A Light Touch for Data Warehouse Appliance Customer Support

VP product marketing, Acunu

I’ve been at Netezza now for just over three months and I still feel a bit like the innocent abroad but at the same time, I’m clearly a veteran, as other people join our growing team after me. We have our own EMEA Telco Solutions Manager (Chris Smith) and EMEA Alliances Manager (Kate Tickner). I’m just jealous they seem to be on top of their missions, much more quickly than me. It’s great that we have more dedicated resources for working with partners and customers, but i was struck last week by some other the stuff we do, working with customers, that is really much less visible.

Over every weekend I get cc’d on a bunch of weekly reports from folk in the org, which I scan, occasionally raise a question about and file. And amongst the reports are those from our technical account managers. These reports list customer accounts, each with a status - green, amber and red (not many of these – no really), the activities in the account this week, issues outstanding and what’s happening next. All sensible stuff and my input is sometimes to ask for a briefing if an account is at amber for two weeks or more, which generally they aren’t, and at red even more infrequently (but not never – get thee behind me corporate).

Then i rewalized that what I’m seeing is every single customer having their account reviewed every single week – proactively. I even read a report the other week in which a customer had requested less frequent contact; a sort of “everything is fine, don’t call me, i’ll call you”. And I was stunned. This is a customer complaining in that their supplier’s customer service is too responsive! Now that’s not a situation you meet often in my experience. Yet Netezza regard that level of customer service as standard process.

This was the next report for that customer:

Customer:                                          XXX

Status:                                                Green

Activity this week:                              No activity this week. Model customer J

Issues on hold/carried forward:     None

Next steps:                                         Light touch.


I just loved that ’Light Touch’.