Posted by Yolanda Ruiz Hervas, April 22th, 2010
My friend and colleague Ana Etxebarría (head of the company’s Support Division, and responsible for this blog and many other things) has been chasing me over the last few days to get me to write something for the blog. And it’s not that I didn’t feel like it -as Head of Communications for the Panda Group I spend my time writing-, but I just felt that given the time it has taken me to actually put myself to the task, I wanted to produce something worthwhile.
Inspiration finally came from an interview about innovation I recently gave at a top Spanish university. Even though the meeting was video-recorded and seemingly never-ending, it was certainly worth the effort, not just considering the amount of material I gave them for their case study, but also because it made me think a great deal about innovation and differentiation.
Yet first let me talk a little bit about our company, just for the sake of contextualizing the issue for the subsequent sections of the post… so, please keep reading.
As many of you already know, Panda Security is celebrating its 20th anniversary, something that unfortunately not all technology companies manage to do. The IT sector evolves so quickly that you need considerable vision to stay in the market and grow, something our company has been doing since the very beginning. However, Panda has gone one step further: it has managed to grow while setting itself apart from other companies by developing world-renowned, cutting-edge technologies.
When, during the interview, I was asked about Panda’s differentiation strategy, I immediately pointed out the company’s ground-breaking innovation in all fields and the vision of the Panda team in taking often unknown paths that are eventually followed by other companies… Then, when asked about the keys to the company’s success, I mentioned a few -leaving the most important one until last-: the list is topped by technology, the result of our innovation effort; then, the maximum protection we offer to our clients thanks to cutting-edge solutions that adapt to the market needs, etc. But especially, excellent customer care.
The people from the university stared at me, nodding and saying that even though they had interviewed many people from some top companies, none of them had mentioned this aspect as a key to success. That’s strange, as most of us follow recommendations when buying things, and many of those recommendations are based on the way companies treat clients. Many studies demonstrate that getting a new client is much more expensive than keeping a current one. Actually, keeping current clients is not so difficult. It does require, however, for the team of professionals dealing with this to put all their know-how into practice so that every client feels like they are being taken care of at all times.
In our case, this is even more evident. Do you know any software that is completely error free? It just doesn’t exist. Do you know any security software with 100% reliability? We always say that 100% security doesn’t exist. What can you ask then from a security system installed on your computer? Well, you should obviously ask it to protect you of course, but it should also help you resolve any question or problem you might have as quickly, effectively and ‘nicely’ as possible. We all like being treated nicely.
And this is what I wanted to get to: in every company, a good Customer Care department is as important as any other department. This is precisely what Ana does day in and day out, as the leader of a team of hundreds of technicians all over the world: resolving our clients’ queries with the best know-how and always with a smile. This is no simple task, believe me: We have clients in 195 countries, with the complexity this entails regarding different time zones, cultures, languages… Our client profile ranges from home users without technical knowledge to highly specialized corporate users, partners of all kinds…
And to make matters even more complicated, the Support and Customer Care departments operate a service via email, the Web, online forums, Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites… I don’t want to bore you, just give you a glimpse into the day-to-day activities of the team. Always with a smile on their face.
Thank you all for making our life easier and contributing so much to the company’s success.
Yolanda Ruiz Hervas introduces herself “I have worked in Panda Security Group as Communication Manager since joining the company in 2001. Also, I confess I am passionate about technology, my work, motorbikes and cars and good company (and not in order). ‘Carpe Diem!’ is my motto. You can contact me on http://twitter.com/yolandaruiz or email@example.com