Tales of the unexpected
Why it’s good to expect the unexpected
The most obvious choice isn’t always the best

“I still remember my final interview and hearing the panel say, ‘we like what we see, we want to take a chance” recalls Helio Flores Santos, a team leader in our customer support department. Taking that chance proved to be a wise move, as two years on, Helio and his unique skills and knowledge have been vital in helping many of our customers.

With degrees in veterinary surgery and robotics as well as an MSC in advanced engineering design, he wasn’t the most obvious candidate for a job helping business users with software support issues. But then sometimes, the most essential skills and the most rewarding customer experiences require a little thinking outside of the box – something we pride ourselves on doing at Reckon UK.

“I was raised under the ethos of try everything in life, and learn everything in life” continues Helio, “as there is no knowledge that is useless”. It’s this approach that has allowed Helio to apply his analytical mind to a range of professions. Helio likens the software support team to computer A&E. “As a team leader, the calls you get are never easy, in those fractions of a second when the call is being transferred it’s pure adrenalin. Machines may be going wrong, data might be at risk and ultimately, if we don’t resolve the issue, we might lose that customer”. For Helio, while the context might change, the basic principles remain the same: record the symptoms, make an informed assessment of the cause and quickly administer an appropriate solution.

What makes Helio such an important asset to the Reckon UK customer support team is the recognition that his analytical thinking and communication skills are just as important – if not more so – as industry or technical knowledge (which he was able to learn and apply once in post). As a consequence, what we learnt as a business when we hired Helio, is that the obvious skills aren’t always the most valuable – or the ones that lead to the best customer experiences.

This idea that the most obvious route doesn’t always make for the most valuable resolution, is something we apply when developing our solutions too. It’s part of our culture for moonshot thinking, which helps us to exceed our customers’ expectations. Smaller, faster and more responsive developers like us can listen to our customer’s wants and needs and deliver back a solution that is easier and more intuitive to use, while our juggernaut competitors are still working through their complex planning and release cycles.

The days of well-known brands dominating software are being disrupted by a number of new challengers. Once upon a time in the software business, big companies outperformed the small. But with speed being the new currency of technology, the fast company outperforms the slow. As many (but not all) of our customers are smaller businesses, they expect us to work to their pace of change. That is why it’s so important to us that every customer experience we deliver is responsive and simple: whether it’s creating an interface for Reckon One that’s easy to use, or having a support consultant who can quickly assess and resolve customer issues.

And to create those outstanding customer experiences, sometimes you need a former veterinary surgeon with an MSC in advanced engineering on your team.