations role. So big congratulations to Rob, and then I'll pass the mic over to Rob to introduce a couple the changes that they're taking place.
Rob Coli 3:16
Sure, thanks, Cullen. Yeah, you know, a little bit of back history, some of you probably recognize, you know, my name, I moved over to the military team kind of in earnest in 2018, with the changes have been running that team kind of sense. You know, so getting an opportunity to move back and work with a lot of you, again, is really exciting. You know, I'm really looking forward to kind of engaging some of our municipalities, the universities that I haven't worked directly with, you know, along with, getting some of our military customers out of the dark ages and onto our newest platform will, will make things a lot easier for everybody. You know, so behind the scenes, you know, hopefully, a lot of the changes we have for you guys are really kind of transparent, you don't really notice, we hope that, you know, you'd likely will see things like you know, improved response times. And, you know, hopefully, on the case side of things, especially cases getting closed a little more quickly, you know, we've really been able to kind of expand our skill sets on the Help Desk and on the implementation side of the house, and bring some folks that have a different skill set back into the fold. You know, I think between the pandemic with people working remotely and you know, a lot of the things that kind of took place over the last couple years, it's been a little more difficult for our staff to take advantage of kind of some of their co workers skill sets and the things that they can bring to bear and we're really looking to kind of streamline that. And I think you guys will will start seeing that already. Hopefully, you know, a lot of this is already in place where the teams have been combined and we've really started kind of getting everything moving in the right direction. So we'll start talking About kind of some more specifics. You know, I think as we move along, but for now, you know, I think the important thing is, you know, we've kind of kicked this off, it's happening behind the scenes and the fact that most of you don't really notice the change is good. That's kind of where we're at today. But just happy happy to be moving into this position and some pretty big shoes to fill, taking over for Cullen. So kick it back over to you guys.
Zach Malloch 5:28
Yeah, so I mean, all of this is basically falling in line with our overall wish to improve customer service and satisfaction. And everything there. And so of course, you guys have heard a lot about some of our other initiatives. And, Colin, I think you're going to talk about some of those, too.
Cullen Barber 5:28
Yeah, for sure. Yeah, I think most of you have probably heard about our move to the new self help platform help juice, we've mentioned. And that's been a, you know, continuation, you know, for for over a year. Now, we've been putting a lot of effort into that. And every day, the team, Zach's team and others are helping to really Build that self help up. So definitely a big priority of hours. And hopefully, everyone's had a chance to test drive a little bit, do some searches, literally new cavies in there every day, new videos at least weekly. So lots of updated content. So really encourage folks to check in search there if they haven't already. And I think we'll probably post the link to that again, you know, somewhere in this, this chat,
Zach Malloch 6:38
I just posted it. So everybody, if you look at chat, right now, you should be seeing the link to our self help. And of course, as long as you're on one of the more recent versions of rec chat, any of the inap stuff is going to prove pointing that already for you.
Cullen Barber 6:50
Perfect, perfect. A couple other things that are already in motion behind the scenes, it's, we created something called the Support Office Hours. Again, as Rob mentioned, you know, with the pandemic, most of us went remote. And you know, prior to the pandemic, we were for the most part all kind of within shouting distance of each other in an office. And we could really overhear conversations. And if we heard a coworker struggling, we could, you know, try to, you know, jump up and help them kind of thing. And that's a little bit harder to do when you're working remote, you know, we try to use some some technology as far as chats and things like that. But it's different, not the same as you know, be able to listen to somebody but you know, the team came up with an idea of we call it the support office hours. And we've got some very veteran team members from the implementation side and support, that are essentially there bookmarked for a day or part of a day as the go to person. So if all else fails, you're not getting help and chat customer needs help, we can we can go to that person to bounce ideas off from and help with troubleshooting. So it's, I know, from an internal standpoint, the team has really grasped on to this, and they really liked that typically, the newer employees that, you know, maybe haven't had as much time in the software as others, it's really been a nice area for them to go to and get that help.
