As part of our efforts to provide exceptional service to our customers, we wrote up what we've seen and done in 2017 as a retrospective.
Redesigned Support Pages
We have redesigned our support information page. Here, you can now meet some of the support team and drill down to meeting the full team that you might directly interact with on a regular basis; you can also get a quick glance of the current Lithium status page and access other resources that might be of use.
We have relaunched the Case Portal to provide additional functionality for those reporting cases or needing to escalate them. Although access is limited to designated contacts, we're looking forward to continuing to improve this functionality and encourage those with access to use the Case Portal. We think it’s much more effective than emailing into support, and we hope you agree too! Check out the Using the Lithium Community Case Portal TKB.
Listened to Suggestions In 2017, we heard suggestions for ways to improve our support organization. We've taken many of these to heart and wanted to share with you some actions we’ve taken:
You weren’t happy with cases taking too long for initial response & the initial response not being actionable. So we:
Nearly tripled the size of our front-line technical support staff from 7 to 18. This team has been ramping up month over month.
Implemented a policy that the first response should be sent only when we're actively working an issue and/or you, the customer, can take an action on it.
Reduced initial response times, dropping them from 20+ hours to under 6 hours on average.
You were unsure on how to escalate cases effectively. So we:
Implemented the ability for your designated contacts to escalate cases via the Case Portal.
You weren’t always able to locate information on the Lithium Community. So we:
Added a Support Knowledge Management team that will be creating content including videos (see our first examples) as well as grooming existing content to surface relevant, bite-sized information that's usable for you. This team is led by @OrenR, our Support Operations leader, with @MicahM and @Nora- so keep an eye out!
Are aligning our information architecture with our Professional Services best practices around multi-product communities, led by @AndyK, our Community Manager.
You felt we didn’t care about you as a customer. So we:
Partnered with TSIA to provide better training for our teams and are now a Certified Support Staff Excellence Center. This will be continued and expanded in 2018 for all new hires as well.
Focused on improving quality across the organization with an emphasis on the customer. Our regional Technical Support leaders, @NoamanA (EMEA & APAC) and @RonS (AMER) have this as part of their primary goals on a quarterly basis.
Expanded our Premium Support Team from 6 to 10, and @BradR, our Premium Support leader, built a new offering for those that want more dedicated Technical Account Manager time.
This is just a small list of improvements we've been making and will continue to make. We listen to every single comment that comes in via our case close surveys as well as the broader relationship surveys, so if you ever receive one, please take the time to fill it in!
Areas to Continue to Improve Upon
There's no doubt that we have areas that we should continue to improve on; my personal commitment is that we will keep doing our best to do so. Some areas we acknowledge and are working on solutions for include:
Our overall technical expertise
With many new staff members, there's certainly concern about technical expertise. We are working on continuing improvements around this, but experience with our platform takes time that cannot be rushed (as you all know!). Our teams are working on a training bootcamp to help reduce new staff ramp up time and strengthen existing staff proficiency, but it is a work in progress. Included in this effort is a quality improvement program ensuring that our team truly reads and understands the issue initially so that you don't have to repeat yourself.
Backlog of cases
Our backlog has been reduced, but is certainly not gone! We are working through this as best as possible and are sustaining the focus on this.
We are working on plans to continue to reduce the bug backlog as well. This has just as large of an impact on your business as not receiving answers from our analyst team.
Stronger communication around outages
We've made some internal process changes, but still have some ways to go on this, so this remains an area that requires improvement. If you have not already done so, please make sure to subscribe to updates on our status page. This is where we try to keep all broad level outages updated in as real time as possible.
@JonathanCu, our Customer Operations & Escalated Support leader, is working on a first iteration of a fully proactive outage team and we will identify options for doing so over the next year.
All improvements mentioned above
Though we’ve improved in 2017, but we do not believe that we're done improving. Throughout the next year, we commit to continuing to improve your experience with our support team as well as providing more information for your use on the Community. With our new products, we are also reviewing the right time to ramp up appropriate teams to support them rather than simply absorbing within existing staff.
Listened to Recommendations
As you can tell, we acknowledge that we have our flaws, but we also have an amazing team that's 100% dedicated and focused on making your experience the best that it can possibly be. The same surveys and conversations we've had over 2017 that provided us with suggestions, also gave us a lot of awesome, positive insight and we appreciate that as well! We've been able to reward and promote team members, and your input has been a part in doing so.
We appreciate your continued business and partnership. Here's looking to a great 2018!
Director, Global Support
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