How much do you feel supported during the crisis? That’s the customer data every company needs during the crisis, but very few have. With its own customers feeling pressure, and with traditional interactions scrambled, enterprise software leader Red Hat needed a metric it could act on: customers who feel supported by the company.

With $3.4B in revenue and 15,000 worldwide employees, Red Hat is one of the world’s leading providers of enterprise open source solutions. The company develops secure cloud-native applications to manage complex environments along with support, training, and consulting.

When the crisis hit, the voice-of-customer team wanted to know how best to support its customers, who are facing their own connection and business continuity challenges. So the team embedded a simple question directly on its customer access page, collecting hundreds of responses to date. “It accompanies our corporate response to COVID-19, so people can read the response and then provide feedback right away,” said Nick Woerner, Voice of Customer manager at Red Hat.

Insights to action

“The one theme we saw in the feedback was around online learning and certifications. Customers wanted to make sure they could still engage in online courses and that their expirations were extending due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Woerner added. “We received kudos for our support team as well for all the help they've provided customers.”

Taking action on specific feedback has been key. “In most cases, we are able to point customers to the response from our training and certification team. That provides links and contact information for customers who are looking to extend the date for a test or wanting to learn more about courses available to them,” he said. “Customers have appreciated the follow-up. Even a simple thank you email has been appreciated.”

“We have been tracking the percentage of customers who say they feel supported during COVID-19. Those percentages have stayed pretty steady with the overwhelming majority of customers saying that they do indeed feel supported,” Woerner said.

“I've seen many companies issue a statement around how they are reacting to the pandemic and leaving it at that. The fact that we are asking our customers shows them that we care,” Woerner said. “We published our blog but made it a point to ask customers how they felt about it. Was there more we should do? Do they feel like it was good enough? We really wanted to know.”

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