Before embarking on a career in software, Shawn McGillivray thought he’d be a recording engineer for a music label. Shawn comes from a family in which everyone plays an instrument. As a child, his family moved to an area with a much colder climate. In his old neighborhood, he’d walk outside and play street hockey with friends.
A Love for Music
Now, it was too cold to go outside. So when a family member put a guitar in his hand, he spent hours upon hours in the house, learning how to play it. Then he couldn’t stop playing. He loved music so much that he became interested in production and recording.
Shawn was the first employee at a recording and rehearsal studio, where he trained under a recording engineer. Shawn did recording and acoustics at several outdoor concerts. Soon after, he caught the software bug.
A Love for Software
While he continues to play the guitar, Shawn developed a love for technology. Case in point, his favorite website is Slashdot. Shawn is passionate about open source software and has dabbled in: Linux (operating system), GIMP (image editor) and Pidgin (chat client). In a previous job, he built a VoIP system using Asterisk.
When Shawn came across a job opening at DNN Corp., he was heartened to learn about the DNN Platform open source CMS.
DNN Team and Office Environment
Shawn is based in our Langley, British Columbia office, which houses Support and Engineering team members. In Langley, the four walls of our space are the only walls there, aside from the kitchen and a few conference rooms.
Pictured: Shawn at his desk. If he needs help from Engineering, he simply glances to his right.
In other words, we have rows of desks and open space. That makes it quite convenient for a support analyst, who may need to confer with colleagues when troubleshooting a customer issue. "Figuratively and literally, there are no walls in the office. When I’m working a customer issue, I can look across my desk and call on Tier 2 or Tier 3 support, as well as Engineering," said Shawn.
Approach to Customer Support
When I sat down with Shawn, I was really struck a comment he made about customer support: "Sometimes people see a problem to be fixed, rather than a person to be helped."
When a customer calls into DNN Support, that customer has an issue that needs to be addressed. Shawn treats each call as if a close friend was calling for help. He's there to help his friend and see the issue through to resolution. It’s not just a problem to be solved, but a person to be helped.
Pictured: Shawn presenting an idea during a team exercise.
"I want them to feel better after they called than before they called," said Shawn. While technical skills can be learned, Shawn believes that the core attribute of a support analyst is customer empathy. According to Shawn, "We ought to learn first to put ourselves in our customers' shoes, and then gain knowledge of our company's products and services."
A Tricky Support Issue
Shawn was one faced with a tricky support issue. An old version of Evoq had been packaged with other products and sold under a different name. The customer had DNN's Support number, but wasn’t sure if they were using our product.
Shawn spent a few hours peeling back the layers of the onion, to get to the bottom of the software packaging situation. He determined that the issue was with another software package and looked up the contact information for the right vendor.
The caller, a web developer at a local school board, thanked Shawn for troubleshooting the issue and finding the right company to call. She hung up with Shawn far happier than when she called.
Here are two photos of the DNN Langley team.
Job Openings at DNN
Interested in joining the DNN team? Have a look at our job openings.