I want to thank you all for your comments and feedback on our new Premier Support offering. Customer feedback is one of the things I love most about the SolarWinds approach. It's always been critical in how we make decisions, including the recent launch of our new Support offerings. Based on this and other recent Thwack threads, some of you have had different experiences with our support team. Many of you continue to have a great experience, that’s great to hear; we're glad we've been able to help you. For those of you who had an experience that didn't meet your expectations, know that we're working hard every day on all aspects of our Support function to make it the best we can. That said, there are a few items I would like to address from this thread and a few others:
Why did we create our new Premier Support offerings?
Our Premier Support offerings were created specifically in response to frequent customer requests. These requests were mainly coming from customers who have very complex environments, using multiple SolarWinds products and pollers interacting together, and who had additional needs or requirements which fell outside our current Support offering. In response to these requests we recently launched our new Premier Support and Premier Enterprise Support offerings tailored around those specific requests. For the numerous customers whom have already adopted this additional offering, it is meeting their specific needs and the feedback, thus far, has been extremely positive.
What is Professional Support?
In creating these additional offerings, we needed to create a name for our original support, the one that thousands of customers have come to count on to help them when something doesn’t go as expected. We are now referring to this as our Professional support. In hindsight, we fell short on delivering clarity, in conjunction with the launch, around the specific differences in the three levels now offered.
Rest assured, Professional support, the one we've been providing for 20 years, has not changed other than having a new, formal name. It still provides direct access to our Support teams 7x24 for all our products.
For the mass majority of our customers, our Professional Support offering, available for all customers under active maintenance, will meet your needs. We continue to experience >90% CSAT responses from our customers on our Professional Support, and we thank you!
Will SolarWinds continue to invest in Professional Support?
We have been investing heavily in our Professional Support for the last 5 years and will continue to do so. In fact, we’ve more than doubled the size of our Professional Support team in the last three years. As it is the primary way we provide support to thousands and thousands of customers globally. We have not only invested in people, we are also investing heavily in technology, including an innovative AI-based case management system that will be released next year which will continue to help us make strides in increasing the level of customer support that we offer to you.
I mentioned our >90% CSAT results, however, we want 100% of our customers to have a great experience and while we understand it’s difficult to achieve, it’s what motivates us to continue to evolve and perfect our Professional Support. As an example, we have decreased our phone hold times by 50% and the time it takes to resolve cases by 40% in the last 18 months. We continue our efforts to provide you the best experience possible and we can’t say enough how your honest feedback helps us understand where the mark is and the work we need to continue in order to get closer to that 100% satisfaction rate.
Again, by offering additional levels of support, this in no way will deteriorate our current Professional support. It is simply put, an additional offering to meet the needs of a specific subset of customers.
Will SolarWinds continue to invest in a self-service platform?
Customer self-service has been a key component in our Support model since early 2016 when we released the first version of the Success Center. Since that time, we have invested heavily in systems and processes to ensure we’re making our richest technical content available in a way that works for our customers whether they want to self-serve or work with our Support teams.
Each and every Support case results in either a new Knowledgebase (KB) article or an update to an existing KB so all our customers can benefit from cases opened by other customers. All 20,000+ of these support case-based articles are available 24x7 in the Success Center along with hundreds of how-to videos, training courses, as well as all our entire library of technical documentation.
Does SolarWinds provide training? If so, how much do the classes cost?
Just as customer feedback sparked the introduction of Premier Support, it also was the driving force behind the launch of the SW Academy in 2016. Over the last three years, it has become one of the most valuable resources we provide customers with active maintenance. For those who aren’t aware, the SW Academy offers a comprehensive catalog of world-class instructor-led and eLearning courses on most of our products. Since its inception, we’ve quadrupled resources dedicated to the Academy and the results are promising; our live virtual classroom offerings have increased by over 130% with an overall student satisfaction rating of 97%.
Academy courses are included in your active maintenance, so you don’t need to budget for training on your SolarWinds products. You can check out the offerings available to you in the customer portal at https://customerportal.solarwinds.com/.
We’re also beta-testing a self-led version of our award-winning Smart Start assisted onboarding program. We’re excited to make this content available that can help you understand the big milestones in installing NPM and SAM to all our customers.
We will continue to grow and expand these customer success-based programs based on your feedback. Some ideas we’re exploring or expanding in 2020 include; focused office hours, support based webinars, and Support-related content created exclusively for THWACK.
Please know, we are working hard (and investing) to provide you with experiences that not only meet but exceed your expectations. In fact, our customer success mission statement is, "Creating long-term customer relationships, one experience at a time." If there is anything that I can help with directly, please contact me at email@example.com.
SVP, Customer Experience
SolarWinds solutions are rooted in our deep connection to our user base in the THWACK® online community. More than 150,000 members are here to solve problems, share technology and best practices, and directly contribute to our product development process.