Welcome changes

As Erik fairly prodded me in the comments on my last post, companies need to listen to their customers. Lenovo is listening, and we are making changes, but perhaps we aren't sharing what we've heard and what we are doing about it as much as we should be. And, if we aren't doing that, how do our customers know we are truly listening? Mark

Guest blogging today isEd Shumpert, a program manager in the Lenovo Americas services group... You may remember when Chris Askew highlighted Lenovo’s focus on Customer Delight and a new service surveythat we launched to gauge our performance. Boy did you guys take notice! We have received over 42,000 responses to date in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil since starting on July 9th, 2007! It has been so successful that we are now expanding the program and are very close to launching the Customer Delight survey process worldwide. You should start seeing the new surveys everywhere in August.But don’t think that we are stopping there. Getting good feedback is only one part of the performance picture! Feedback without action is apathy and there is no place in Lenovo for that. One of the first things we did when we started the new survey is to assemble teams across all of our service channels (Depot, Onsite, CRU , Helpcenter) to review the surveys and develop actions to resolve the issues identified. Some of the results of this work have been showing up in our service channels over the past six months, and I thought I’d highlight a few of those actions here today. If you have ever phoned a call center you have definitely heard it: "Thank you for calling…" The VRU, otherwise known as a Voice Response Unit, is scornfully referred to as a four letter word by many. You told us that our call center VRU was an extremely long thing that was confusing and hard to navigate. Well we heard you loud and clear! After receiving your surveys about our VRU we worked with our service partner, IBM, and completely revamped the VRU from scratch. The US call center receives thousands of calls per day so this was something that had an impact for many customers. Our VRU team identified several rather compelling facts which surprised us:

  • 30% of our customers were spending over two minutes listening to the VRU before they even got connected to a technician.
  • If they listened to each message completely it could take as long as five minutes!
  • Because our support number was so complex we also found that some 19% of our calls were mis-routed due to the wrong option being selected .

On the weekend of June 15th, 2008 all of that changed when we went live with a completely revamped VRU: it’s not only shorter but it’s also less complex. Since the new options have gone in place errors resulting in a transfer been reduced from 19% to 2%. Even better, 90% of all calls are now through the VRU and connected within 30-60 seconds. We also made it easier for you to identify which option to choose for Lenovo support. (See figure below - this is the simplified version, the original was too large and complex to be viewed on a single screen )

Larger image Another thing we heard was that our pixel policy on ThinkPads was too complex - with thresholds for replacement varying by screen size, resolution, and in certain combinations of stuck on or off pixels. We agree. As of this week, there is a new, simplified policy in place that we believe is close to being an industry best. If you have more than 2 defective pixels on any in-warranty ThinkPad purchased Jan 1, 2008 or later, Lenovo will replace your LCD.Here is the new policy. You also told us that our returns and replacement process was too much of a hassle. While our return policy mirrored the industry standard, we have taken steps to ensure that any hardware defects or failures encountered during the first 21 days of ownership are addressed quickly and easily. We won’t require you to service your system before you can return or replace it, if it is defective. If you would like to give us a chance to repair it, we can extend a free one time upgrade to Onsite repair to get it fixed quickly. If you still wish a refund or replacement, we will now conference you with our Sales team and stay with you. If you bought your system as part of our employee, friends, and family purchase program you’re now accommodated with the same options as a regular sale. (In the past, due to the deep discounts, additional limitations applied) The improvements don't end there, and many more are underway. Please continue to provide feedback through these post service surveys. If our service didn't exceed you expectations let us know so we can make sure we change that. If we did a good job then let us know that as well. We reward performance and would love to include your comments in our service awards for high performers.