Kim Williamson is a senior technical support analyst for SMC³, and in that role, she provides shipper, carrier and 3PL customers with thoughtful, efficient help on a daily basis. Williamson has been serving in a support role at the over-the-road technology solutions company for over four years. During this time, Williamson has benefitted from the wealth of institutional experience that pervades the company, passing this expertise along to her customers.
She recently sat down to chat about her role at SMC³, how she has helped customers overcome challenges, and her involvement with reliable, innovative solutions like the RFP tool Bid$ense®.
What’s your area of expertise at SMC³, and why do you like working in that area?
Being a member of the technical support team requires an analyst to become proficient in most (if not all) SMC³ products. I particularly enjoy working in this department because I appreciate the balance between the daily challenges and unique customer interactions. Prior to working at SMC³, I worked several customer service and technical helpdesk positions.
The support position at SMC³ allows me to make use of the technical knowledge I’ve cultivated, but also allows me to interact with customers in a way that is effective yet friendly and engaging.
What sort of problems do you solve for customers?
Our work load in technical support fluctuates daily based on internal and external needs. As the first line of support, the team and I provide insight into our products by conducting detailed product presentations to customers. The team works with sales and other departments to address any challenge or customer request during business hours, and after hours, at least one of us is always on call. For example, at any given time, there could be a Bid$ense event that we are spearheading or a need for us to perform internal product testing for another department. There’s never a dull moment, and we always available to help our customers, even outside of standard business hours.
How important is the human aspect of technical support?
People want quick and accurate help when calling for support. In such a technology-driven industry, much of the communication you’ll find is automated and impersonal. The reassurance that comes from working directly with another individual is something I don’t believe can be replaced. Providing this level of service helps to bridge the gap between technical and customer support while also assisting in bolstering healthy customer relationships.
Customers are intrigued by the Bid$ense data-cleansing process. How do you help shippers make sure their bid data is accurate and clean?
The data cleanse is an integral part of conducting a successful freight transportation RFP. While the newer Bid$ense LTL and TL applications are self-service, the legacy platform requires many more data checks and balances.
We provide detailed documentation at the start of the freight transportation sourcing event to assist shippers in accurately framing the data for the cleanse process and bid. We combine a manual review and the use of internal tools to pinpoint possible data anomalies that may skew bid results or negatively impact a customer’s analysis. We also always conduct test bids to illustrate different options to a shipper or 3PL so they see firsthand how their data will be presented to carriers prior to a bid’s launch.
Do you have any on-the-job stories that illustrate how you’ve helped customers overcome challenges?
At the tail end of my first year with the company, a 3PL decided to launch a bid on a busy holiday weekend. Early on in the day, it was discovered that there was an issue with the bid environment that had the potential to greatly delay the entire RFP. With team collaboration, we put a new bid environment up. This allowed the customer to continue without interruption to their already tight timeline.
It was very satisfying to see how company teamwork and quick action helped lighten a customer’s workload and alleviate their worries. Hearing the customer say “you really saved us there” or “we couldn’t have done it without you” may not seem like much, but to me, it just serves to reinforce the need for what we do.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun?
When I’m not at work, I enjoy planning trips and traveling with friends and family. I like to relax by taking walks and playing with my two dogs (a six-year-old German Rottweiler named Bella and a seven-year-old pitbull/boxer mix named Amber). I also really enjoy going to cultural festivals, reading and playing videogames.
The technical and customer support teams are the main touch points for clients that need help optimizing their freight transportation operations. Strong customer interactions have fueled SMC³’s commitment as a key industry partner at every point during its 85-year history.