When Workhorse customers get stuck with the software — or realise it can do so much more for them than they’d originally expected — Dan Buddle is their first point of contact.
But if the title ‘Support Analyst’ conjures up images of the IT Crowd, that’s not what you’ll get from Dan. Much like the company’s founder, Alastair, Dan started in humanities studying English language and linguistics at university, so he’s got communication skills a-plenty! He then found his way to tech through the healthcare industry.
Pretty soon his job included providing tech support in healthcare settings — something he quickly learned he loved. So when he saw that Workhorse was looking for a Support Analyst to join the team one and a half years ago, he jumped at the opportunity. Drawn in by the chance to provide support to customers, Dan was excited about working at a small startup with tremendous growth potential — and he still is today.
Who you gonna call?
As a Support Analyst, Dan’s there (by phone and email) to assist customers with questions and requests. When he gets a support query, the first thing he does is “triage the request” which includes troubleshooting anything simple and passing anything more complex along to the developers. “I act like a bridge between the customer and the development team.”
But instead of being busy with customer issues, Dan’s typical day is quite the opposite. Rather than getting in touch with software gripes, many Workhorse customers reach out to add to their platform. This “extension work” is what Dan finds himself doing, most of the time.
“A lot of our customers start on spreadsheets and try to maintain their orders that way, and they come to Workhorse because they need a more robust solution. After they’ve been onboarded with the software, it opens them up to realise there are other parts of their process they can improve.”
It’s then Dan’s job to figure out how Workhorse can adapt to and enhance the customer’s workflow.
“What I’m normally doing is trying to analyse what the customer is looking to achieve and then advising them how best to achieve that within Workhorse. I guess I become a trusted advisor to them to guide them through that process.”
Sometimes people reach out for help making an existing process within Workhorse more straightforward, and sometimes they’re looking to integrate all new functionality and features into their configuration of the platform. Either way, Workhorse can easily adapt to a customer’s changing needs.
Simple tools, powerful capabilities, dedicated team
Dan sees another recurring theme within Workhorse’s customer base: by using Workhorse, companies can spend less time fiddling about with outdated or overcomplicated order and inventory management methods. The time they save can then be put into making sales and growing the business.
“We work with a company that sells pallets of crisps. And we’ve recently added a function that allows them to process hundreds of orders a day.” This magical new feature? It’s just a tick box, but it makes all the difference. “They can tick a box and pull all the orders they have into a bulk dispatch and create a bulk invoice. Before they had to manually process invoices — and they could only do about a dozen per day.”
It’s this kind of smart innovation that’s core to Workhorse’s mission. From Dan’s perspective, Workhorse is all about allowing SMBs to increase their capacity, offer a wider range of products, or win back previously wasted time. And Dan, along with the rest of the Workhorse team, hopes he can partner with customers along that journey of expansion. He wants people to know that Workhorse isn’t just a software tool, it’s a community of like-minded advisors and collaborators, who are on-side to help you achieve your goals.
Supporting SMBs, one “super user” at a time
Helping customers get comfortable with Workhorse is one of Dan’s favourite parts of the job — that, and making sure his clients unlock the product’s ultimate potential. For those less technically inclined customers, Workhorse meets them where they’re at. Dan and the rest of the team won’t bog you down in jargon-heavy details about the backend code of the platform (that’s not the language Dan speaks!). And when talking through an issue isn’t enough, things like bullet-point lists, screenshots, and screen recordings all help Workhorse provide support.
“One of the most important tasks we have at Workhorse is customer onboarding. We try to take the processes customers currently have and adapt them into Workhorse.”
To help SMBs adopt the platform, Dan and the team encourage each of Workhorse’s customers to nominate a “super user” — someone who can go through the onboarding process and learn the ins and outs. Then, they can go back to their business and show the rest of their organisation the ropes.
“You’re not just a number.”
Dan’s role will shift slightly away from pure support and towards customer success as Workhorse grows. He hopes to guide users through the customer journey from start to finish. Just like Workhorse’s founder Alastair and Rachael in Business Development prioritise a welcoming environment for new customers, Dan wants customers to know they’ve always got someone to turn to.
“You’re not just a number. You’re not just passed off and never thought of again. There’s always someone you can speak to.”
In fact, most customers emailing in for support start their messages with, “Hi, Dan,…” because they know he’ll be the one to read them first.
This small-team, peer-to-peer approach is one of the things Dan likes most about being a part of Workhorse — and it’s certainly a refreshing change versus many other business ops software tools. And as the company grows, he hopes that reliability keeps shining through. “Workhorse is already used across so many different sectors, from furniture to farming. So I hope we keep growing in those industries.”
And much like Workhorse has already seen, Dan expects the customers to play a key part of their upward trajectory. One of the most rewarding parts of his job is seeing people he’s helped become advocates for Workhorse. “They go to their friends and family and professional associates and say, ‘This is a software we use, and it’s really good.’ And hopefully, we’ll earn a good reputation not just for our software, but for our team and our reliability.”