Trend Micro’s “Virus Buster” series is a personal anti-virus software, which boasts the top market share in Japan, a big brand with extremely high product recognition. It was in 2005 that transcosmos began providing assistance for the user support services of this Virus Buster software.
Security products require continuous user support after the sale. At Trend Micro, in-house staff had been handling support services since the launch of their products. However, it became necessary to significantly enhance the support system from the dramatic growth in user numbers since the beginning of the 2000s, as well as the frequent occurrence of “outbreak type” viruses where infections spread explosively over wide areas. transcosmos has provided a complete staff with specialized skills and knowledge to sustain a user support system which has expanded to a scale of 500 persons during peak periods.
The biggest challenge for Trend Micro regarding user support services was to balance improved service quality for the users with cost performance.
Inquiries are diverse, and satisfying each user who is anxious about problems such as a PC malfunction or the threat of a virus requires not only expert knowledge about Internet security, but also communication skills to accurately listen to the problem and provide a sense of security for the users. transcosmos has worked to improve the quality of user support by performing thorough training and management of the support staff.
On the other hand, cost reduction has been achieved by transferring support services to near-shore and offshore centers. The support center that was originally located in Tokyo was transferred to Okinawa in 2007. In addition, another center was also established in Shanghai in 2008. It was not only possible to begin operations at the center in the short period of three months, but since transcosmos handled all operations related to the launch, there was no burden of any kind placed on Trend Micro.
Currently, support services are being carried out through a division of labor whereby telephone support is handled in Okinawa and e-mail support is handled in Shanghai. In Shanghai, response quality is continually maintained through measures including the recruitment of students from local Japanese schools, e-mail responses review by Japanese staff, and construction of a backup system for times when communication problems occur. With the transfer of the center, a significant decrease has been realized in costs such as labor and facility maintenance, and overall support costs have been successfully reduced by more than 10%.
A support center is the point of direct contact between a company and its end users. Depending on the way an inquiry is handled, the feeling of confidence in a product that has been built up to that point can be shattered in an instant. Therefore, all staff members who provide assistance for user support services must not limit its knowledge to the business content and product features of client companies, but also understand the corporate culture and mind-set.
In the future, transcosmos wants to continue contributing to further improvement of user support quality and customer satisfaction for Trend Micro with thorough education and staff training, while also continuing to respond flexibly and quickly to their every need so that Trend Micro can maintain its position as the top security supplier.