Customer-Initiated Improvements Help to Decrease Resolution Times and Case Backlog
Product support is the service that customers of technology companies use the most. So improving that service should be every company’s number one goal. It is at Symantec. This case study explains how the Symantec Storage and Availability Management Group is using customer surveys to make significant and quantifiable changes in its support—and products—that improve the overall customer experience.
“The buck stops here.” That well-known phrase used by U.S. presidents since Harry Truman also applies to technical support managers when it comes to addressing customer comments. “As in all technology companies,” said a Support Manager for the Symantec Storage and Availability Management Group (SAMG), “support perennially ranks as the number one issue with customers. Resolving complaints falls on people with my job title. Fortunately, I like challenges, and I’m part of a team that includes the best people in the business who are skilled at finding creative solutions that, once implemented, improve our customers’ experience with our products.”
Customers Tell Engineers What to Fix
Recent customer feedback showed that they would like to see improvement in two areas: product quality and technical support. “Product quality is a broad topic,” continued the Support Manager. “To find out our customers’ specific complaints, we analyzed 1,300 support cases and discovered they fell into four distinct categories: disk management, volume management, installation and configuration, and upgrades. Armed with this information, our Engineering Team went to work.”
The engineers are considering a number of high-level product improvements that SAMG will make available this summer. “In Q3 of the last fiscal year, we released Storage Foundation 6.0,” explained the Support Manager. “It was our biggest version to date. This summer we will release our first service pack for 6.0, and it should include the enhancements our engineers made to address the four issues with product quality.”
SAMG Speeds Up Case Resolution Times
SAMG took the same approach to customers’ second major issue, technical support. “Again, we had to narrow our focus,” the Support Manager said, “so we created a cross-functional team of people from support, product management and engineering to look into the customer feedback. Two big categories emerged: improving case resolution times and decreasing our backlog of cases. The cross-functional team designed and deployed efficiencies that improved support processes and helped address both points. In addition, we improved our knowledge-base articles and other support documents so customers can find the answers they need without calling support. Both of these initiatives have helped to reduce the average resolution time from 15 to 13 days and our average backlog age from 30 to 23 days. Those are significant accomplishments, but we see them as just a good start.”
Customers Notice the Changes
SAMG customers are noticing the improvements. “In feedback over the past year,” said the Support Manager, “we have seen a 31 percent increase in favorable ratings for our SAMG products. Identifying and resolving support issues is not easy, but by canvassing a global cross section of our customers, we are able to gather the information we need to improve our products and, in turn, the customer experience.”
Tell Us What You Think
Symantec puts customers first every day across every area of our company, products and services. If you receive a customer experience survey from us, we encourage you to provide your insights, experiences, preferences and priorities. We read every survey and take action on your feedback, so you can receive the best possible experience, value and business results from our products and services.