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Clarizen - Support Department of the Year


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Company: Clarizen, San Mateo, CA, USA
Entry Submitted By: Actual Agency
Company Description: Clarizen is a collaborative work management solution designed for people who value their time and for organizations that value cross-company engagement.
Nomination Category: Support Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Support Department of the Year

Nomination Title: Clarizen's Customer Satisfaction Rating Tops 99%

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

Clarizen is an enterprise-grade collaborative work management solution used by over 2,000 organizations worldwide across multiple industries, use cases, and departments. Customers often use our product for mission critical activities where data integrity and timing are paramount.

The solution has advanced customization capabilities. That means each customer has a highly configured environment that supports its specific workflows, often with a unique user interface. The bespoke nature of Clarizen, along with the breadth in potential use cases, creates a significant challenge to for our Support Team, especially when compared to less feature-rich and one-size-fits-all products. Yet, since the beginning of 2016, we have raised our Customer Satisfaction rating from 94% to 99.14%.

We approach this problem by hiring and training a team of support engineers that are willing to be both constantly challenged by issues they have not seen before, and learn new skills. Given the rich functionality of our product, we do not differentiate between Level 1 and 2 support, so our customers immediately receive access to Level 2 engineers when contacting support. We leverage our vast, active customer community and education resources to deflect basic support inquiries.

Clarizen has always been focused on the enablement, success, and satisfaction of our customers. Our support team evolved out of a Customer Success department, which is the opposite of what traditionally happens as companies grow. The “customer first” mentality of our support team is embedded in the company culture and contributes to unmatched support in the fast growing SaaS space. We believe in constant process improvement, diversity, creative problem-solving, and calculated risk-taking.
Raising our Customer Satisfaction rating from 94% to 99.14% in less than a year first required us to improve by a factor of five while taking an industry leadership position in support.

What’s even more difficult than achieving that 99.14% statistic? Maintaining it for two consecutive quarters. Yet, that is precisely what we have done.

We have dropped our first-time-response to customer tickets from 10 hours at the start of last year (the industry average ranges from 17 to 20 hours) to 1.35 hours around the clock (24x7x365). Our third key performance indicator is the size of our ticket backlog, which we reduced from 520 open tickets at the beginning of 2016 to 225 tickets today.

We also fully launched a premium support program which allowed us to provide even higher levels of service to our most strategic accounts while ensuring our ability to deliver a great baseline experience for all customers. Currently, our premium support program accounts for nearly 5% of company recurring revenue.

The core reason why we were able to make such improvements in our statistics was the caliber and dedication of our support team. We have maintained 100% support staff retention going back to the team’s inception in 2013 -- a statistic that is unheard of in Silicon Valley tech.

We are very proud of what we accomplished over the last 16 months and appreciate the opportunity to be considered for a STEVIE.

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

-Increased Customer Satisfaction from 94% in Q4 2015 (industry average was 95%) to 99% in Q4 2016
-Maintained a 99% Customer Satisfaction rating for a second consecutive quarter (Q1 2017)
-Reduced first-time-response from an average of 10 hours in Q4 2015 to 1.4 hours in Q4 2016 and 1.35 hours in Q1 2017 (industry average is between 17 and 20 hours and this figure is 24x7x365 as opposed to business hours)
-Reduced our ticket backlog from 520 tickets in Q1 2016 to 225 tickets today
-100% Retention of Support Engineers on the team, despite difficult company transitions
-Began a proactive support program, opening tickets for customers when they see issues in the logs
-Launched a differentiated support program that now accounts for nearly 5% of company recurring revenue