LeaseWeb, one the world's leading dedicated hosting providers, has significantly upgraded its Support Department over the past six months in response to signs that customers' support experience could be improved. The most recent semi-annual customer survey held among more than 1,300 customers showed that the measures are having a positive effect.
The upgrade of LeaseWeb's Support Department included the hiring of 20 more highly qualified engineers and the improvement of the terms of employment. In addition, all support engineers completed a series of communications training courses to improve their ability to operate in a more customer-friendly manner. These measures have resulted in an impressive 20% increase in the number of fully satisfied customers over the past six months.
Various developments caused our Support Department to become somewhat overburdened at the end of 2008, says Rolph Haspers, Operations Director of LeaseWeb. In Q4 2008, LeaseWeb experienced a tremendous growth spurt that had repercussions on the Support Department. This department was facing extra difficulties due to the unfortunate lack of engineers at that time, and the fact that it had too many lower qualified engineers. Also, we are traditionally a highly technology-oriented company, which is not always conducive to customer-friendliness and which became more apparent during this stressful period.
More than six months ago, immediately after the disappointing support results from the previous customer survey, both short-term and long-term measures were implemented in order to provide the customers with renewed confidence in a positive support experience. Haspers: The survey results confirmed our gut feeling and we immediately took action. Our short-term measures included the temporary hiring of additional Support staff, partly from the UK. These highly experienced employees were able to relieve some of the pressure and provide effective support to less experienced staff.
For the longer term, LeaseWeb immediately started looking for more highly qualified engineers in an effort to expand its Support Department with additional permanent staff. Haspers: This expansion process is still continuing, although the current staffing of the department already has significantly improved the ability to handle peak loads. This positive effect is clearly reflected in the most recent semi-annual customer survey. In addition, six months ago, we immediately decided to relieve the burden on the Support Department in a structural manner through additional investments in automation, among other areas, and by unlinking the provisioning process, i.e. the process of making servers and other hardware available. That should also help to lighten the work load of the department and improve the quality of support.