A Conversation with Client Services
One of our guests in the latest webinar was Dave from the Client Services (CS) team. We chatted with him in the hopes to get to know him, his role, and how he helps our customers succeed on a day-to-day basis. Don’t worry if you missed it, we recorded the whole conversation with Dave and other CS team members for you!
This blog post is part three of a three-part re-cap of our latest webinar! Check out the rest of the series:
Anyone Can Farm, Here's How!
A conversation with Carla Pantuosco, Head of Client Services
Become a Container Farmer in 2 Days
A conversation with Julia Pope, Head of Farmer Education
(Currently Reading) When the Growing Gets Tough, Call Dave
A conversation with Dave Harris, Lead Product Support Specialist
Also, check out our bonus questions, which are exclusively answered in this blog post!
We talked with Dave about the support experience that farmers can expect from the Client Services team.
To start, we used a common issue–a farm running too hot–as an example.
Dave recommended visiting the Help Center as a first defense, saying that this is the first place that customers can start. And it’s not because we don’t want them to come to us! Most of the time, the farmer is the expert in their own hydroponic system, so it’s easier for them to look into the issue than to contact us and walk us through everything before we can start helping them resolve the issue.
However, if the issue is more complicated, or the first round of self-help doesn’t work, Dave warmly encouraged everyone to call the help line, or email our support team directly. From there, Dave, or another tech support specialist, will work backwards from the issue, helping you get back to farming in no time.
Another great way Client Services can support farmers is with the use of farmhand®. With a user’s permission, Dave can remotely access your farmhand® account, which aggregates all kinds of useful data about your hydroponic operation from your farm equipment and farm sensors. By looking at the relationships between sensor data and equipment data, Dave can extrapolate what is going on and help troubleshoot more accurately.
Let's go back to our example!
So, what to do when your farm is too hot?
Do the initial research. A farmer can search “Farm too hot” in the Help Center, and instantly find a very useful article with the same name. The article runs through the usual problems that might be causing the temperature issue and ways to troubleshoot.
If that doesn't work, call or email Dave.
Dave could look at the data in your farmhand® account to see what's going on. If he sees that the temperature was going up while the cooling system in the farm was working, this would mean that the cooling system was not functioning properly.
FF: How do farmers maintain the farm?
Dave: The farm pretty much does everything by itself. Each farm has a controller that acts as the farm’s “brain”. The farmer can program the controller with the desired environmental settings and the controller will manage everything for you. Basically, as long as the farm is working properly, everything will run on its own. Otherwise, there are some basic maintenance tasks. The most common one is cleaning the farm (usually once a week). On more rare occasions you would have to clean irrigation lines, or scrub the walls, but the maintenance is generally minimal.
FF: How does the farm run in cold climates?
Dave: Check out the blog post, The Secret to Farming in Harsh Climates!
FF: How do farmers get supplies, and do they have to buy them from Freight Farms?
Dave: We sell everything you would need to run your farm on our farmhand® Shop, as well as add-ons and modifications for the farm. You can absolutely buy supplies elsewhere, but we believe that farmhand® Shop is the most convenient place to find everything for your LGM.
FF: How much electricity does the LGM need?
Dave: Each farm uses an average of 125 kWh a day. This is an average for the year, so there can be variation based on the outside temperature. The lights, A/C, and dehumidifier are going to be the largest power users in the farm.
You asked: What are the most common questions that farmers reach out about?
Dave: Our most common questions are about transplanting seedlings, preventing dripping towers, and problems with sensor calibration. All of which we’re very equipped to answer!
You asked: Do you provide guidelines or suggestions for crop selection?
Dave: We do! Check out our crop guide to get started. We’ll also send all new farmers seeds for two of our top performing lettuces in the Starter Supply Kit.
You asked: What is the ratio of output to waste?
Dave: 95% of a typical LGM harvest is marketable yield. That equates to a 19:1 output to waste ratio.
You asked: Are LGMs compatible with solar panels?
Dave: They are! Solar panels can be retrofitted onto an LGM once you purchase.
You asked: Can I get locked in the farm?!
Dave: Nope! The farm door is specially designed with a padlock-proof safety door. That means that even if the door is locked from the outside, you can get the door open if you're inside the farm.