Still Unbreakable: Onboarding New Customers During the Holiday E-Tailing Peak

Lavanya Srikantapuram

An interesting thing happened here just before the holiday shopping season. During the e-tailing peak, many retailers go into code freeze, but Instart Logic had a sizable number of e-commerce companies in trials and proofs of concept. We expected most would stop looking at new technology from November 1st through the New Year. Instead, they kept right on coming. Once they saw the performance and reliability of the Web Application Streaming Network, they felt the need to provide a better user experience on Mobile (formerly known as Black) Friday.

Trial by fire, but it was not just a drill

After extensive testing, a few weeks before Thanksgiving one of the major e-commerce retailers (you would recognize the name) came to the conclusion that they needed to switch immediately to Instart Logic. This was a full-featured implementation, with image-intensive product pages, dynamic content, and highly mobile visitors. A fast, reliable user experience meant everything, and they wanted it for every visitor. “If everything works perfectly, we’ll send 100% of our traffic through Instart Logic beginning over the holidays.” For both our technology and our customer support, it amounted to a trial by fire. We were not about to disappoint.

Support – which we call Customer Success at Instart Logic – tends to be most important in two situations, the first being when a problem occurs. The other critical circumstance is onboarding, when a new customer first entrusts their precious traffic to our Web Application Streaming platform. We know you require fast answers, without the hassles of trouble tickets and barriers to fast solutions.

With our customer base growing significantly over the past year, we have continually expanded our Customer Success capability, and now onboard a new customer every 3 to 4 business days. At the same time, we continue to provide our existing customers with all the proactive and responsive white-glove support they have come to expect and appreciate.

Onboarding went on right through the holidays. These new customers had weighed the benefits of improved conversions with more satisfied visitors, and considered the downside of being slower than their competitors if they stayed with their CDN provider. Their assessments dictated switching their traffic over to Instart Logic before the holiday spikes hit them.

We all know the statistics: Thanksgiving brings a roughly 4x traffic ramp, which is replicated just before Christmas. Then, for many, comes an even bigger spike for post-Christmas sales. For many customers, this time period brings 60% or more of their annual revenue. A few seconds of downtime translates immediately into significant lost revenue. In all these onboardings, it was critical to have no hiccups.

Rewind to the beginning of November. Our major new e-tailing customer needed to be up and running by November 6th. In less than 10 days, we had investigated their applications, knew their configurations, and could optimize their go-live on November 6th.

Like web application streaming itself, our customer support is innovative

Our technology is a departure from legacy approaches. The same is true of our customer support model. We built a highly personalized approach to Customer Success, appointing a named contact at Instart Logic who learns the customer’s configuration in depth, and that engineer is backed up by a named second. As you’d guess, only one of the duo goes on vacation at a time. This gives us ongoing capability to respond to any issues and skip the time-consuming preliminaries. Even better, our Site Reliability Engineers know your traffic patterns and can often see issues before they present a real problem.

We’ve built the capacity and process to ensure the smoothest possible onboarding, while at the same time handling our current customer support needs. Successful onboarding, especially during the peak holiday time period, is the result of barrier-free communication between our sales and support (CS) teams. It takes a combination of people sharing key information, a strong process, and knowing our customers.

Every customer depends on us, and we feel that responsibility keenly – even more so when it’s 100% of their peak holiday load. We’re proud to note that not only did our technology remain unbreakable for every customer – so did our support process.

We will continue to scale Customer Success and maintain the personalized connection as more companies switch to Instart Logic. Google


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