From the Ground Up: Building Global Customer Care

Back in January 2011, VCE Customer Care was an aspiration. The leadership team was working closely with our support partners at VMware, EMC and Cisco, and developed a philosophy to deliver the highest level of service possible to our customers. This included providing 24 x 7 global Vblock Systems customer support, escalation management, release management and account management services. This required creating unique roles, implementing new technologies and developing innovative processes that ensured VCE could exceed customer expectations, by delivering a differentiated support end-to-end experience.

Taking the First Step

VCE realizes that Vblock Systems is a transformation for traditional IT departments and our first focus was to provide customers with a designated Customer Advocate to help them transition to new operational models. VCE Customer Advocates are key to the success of VCE customer support as they help the customer maximize the value they get from their Vblock. Our Customer Advocates are supported by a team of Escalation Engineers, highly experienced technical experts that proactively assist customers in their Vblock management, advising from a technical standpoint on critical issues and more maintenance queries.

Since VCE Support responds to all questions about Vblock Systems technology across the globe, a Technical Service Representative team was created, taking over the initial customer contact for reporting new Service Requests. The TSRs went through an eight week boot camp to develop a good grounding in all technical aspects of the Vblock, as well as ITIL practices and management of customers. Since they are the first person the customer interacts with, we want to ensure this team could field customer inquiries in all technical aspects of the Vblock, with the ability to resolve issues on first contact, and to effectively triage issues that might require further troubleshooting.

Supporting The Business

Throughout this time, new IT systems were developed and put in place to manage customer engagement. VCE selected out-of-the-box, best in breed cloud solutions for these systems, such as  CRM and Knowledge Base systems, and BT Cloud Telephony solution, supported by a state-of-art B2B solution that connects VCE Support directly to our support partners. We also developed a portal for customers to log their service requests and access the Vblock documentation and support matrices.  All this was completed in less than 6 months from start to finish.

Evolution of VCE Global Customer Care 

Today, VCE has developed its own fully standalone support organization, with a team of subject matter experts on all aspects of the Vblock technology. These support engineers, called Vblock Platform Support Engineers, work in tandem with the TSR team in ensuring that VCE’s customers get the best support available for their Vblock Systems. They are trained in all aspects of the Vblock, so they provide in depth support of the Vblock components, while still having that depth of knowledge of the Vblock that allows them to see the issue holistically and not as a standalone component issue. This is critically important when supporting Vblock Systems, as Vblock is not just a set of individual components, but an infrastructure that has been pre-tested and engineered to work in a high availability environment maintaining maximum up time.

What we have demonstrated to date is that even by setting the bar high with customer expectations, we have a customer satisfaction rate in the high 90th percentile range. This proves that we are delivering on the plan that was set in motion just over two years ago. VCE support will continue to evolve using best in breed technology in our products, and in our support delivery processes and systems, to ensure the best possible support experience for our customers.

About the Author: Deirdre Kiely