Cullen Barber 8:15
So hopefully, that'll again, as Rob said, it'll turn into quicker responses, more accurate answers, you know, you know, more timely, you know, case updates, things like that. Another thing, it's, it's already in motion. And this was a big topic from the leadership, and for my systems is we have, you know, we're kind of slowly rolling out what we call a customer success management program. So, you know, kind of think of, you know, we call it customer success, not an account manager, but it's just a lot of overlap there. You know, so essentially, we're going to be, you know, reaching out to certain, you know, customers, and eventually, hopefully, this program really rolls out to everybody. But that's something Rob's gonna have to work through and figure out, kind of leaving him in the early stages here with this, but we really are looking for, you know, a way to have more engagement with with you as customers. The Read chat here is great. You know, we were starting to do some more user groups and get out there face to face a little bit more of the on site training, but it's not like it used to be. So we know there's a gap. And we really want to find a way to engage more directly with you. And make sure you have a an ear and a voice that can really advocate for you. We feel like there's a little bit of a, you know, a gap there right now, some customers just don't know who to go to when they have certain types of questions, or whatever. So we're hoping that program will blossom and become a very big benefit to us and for you.
Cullen Barber 10:03
The next piece that we've we've introduced and kind of worked with our sales team. You know, we hear quite often, you know, from our, our customers that, hey, we've got, you know, a lot of new employees, you know, the pandemic, things change, we had turnover. And we feel like we need more training. And we were able to come up with this program, we call Elevate, and our implementation team runs it. And it's basically kind of a pre purchase of, of training hours, and I use the word training a little bit loosely, it could could be training, new employees training, you know, even, you know, veteran employees that need need to get in a little deeper, it could be more of a DB analysis, best practices review, you know, WebTrac review. So we're, we're using this to try to, you know, get people into a better spot, either training employees or better use of the software getting more out of the software. So, you know, certainly get in touch with us, if it's something you think you could take advantage of, we've got, you know, several dozen customers already participating. And so far, the results are really positive on both sides. So we're really excited about that program.
Zach Malloch 11:24
We'll probably have a quick chat about that, at some point this year. Also, I've been talking to Brian hatch, who's managing the implementation team and therefore Elevate, so we'll have him come in and talk about that before too long.
Cullen Barber 11:36
Perfect. I think we will, we'll post a little URL for how to best reach support in here. Just make sure everybody understands there it is Zach is quick on the trigger awesome. On how to best reach us. I know, there's one update to that. I think we had a little typo for an am and pm on there for the weekdays after 5pm. So check, check back on that here. Maybe later today or tomorrow for the the actual most up to date information. I guess maybe I'll turn it over to you rob, again, on, you know, kind of where we go from here. And yeah,
Rob Coli 12:19
yeah, thanks, Colin, you know, I think one of the things that's important is, you know, we, we want to hear from you, we certainly want the process to be better. And, you know, Cullen alluded to the fact that times have changed, we don't have as much face to face engagement as we've had in the past. You know, so how do we move forward? And that's one of the things we're working on, you know, what are the best ways for us to get, you know, valuable feedback. A lot of times, I think our team does a really good job of trying to translate that, but they're also very busy and things can be lost in translation. So, you know, not only are we working on things internally, you know, to always kind of streamline our processes, but we really do want to engage more with with you folks, and find out what works and what doesn't work and what could make your lives easier, you know, from a support and services perspective. So, between our symposium in the fall, and some of the user groups that are going to be happening, the NRPA you know, we want to continue to kind of grow things like the customer success manager program, and, you know, those engagements, so look for more things to come in the future. It's something that's really important to us. And, you know, we're gonna, we're gonna keep kind of working towards, you know, just making your lives much easier. So that, you know, you're able to do the things you need to do day to day and not spend so much time with us. But that's, like I said, it's, it's kind of, in the front of our minds at all times, and we're constantly trying to look for new things. So we're going to we're going to look to continue to formalize that and, and make those things available to you to kind of tell us what you need.
