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Putting the Customer First Leads to Significant Improvements in SEP Product

Created: 21 Jun 2012 • Updated: 24 Jun 2012
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The Symantec Endpoint Protection and Mobility Group (EMG) includes three product families with a total of 30 products. Identifying problems and improving the customer experience in such a large organization is difficult and complicated. This case study shows how EMG uses customer feedback to help it find and fix problems and significantly improve the overall customer experience with all of its product offerings.

A major release of Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) was launched last year to excellent reviews. SEP product managers can point to several reasons why it was so successful, but one stands out. “We put a tremendous amount of resources into the new version,” said an SEP Product Manager, “but the improvements were based on customer feedback. We couldn’t have done it without their help.” Each quarter, the Endpoint Protection and Mobility Group (EMG), which includes Symantec’s core security product groups, receives 3,000 to 5,000 survey responses from its customers. “The feedback we received on the past several surveys,” continued the Product Manager, “falls into three primary categories: issues with technical support, performance, and ease of use. These are the areas that received significant attention when updating the software.”

Customers with Concerns Are Contacted
The customer feedback provide valuable information. “We crunch the numeric portion of the surveys where customers rate specific questions on a scale of one to ten,” noted the Product Manager. “Next, we do a gap analysis, looking at parameters such as product features and quality, product performance and customer service experience. A lot can be gleaned by looking at these numbers as well as the written comments. Thirty to 50 percent of the responses include detailed remarks on the customer’s experience with the product. Our first priority with negative comments is to contact that customer, close the loop and let him or her know we are taking action. Next, we review the case to find out what went wrong and send the issue to the team—such as engineering, technical support, or licensing—that can address the problem.”

Specific Customer Feedback Is the Most Helpful
The more specific the comments are, the more detailed and extensive the fixes can be. “Each quarter after the survey,” said the Product Manager, “we give our engineering organization the top five concerns that we find in the feedback. They are very receptive to addressing the issues, and the information we provide shows where they need to focus their resources. If comments point to a general rather than specific problem, like performance, engineering can take a more general approach to the fixes and work to enhance things like memory usage, the impact of scanning on users, and other performance characteristics—all of which will improve the customer experience.”

Telemetry Improves the Product and Customer Experience
In last year’s major release of SEP, telemetry—a tool that automatically sends installation statistics and other helpful data back to Symantec—was added to the product for the first time. “If a customer opts to turn on telemetry,” stated the Product Manager, “we can learn a tremendous amount from the data, which is anonymous. In the first update for the major release, we fixed more than 1,100 defects—70 of which were reported by customers—and used the telemetry data to identify and prioritize issues that caused the most installation errors. Telemetry allows us to better understand how customers are actually using the product in the real world, and how to most effectively impact their experience.”

It Takes a Community
EMG’s success is reflected in the customer feedback. “Our customer experience score increased 100 percent in just two years,” stated the Product Manager. “That’s solid proof we are making real progress. But we know that in order to improve the overall customer experience, we need everyone’s help. Our Product Team can fix the product issues that come up, but if we expect to have a strong end-to-end experience for the customer, it takes a community. We must include sales, customer care, technical support and, of course, our customers—the ones who are most intimately affected by our product. That’s why we reach out and talk to them whenever we can. Their feedback is the driving force behind improving our products, which were developed in the first place to make their companies more efficient, secure and successful.“

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.