Embodying openness and challenger DNA in customer support

Embodying openness and challenger DNA in customer support

In our offerings and sales, we stake our reputation on openness. We aim to deliver flexible solutions that our customers can use as they please and help them find the best solution. We also see ourselves as a challenger who must work hard and go the extra mile in caring for our customers.

We have received feedback from customers that they appreciated our values and shared many of these values in their own conduct towards their customers. If you think about it, it would be strange if we didn’t embody the same values in our customer support, wouldn’t it? So, we thought now would be a good time to share how we aim to embody our open values and challenger DNA in customer support. Perhaps it could be a source of inspiration for your customer support operations or be another area of common interest we can align around.

SLA-driven vs. customer-first

As far as we can tell, in the optical networking industry, certain vendors tend to still be heavily SLA-driven. It looks fine on paper but what about the customer experience in real life? When we need support from somewhere, we don’t want to be tossed around like a hot potato in a call center before we reach who we need to speak with. We also don’t want to be asked very basic questions like, “did you try restarting?” before we get a chance to go into in-depth troubleshooting.

We assume our customers feel the same way as we do. So, we made a point of cutting out the middleman, staffing our 24/7/365 TAC support across time zones exclusively with our own expert engineers. This is, in our view, an important part of a customer-first approach to support, aligned with the trend away from an SLA-driven approach.

Open to supporting partner sales

It’s common for a certain number of sales to be made via partners in the optical networking industry. Where the partner has the capability, resources and willingness to provide excellent support, that is all fine and good. But that’s not the case for all partners and we believe the optical networking vendor should not turn their backs on either partners or customers where direct support from the vendor could be in everyone’s best interests.

We do not want to hide behind partners and avoid responsibility, like an airline that says, “don’t look at us, call Expedia because you booked through them,” when there’s a problem with your ticket two hours before your flight departs. Instead, we are always open to supporting customers who purchase our equipment through partners. We also maintain an open and honest dialogue with our partners to establish when it’s best for them to manage support and when it’s best for us to do it. This way, nobody’s toes are stepped on and the customer always gets the best possible support.

Benefits of supporting partner sales at a glance:

  • Resellers are not required to have technical departments and act as a middleman for support of Smartoptics products.
  • End customers can contact us directly for support and RMA-related activities.
  • We can support the end customer directly and gain better visibility and understanding of deployed networks.

Excellent feedback encourages us to keep going

We send a survey out after every completed ticket and received a score of 95% highly satisfied in 2022. Our average on-call response time was less than 5 minutes and we achieved a Net Promotor Score (NPS) of 82. Jesper Dalvärn, Manager Technical Support and Services, proudly reports on how these positive results are encouraging his team:

We see this feedback as a testament to the effectiveness of a customer-first approach to support and they encourage us to keep our feet on the pedal and move forward in this direction. We are preparing to launch further improvements in a couple areas such as an improved support platform where customers can directly check their warranty and service status and find many other convenient features. I am so proud of our support team and I hope our customers will continue to see and feel how much we care about them,” says Jesper.

Learn more about our support programs

In addition to TAC 24/7/365 support, we also offer advance product replacement and extended warranty service. Learn more about these in our Complete Care and Smart Care support programs.

Do you have any feedback for our support or any ideas you want to share about customer-first support? We would love to hear from you.