Having all-in-one physical and virtual appliances for backup, archiving, disaster recovery, and instant recovery is wonderful. But beyond integrating the server, the storage, the operating system, the backup software, the archiving software, the replication and disaster recovery software, failover virtualization for instant recovery both off-appliance and on-appliance for physical and virtual systems, dissimilar bare metal, and on and on and on – there’s the most important component that has to be integrated – support. Because while most of the time you don’t need it – when you need support, you need it to work quickly and well.
Technology is important here. Approaches such as cloud-based proactive monitoring require not only software, not only staffing, but an integrated appliance approach if you’re going to be able to diagnose quickly and accurately an issue and require the least possible interaction by the customer.
But what matters more than technology is a company’s commitment to support. In fast growing companies like Unitrends, the fundamental support question I ask as Chief Strategy/Technology officer is simple – is the investment in support being made at a higher rate than the revenue ramp? My second question concerns support productivity – are we learning and getting smarter at a faster rate than we’re acquiring customers? If either answer is “no”, then there’s an issue at any company that purports to be obsessed with delighting customers.
And delighting customers is the absolute bedrock foundational principle at Unitrends. Not making them happy – after all, cows on the side of the road chewing cud are happy. Instead our goal has to be delighting our customers to the point at which they become raving fans of Unitrends and recommend us to their relatives, their friends, or even people sitting next to them on an airplane. That’s how companies should grow – and that’s the fundamental reason for Unitrends’ success to date.
Does all of this mean Unitrends does support perfectly? Hell no. We make mistakes. While our customer satisfaction rating (as measured by NPS – or Net Promoter Score) is the best in the industry at between 98% and 99%, that still means that most days we make a mistake. We’ll never be perfect. But we can sure as heck pursue perfection – every call, every e-mail, every interaction, every day.