Posted by Andrew on 17 March 2015 02:18 PM
Recently in October 2014 we introduced a new support policy, where we decided to give priority support tickets to SciChart WPF/SL Professional and Source-code customers. SciChart WPF Basic and trial users would still receive support, but via the forums. This is part of an ongoing process of continually improving and refinining the tech support we provide, as we feel it is such a critical part of our business.
This article is just some feedback of what we’ve learned from this experience and also to demonstrate the value-add of priority support to our customers!
Why is Tech Support so Important?
Have you ever bought a component from a vendor, and they might have a great 200 page document on how to use it, but for some reason it just doesn’t make sense to you? There’s a learning curve to climb when purchasing a new component and nothing is more frustrating than having a problem, and a deadline / angry boss / impatient customer <delete as applicable>, writing an email to their support and getting nothing back … Have you ever been there?
I personally have, and it’s disappointing… There is nothing that leaves a bad taste in your mouth more than a company that takes your money, but doesn’t respond when you need help.
We personally try to model ourselves on Telerik. Yes! I said a competitor name! I know … not a good idea.. but I believe we’re non-overlapping competitors with Telerik and personally, having used their docking components in 2008-2009 when working as a WPF Developer I realized they did something really well – tech support.
I noticed from using Telerik components that if you had a problem:
This is a model we have emulated and it has paid dividends to us. Most of our business comes from referrals! Enough said …
How Many Support Requests do we get?
Since introducing the support desk at http://support.scichart.com one year ago, we have resolved 1,360 support requests, 616 sales requests with an average feedback rating of 4.6/5.0!
Each ticket has an average of 5 replies before the ticket is considered resolved, so in a year we’ve basically sent and received over 10,000 emails related to tech-support. That’s a pretty incredible rate and the feedback score and is consistent over the year. We are proud of how much tech-support we’ve handled and how we’ve delivered it, but more importantly, we’re really pleased to see how much value tech-support adds to our business. It’s taught us a lot …
How Quickly do we Respond to Support Requests?
We advertise that we respond to support requests sub-day, e.g. 24 hours to first response. This does not mean that we can resolve all problems in this timeframe, nor do we gaurantee to respond within this time but we aim to respond and at least make some progress to resolving within one business day. Over the past year this is what our support-desk says about our response time:
We’re quick, and we really care. We want to help you to use our software, because if you can use our software, you get great value out of it, and if you see value in it, you’re more likely to tell other people about us. In other words, our business model is centered around customer service.
What do our Users Say?
Every time a support request is resolved (marked as closed by staff or user) the customer has a chance to give us feedback. Over the past year we’ve collected over 300 feedback responses, with an average rating of 4.6/5. That’s a 90% customer happiness score!
Some of the comments are really encouraging. When customers give feedback scores & leave a comment it is emailed directly to the team cc the Company Director. Here are a selection of anonymised comments below:
OH YEAH! Love you guys!
Similarly, we receive negative feedback via the ticket response ratings. If you want to encourage us, or, give us a slap, the ticket survey response is the place to do it. These surveys go straight to the team CC the company director, so we do hear them!
What about the Trial Users / Basic Customers on the Forums?
We also have a public forum at www.scichart.com/questions. Here we aim to respond within 3 business days, but often sooner, depending on our workload. The conversation time is typically a lot shorter, it tends to be question & single answer or at most two or three answers. The good thing about the forums for us is they are google indexed, so if you have a how-to question this is the place to put it. It helps us to build a searchable knowledgebase!
We encourage you to use the ratings here as voting questions up/down puts them higher or lower in the search results. Also we love to see the public knowledgebase grow as every question asked becomes a search result for someone later
The Value-Add of SciChart Priority Tech Support
Our goal when introducing the support-policy in October 2014 was three-fold:
These goals have been achieved and more. In fact, we found that by introducing the support-policy our support load has decreased significantly, customer satisfaction has gone up, and importantly for us, sales are still strong. It hasn’t put anyone off excluding trial customers from support tickets, far from it, we are seeing more and more referrals.
We hope this has been useful information to you, and if you’re a competitor and you’ve read this far, we are available to consult to create a state-of-the-art support model for your business. Just joking. We don’t have time for that, we’re focusing on our own customers and product development