ASP has held a support website competition for the past 22 years. Each site is judged by five independent judges who have been vetted for relevant experience. They score websites in 22 areas. This year the top five are listed below.
These sites are all great in many respects. They represent the best of support sites. They all posted very high scores from our judges, who include many noted support experts such as David Kay, Francoise Tourniaire. Jennifer MacIntosh, and Arnfinn Austefjord. The competition is tough and only those sites that are genuinely great can achieve top five soring. Our judges do not take anything at face value. They actually try to perform support functions on the websites. They enter cases, try search, watch onboarding videos, join communities, etc. Because sites are scored in 22 different areas, they must score well in almost all to achieve a high average score. These sites truly are the best of the best in the support world.
This year we are also awarding sites and individuals that have great features or other achievements worthy of honor. They may or may not have placed in our top five. Maybe their average scores were not quite high enough, but they have one or more great features that should be noted. They are listed below.
Best Contribution to Moving the Industry Forward – Red Hat
Red Hat has a great support website. They were first or second in Entry (tied with Republic Wireless), Content, Interaction, Overall Metrics, and Disabilities Access. This is their 10th award in a row. Their overall contribution to the state-of-the-art in support websites is exemplary. We applaud Red Hat’s evolving technology, continuous improvement, emphasis on user experience, and for leading the way for everyone else for a long time.
Pushing the Envelope – Progress
Progress has several accomplishments worth paying attention to. One of those is the pre-screening of tickets. This checking service ensures that tickets are properly qualified and resolution-ready, thus avoiding days or even weeks of frustrating ping pong. One judge noted other attributes; “Their site is really customer-focused with nice transitions from digital to human. Documentation is well done with plenty of prettified code samples.”
Overall Best Support Website – NetApp
There are many intangibles and elements that go into a great customer experience. This year the top honor goes to NetApp. This is the third year in a row that they have been a winner in our competition. They did score first in more areas than any other company, but the judges’ comments tell why we think they are the best. “Best use of learning technologies in guided problem solving. These features enhance the interactive nature of the support site and make it feel more personal to the user.” “Exceptionally well laid out case details page.” “Best downloadable documentation.” “The support home page is really nice and gives the user a customizable support dashboard. It provides ‘at your fingertips’ info at a glance.”
Best Achievement – Republic Wireless & PowerSchool (Tie)
You may know Republic Wireless from winning the past two years. They are a small company that regularly scores better than medium and large size companies. This is their third award in a row. Some judges’ comments illustrate how good their site actually is. “I nominate them for having the best website that allows customers to quickly get to problem resolution through search, content, community help, service tickets and live chat.” ” Most Transparent and Engaged with Customers. Republic Wireless trusts its expert customers to provide support to other customers. While this is common in the community support model, Republic takes it several steps further and proves they trust customers and that customers trust Republic Wireless.” Who does this in the cell provider business? No one else.
This year Republic is joined by a newcomer to our competition, PowerSchool. They are a medium sized company that outscored many large companies and deserve to have their achievements noted. Our judges nominated them for many things, including: Best overall support site, Best Gamification, Best Community, Best Ease of Use, Best Submission Essay, and Many Options for Sharing Content. Pretty heady comments for a rooky in this competition.
Most Important Contribution – ASP’s Volunteer judges
This is the 22nd year of our support website competition. Each year sites are scored in (this year) 22 areas by volunteer judges. They are vetted for relevant experience before being accepted to judge and are not allowed to judge a site that they have any conflicts of interest with. All are volunteers and most judge several sites each year. This contribution of their valuable time allows our competition to exist and also allows ASP to offer entry to companies at a very low cost. Several judges are noted consultants that make their living helping companies to develop and improve their support websites. Last year we threw a significant change to our scoring at them and this year we asked for nominations in addition to scoring. This did not phase them at all. Thank you judges for your valuable contributions.