Hello, my name is Mike O'Brien. Bamboo recently hired me to run the customer support group. I joined Bamboo in early 2010 after spending thirteen years with a Fortune 500 company. I spent most of those 13 years building, scaling and running IT Support organizations. I have also been in charge of IT vendor management, so I understand that support is an important factor when selecting a technology vendor.
At Bamboo, we recognize the need for continuous improvement in all areas of the business, including customer support. The reason I am writing today is to let you, Bamboo's customers, know that we are making a concerted effort to improve the customer support experience.
Bamboo has over 60 products, and SharePoint and its associated technologies can be configured and implemented in an almost infinite number of ways. Bamboo's customers are incredibly talented IT workers, well versed in SharePoint. Many of Bamboo's support issues are brand new problems, specific to a given customer environment. What all of this means is that technical support at Bamboo is an incredibly complex job.
While the technical issues we encounter are challenging, providing excellent customer service is not. To that end, we are making some changes in how we provide support and how you interact with our support teams here at Bamboo.
New or upcoming improvements to the support experience:
- Chat support. One of the chief complaints I have heard is that Bamboo support is not accessible in real-time. To help with that problem, we are implementing live chat as another tool to interact with our support engineers. The primary intended purpose of chat is to check the status of issues or to exchange quick pieces of information that often are slowed down by email communication.
- The telephone. Our paid support plans entitle customers to outbound "call-back" phone and Live Meeting support as necessary. As I stated earlier, diagnosing SharePoint and Bamboo product issues is tough. There will often be a lot of "back and forth" in the exchange of information, some testing, some suggestions, etc… Phone calls are usually not an ideal way to troubleshoot a customer issue. That said, if a paying support customer requests a phone call, we owe them a call, even if we are unable to effectively diagnose the problem over the phone.
- Staffing. We have added five talented new people to our domestic support organization in the past 5 months. As the newcomers continue to learn our extensive product line, we'll have an even deeper bench of strong technical support talent to assist you with your questions.
- Consistency. We're implementing some changes internally which will provide a consistent support experience no matter which support engineer you are working with.
- Customer surveys and feedback. Soon, you will be receiving a customer satisfaction survey after each incident is closed. I'll personally be reading each one and sharing the feedback with the entire organization. We'll use your feedback to drive change and ongoing improvements in the organization.
In order to assist with our efforts to provide the best possible customer support experience, we ask that you please:
- Use My Bamboo for your support needs. We can more effectively help you solve your issues if you enter and reply to tickets through our support system. Emails get lost and voice mails are sometimes difficult to understand, but a support ticket is forever. We will soon require that all support issues be entered through My Bamboo.
- Fill out your My Bamboo profile. The more we know about you up front, the less time we'll need to spend asking questions about your SharePoint environment. We can begin to actually get down to the business of FIXING your problem right away.
- Read our product documentation and follow our installation procedures carefully. We put lots of effort into testing our products and creating product documentation so that our customers will have a great experience with Bamboo's products. Many of the issues customers encounter can be avoided by successfully installing the product using our recommended install procedures.
- Use our self help and online resources. Bamboo offers a world class knowledge base, an active and engaged user community, and helpful, detailed product documentation. Using these resources is often the quickest path to resolving your issues.
- Fill out our surveys. We want and need your feedback!
These are just the first in a number of changes we're making in order to provide a truly great customer experience. If you have additional suggestions or feedback, please leave a comment on this post or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From this point forward, I'll be blogging regularly here on the Bamboo Team Blog. Not only will I continue to provide updates on the progress of our support improvement efforts, but I will also be contributing to an upcoming series dedicated to common support issues (and their solutions) which my team will be launching soon.