Support Account Managers (SAM)

The 4 Tenets of a Successful Support Partnership

By Dave Porta, Support Account Manager, VMware Premier Services

 

Do you know an organization that does not desire to have a strong partnership relationship with their vendors?  In my experience, every customer I have engaged with wants to build this type of relationship, and for some reason, it seems to be an elusive endeavor for many, but not for VMware.  Our EPIC2 values and commitment to delivering world-class support services led us to the formation of a blueprint that consistently transforms our customer relationships into strong and lasting partnerships.

 

Our blueprint consists of the following 4 tenets:

 

COMMUNICATION

There is a phrase I invite you to consider adopting: “Communicate with a vengeance.” In other words, Communicate, Communicate, and over-communicate.  Every time I am involved in escalations, it seems that lack of communication is the top contributing factor in giving birth to that event.  Communication needs to be a two-way street, where every party feels comfortable presenting ideas, sharing events, and asking questions. Communication needs to be constant. Start with opening an Support Request (SR), sending an email, or a text, and if the conversation becomes complex, always elevate to a phone call.

In too many occasions, I have seen a 5 min phone conversation saving days if not weeks of back and forward emails, consequently, accelerating time to resolution and decreasing the odds that an issue will become critical and escalate.

 

COLLABORATION

I like to think of this tenet as the natural expression of healthy communication dynamics.  In other words, as people embrace the spirit of communicating with a vengeance, we see that collaboration naturally emerges and makes its presence known.

 

OWNERSHIP

This tenet is another essential ingredient required in the formula, and fortunately, it is all about mindset and attitude.  And I say fortunately because both: mindset and attitude are driven by choice.

In relation to building a successful support partnership, we need people to choose to attend to the needs of the issue when assistance is requested.  If the owner of an SR is not responding to an email update, anyone in the CC fields or anyone attending the SR review call may temporarily take action on behalf of the owner.  This act significantly enforces collaboration, and, in my experience, it also seems to engender on the owner a desire to reciprocate in the future when other owners are not able to.

In my opinion, an owner’s mindset is a powerful agent with the capacity to transform the DNA of teams and organizations into high-performance entities.

 

TRUST

The final tenet of the formula: Trust is earned over time through the implementation of the previous three.  As teams fall into a routine of communicating with a vengeance, collaborating effortlessly, and adopting an attitude of ownership, a sense of trust is imbued in each other. This ethereal force has the power to bring great joy to everyone fortunate enough to be a part of the dynamic while also engenders a deep sense of fulfillment and satisfaction for all involved. Trust is the door that leads to long-lasting relationships and authentic partnerships, transcending our relationships from purely business and transactional into personable and meaningful.

 

I have seen this formula work time and time again and, I guarantee that, if you and your vendors genuinely commit to following this blueprint, you too will be able to build those strong, lasting partnerships you want to have.  Equally, if you are struggling to develop your partnerships, compare your day to day interactions with this formula, and very quickly, you will be able to identify which areas are missing or in need of focus.

 

We wish everyone success on their journey!

 

Dave started working in IT in 1998 as a Network Engineer. He has lived in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and the US working for companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Telecom New Zealand, mainly in Solutions Consulting and Solution Architecture roles. Dave joined VMware in 2016 as a Client Solutions Executive. He moved to VMware Premier Services in 2018 as a Support Account Manager where he loves working with customers and helping his peers.

 

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