August 16, 2011

Do you know more about your IT vendor’s products than they do?

I understand that this seems to be an odd question to ask but allow me to state my case as to why this may not be such an odd question. Being an IT network solutions provider, Enterasys provides award winning products and support services to our customers who are located in over 70 countries. It is our goal to provide a high-quality product and customer support experience to all of our customers and we do this in many ways. One of those ways is that we use our own in-house product experts to answer all support calls on the first engagement. This model ensures that when our customers call for assistance they are speaking with knowledgeable resources who are more familiar with our products than is the caller.

This may seem rudimentary however, more times than I can recall; I am told by many of our new customers that their experience was far different when they call their previous IT Vendor for support. Typically their calls would be answered by non-IT support resources who read from scripts and then typically transfers their call to an (outsourced) call center which essentially extends the case resolution time. While this may be an effective model for some vendors, to us it is more about ensuring our customers’ inquiries are resolved as quickly as possible and that means utilizing our in-house product experts when our customer’s call for assistance.

In a recent poll of 345 business technology professionals, the number one quality they listed in their most-trusted technology vendor is capable technical support. The second ranked response? A reliable product. Surprised? I was when I first read this report but when you stop and think about it, service and support is a critical aspect of a product’s usability and the support experience can either make or break the customer’s perception of your products and also your organization.

So I will ask you this question; when you call your current IT Vendor for product support and/or functionality questions, do you know more about their products than do they? I am interested to hear your feedback on this topic since to us, nothing is more important than our customers and I trust that many of you have encountered scenarios where you knew more about the product and the resolution to the issue than the vendor.

For my next posting, I will provide my thoughts on what critical success factors exist for an award-winning services and support organization. Here’s a taste; customer support is not a department, it’s a stated team goal and everyone needs to be on the same page in order to successfully deliver an exceptionally positive customer experience.

You can reach me at or on Twitter @patzanella

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