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2009 Year In Review: DynDNS Ninja Squad is Born

During the first quarter of each year, the DynDNS Ninja Squad (RIP “Customer Support Team”) sits down and discusses the previous year’s goals, how we achieved those goals, and our goals for the year to come. We had a great meeting last Thursday, and I’d like to share some of the highlights to let you know what’s on our minds.

In 2009, our goals were:

* Improve the customer’s experience
* Improve communication to, from, and within the support department
* Allow individual support techs to explore projects they are interested in
* Empower the support department to do more for our customers without needing help from the engineering team

As you can tell, these goals really center around the first: by improving communications, making the Ninjas more self-reliant, and giving them the opportunity to act outside their job descriptions, we improve the customer experience. So, how did we do?

As an example of individual projects we undertook this year, Jason revamped our Online Contact Form, which puts the answers in front of our customers before they even ask a question. This has reduced the number of emails we receive by almost half, which means more customers are getting the answers they need more quickly. Additionally, by asking the customers to categorize the nature of their questions, it’s much easier for us to track trends in the types of questions we receive and react accordingly.

Our overall response time to emails has improved as well; again, this means our customers are getting the answers they need more quickly. Not only has our Ninja Squad really stepped up the response time, but we have our friends Cry Havok, RotBlitz, VikingTiger, and others at the Community helping customers find solutions to their problems. Big kudos to them! Speaking of new faces, we brought Chris and Charles on board after seeing Dan move over to our engineering team. It’s pretty cool to have an engineer who worked in support for over a year developing and maintaining services for our customers. Trust me, he hasn’t forgotten the feedback you gave him during that time.

We also have more customer-facing tools available, allowing our users to self-diagnose issues before they need to contact us. We launched DNSCog and created a utility that tests a customer’s MailHop Backup MX configuration, ensuring that the mail will be stored and redelivered correctly if their primary server goes down. We’ve also created a number of new internal tools for the Ninjas to use, providing better diagnostics and deeper access to system information, allowing us to give our customers more thoughtful and helpful responses. Many of these tools came about thanks to Alan and his years of experience helping our customers. It also means fewer situations being escalated to myself or our engineering team to fix, and provides a more accurate description of the problem when something does warrant immediate attention, improving turnaround time dramatically.

What’s the result of all this? We’ll let our customers speak for themselves:

“You need to get paid more money. You guys are awesome, you just saved me so much time and grief.” – Antonio

“That is very appreciated and reminds me of why I like your service so much.” – Ronald

“Great, thank you for your super-fast help!” – Marc

“You guys are the best, I love your support. You’ve made my day, thank you.” – Ty

Svijet even invited us to beautiful Croatia after we helped him out, although I wonder if he has room for the six of us!

That wraps up part one of our meeting notes. In part two, I’ll share our plans for 2010 and beyond.

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Oracle Dyn Global Business Unit, a pioneer in managed DNS and a leader in cloud-based infrastructure that connects users with digital content and experiences across a global internet.