• What was the context in which you provided excellent customer service?
We were performing a take on process for a new customer, but there was a twist in the engagement.
• What was the twist?
Due to security policy the customer did not allow VPN access to the site, so much of our take on process could not be performed in the normal way.
• What made it different from the normal process?
Well, we have a very well written and clear take-on process, and I suppose the good customer service started in the pre-sales stage when the customer was given great confidence and reassurance that we knew what we were doing which was provided by such a well-thought-out and clear document. However, as much of the process relies on us having technical access to the environment, this process could not be delivered in the normal way – remotely.
• So how did you work around that?
I attended the customer site and spoke to the technical resources with whom we will be supporting the environment and noted down as much about the system as possible and also got a feel for the known problems and risks of the environment. This was a potentially risky approach as there was a danger that the technical resources and service delivery manager might not have confidence that we were familiar enough with the environment after only one visit –remember that we were not able to log on to the environment and have a look around after leaving the customer site, so really, we had two challenges:
– Getting as much information about the environment as possible
– Making the customer feel reassured that we had the confidence and knowledge to support the environment to a competent degree
• How did you feel the customer responded to your actions to achieve the above?
Obviously a lot of effort was put into getting feedback from the customer that they were happy with our performance, so the attentiveness not only to the factual collection of data but also to the emotional reaction of the team was important.
In the end, the customer came away with a feeling of confidence and clarity that we not only had the ability, technically, to support their particular environment, but that we also had collected enough specific information about their estate and their business to leverage our skills effectively.
• This all sounds fairly standard, what made the customer service so exceptional?
While on site and gathering information about the site, we were able to advise on several architectural decisions that that they were facing and we even resolved a technical issue that they had been facing for some weeks – this demonstrated that we were more than ready and willing to support them to the degree that they needed. The customer was left happy, comforted and also with one less problem to worry about – I don’t think we could ask for a better start to a new managed service customer.