TOPS Software's support team was recently honored by the American Business Awards as one of the top customer service departments of the year. This is an incredible feat to achieve out of thousands of nominations, but our support team definitely deserves it! We are so proud, we wanted to share with you the winning nomination:
Aggressive Customer Service Plan Transforms 30 Year Old Company
For a 30 year old technology company in the midst of a major technological transition, customer retention is a major concern.
In 2015, TOPS Software faced this challenge. The distributed Windows application the company relied on as their flagship product was showing its age, and customers were expressing the need for a more modern solution.
An increased demand on the company's small 12-person support team also led to clients getting frustrated. Said one customer, "You used to be able to speak to someone immediately. I now have to wait 24 -72 hours to get something fixed."
While the development team applied themselves to a new SAAS platform to replace the outdated system, TOPS' executives looked to customer service to encourage customer retention during this unstable period.
The first challenge to overcome was the need to improve the responsiveness of customer support channels. The company took several measures to address this issue, including:
- Increased the hours support technicians were available on the phones to better serve west coast clients.
- Implemented new technology to improve phone-based support, such as call waiting queues with custom hold messages, queue position transparency, and automated call backs.
- Introduced an online Community to provide clients with self-service support opportunities.
- To populate the knowledge base for self-service clients, the support team created 374 new articles in 2015.
With these changes, the support team was able to resolve 31,622 support cases in 2015. The team was also more responsive. Cases were closed within the same day as the client's first contact, netting less than a 1% caseload carry over to the following day.
Another challenge the company faced was the need for a smoother transition process for clients upgrading to the new platform, and new client on boarding. For this, TOPS reconfigured the training department into the new Professional Services team. This new team consists of implementation consultants, data conversion specialists and trainers. Their purpose is to guide a client through the transitional life-cycle as smoothly as possible.
With the new structure, clients have been able to successfully convert to the new product with minimal disruption to their day to day business. Further training resources have been made available in the form of pre-recorded online classes and daily training webinars are available to clients free of charge, as a part of their support plan.
These added resources empower the users: "Beau was thorough in his explanation of the process for voiding a prior year's check. He reassured me when a question came up as he explained the steps to me. He was the perfect balance of friendly and professional. After our call, I was able to independently & successfully resolve my questions. Thanks to Beau, I feel I will able to address previous year voided checks in the future and understand the impact of doing so. I feel empowered!"
To measure the success of support services, the company uses automated online follow-up surveys. In 11.5% of resolved cases from 2015, the clients completed the follow-up survey, giving an average feedback score of 4.92 out of 5, and a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 59. TOPS clients have had a overwhelmingly positive response to these changes. Said one client, "Thanks to a tremendous effort this week by you and your associates. We have been a longtime client of TOPS and plan to stay that way."
The final measure of success is the customer retention rate during this difficult period. For the year 2015, TOPS experienced a customer attrition rate of only .9%, which was an improvement over the previous year, despite the changing software and technological concerns.
- Completely turned around dissatisfied client base with aggressive customer service strategies.
- Increased support hours and technology to allow clients to be assisted more efficiently.
- Created online customer community and populated with 374 new knowledge articles.
- 12 person support team resolved an impressive 31,622 support cases, with less than 1% daily carry over on open support cases.
- Formation of Professional Services comprising training, consulting, implementation, data conversion to provide full life cycle support.
- 11.52% of resolved cases submitted feedback survey with a resulting 4.9225 team average score (out of 5).
- Reduced customer churn to only .9%, despite major upheaval due to product upgrades.
- Overall Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 59
The customers say it best: "I feel TOPS is doing an excellent job with their support team. Continue." We are committed to doing just that.