Reliability HotWire

Reliability HotWire

Issue 121, March 2011

Hot Topics

ReliaSoft’s Technical Support Services

By Pantelis Vassiliou, President & CEO, ReliaSoft Corporation

Unlike many companies that have opted to limit, eliminate and/or charge extra for basic customer services during the recent recession, ReliaSoft has not only maintained all of our core customer services; we have expanded them. In this article, we will highlight one of these services: technical support. From day one, we have offered free technical support to all of our customers (and by free support I don’t mean "use the website" or "send us an e-mail and we will get back to you when we feel like it" support, but rather good old-fashioned "pick up the phone and talk to a real person" support). We have provided the assistance without making you go through finger aerobics trying to interact with "artificial intelligence" systems, only to be rewarded with the privilege of listening to their entire selection of elevator music. We do this because our customers, and their ability to successfully use our products and services to help them do their jobs, are at the center of what we do. To assure that this service meets and exceeds our customers’ expectations, we continually invest in our support infrastructure. I am proud to say that when calling any of our support phone lines, your phone call will be answered promptly, by a real person who will help you answer your question(s), escalate the issue if necessary and follow up until you’re satisfied with the resolution. While this may seem like a lofty claim, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some facts, data and statistics that provide an inside glimpse into one aspect of ReliaSoft’s operations that directly impacts you as a customer, and in my opinion sets us apart from any other vendor.

First, and as a background, our customer support is provided by analysts trained both in reliability engineering and the use of ReliaSoft’s software tools. They are based in the Corporate Headquarters in Tucson, Arizona and also in each of ReliaSoft’s regional centers in São Paulo, Warsaw, Chennai and Singapore. Depending on your time zone, language preference and other factors, you may contact any office using the phone numbers that are clearly listed on our websites (along with holiday schedules, hours and languages used). Our primary support channels include phone support and e-mail support support through our websites, as well as secondary channels such as discussion forums and FAQs. With respect to the primary channels, the majority of our support is still provided by phone. The chart below shows the breakdown by channel for last year (2010).

Support pie chart

In 2010, more than 50% of the incidents involved customers contacting support directly by phone. Of those calls to our support lines, more than 98% were answered by a real person with zero holding time (based on data from calls to the U.S. office during normal business hours).

Obviously, answering your call is important, but more important is resolving your issue to your satisfaction. To monitor this, we periodically use a survey service to solicit customer feedback via a follow-up e-mail. The following table provides a summary of these responses for the 2010 survey:

Support table

As we begin 2011, we will continue monitoring, improving and enhancing our technical support services, and we promise to provide you the same unparalleled after-sale support throughout the years to come. We do this because we strongly believe that the completion of a product sale is only the first step in a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the customer. This is a philosophy that I hold dear and one that is contrary to that of some of our competitors who seem to view the completed sale as the last step in the customer relationship process.