*Why did Red Hat create the SRM program?
The Support Relationship Program was established to improve the customer experience. Our SRMs vigilantly look out for our customers' interests and serve as customer advocates and escalation contacts. We want to make sure our customers have the best impression possible of our organization and of Support. By proactively and regularly contacting our customers through our SRMs, we hope to keep them as satisfied as possible.
*What does an SRM do?
Support Relationship Managers are a value-add no-cost resource offered to select customers to ensure their support needs are met by Global Support Services and by Red Hat as a whole. SRMs have regularly scheduled calls with many of their customers to review open support ticketing progress and to notify Red Hat of internal initiatives so that Sales and Support can proactively address those concerns. SRMs act as customer advocates within our entire orgnization to make sure needs and expectations are met. We work to make sure tickets are moving along towards resolution, ensure cases are making forward progress, and check that action plans agreed to by our customer and GSS are being worked according to plan.
*What is the difference in a SRM and a TAM?
A Technical Account Manager is a paid resource and serves as a customer's primary technical resource. A TAM is intended to be very focused on a small number of customers and a small number of designated TAM contacts inside the companies they serve. They are highly technical and are very familiar with their customers' environments. The SRM program, as a no-cost, value-add resource, is not designed to be focused in this way. The SRM is not a technical resource, but is an escalation resource. TAM's own customer tickets, whereas SRM's help obtain resources to work tickets and do not own tickets themselves. TAM's make regular customer visits, where SRM's make occasional customer visits when important from a holistic account team perspective.
*How do we determine which accounts have SRMs?
When individual SRMs, management, or Sales identifies a candidate for the SRM program, it is filtered through SRM management for approval prior to being onboarded to make sure it aligns with GSS's strategies for the program. Questions about the customer, such as their account information, the size of their account, the volume of their support ticketing, upcoming projects, and more would need to be answered. Once approved, the customer interaction process can begin.
*What does the average SRM customer interaction look like from customer identification to full engagement? What is the process or what are the steps?
Once it is identified that a customer is a good fit for the SRM program, an SRM in the customer's region will contact their Sales account team, which includes their Inside and Outside Salesperson and highly technical Solutions Architect, to discuss onboarding the customer into the program. (Sometimes, Sales will identify this need and reach out to an SRM.) The SRM will then set up an internal call to discuss the customer's overall relationship, priorities, and needs. They will make the SRM aware of any key contact people on the customer side. Next, Sales sets up a call wtih the customer and the account team. The SRM will go through a 30-45 minute slide presentation, explaining the SRM program and support best practices. This presentation helps customers frame expectations around support and helps them become familiar with the Customer Support Portal and our customer Knowledgebase. On this call, customers will identify the frequency of their regular calls with their SRM, depending on their ticket volume and upcoming projects.
*If I have a TAM associated with an account, can I also have an SRM?
Yes. Our goal in GSS is to have an SRM on every account with a TAM, once we have the resources to do so. When a TAM is in place on an account, an SRM will take on more of a supporting role. Customers with both a TAM and an SRM will have two dedicated resources monitoring their ticketing progress and working on their behalf within the entire Red Hat organization.