ASM Helpdesk Q&A
The ASM Helpdesk team has been working from home since the Covid-19 pandemic, successfully continuing to provide round-the-clock service to customers.
“The Coronavirus crisis has presented us with some challenges but we have worked hard to follow government guidelines and protect staff so that we continue to provide our users with the same unrivalled business and technical support round-the-clock,” said Keith Brooks, ASM Helpdesk Manager.
“Queries now arrive by email and we have asked that users include as much detail as possible in the message, enabling us to deploy specific resource to resolve issues promptly.
“The key goal for us is to ensure that the user experience is ‘business as usual’ and that seems to be happening. We still have the same tools available allowing connectivity with user systems to quickly resolve issues.
“We are using Microsoft Teams, video and audio to communicate and collaborate with colleagues remotely and this really helps to keep us connected and engaged."
Other team members have also given an insight below into the challenges they have faced over the last six weeks during the Covid-19 pandemic, including how they have adapted their roles.
What do you most enjoy about your support role at ASM?
Brian Pooley: It comprises a couple of my favourite things - helping people and obtaining new skills.
Joe Mundy: I get most enjoyment from being able to assist our users and customers with technical or Customs queries and by doing this, help keep their freight moving.
How has it been doing your role from home during Covid-19 pandemic?
Brian Pooley: Fine – I have no kids so I’m treating it like rehab or like a shortened version of 7 Years in Tibet.
Joe Mundy: Working from home has definitely been different, but a pleasant experience so far. I have the luxury of my own office set up, far from distractions of the rest of the home, so that has been favourable. We check in with colleagues regularly and meet via conference call on a daily basis, so everyone is always up to date.
How have you adapted to the different working environment and have there been any particular challenges working at home?
Brian Pooley: I enjoy it. First of all I’m safe and now I’ve figured how to use Microsoft Teams, so inter-company communication is no problem. I also have zero distractions which helps.
Joe Mundy: I feel that I have adapted well to working in new surroundings without the benefits of colleagues on hand. Other than having to make my own cup of tea in the morning! The set-up that the company has in place means that the level of support we offer continues to stay up at the same level.
Have there been any changes in the type of enquiries you are dealing with?
Brian Pooley: API enquiries were increasing anyway so I’m dealing with more of those. Sequoia integrates seamlessly with lots of other software and systems and our users are recognising that integration and real-time data exchange can massively improve productivity, compliance and of course profitability. It’s the future, especially with Brexit and CDS ahead of us.
Joe Mundy: We did find that some of the enquiries that came in towards the start of the Covid-19 lockdown period were geared towards setting up clients with home access to Sequoia, for users working at home on laptops and home PC’s. Whereas now, business seems to be getting back to normal and enquiries are of the same technical and Customs areas we would normally see.
What feedback have you had from ASM's customers?
Feonna Collins: Many customers are working from home and do not have their colleagues alongside to support them but they know they can contact ASM. We are always here to give them the support they need on the software or guidance when they need to contact HMRC. I have received many appreciative comments from customers during this time.
Brian Pooley: Positive! Many are working from home as well so there is a communal Stay Safe mentality.
Joe Mundy: The feedback has not really changed since we have been in lockdown, it’s still really positive. We are assisting customers from home and they are reporting that they find comfort in the fact they can rely on our continued high level of support.