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Getting customer service right

All of a sudden, I was getting worried. A couple months ago the customer service for our SIS really hit the "less than stellar" mark.

All of a sudden, I was getting worried. A couple months ago the customer service for our SIS really hit the "less than stellar" mark. X2, a company that I chose largely because of outstanding customer service, in addition to a great web-based product, was suddenly taking weeks to clear support tickets. Call center staff were out of touch with the developers and, it seemed that the once eerily responsive tech support had disappeared into the twilight zone.

So I called the powers that be. I sent a couple of concerned emails. And within a week, senior management of X2 had rolled out a plan to not only address my concerns but improve customer service beyond the high standard they had set initially.

As we know, plans are all well and good, but within one more week, call center staff were using instant messaging to poll developers for solutions and escalate problems immediately while we were on the phone. New staff were immersed in training and additional staff were brought on board. The cynic in me assumed they were just looking for good publicity on my blog, but a few phone calls to other users in New England (both large and small districts) made it very clear that the company had transformed its customer service.

This is the way it's done, folks. Call center staff are all well and good; they triage, provide assistance wherever possible, and then get you in touch immediately with the people who can solve your problem. How many times have you had to demand that Dell or Verizon escalate your problems out of their dismal call centers? X2's motto is "exceptional software, extraordinary service." While the software part hadn't changed, the service part wasn't ringing true any longer. Amazingly, though, the company seems to be reinvigorated; fortunately, X2 is small enough that they can make these kinds of shifts very quickly. Hats off, X2...this is how to do customer service right and respond to your customers' needs.