What Is Customer Support?
Customer Support is the hands-on assistance provided by your Business Intelligence (BI) vendor via their team of experts. Great customer support will ensure your company rolls out, uses, and adopts the BI solution.
- What constitutes top-notch customer support
- 6 common BI problems and how customer support should help
- Verified analysts reports and review sites rating BI solutions’ customer support
Who Should Read This:
If you’re looking for a BI solution that your company will actually use, or you’re responsible for how your company rolls out, uses, and adopts it—this guide is for you.
When most people think of business intelligence solutions, they fantasize about colorful dashboards serving up insights to help make critical business decisions. Others are into the technical side of things, interested in digging deep into their Big Data stores to harness the value hidden in all that data.
If you ask these people, “what do you want in a BI solution?” you’ll hear a range of answers:
"Beautiful data visualizations!"
"Handles BIG data!"
"Easy to use—even for non-techies!"
These are all vital factors to consider when selecting a BI solution. However, one other factor often determines the success of your company’s business intelligence efforts, and it’s often overlooked: Customer Support.
The Importance of Customer Support
Yes, customer support—the hands-on assistance supplied from the BI vendor via their team of experts—is often the single determiner to whether your BI project will succeed or fail.
The reality? BI can be complicated and messy. It’s not enough to invest in a new BI tool that provides stunning data visualizations and handles Big Data. The insights you gain depend not just on powerful BI features, but also on how well your organization implements, adopts, and ultimately uses it. That’s where quality Customer Support separates the winners from the losers.
So, how do you make sure a BI solution offers quality customer support? Read on.
What Constitutes Great Customer Support?
One more time: customer support is the hands-on assistance supplied by the BI vendor via their team of experts.
These experts should take the time to get to know your business and your unique challenges and be ready to provide you with support for implementation, scaling, modeling data, and mastering your analytics tools. The end goal is user enablement. Training should focus on working with users for however long it takes to ensure they can independently get results from the BI tool. No more IT bottlenecks or massive workloads for dedicated analysts. A self-service BI tool still needs great Customer Support to help users become truly effective on their own.
6 BI Problems and How Customer Support Can Help
A proactive Customer Support team is the ultimate way to prevent the post-purchase buyer’s remorse that can come from a BI project falling apart. Here’s a list of common problems that
can occur when ramping up a new BI solution, and how getting the Customer Support can solve them:
Not identifying a specific business case for tools
- You can’t determine ROI if you haven’t first figured out what business outcomes your new insights are supposed to help you achieve.
- The Customer Support team should take the time to get to know your business’s unique challenges and help you pinpoint the places BI initiatives should focus to make the most difference, right away, to demonstrate ROI.
No buy-in from end-users
- Without buy-in from the people who will ultimately be using the tools, BI solutions can be left under-utilized and make little impact on the bottom line.
- Training tools such as videos and workshops can help cement business intelligence across the organization—even if many of the users are technophobes. Strong BI vendors are those who offer a support track.
- How you begin often determines how you’ll end: a faulty takeoff can crash your whole BI initiative. A lengthy, cumbersome launch process or one with missing elements can have a long-lasting, negative impact.
- Good customer support means that analytics are implemented completely and successfully, and users will be trained and confident. Tools should be up and running within days or weeks, not months
- Features such as reporting and querying capabilities or fancy dashboards are great—but they’re worthless if they don’t integrate with your other business systems.
- Customer support should ensure that your BI tools fit in smoothly with other systems, and see to it that your business intelligence solution is implemented seamlessly.
- Not every BI solution can handle the pressures of increasingly complex data and multiple sources
- Make sure you’re getting a flexible platform that will grow and adapt with your unique business needs. Talking through these needs, both current and future, with a
knowledgeable Customer Support team is key to achieving success with BI solution. Remember, part of long-term support and partnership is the ability to easily (and affordably!) scale to additional data and users you will surely need in the future.
- Skimping on the user training budget is a false economy—you won’t get value from your BI solution if users can’t operate it properly.
