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NBU Product Improvements Based Directly on Customer Feedback

Created: 20 Jul 2012
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No matter what you are trying to improve—your tennis game, career or presentation skills—constant attention and focus on your goal is a necessity. The same is true when a business wants to improve its products. This case study explains how the Symantec NetBackup Team is continuously soliciting customer comments to help improve its software and the customer experience.

“Don’t judge people until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” This Native American proverb applies to every relationship in life: personal and business. These words of wisdom are key to an ethical life, and a guiding principle behind how Symantec implements changes to its products. “You have to constantly monitor your customers’ wants and needs,” said a Product Manager for NetBackup (NBU), “in order to keep your product relevant and robust. We constantly listen to what our customers are saying, and recently they asked us to speed up support resolution times, make NBU easier to use and improve the licensing experience. So we did.”

Engineers Call Customers to Resolve Issues
To speed up resolution times, Symantec initiated the Call Out Program. “In this program, our engineers contact customers and resolve their issues,” explained the Product Manager. “In addition, our support organization made wholesale changes to its case-handling processes, reorganized its staff and added more staff. And our Engineering Team provided training on our latest release, NetBackup 7.5, to support technicians throughout the world to make them more knowledgeable about the product. The result: shorter queues and faster pickup times.”

Testing Program Leads to Fast Fixes
The NBU Team also implemented the First Availability Program in which customers test the final gold version of NetBackup in their environments. “During the test phase,” continued the Product Manager, “customers send us feedback and we use it to make swift improvements which we release in subsequent updates. That way the rest of our customer base will have a much better experience when we launch the final, generally available NBU release.”

Customers See 50 Percent Decrease in Hot Fixes
NetBackup 7.5 also includes telemetry—a feature that customers voluntary activate and which automatically and anonymously sends data back to Symantec on how they use the product. “Thanks to telemetry, we can make faster, customer-specific changes to the product and better target its features for the environments our customers are actually using,” said the Product Manager. “We also embedded several tools that gather information on our capacity-based licensing model. We’ll use this information to improve the licensing processes. Finally, to improve support, we started issuing maintenance packs every quarter instead of distributing a major functionality release every nine to 12 months. By proactively distributing these fixes, we’ve seen a 50 percent decrease in hot fixes and a reduction in support calls. We are making significant inroads in improving our product through these efforts, and will continue to explore ways to get even more customer input to help us in the future.”

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, so you can receive the best possible experience, value and business results from our products and services.