This time last year we posted a blog about our approach to supporting our FLOW partners. For FLOW technical support we use a portal, where interactive support happens, not only between our partners and us but also between partners.
This allows for support to be carried out in an open, organised way, meaning no more hidden e-mail chains where valuable information is tucked away or ad-hoc Skype conversations, which can lead to confusion and misunderstandings. Our dedicated support team monitors the portal for activity, leading to faster more effective responses.
At the current time this portal is only available in English and thus it is difficult to access for some partners. We provide support in multiple languages but not being able to log an issue is a barrier to interaction. With this in mind we wanted to provide an easy way to begin and carry out a discussion beyond having to interact with the portal. To achieve this we set up a generic support e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, where partners can send questions and suggestions. This will then automatically be forwarded into the portal, to gain the benefits described above, but with the partner only interacting via e-mail.
We’ll continue to enhance support wherever possible. In the meantime, we hope this improves the support we can provide across multiple languages.
Henry Jewell is executive director of Akvo Foundation USA and programme manager for Akvo FLOW.