Excellent Customer Service: It’s in our DNA

Here at Avaya, we’re very proud of the transformation that our Support organization has undertaken over the last few years. We love to show off our knowledge-centered support, our great tools, Ava, and our video chats. As great as these new tools and processes are, they are merely a means to end: delivering excellent customer support.

Avaya Global Support Services is no stranger to delivering great service. After all, we support Avaya products and solutions, and customer experience management is what Avaya is amazing at.

We have been consistently listed as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for contact center solutions. In fact, we’re the only provider listed as such for 14 years straight. This customer experience management strength is in our DNA. To paraphrase a humorous set of commercials on US television: At Avaya, we deliver amazing customer service; it’s what we do.

With that, I’m proud to announce that Avaya has received the prestigious NorthFace ScoreBoard Award, for the 2nd year in a row. What I find most impressive about this award is that it is based on data from independent auditors from Omega.

When they polled our customers, 96 percent of our field services customers and 91 percent of our support services customers reported having an experience that exceeded their expectations.

Think about that.

When was the last time you interfaced with a company at work, had dinner at a local restaurant, or called in for support and the experience you received exceeded your expectations? What would that mean at your hardware store, the Thai restaurant, or your cable provider? Can you imagine feeling that way for more than 90 percent of those interactions? This is no one-off for us either; it ties in quite nicely with the surveying we do that shows 92 percent of our clients have a positive support experience.

If you don’t count yourself in the +90 percent of our clients who feel we are exceeding their expectations in delivering support, I encourage you to reach out to your Avaya account team and have a conversation about what we can do to change that experience.

Maybe you don’t have secure remote access to your solution via Secure Access Link, so we’re not delivering the speed of service other customers are receiving. Perhaps you don’t have our EXPERT SystemsSM enabled, so we’re not auto-resolving 85 percent of alarm-based service requests quickly and without any human intervention.

It could be that you haven’t deployed our SLAMonTM server that provides amazing diagnostic capabilities for Avaya endpoints and quality of service monitoring for your data network (even if it isn’t an Avaya network).

The employees of Avaya Global Support Services wake up every morning to exceed our customer’s expectations: it’s what we do.

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The 5 Reasons Why I Joined Avaya Global Support Services

A couple months ago, I found myself around the family kitchen table attempting to explain to my wife why I was considering leaving my current role at Avaya for another. Between requests and “stories” from our three young children, I explained that I was considering joining the leadership team of our support organization as a strategy leader.

Carl Knerr

As I cut some food for my daughter and passed the ketchup to the boys (is there such a thing as too much ketchup?), I told my wife about how Avaya Support has gone through a huge evolution in the last couple of years, earned a lot of recognition, and are now looking to take their delivery to another level.

Although I would very much enjoy having you, oh beloved reader, at our family dinner table, alas, the logistics just do not allow for such wonderful things. While I cannot share some of my wife’s amazing cooking, I will share with you the reasons why I think Avaya Support will continue to be not only an industry-leader, but an innovator in delivering value to our clients.

Downtime is the enemy

91 Percent of Outages Resolved in 2 Hours or Less

We know that system outages are the worst thing that can happen to our clients, and as such, we have dedicated teams trained on restoring down systems as fast as possible. If that isn’t great enough, I’m really excited that they have begun to reach out to our clients when we know they are at risk.

For example, we know that having a recent backup allows restore times in 2.5 hours instead of 1.5 days. Given the industry average of $110,000 of cost to the customer for every hour of outage, this makes a huge difference to our clients. If a client doesn’t have a recent backup, we reach out and help them implement a backup strategy. These engineers are inspiring on how customer focused they are.

Death to Rework

Our support team hates rework and that’s why every time one of our wicked-smart engineers finds a new problem, she will document it and publish the solution to http://support.avaya.com instantly. As if that isn’t enough, we use our own Avaya technology, Avaya Automated Chat, to help our customers easily find what they are looking for.

Avaya Ava

In fact, our implementation of this technology, dubbed “Ava”, has become the face of Avaya. How cool is that? Even when Ava fails to find you a solution, she succeeds by putting you in touch with an Avaya engineer and passing that engineer your full history, so that you don’t have to start all over.

Not Just a Phone Company

As a Gen-X’er myself, I despise talking to customer support on the phone; and Avaya gets that. Not only do we work with customers over the phone, email, or online chat, but last year, they deployed a first-in-the-industry video chat option using our own products.

If you haven’t tried this yet, stop what you’re doing; and just check it out. Wicked cool stuff. Of course the hot topic is support via social media–something I’ve written on–and now you have an opportunity to see what @Avaya_Support can start doing.

Innovative Diagnostics

Perhaps my most passionate topic over the years has been around diagnostics for Avaya products.

Avaya Support continues to raise the bar in the space of diagnostics. I get irritated when I see valuable time of our human experts being used to validate basic settings, gather log files, etc.

We’ve got really exciting technology that leverages our lessons learned from years of troubleshooting hundreds of thousands of customer systems and we embed that into tools that can solve product issues without an engineer; which means our customer gets an issue resolved in a matter of minutes.

I’m excited that we’re not resting on those laurels, but continuing to invest in improvements and all-new tools to keep satisfying our customers.

Satisfied Customers

As a result, in 2014, 92% of our clients indicated that their overall support experience was excellent, very good, or good. Read that last sentence again. 92%! Isn’t that amazing!

When we look at Avaya’s Net Promoter Score, as an entire company, we were at 65 the last quarter (average of 50 over the last 4 quarters), putting us in best-in-class with Amazon and other companies and beating out companies like Cisco, Microsoft, and Shoretel. Read more here.

Avaya Client Services

Please don’t just take my word for the impact of the items above. In October 2014, I was proud to join other Avaya Client Services leaders in Las Vegas at the TSW 2014 Conference, hosted by TSIA. Avaya walked away with three awards for our efforts in Avaya Client Services, putting Avaya in TSIA’s STAR Awards Hall Of Fame.

As you may surmise from the above, I was convinced this was the right move for me and I’ve made the shift. As part of this new role, I plan on continuing to bring you stories from Avaya Support as a means to help our customers and partners derive as much value as possible out of their Avaya Support agreements.

*Based on internal metrics in 2014