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Innovative Outreach Program Allows Symantec EMG to Listen Even More Closely to Customers

Created: 29 Oct 2012 • Updated: 06 Nov 2012
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The Symantec Endpoint Protection and Mobility Group (EMG) has taken the goal of listening to “the voice of the customer” to a whole new level. This case study explains how EMG implemented an Outreach program that centers on talking to survey respondents. The details and personal insights they discover by speaking directly to customers allow them to make substantial improvements in the product and customer experience.

Surveys provide excellent feedback from customers, but nothing beats talking one-on-one to the people who use your product. “Every quarter we conduct a customer survey,” said Andrew Pendray, Director of Product Management for Pricing, Licensing and Analytics for the Endpoint Protection and Mobility Group (EMG), which includes Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) and other core security products. “Once the survey closes, we carefully analyze the numeric results. While that information is extremely helpful, the respondents’ written comments give us clearer insight into any issues they may have with our SEP product. However, we wanted to find out even more details than the ones they provided in the survey, so we decided to reach out and talk directly to these customers.”

Specifically, in June of this year EMG created an Outreach program for SEP. They formed a cross-functional team—including engineering, support, training and sales—to help make the phone calls and then record and manage the information they gathered. “We wanted to listen to the voice of the customer—literally,” continued Pendray. “Before we started to fix the issues they mentioned in the surveys, we wanted to make sure we understood the true source of their frustration.”

Engineers Talk Directly to Customers

The Outreach program is still in its initial stage, but Pendray is seeing good progress. “Many customers told us that they really appreciated hearing from a ‘live’ Symantec representative,” noted Pendray. “And the person calling was an engineer or other appropriate person who really understood their issues. Also, we expected that 5 to 10 percent of the people we contacted would agree to talk with us. We were pleasantly surprised when 30 to 40 percent wanted to talk in person. That’s a huge response rate that shows the involvement of our customer base, and how helpful they are when it comes to improving our product.”

Outreach Program Produces Real Change

The Outreach program is a large undertaking. “We have about 275,000 SEP customers around the world,” said Pendray, “and receive up to 4,000 survey responses from them each quarter. A key to the program’s success is focusing on achievable goals. All customer contacts are carefully logged, and we hold monthly progress-report conference calls. We choose the appropriate problems to tackle—the ones that will make the biggest difference to our customers—and follow them through to completion. We implement real change that our customers notice.”

EMG Will Expand Program to Other Products

Because of the positive results Pendray has already seen with the Outreach program, there are plans to expand it to other EMG products in the near future. “You can’t do this just once,” he said. “You have to keep doing the surveys, keep analyzing the results, keep talking to your customers. Customer surveys and Outreach have become a continuous cycle, an ingrained part of our corporate culture. The result is a better customer experience—guaranteed.”

Tell Us What You Think

Symantec puts customers first every day across every area of our company, products and services. If you receive a customer experience survey from us, we encourage you to provide your insights, experiences, preferences and priorities. We read every survey and take action on your feedback. This is to ensure that you receive the best possible experience, value and business results from our products and services.