Zach Malloch 13:56
And, Rob, you're going to start going to user groups this fall, assuming that the weather and other forecasts look good.
Rob Coli 14:03
I am I am. Yeah. So So you guys will have an opportunity to kind of meet me in person at the symposium, the NRPA. There's a couple of other user groups, I'm kind of eyeballing you know, my, my experience with the military is they, they don't have a lot of high attendance to those events. So I haven't really been attending, we kind of do more more things that are kind of in a bubble with the military, if you will, but they're, they're starting to expand kind of their exposure as well. So really exciting stuff again, a lot of you I've I see some names, I recognize I may have done some of your installs back in the day, I did installs for my first six years with Vermont systems before moving over to the military team. So again, happy happy to be exposed to a lot of you again and get to catch up on some of your your businesses and names and faces and things.
Zach Malloch 14:54
Yeah, so I mean, that's that's basically our announcement for today. You know, Cullen obviously wants to make not any deal of this at all, but he's been with the company for over 30 years. And it's going to be a big change for him not to be here. You know, he's he's threatened to come back potentially. So if he gets to board and his retirement, he might, we might see Cullens name every so often that we get him as a guest wreck chat post every once in a while here. But I think I can speak for pretty much everybody on this call. But I think anybody that's worked with RecTrac for more than a couple of years has had some interaction with Cullen and I don't think I've ever heard of anybody having a bad interaction with Cullen and that's, that says a lot. So just a really tiny minor ability to express some of my gratitude for you, Cullen, so Okay, thanks, Zach. Yeah, it's uncomfortable, the spotlight, but you have
Cullen Barber 15:49
thanks. Yeah, it's, it's been a great run. I've really, truly enjoyed all my years at Vermont Systems, such, you know, the customer base is been fabulous. I mean, it's, it's recreation, and everybody's looking to just improve their community and their lives around them. So just been wonderful to work with such, you know, great, great customers and employees, I've been very fortunate to be surrounded by some very passionate, fun, hardworking people, which I know I'll never find anywhere else. But it's just been a great run, and really appreciate all the support from our customers and our teammates here from our systems.
Zach Malloch 16:31
And he will be here for at least a couple more weeks. So anybody CullenB@Vermont systems, if you wish to express how much you appreciate. I see a lot of stuff coming in and chat. And that's just what I'm thinking here. And yeah, it's a it's a special place with special people. And you're definitely one of the main reasons that it's maintained that, Cullen, I think so.
Cullen Barber 16:50
I appreciate that. Yes, it's been a lot of a lot of a lot of folks have put a lot of time in and done a lot of good things here. And so definitely can't take all the credit. I glad to, you know, have been in on maybe a few of your hiring interviews here on the Screen. So it does feel good to pass along a torch to the people that that I've helped bring into the organization. I know we're going to continue to do things our Vermont Systems way.
Zach Malloch 17:17
Yeah, absolutely. Well, we'll keep it sort of short and sweet. And you just the tiniest bit of bittersweetness. But thank you all so much for joining us in this very special announcement. Look for a lot more from Rob in the future. He's been a panelist before we're going to try to get him to do that more often. This is their first time actually, as the subject of RecChat. So we'll see if we can convince him to do a bit more of that also. And of course he you've got some big shoes to fill Rob, so we'll keep you keep you honest with that. And yeah, I think that's basically all I had any final thoughts from anybody else. Bret probably wants to wish everybody that the force is with them
Bret Alarcon 17:58
May be the fourth be with you all!
Zach Malloch 18:04
All right. Well, we're gonna go ahead and take it in. So Bret, whenever you're ready to close us down, we're ready to go out.
Bret Alarcon 18:11
Cullen Barber 18:12
Rob Coli 18:13