Case Study

Centrify Bootstraps Their Support Team with a Winning Global Community

Centrify is the leader in securing enterprise identities against cyberthreats that target today’s hybrid IT environment of cloud, mobile and on-premises. Centrify is trusted by over 5000 customers, including more than half of the Fortune 50. With flagship products addressing needs for identity management, the Centrify Support team interacts with IT admins every day, who have in-depth and diverse skill sets. The Centrify Support team believes that admins across the globe play an important role in collaborating with the experts at Centrify.

  • Goal

    Take a community first approach to bootstrap the Centrify Support team by virtually extending it to MVPs at thousands of customer locations

  • Solution

    Support worldwide customers with a Lithium-powered Community—an online destination where customers can connect with both Centrify users and industry peers on business and technical challenges.

“Without our community to enable peer-to-peer help, we would not be able to sustain such a rapid growth, while maintaining a high score for customer satisfaction.”

— Raman Kumar, VP of Customer Success & Support, Centrify

Tell us about your community first approach to customer care and how it has helped your organization.

Our community first approach has helped us twofold: first, we have happy customers, who are constantly willing to share their knowledge, best practices and experience with other industry veterans in our space. Second, we are now able to reduce our costs to add engineers across every region and time zone and still meet SLAs and responsiveness by leveraging our community on Lithium.

What makes your community unique?

Our community is categorized by different product lines: Centrify Server Suite (our on-premise product), Centrify Identity Service & Centrify Privilege Service (our cloud-based product) and Centrify Express (our free product). All community members have read access to all categories and write access to our free Centrify Express forums. This enables Centrify to provide a positive user experience for our free product users, which potentially can lead to our paid upgrade service when their organizations expand.

We also have Super-user Spotlights, rich multimedia content, a wealth of technical information and resources, as well as in-depth community-generated how-to articles.

For our paid customers, they have the option to ask their technical questions in the premium product forums. These questions are automatically escalated as support cases to our CRM if the community does not answer them within 24 hours. This ensures that our paid customers receive timely responses while Centrify reduces paid support contact volume.

What has been the impact of your community?

The Centrify Community has opened the doors for all our products to receive timely support. Our free product is only supported by our community, and this peer support model is giving our champions (who have deployed in labs or very small environments) the support they need.

Just like every successful and customer-centric organization, we keep a close eye on our costs every year. The savings in headcount to support our customers are repurposed to make the community and Centrify Support Portal more interactive and resourceful. With new products and new customers, we are always innovating and ensuring that every type of customer who comes to us for help can easily find their answers.

Tell us about your business results.

The Centrify community started as a platform for our Express users to ask their questions, and in the last 18 months we have opened this for every customer of our solution (paid or free). Even with significant growth in our customer base, our team has been able to successfully support 5,000+ customers and continuously achieve 92%+ customer satisfaction.

Without enabling peer-to-peer community help, we would not be able to sustain such rapid growth while maintaining a high score for customer satisfaction. The Support Management team at Centrify continuously looks at metrics to drive more self-service, engineer efficiency and content creation (knowledge articles). Specifically, we’ve seen:

  • Community growth in the past 3 years. In Q1 2015, we saw a year-over-year increase of user sessions by 31% and a 13% increase in topic replies.
  • More than 30,000 visits per month in indirect contact deflection.
  • More than 40 technical topics answered and turned into searchable community knowledge for future use.

How do you measure customer satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction is derived from five survey metrics that we collect from our customers. For every customer service case that is opened with the Technical Support team at Centrify, the customer will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the products, people and features/functionality of Centrify Solutions. Customers are asked to rate us on 5 parameters: (1) Case Owner Satisfaction (2) Overall Product Satisfaction (3) Product Quality (4) Features and Functionality and (5) Overall Support Satisfaction.

What’s in store for the future of the Centrify Community?

In the future, we will be enhancing the UI to further provide a single pane of glass for all existing customers to address their technical and product needs. The success of community for our customers has also enabled the use of community internally. It is a powerful tool that support engineers across all locations worldwide use to collaborate, and we ensure that the knowledge created is available for new engineers and cross-functional onboarding of engineers.