At OxTS, our commitment to our customers continues long after we’ve delivered your high precision GNSS receivers and world-class inertial navigation solutions, to enable you to accurately measure position, orientation and dynamics in all environments. We have a team of highly educated and experienced support colleagues on hand to ensure that our customers get the very best from their OxTS solutions. Rhianna Ganly-Thomas, one of our Support Engineers shares a ‘day in her life’:
1. What does a ‘normal’ working day look like for you?
There’s actually a lot of variety in my day-to-day work. Primarily it’s a matter of finding answers for customers, to support their projects – but there is a lot of scope for what this entails since our products are used in such a wide range of applications. We’re not just getting questions like “Help, something’s gone wrong, what do I do?” There are also questions like “Is it possible to use OxTS products for this specific test and how?”, or “How do I optimise the set-up for this particular application?”
If a customer has a basic enquiry, it might just be a matter of looking up an answer. When a customer has a more complex question I might be doing some more in-depth research and/or processing and analysing datasets that customers have collected. Sometimes, in order to try and replicate a customer’s issue I will put a unit in one of our test vehicles and drive it around the airfield.
Another one of my ‘typical’ activities is that I am responsible for writing support guides which we upload to the Support Site to enable customers to find helpful information for themselves. I pick the topics of my support guides based on popular customer enquiries.
2. You provide support to customers in a number of ways – from telephone queries, through to delivering face-to-face training demonstrations. What do you find helps customers most?
Again, this is something that really depends on the customer’s needs at the time. Customers tend to find it helpful to call us in situations where either they need fairly urgent support, due to maybe being out testing when they find issues, or if they need step-by-step guidance with something.
I answer many questions that come in by email, which is particularly useful when we need to analyse datasets to resolve a customer’s more complex issues. To enable customers to get on with other tasks while I work through their answer, I phone or email customers back once I’ve processed their RD files, as this can take a while. Email also allows me to give a more in-depth explanation of the issue, possibly providing diagrams or links to guides on our support site. Some questions can be tricky to answer in a way that makes sense to the customer without using a visual aid of some sort.
Some people may assume that our support team is entirely office-based, but in my role, I also provide face-to-face support. This includes things like site visits to help with specific test set-ups, as well as product training and demonstrations. This can be very helpful for the customer as they can get continued guidance through each step of the process, and if there’s something they’re unsure about, they have someone on hand to answer questions and solve issues. Being there in person means the customer has that immediate access to help, plus it can be easier to solve any problems that come up if you can see the full set-up, and have been there throughout the process. Site visits enable me to fully appreciate a customer’s challenges and I’m building up a comprehensive knowledge across a wide variety of applications, that allows me to provide the best possible standard of engineering support to all customers.
3. What’s been your most interesting face-to-face demonstration so far, during your time at OxTS?
I went to Poland in December 2019 to provide product training on the RT-Range. I found it rewarding to give the Polish engineers a much clearer understanding of how to best set-up, warm-up and test using OxTS products. I enjoyed a little downtime walking through Kraków, and I have vivid memories of demonstrating the use of the Survey Trolley in the rain! (This is not something we recommend to our customers).
I’m looking forward to a site visit in Sweden, travelling with another of our Support Engineers and a Product Manager. However, this trip is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 situation, as we clearly don’t wish to put ourselves or anyone else at risk through non-essential travel.
4. How long have you been at OxTS, and have you seen many changes during your time here?
I’ve been at OxTS since last April, so very nearly a year now. I have already seen quite a few changes in my time here, with a lot of expansion of the various teams. I was probably only the newest person here for about a week. We’re still growing, and just last week we welcomed our latest new starter in the Support team.
In addition to our UK-based support team, we’ve expanded the team to also offer locally-based support in the US and also China. I’ve met my international colleagues on a number of occasions, when they’ve visited the UK offices for training and it’s always good to share best-practice.
One of the biggest changes I’ve seen, in addition to team expansion, is the constant evolution of our product line; the RT3000 v3 was introduced in September last year, and so naturally we’ve started to receive more enquiries about this, and the other v3 products, such as the xNAV.
5. What advice might you give to customers contacting your Support team?
It’s useful if a customer provides as much information as possible when they first contact us. Providing the product type and serial number allows us to look up details in our product records which may help to answer their questions more quickly. Sometimes it can be helpful if customers can let us know of anything they have already done to try and resolve the issue, so that we don’t duplicate tests unnecessarily. Our customers vary widely in experience, from early-career test engineers to seasoned veterans of our products. Often customers will be facing quite complex issues and so we make no assumptions as to what tests may or may not have been carried out already. We appreciate that our customers are all different and so we tailor answers to fit their needs.