My company, Network Alliance, Inc., recently was honored with the prestigious International Stevie Award for customer service excellence in computer services—for the fourth year in a row.
What can readers of this blog learn from our experience delivering award-winning customer support?
First and foremost, excellent customer service must be driven by core values that place customer satisfaction and customer retention at the top. In the Network Alliance company culture, our overarching value is to treat clients the way employees want to be treated. Our core values, developed following a bottoms-up, employee-driven process to ensure buy-in, are embedded in everything we do.
Our core values, in turn, drive our hiring process. Our multi-stage interview process helps us identify people with the right skillsets, who can technically do the job in customer service, but, more important, they also have the right personality fit with our client base. In a nutshell, we look for people who care.
But the right culture and the right people still aren’t enough. You also must have the right processes. Since our number one business objective at Network Alliance is client satisfaction, our operational infrastructure ensures that outcome. For example, since quick response is key to happy IT clients, our target hold times are 60 to 90 seconds. In addition, we build proactivity into our process by requiring our service assurance department to survey the client decision maker every quarter to make sure the entire organization is satisfied.
Beyond specific metrics, we encourage every member of our customer support team to make the effort to build a personal relationship with each client who calls in. Employees feel empowered to do whatever is right for the client.
When you put it all together—the right culture, the right people, the right processes and the right level of employee engagement—the results are, well, award-winning:
- In 2015, we sent out 14,732 customer surveys and achieved an above-industry-average response rate of 19.3%. Of those surveyed, 98% of respondents rated Network Alliance 4 stars or higher (out of 5).
- Of those responding, 88% reported that their issues were resolved within 15 minutes. Altogether, 99% of service requests were resolved within 60 minutes.
About the Author
Ben Martin directs IT support operations for Reston-based Network Alliance, Inc., which has been delivering high-quality, dependable and cost-effective solutions for organizations’ IT management needs for 18 years. A one-stop shop for IT solutions and services, Network Alliance provides a hosted desktop service for small and medium-sized businesses at a predictable monthly fee, eliminating costly downtime and maintaining the highest level of data security. For more information on Network Alliance and its services, please visit www.networkalliance.com