Risk & Business Magazine General Insurance Services Magazine Spring 2018 - Page 18

FEATURE STORY customer satisfaction as our ultimate barometer of success. I realize that every company these days has a mantra of customer service, but what does it take to actually make these words a reality? I called on David Bryce, the most customer-focused executive of anyone I knew at the time, to shepherd this change. He joined the company in 1999 as the vice president of customer care. Handing me a book by famed customer service advocate Leonard Berry, Bryce set the company on a brand new path, which he called “fanatical customer support.” In a nutshell, we did anything and everything to service our customers, as quickly and as efficiently as possible. When they called on us for help, we would be there. Period. Here are a few examples of how this new philosophy of fanatical support permeated every aspect of Rackspace’s corporate culture: COMMITMENT TO RESOLUTION No matter how complex the customer problem, it always had an “owner,” someone to coordinate the various support players to get the job done. No f lipping the account from person to person. The point person continued to claim ownership throughout the resolution period, vowing to own the problem until it was fixed. ELIMINATED FALLBACK POSSIBILITIES We decided to literally give our support staff “no way out” when it came to servicing our clients. We had installed a new phone system, but tough as it was, we disabled our voicemail and auto-attendant capabilities so it was always on us to answer each call. We had zero tolerance for the “I can’t get to it right now” mentality. Instead, you made it happen. ASSIGNED A TIME FRAME Time matters when it comes to customer support, so resolving problems quickly became a priority. Answering phone calls within three rings or fixing the problem within one hour became the standard. We created a “hustle” mentality and lived it each day. “YOUTUBE, WHICH FAMOUSLY CALLED ONE NIGHT DURING OUR EARLY DAYS, ASKING FOR OVERNIGHT INSTALLATION OF TEN NEW SERVERS FOR ITS FLEDGLING BUSINESS.” CONSIDERED CUSTOMERS BLAMELESS When a customer called, we did not spend precious time trying to figure out who caused the problem or play the blame game. We knew that this approach was counterproductive and would not help fix the problem any faster. We only cared about a quick re