EMC Uses Technology to Enhance
Its Customer Service
The best kind of problem is no problem, or one that i anticipated and fixed before it even occurs. And no one is better at doing this than E.M.C Corporation. a manufacturer of data storage systems. Using state-of-the-art technology. a wide variety of sensors are installed in its storage systems. These sensors measure almost everything, from the operating environment, like temperature and vibration, to technical performance. like faulty sector on a' storage disk or abnormal power surges. In total, there are more than a 1,000 diagnostics that are done routinely. Whenever any of these parameters falls outside of its accepted tolerances the storage system automatically "calls home" to EMCs call center in Hopkinton,
MA to report the problem. In fact, more than 80 percent of the 4,000 calls received at the call center each day are not from EMC's customers themselves, but rather from EMC's storage systems. Customer support engineers then either fix the problem remotely from the call center, or if that is not possible, dispatch a technician to the site. With this ability to anticipate problems before they occur, the first time a customer is even aware of a potential problem is when the technician arrives to replace a potentially faulty component before it actually fails.
One of the key factors in EMC's significant growth over the past decade has been its fanatical devotion to customer service. Providing great customer service, however. requires more than the ability to perform remote diagnostics. it requires commitment from the entire company. For starters, the customer service call center is located right in the middle of the engineering department, easily accessible to both hardware and software engineers. If the engineer receiving the call can't resolve the problem in 15 minutes, the responsible design engineer is called in. If it still isn't resolved in another 15 minutes, the vice president for
engineering is called in. An unresolved problem will continue to escalate through EMC's organization, to the point where if it isn't solved within eight hours, Mike Ruettgers, EMC's executive chairman and Joe Tucci, EMC's president and CEO are both notified. As further evidence of its commitment to service excellence, ElVIC doesn't treat its customer service organization as a profit center, as many firms do. By including the service in the cost of the product, customer service is treated as an expense item, without a need to generate profits. This allows the customer service to focus entirely on doing whatever is necessary to satisfy the customer. Does EMC charge more for its products? Absolutely. But its customers -believe that EMC products are worth the additional cost. When Forrester Research surveyed 50 big companies about their various technology suppliers, "EMC carne out looking like God says Carl Howe. a director of research at Forrester. "It has the best customer service review is have ever seen, in any industry In an Information Week study conducted on enterprise storage vendors, EMC received a satisfaction score of 8.53 (on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is not at all satisfied and 10 is extremely'satisfied), compared to scores of7.21 for Compaq, 7.16 for IBM. and 7.05 for Dell. As further evidence of customer satisfaction, the same study asked customers to rank their enterprise storage vendors in terms of "Service-Level Guarantees" and After-Sales Service" with the following results.