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Acquia - Customer Service Team of the Year


Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer service

Company: Acquia, Boston, MA
Company Description: Acquia is one of the fastest growing private technology companies in the U.S. according to Deloitte, Inc. Magazine and the Boston Business Journal. Acquia works with thousands of organizations spanning numerous industries – from Warner Music Group to City of Boston to Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles – helping them build cutting-edge digital experiences using Drupal.
Nomination Category: Customer Service Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Team of the Year

Nomination Title: Providing the Industry’s Highest Level of Drupal Expertise and Global Support

Tell the story about what this nominated team has achieved since January 1, 2016 year (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

Acquia helps today’s leading organizations achieve their most ambitious digital initiatives, by powering them with Drupal, the open source web content management platform. Unlike proprietary solutions, there’s no commercial lock-in, limitations are lifted, and the creative possibilities are endless; Acquia customers tackle projects that go beyond “websites” -- to IoT, mobile applications, and more. And with trends like personalization and contextualization on the rise, customers are eager to be on the forefront.

Enter Acquia’s Frontline Global Support team. Acquia Support provides follow-the-sun support for companies who are undergoing digital transformation or expanding their digital strategy. We provide our customers with access to a global network with the industry’s highest level of technical Drupal expertise. And because Drupal is dynamic and always evolving, so is Acquia Support. Customers don’t have to worry about issues like site downtime or failing code; they know our team is able to quickly and efficiently respond to issues—often, before the customer has even realized there’s a problem. We’re not your traditional support service.

“You can’t just be a support drone at Acquia. You have to be a dynamic detective who can put pieces together and make correlations. You have to always be willing to dig in deeper.” - Acquia Support Engineer

Acquia Support’s mission is more complex than most other customer service teams in the software industry. Each customer’s site is custom-built, utilizing a unique mix of Drupal modules, and the thousands of modules are available to extend Drupal’s functionality. Every combination of modules and custom-code contribution creates a new permutation. In 2016, we operated from three principles throughout the year.

First, serve everyone:

From individual developers, to multinational enterprises and some of the largest third-party digital service providers, such as WPP, Nasdaq, and Nestlé, clients have different skillsets, business perspectives, and interoffice communication styles. Our team adapts no matter where our customers are in terms of their own digital life-cycles and organizational challenges.

To meet the service needs of our diverse customers, we’ve implemented and strengthened our distributed management and communication model which 1) makes it easier to escalate issues for assistance 2) utilizes team leads as player/coach for teaching and mentoring 3) establishes weekly customer health checks allow for account sharing and 4) utilizes globally transparent chat rooms extensively for internal peer awareness and input.

So far, we have solved more than 73,300 tickets in 2016.

Second, maintain and increase Support velocity:

Support’s DNA is not to act in isolation; members act as a bigger ecosystem. However, improving the diagnostic skill level of the entire department is difficult and has dramatic impact on our throughput. The team developed a unique collaboration method called “mobbing” that builds diagnostic mentoring into the problem-solving process.

We also rely on automation where possible, primarily to ensure that our skilled team is available to troubleshoot the issues that cannot automatically be deflected to a knowledgebase, be mediated with chatbots, or even resolved by machine learning techniques. We strive to deliver increasing value at decreasing cost, while improving customer satisfaction.

In 2016, we were able to 1) make a 25% reduction in costs, and 2) achieve a 98% satisfaction rate for our global elite customers.

Third, increase enablement with the Product team:

Knowledgeable employees deliver better service, better products require less support. These are easy enough concepts to grasp, but our team sought to create a process to improve enablement and knowledge-sharing across Customer Success departments.

In Q4 2016, we developed a program called Customer Success Product Enablement (CSPE). CSPE exists to ensure our CS employees are enabled to assist customers with products, and that all product feedback originating from CS has proper visibility and tracking. Since its debut, CSPE has raised the bar for internal product knowledge and improve the product feedback cycle across four departments.

We’re proud to report these results, but we are even more proud to have the opportunity to support and serve our incredible customers.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) accomplishments of the nominated team since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).

- New Support Library: A platform for modern knowledge portal, latest Drupal release
- Event Communicator, Phase 1: Proactively mass-manage critical customer communications
- BI Tool and Adoption: Metrics dashboard compiled for company-wide sharing. Provides transparency and visibility into customers; impacts overall company profitability, renewals, customer health
- India Support Operations: First hiring wave up and running
- High team retention with no departures in 2.5 yrs: 97% satisfaction (one of the highest within Acquia)
- Top tier customer satisfaction: 98%
- More Self-Service: Shift standard tasks to customer interfaces like SSL certification management, saving 1 FTE-worth of time and increasing customer satisfaction
- CSPE: Program to increase product knowledgement and provide qualified product feedback to customers
- Increased Support Operations Quality and Velocity, Phase 1: Automated manual tasks and simplified incident response flow; established predictable velocities and lead times
- Remote Administration Support Script Updates: Productivity rate improved by nearly 2000% in one-third of the time