For the last 18 months, ForeScout has had an intense focus on improving our customer experience and satisfaction. This focus has encompassed everything from bringing in seasoned leadership to building out our teams around the globe to streamlining our support operations and customer interactions. Today, with over 2,500 customers, I’m pleased to say that we’re going on seven quarters in a row with consistently improved customer satisfaction results! I want to share a few highlights on how we got here.
- Support means support. No customer wants to deal with useless “representatives” or “agents” even if they are super-polite and chipper. This is cybersecurity. It’s real-time and it’s critical. When our customers have questions, they need answers from someone who can actually help them—immediately. Our support team is comprised of high-level support engineers, ready to help when you need help. Customers are put in touch with the right person at the right time. Yes, we have an answering service but email, web, and mobile support are much faster.
- Focus on the complete customer experience. Consistency, communication abilities, personal approach and trust development are all part of the package. We measure our effectiveness and our time to resolve. We hire engineers from diverse technical backgrounds (security, servers, storage, virtualization) and we utilize one process globally for supporting our customers. It’s also imperative to invest in training that includes skill development, security tools, certifications and deep product education so you have specialists in customer pain-point areas like campus, data center, operational technology and endpoint posture analysis. We believe in proactive rather than reactive support that goes above and beyond just resolving the current issue. That’s the experience customers are asking for!
- Create a customer care culture. Build a culture that genuinely cares, then deliver a consistent customer experience across all support centers using one process. That means no cold customer handovers; we aim to provide every customer first-class concierge service from one highly trained individual from start to finish. Also, it is important to drive knowledge sharing by letting customers in on how to accomplish what they need to get done. We use a knowledge base system to share the information that enables customer IT security departments to be better at their jobs. It’s all about teaching them to fish…
- Data should supplement, not drive, decision making. We don’t have bean counters tallying up support requests, measuring call-closure speeds or calculating the number of calls per support person. We measure the experience, the feedback, the time it took to resolve and how we can make support simpler and faster while preventing similar issues from happening again.
- Build a tribe of support and engineering professionals. We co-located our Sustaining Engineering team with our Support team. Our three global support centers in San Jose, Dallas and Tel Aviv all have local engineering personnel who rub shoulders on a daily basis with support engineers on live customer calls. We didn’t create a silo of one team in one location with tubes to another. Our Sustaining Engineering team has the same drive and culture that’s built into Support. They roll up their sleeves and get in on customer issues with us every day!
Is our work here done? Far from it. We intend to roll out some technology improvements and support automation in 2018 that I’m super excited about. In fact, 2018 is going to be a game changer in cybersecurity support, and I’m proud to say that we’ll be ready for it!
With that, I’ll leave you with some of what our customers are saying about their experience:
“Great customer service experience, and very knowledgeable. Engineer was able to get us back up and running very quickly. I wish all my vendors were this professional.”
“Great customer service and support by the engineer. Very knowledgeable on the product and the plugin that I had issues with. Was able to assist me and isolate the cause of the problem to be something not related to ForeScout, but with another appliance.”
“Engineer was very helpful, and not only explained the changes we needed to make but also provided us with best practices.”
“Very responsive team and well versed in all areas of support I required while implementing a new appliance. Didn’t have to jump around between teams.”
“The support case engineer was extremely knowledgeable of the product and didn’t take the easy way out despite this issue being non-production-impacting.”