NovAtel's Annual Journal of GNSS Technology Solutions and Innovation

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customer service Ò Everybody from shipping people to repair people to accounts payable and receivable people— anybody in Kara Maron, senior application engineer, began at NovAtel as a true generalist but now focuses on agriculture. NovAtel's agriculture solutions support auto-steer and guidance applications for planting, harvesting, and spraying. "Many of those customers are integrators and are engineers like us, but there are also those who come from an agricultural background and have very limited knowledge of our GNSS technology or how it can be used," she says. "Our customers range from new users to PhD researchers from NASA; so, the degree of technical content needs to be  customized to each person's level of understanding," says senior applications engineer Adley Eng. this company who touches a customer carries that responsibility for strong Ó customer support. —Bruce Cody, Customer Support manager at NovAtel 50 velocity 2013 customer support makes Better Products Providing NovAtel product managers with customer feedback is another important role for Customer Support "to address market requirements from the customer's perspective," says Eng, adding that Customer Support also trains sales representatives and is often involved with repair issues. Maron says that adaptability is a critical quality for effective customer support. Remedies can range from providing the customer with a page from the user manual to consulting directly with a customer's hardware or software engineers to visiting customers at their site. Another senior application engineer in Customer Support, Andrew Levson, says that Cus- tomer Support staff often must replicate customers' issues at their desks or outside of the office, using NovAtel's own GNSS network to resolve them. Site visits add greatly to the staff's knowledge base, Cody believes. "What they gain in the field helps them become experts in our technologies and their application in real-life environments," he says. The investment of resources in the customer support enrich the culture and operations of the company. Most staffers who leave the group do so because career-building opportunities arise elsewhere within the company. "Customer Support is great for career development," says Cody. "It provides our people with the necessary knowledge and skills to expand their career into product development, sales or marketing roles should they chose." Sheena Dixon, product manager for NovAtel's SPAN® product line since September 2012 worked for more than four years in Customer Support. Dixon credits her Customer Support experience for helping to equip her with valuable knowledge for her current responsibilities in product management. "Being in customer support gives you the opportunity to talk to end users about how they're using your technology inside their systems," said Dixon. "It really helps educate as to what customers need in an applications system and provides an excellent perspective of how to build a better system." For more Solutions visit http:/ /

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