Company: Network Alliance, Reston, VA
Entry Submitted By: Fuel Growth Group
Company Description: Network Alliance, Inc. (NAI) provides hosted desktop and VoIP services for a complete IT solution for small and medium-sized businesses at a predictable monthly fee. NAI allows clients to access their desktop and business applications from any location or device connected to the Internet, eliminating costly downtime and maintaining the highest level of data security.
Nomination Category: Customer Service Awards Department Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Department of the Year – Computer Services
Nomination Title: Network Alliance
Tell the story about what this nominated department achieved since the beginning of July 2011 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
The mission of NAI is to make IT simple for their clients. For the nine-person support team, that means doing whatever it takes to maintain NAI’s 98% retention rate – even while the client base has grown and the range of NAI’s solutions has become more complex.
Not only has NAI experienced 65% growth in the number of end-users supported, the number of devices per end-user has also grown to include a variety of softphones and tablets as well as PCs. In addition, in 2012 NAI added to its existing business by launching a Voice over IP service. The support team had to quickly ramp up its knowledge on a new set of products and services.
Behind the scenes, tech support specialists that manage the level 4 data center are proactively monitoring and responding to system alerts 24x7, in addition to upgrading networks, software and hardware on an ongoing basis.
The team also manages inbound service inquiries that range from questions on data retrieval to network troubleshooting and application support. Each day they respond to 125-150 calls and emails.
•All calls are picked up by a live representative
•Response times average 84 seconds per call
•The team responds to inbound emails within two hours
On any given day, a support team member may be managing an issue with complex, enterprise-class software, or helping an end-user with basic application support. They are trained to switch gears on the fly and hold a client’s hand until the issue is resolved.
With a small team, each employee is empowered to solve a client’s problem. According to team leader Lourdes Ashamalla, “we don’t just resolve an issue for you, if you call us, we’ll tie your shoelaces…we’ll teach you how to tie your shoelaces.”
Culture of Transparency
The importance of customer satisfaction is ingrained in each employee from Day One, starting with an orientation by the founder and CEO. It’s reinforced every day by NAI’s focus on transparency. Support performance is shared openly with customers and prospects. In fact, a running tally of satisfaction scores and direct feedback is posted in real time, front and center on the company’s homepage.
At the end of each support call, customers receive a survey to rate their experience on five aspects: communication, courtesy, knowledge, timeliness and overall satisfaction. In 2012:
•93% of support cases received a high score of “excellent” for all categories
•99% of support cases received scores of “overall positive” across all categories
Customer comments demonstrate the high level of satisfaction:
•“On a scale of weak villain to strong hero, I would rate you Superhero”
•‘They are just terrific and ALWAYS sooooooo pleasant and helpful!’
•‘That Corey. What a guy. I sent him three things I needed, two in the present, one in the future. He knocked those first two out of the park, then informed me that that last one, no worries, is on his calendar - ready to be done when the time comes. I'm all sorts of impressed.”
Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the nominated customer service organization:
Lourdes Ashamalla, Service Assurance
As the primary point of contact to all Network Alliance clients, Lourdes Ashamalla serves as the change management agent and advises team members on how to interact with clients. Previously, Lourdes was a manager at a public accounting firm where she managed audit and attestation engagements.
Ben Martin, Client Support
Ben Martin directs IT support operations for Network Alliance. Ben previously served as vice president of customer care at Parature. Ben was also the director of investor services at Morino Institute Netpreneur Program and served as a technology analyst with the American Chemical Society.