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CASE STUDIES

“The best prophet of the future
is the past.”

– George Byron

We want to earn your business. And while we understand that each business is incredibly unique, we also know that experience is the best teacher.

To highlight how partnering with Be Different Solutions can work for your company, we've prepared the following case studies. Each study provides an up-close look at our technical support services, methodology and skill set. And more importantly, the business benefits realized by our customers.

Due to our strong commitment to client privacy and the sensitive nature of technical support services, these case studies are presented with the generous approval of a select few companies we have worked with to achieve strong success.

Case Study
WebhostGIANT

CLIENT

Webhost GIANT. A small, rapidly growing webhosting provider based out of San Diego. The client's existing support structure was based in-house and out of India.

REQUIREMENTS

The client had multiple requirements across technical support, server management, security auditing, client control and front-line sales processes management. The key requirements included:

  • There were some significant talent and skill set deficiencies within earlier outsourcing. We were charged with resolving these errors.
  • Migration of all outsourced support and server management from 5 PM PST to 6 AM PST; and from India to Be Different Solutions.
  • Drafting new support architecture, including a new culture for both in-house and prior outsourced support and customer service.
  • Changing the current client management software and chat software to a new fully integrated system.

CHALLENGES

Because of multiple activities involved in this project (some of which exceeded standard services), this was one of the more challenging assignments taken on by our team. Some of the key challenges that we faced in the assignment included:

  • Creation of a new support architecture and new hierarchy. The existing support architecture was plagued by a "pass it off to the next guy" attitude between the in-house team and the prior outsourced Indian team. There was no simple hierarchy in place.
  • Updating hundreds of servers to the latest software releases for both OS and control panel software. Almost all the servers under the client's management were outdated. Several different operating systems were in use, as well as multiple control panel vendors.
  • Migrating the client off their existing customer management software and chat software. Their old software had a large client list, details of individual transactions and history, and a separate chat system.
  • Implementing a cost-effective way to manage and track the front-line sales entries coming in through chat or the Contact page. The existing solution was handled via scripts by poorly trained outsourced teams in India.

SOLUTIONS

Since the client had multiple requirements, we started by dividing the project into various phases, with a clear timeline attached to each phase. These phases included:

  • Cleanup and Correction Phase

    The cleanup and correction activities in support culture were taken up first. By implementing a new client management solution from WHMCS and a new chat solution that was integrated into WHMCS, we were able to create accountability. Since each person's handling of customer service issues were tracked, we could identify problem employees and train others. This phase also introduced new hierarchy to make better use of the system administrators' time by removing basic support issues from the workload and having basic level support representatives manage them. Advanced issues could be moved up the chain and tickets not answered within a specified period were automatically assigned to Level 3 representatives. Another part of the clean up was the removal of the "pass it off to the next guy" attitude corrupting their prior support – via the addition of the Be Different Solutions teams and new in-house accountability.
  • Security Auditing and Software Upgrade Phase

    The phase was a challenge for us due to the client's use of a wide range of software, substantial volume of out-of-date services and limited amount of human resources. This phase was handled in close relationship with our employees and the client's in-house system administrators. The first step was to audit every server. Once we had compiled a list we were able to build a schedule for updating software. All servers running EOL OS software were prioritized. The goal was to convert as many Linux servers as possible to latest CentOS as and Windows servers to Windows Server 2008. The next step was to replace all Ensim servers with Plesk servers or cPanel servers. The third phase was to ensure all servers had the latest security patches, and then each server was hardened further by our team. The fourth step was to create one central system that had direct access to all servers, and from which periodic audits could be performed to ensure the latest software was being used.
  • New Frontline Sales Team Phase

    This actually turned out to be the easiest phase. By removing the old India-based sales teams and hiring our skilled support reps, we were able to add the front-line sales chat and tickets to the Level 1 support representatives' duties. Simply by hiring educated outsourced employees that understood webhosting and the company's offerings, we found no need to have separate teams. More advanced sales inquiries (dedicated server sales, for example) were easily pushed up to the sales manager.
  • Fine Tuning Phase

    This phase came about 6 months into the relationship. In this phase a few more changes were made to the culture to better improve response times and quality. We were also able to replace a few more in-house support representatives that were no longer working out and put Be Different Solutions employees in their place to further improve the culture and allow for greater cost savings to the company.

BENEFITS

Throughout the various phases of this comprehensive and complex project, a variety of benefits were realized. These benefits included:

  • For the Cleanup and Correction Phase, the client realized savings of roughly 25% from their budgeted figures AFTER the removal of their old outsourced teams.
  • During the Security Auditing and Software Upgrade Phase, the client had close to 1,000 servers updated. We were able to remove Ensim from the list of server software to support, manage and train on. We were also able to increase server performance with the running of the latest software, which greatly increased customer satisfaction.
  • The New Frontline Sales Team Phase saw the removal of script-reading outsourced employees, which turned off many possible new clients. During this phase the client saw that by hiring better educated and trained personnel at a slightly greater cost, they realized increased sales of up to 50% on some service offerings, as well as a reduction in cost of 10%.
  • After the Fine Tuning Phase the client realized these benefits:
    • Went from an average 3- out of 5-star rating from customers to a 4.7-star average one year later.
    • Increased positive reviews posted online. The positive reviews at places like www.hostsearch.com went up exponentially and negative reviews all but stopped.
    • A massive increase in referrals from current customers.
    • Support response times dropped to less than 30 minutes. Resolutions times averaged just over 1 hour.
    • Client chat wait times dropped to under 1 minute as highly skilled operators could handle multiple chats at one time.
    • A drastic drop in the amount of responded tickets or closed tickets being reopened.
    • In-house system administrators freed up their time to focus on advanced support issues.
    • Server performance went up, drastically dropping the amount of support tickets coming in.
    • The owner was able to focus more on selling and business development rather than spending time on customer service issues.
    • The entire environment within the company changed. Once employees would log on to start their day, they'd see a much smaller amount of open tickets, hugely reducing stress. Employees also had fewer dealings with unhappy customers, further decreasing stress.

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