280 — VERITAS boosts customer satisfaction with Apropos

Jul 8, 2002 | Conteúdos Em Ingles

VERITAS gives customers better, quicker access to information in one month with customer management solution from Apropos

VERITAS Software provides storage management solutions for a range of blue-chip organisations spanning 36 countries worldwide. Established in 1989, VERITAS currently ranks among the top 10 software companies in the world and reported annual revenues of $1.5 billion in 2001.

In 1999, VERITAS Software acquired the Network and Storage Management Group of Seagate Software. Given VERITAS’ rapid growth – both organically and through acquisition – its existing in-house system for dealing with customers’ queries in the EMEA region was no longer satisfactory.

The company’s newly expanded customer base meant that it was essential that the company streamlined its customer management in order to fulfil service level agreements (SLAs) and offer competitive levels of customer service on an ongoing basis.

Jon Underwood, operations director at VERITAS says:
“Over the last few years, customer expectations for high quality service have grown and are now extremely high. Winning customers is obviously important but ensuring that they receive the best service on an ongoing and consistent basis is equally, if not more important. The market is flooded with companies claiming to have better products and services than the next one. We need to ensure that we deliver the best possible service to our customers to retain their loyalty now and in the future.”

Having made a decision to improve its customer management and implement a technology solution to support this, VERITAS undertook an audit of its own specific requirements and objectives and an analysis of the various solutions on the market.

VERITAS required a solution that was flexible enough to evolve with the company and the markets it operates in. It also needed to be easy to use and easily modified. With a portfolio of more than 40 products on multiple operating systems and operating in eight different languages, VERITAS needed to divide incoming callers up into many different sub-groups in order for calls to be prioritised and routed to the 100 engineers working throughout the EMEA region.

Having evaluated several companies through the tender process, VERITAS selected Apropos based on its proven ability to deliver all of these attributes. Implementation of the software was made much smoother by the fact that VERITAS’ operation in the US had already implemented Apropos’ software.

Jon Underwood comments:
“The implementation of Apropos’ solution was uncharacteristically smooth for this industry! The solution integrated seamlessly with our existing in-house call logging system and database. In addition, Apropos’ consultants were extremely valuable in helping us to set up all of the call groups we required and giving outstanding training on the system.”

He adds:
“Part of the reason we decided on Apropos was because of the usability of the system. This was fully justified during the implementation phase of the project. All in all the implementation and training took around one month from start to finish.”

In EMEA the Apropos system at VERITAS currently takes around 20,000 calls per month and groups the calls according to product, language and type of SLA taken out by the customer.

From the customer’s point of view, this means that when they call VERITAS with a query about their product, they instantly get through to the right engineer for their product and are received in the right language. They do not have to go via a contact centre agent. Through keying in their personal account number, they are connected to the right engineer to respond to their query.

Jon Underwood comments:
“This process sounds simple and it should be a pre-requisite of any customer service strategy but unfortunately it is the exception rather than the rule. We feel that this approach is absolutely critical to meet customer expectations and ensure that our customer support is efficient.”

VERITAS’ customer feedback was highly favourable and in keeping with escalating customer expectations, VERITAS’ customers were soon demanding 24/7/365 ‘round the clock’ access to the appropriate engineers.

In response to this feedback, VERITAS extended its existing solution and implemented Apropos’ ‘Follow the Sun’ solution whereby customers could contact VERITAS at any time of the day or night and be directed to someone qualified to deal with their query.

In addition to the voice module of the solution, VERITAS implemented the e-mail module of Apropos’ system in December 2001. This went live in January 2002.

Jon says:
“E-mailed queries had become a problem for us. There was no way of measuring volumes or tracking their journey, therefore no way of measuring how effectively they were dealt with. We had no way of monitoring our service levels. It was evident that we had to take control of this process in order to maintain awareness of our customers’ needs.”

Commenting on the business benefits derived from the system, Jon says:
“Apropos has completely transformed the way customers are handled within VERITAS. In essence, Apropos provides a central hub that enables our organisation to be totally customer focused. The Apropos system is absolutely the core of our customer management.”

He continues:
“Customers now have direct access to a much better skill set when they speak to someone at VERITAS. Working in the storage management sector where minimising downtime is critical, it is vital that we respond to our customers’ queries with the right knowledge and the kind of urgency and precision they expect. The Apropos system enables us to do exactly that in a way which is user-friendly and completely reliable.”

In addition to the customer service benefits, the information gathered about customers through the system can be channelled into the improvement of products and enhance future development.

Jon says:
“From day one, we have had nothing but praise for Apropos’ solution. We have had excellent support, very fast response rates and have not experienced any downtime as a result of the Apropos system. Their support is essential in ensuring that the solution is constantly aligned to our evolving needs as a company.”

Following on from the implementation of the e-mail module of the solution, VERITAS plans to implement Apropos’ ‘webchat’ to further increase the interaction options available to customers.

“In a climate where the customer is king, it is important to work with a partner who understands issues facing our marketplace. Apropos is prepared to go that extra mile to ensure that we’re constantly exceeding the expectations of our own customers and delivering the service required to compete in our target markets.”


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