Dell’s Enterprise Expert Center in MontPellier, France, became the first European site to achieve CompTIA ASC Gold status. In doing so it has seen customer satisfaction levels increase 10 percent.
As European hub for technical enquiries from enterprise computing customers, the Montpellier center was already considered a leading light for the global computing giant for its high levels of technical competence among staff and customer satisfaction.
Customer Services Director Jean-Pierre Berone, however, saw an opportunity to push the boundaries of excellence.
Customer satisfaction is always our top priority,” he said, noting customer surveys in recent years recorded both increased satisfaction levels with room for additional improvement.
"We wanted to boost morale by enabling Montpellier to achieve independent recognition for its excellent levels of technical ability and customer satisfaction,” Berone said.
As a global CompTIA member, Dell previously worked with the association in assuring technical competency for its Montpellier site staff by putting 50 percent of the agents through one of CompTIA’s enterprise certifications (CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ or CompTIA Server+). The partnership helped the center become an accredited CompTIA Authorized Service Center (ASC) in early 2007.
To earn ASC Gold, the highest level of recognition available from CompTIA, required an additional level of commitment to technical certification across the site, and successful completion of CompTIA’s customer service program by 50 percent of site technicians.
Berone saw ASC Gold as both a way to achieve training objectives for the site and independent recognition of excellence.
Since internal benchmarking had already proven the technical skills at Montpellier, managers sought a training program to focus on customer service skills. A training partner, Impact Learning Systems, was brought in to help create mold industry-standard training with Dell-specific examples. The resulting program of web-based modules allowed technicians the flexibility to log in and complete at their own pace.
More than 120 people were successfully trained in a little more than eight weeks to help Montpellier become the first place in Europe to achieve ASC Gold status.
Roberto Sergiacomi, a case coordinator at Montpellier, found CompTIA’s process not only suitable to his working practices, but valuable to the center as a whole.
CompTIA’s certifications are very useful for our kind of work,” he said. It is as important for me to manage the customer as it is to quickly and effectively solve their technical problem. I need to check they are satisfied on all fronts. This means I’ll get to use the information I’ve learned in these courses every single day.”
Response from Dell’s customer base has been just as impressive.
Berone was impressed with the findings based on where they began.
"You would expect this level of increase from a site with low levels of customer service at the outset, but Montpellier started from a market-leading position,” he said. “To increase by another 10 percent on top of this is truly extraordinary. It puts Dell well ahead of the industry average.”