Digital Support

NetApp Support Coaching Program wins Silver Stevie Award for 2021


We are proud to announce that we’ve won the Silver Stevie® Award - Customer Service Training or Coaching Program of the Year - Technology Industries for 2021. Read on to know our success story: 


NetApp Support is heavily invested in helping our customers resolve any issues they face with NetApp products and services. While customer success and satisfaction are our primary focus areas, we are also constantly striving to ensure that our engineers have the right tools, training, and coaching to continue providing the best support to our customers through 1:1 engagement and by enhancing the KB database as an effective self-service portal. 


New Coaching Model and Methodology: 

In 2019, we revitalized our support strategy and started our journey to implement Knowledge Centered Services, Version 6 (KCSv6) methodology at NetApp. KCSv6 focusses on knowledge being the key asset of an organization and strives to integrate reuse, improvement, and if it does not exit, the creation of knowledge while solving customer issues. To ensure that our engineers understand the power of this collective knowledge and the benefits that it provides to our customers and the organization, we put in place an exemplary training and coaching program that was meticulously planned and executed. 


Training and Coaching in Waves 

NetApp KCS journey started with a small, enthusiastic group of engineers, managers, and directors being trained on the methodology. This core group took upon themselves the responsibility to evangelize KCS and ignite the interest of other engineers and managers in the program. This was done by effectively communicating and displaying the benefits of KCS--which includes, improved customer success with our self-service portal, reduced time to resolve customer issues, and opportunity to continually improve our products, based on insights gained from customer problem areas.  


Coaches Made it Happen:

We trained our engineers in waves; each wave comprising of 50 to 100 engineers. The training sessions were followed by extensive 1 to1 coaching by a dedicated group of coaches. Each wave produced coaches that could train and coach the subsequent wave of engineers, thereby setting in motion an organized and effective coaching methodology.  Our Coaches are our secret sauce to change management.  Instead of running this as a top-down program, we’ve run it bottoms up with our Coaches.  They are the de facto leaders of our KCS Program at the local level and everything goes through them.  That is one of the primary reasons our subsequent digital transformation has been so successful.  


KCSv6 Licensing 

We also have a licensing program that provides our engineers increased privileges in the authoring system based on their understanding of the KCS methodology and the proficiency they exhibit in following processes and addressing customer issues. Through our world class coaching and licensing program, we were able to bring in systemic changes to the way our support team functions. Here are some of our successes: 

  • 90% support engineers licensed
  • 100% Coaches licensed 
  • 98% Support Leadership Licensed 
  • 90% of our Knowledge Articles are available for use on our self-service portal (30% increase from last year)
  • Our time to publish has reduced to 1/10th of what it was in early 2020. 
  • Our publishing rate has increased by 10x