- Your business intelligence software should come with ongoing support, full instructions on how to get the most of its features, and free training videos.
Finding a BI Solution with Great Customer Support
A good way to decide for yourself if a BI vendor has good support is to hear directly from users (or people who passed on it).
Customer reviews and ratings, analyst commentary, and professional reports that are from a third-party give you a true, unbiased perspective.
Here are some of the most popular review sites and analyst reports for Business Intelligence:
1. Gartner’s MQ for BI & Analytics
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms report is arguably the most influential report in the BI space. It describes the current state of the BI industry and influences its future by impacting buyer behavior, vendor strategy, and market awareness.
Celebrating the best in modern business intelligence and analytics...
Gartner describes great customer support as “continuous and good user enablement,” which drives the success of business intelligence.
How Sisense Ranked:
Sisense was named as a Visionary in the 2018 Gartner report. What set us apart from other vendors? Our customer support! “Customer reference scores,” the report says, “ position [Sisense] in the top quartile of...vendors for customer experience and operations, including support.”
Gartner Peer Insights, a Gartner site that focuses on reviews of real users, provides a highly detailed view of each product and its strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the independent reviews of Sisense from the IT community (real users) at Gartner peer insights:
“Great customer success engagement.“
“Superior customer support.“
“Great team to work with.“
2. G2 Crowd - Implementation Index Report
G2 Crowd is a leading business software review platform. Drawing data from over 381,000 user reviews, the platform collects feedback on industry-leading software solutions to help technology buyers compare a variety of B2B applications.
Their Implementation Index Report ranks these tools based on user scores like ease of setup, implementation time, user adoption, and time-to-ROI, and other factors directly related to customer support. G2 Crowds Implementation score is calculated using real user-satisfaction ratings for a number of implementation-related review questions.
How Sisense Ranked:
In the G2 Crowd Report, Sisense received high marks for Ease of Use, Admin, and Doing Business With, as well as Quality of Support. Also worth noting, 63% of Sisense customers see a return on their investment within one year. Check out how Sisense stacks up against Qlik, Power BI, and Tableau below:
The full comparison paper is available here.
3. The Wisdom of Crowds Study by Dresner
The Wisdom of the Crowds study is based on the feedback of thousands of real BI users who participated in Dreseners study and ranked the leading BI tools based on their own experience. The study has a strong emphasis on the overall customer experience of users and is a good determining factor for customer support. You can download the report here.
How Sisense Ranked:
With over 1,500 survey respondents, Sisense ranked as one of the leading tools in both Customer Experience, determined by the product’s score in technology and service, and Vendor Credibility, determined by the value and confidence the market has in the product.
Sisense was also recognized as best-in-class for product ease of installation, ease of administration, professionalism, and product knowledge, and received a high overall score in virtually every category including: value, robustness/sophistication of technology, product knowledge, time to resolve problems, completeness of functionality, and ease of administration.
Sisense also achieved a perfect ‘recommend’ score according to the customers, by simplifying business intelligence for complex data and making it immediately accessible for every business user, executive, and BI analyst. Read more top resources for comparison resources here.
What’s Customer Success Like at Sisense?
At Sisense, getting customers the help they need to use our platform effectively is a core part of our mission.
As an Evaluator
Successful business intelligence outcomes start at the very beginning of your analytics journey, and we’re the only BI vendor to offer a real, live test drive of our analytics that’s based on your real data—typically tests are carried out on sample data you provide, but it’s still real data. That way, you can get a true taste of how easy it is to use Sisense and how it can impact your business.
Our first job is to help customers find the right solution for their business, industry, and unique requirements. The support team will work closely with you to understand what you need from your BI solution and help you determine the right tools for your needs.
We’ve also written some great blogs, like this one, to help you with this too.
As a Customer
When a new client chooses Sisense, we walk them through the entire set-up process. Customer support specialists—we call them our Customer Success Team—are available 24 hours a day to offer extra tech support. Each client is also assigned their own ongoing support through a Customer Success Manager and an Engagement Manager.
See for yourself how Sisense provides world-class customer support: