HCSS has developed metrics to measure every aspect of our support department. We track how many calls are answered, the length of each case from the time the call starts to the time the resolution is communicated, and we even track responses measuring the quality of our service to our customers.
We measure these things because we are constantly looking to improve the service we provide to our customers. One metric that every support analyst looks at is:
“Who is closing the highest number of cases while maintaining the highest customer satisfaction scores?”
This past month, Maleeha Ali, Support Team Lead, had the highest number of closed cases. Upon reviewing the past 12 months, her name appears 10 times in the number one spot over the other 55 support analysts that answer calls. I want to spend some time introducing the person that probably answered your last HCSS support call, and maybe you’ll have something in common to talk about the next time she is on the other line.
Maleeha Ali was born in Saudi Arabia, and at six months old, Maleeha and her family emigrated to the United States. Maleeha’s father graduated from the University of Houston and took a job as a programmer for one of the largest oil and gas companies worldwide. She observed her dad intently, as a child, and she developed a sense of what it would take to be successful in a world where you are the minority. “He would go to work early, come home late, and at times he would continue to work from home to finish the job. To be the best, sometimes you have to make sacrifices,” says Maleeha.
Maleeha’s dad taught her that in order to achieve the American Dream, as an immigrant, you have to work twice as hard. He taught her that she should stand out as the best employee, and the rewards will reveal themselves later in life. He also taught her to have the highest amount of respect for her teachers because continued education and knowledge hold the key to success. She followed in his footsteps at the University of Houston, and she graduated with a degree in Management Information Systems.
At HCSS, she thrives. Her work ethic and constant drive to learn allows her to be the best person for the job every time a support call comes through. As one of four women in our support department, and the only female team lead, she is paving the way for women in HCSS support. It was not easy at first, knowing that there had not been a female in support for the past 4 years. “When I first began answering calls, I had a fear that people weren’t going to want to listen to me because I was a girl. I thought they would think I was a secretary, and many did at first. When I was asked to transfer to support, I would respond, “I am support.” It is one of my motivations to provide the best service they have experienced. Our clients are great, and I quickly gained that confidence.” As a support analyst, she has the heart of a teacher, maintains positive intent with every interaction, and she can stand toe-to-toe with anyone with regards to knowledge, humor, and professionalism.
To this day, she remains involved in recruiting and mentoring graduating seniors from her alma mater, the University of Houston’s college of Management Information Systems. This effort has led to some of our best new support analysts.
I asked her what she thought it would take for a new support analyst to be successful in this department. Maleeha responded, “It is easy to immerse yourself into the construction industry at HCSS. There are many opportunities to engage and learn from our customers. Seize those opportunities. The difference between HCSS support and others is that we are consultants rather than just problem solvers. Each of our customers may use the software differently, and our job is to understand their needs and help them make the program work for them. When we troubleshoot, we listen to the symptoms, and look deeper for the root cause of the problem before we consider it solved.”
“I love what I do – I get to help our customers with their problems and help new techs be the best that they can be,” says Maleeha. “I have a passion for teaching, mentoring, and managing. In support, I am the only girl in leadership, and I am taking the highest number of calls right now because I want to be the best. Maybe we should hire more girls.”
To sum up Maleeha’s advice to prospective support hires and new techs:
- Assume positive intent
- Be confident in your ability, and seek opportunities to grow your knowledge
- Do not be shy/ Do not be afraid to speak out
- Be willing to learn
- Leave room for improvement
- Ask good questions
- Love what you do or do something else