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Less than 5% of the support cases have recommendations to engage professional services. I have seen this message create mixed emotions in the customer's mind. I would like to wear both customers and support engineer's hat to see how this can be handled efficiently.

As a customer, I will be delighted if solutions come instantly, a setting like “ or spark.fix.error=true” would be very ideal. Requesting customers to connect with a different team could often be seen as a deflection strategy from support. Also, professional service engagement has its own sales cycle and costs are attached to it. This results in frustration.

Let’s take an example of one such redirection, Customer requests support’s help refine their use case and suggest the right technology stack. From a support point of view, this request is considered out of scope and the engineer would direct the customer to engage professional services. As a professional services consultant in my past life, use case discussion would start with gathering business requirements and perform various brainstorming sessions, proof of concepts etc. to pick the right components and benchmark them.

Containing this whole process in a single support case would do injustice to the problem itself. The quickest and most efficient way to solve a problem is to engage the right resource at a right time. While support can take a crack at it on a best effort basis, it may not be efficient in solving that problem and may often result in providing incorrect recommendations due to the limited information availability and varied skill set.

Support does a great job in solving an issue when the problem boundaries are clearly defined. What really frustrates customers is that, an engineer is sitting on a case for a long time, without setting clear expectations up front and coming back at a later time saying you need to engage professional services. While we take extreme care in providing great customer experience, some of these issues are great learning and want to pre-empt those before it occurs.

Here is an attempt to set clear guidelines for both engineers and customers by defining support scope.

I request everyone to review these support scope guidelines before submitting a case. This would save a lot of time.

“If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one-minute finding solutions.”

- Albert Einstein

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