Customer happiness is in direct proportion to the quality and efficiency of the cloud services rendered and the type and extent of cloud support provided. Keeping the customer in the loop is expected; demanded. If your support services satisfy the wishes of your customers, your customer will be happy.

How do you identify factors that will make your customers happy?

Customers contemplating subscriptions to cloud services normally evaluate the type and extent of the cloud service rendered against the “wish lists” that they consciously or unconsciously formulated as individuals or groups of individuals. These wish lists are derived from information that is available to them online or offline or from evaluating trial versions of cloud software or after reading a review of the vendor. A quick look at the wish lists of cloud service customers will show that there are generic wishes and specific wishes.

Generic wish lists include the needs of a broad spectrum of customers. It is a fact that customer groups generically have a set of “minimum expectations” from the cloud service. These may include cloud customer expectations around “high availability”, “on-demand scalability” or “flexibility of restore”.

Specific wish lists may include “best fit” features that may be demanded by a group of customers belonging to a specific industry. These customers may demand “unbreakable cryptographic algorithms for effective encryption”, “high levels of security” or data de-duplication as a feature of the service. They may consider “continuous data backup” an imperative or “bare metal restore” an essential feature.

The quality and efficiency of the support services will be benchmarked against the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and the extent the promises are delivered. Cloud service providers who do not deliver what they promise will soon find that their reputation is tarnished and their customer base is dwindling. For instance, a service provider who promises “high availability” and “99.9% uptime” and fails to deliver will soon have to face irate customers. Cloud service providers who promise only what they can deliver and deliver what they promise will gradually build a reputation for reliability, quality and efficiency.

Finally, online backup and cloud service providers, who have the pulse of the market, will build up an enviable reputation for excellence in support services. These service providers proactively anticipate customer needs. They dedicate time and energy to market research and make the effort to cater to ‘extant’ needs and ‘potential’ needs of customers.  They may even help their customers crystallize unspoken wishes or sell them an idea that has not formulated itself in their minds.