Hi, my name is Billy Lee, and I am part of the MPN team, responsible for driving new initiatives to improve the overall partner experience. I’m writing today to lend some insights into issues that impact your partner experience and the steps we’ve taken to ensure a better experience in the future, based on direct feedback we’ve heard from you through our various support channels.
Your feedback in action: Streamlining charity pricing
One great example of an issue that we focused on regards charity pricing. Charity pricing is a great benefit we offer for our customers, and that partners can offer to their customers. It can allow for software licenses to be purchased at a discounted price to qualified charitable organizations whose mission is to benefit their local communities. This initiative is important to us because, here at Microsoft, we are committed to serving the needs of people in communities worldwide. More information on the program can be found here.
The way this works for partners is that they call into the Regional Service Center to request a code that would enable them to sell Office licenses to charitable organizations at the discounted rate. However, we noticed there were quite a few incoming support calls on this topic. Looking deeper into these issues, we could see the calls did not involve questions about the program or prices offered. Instead, the majority of the calls pointed to the experience – it was taking too long for partners to get the code to offer licenses at the lower, charity based price.
We realized that we could fix this, so we looked at ways of streamlining the process to help improve turnaround time. We decided to send these requests directly to Techsoup, which already determines charity pricing and eligibility for Microsoft Volume Licensing. By eliminating ourselves as the middle man, and sending these requests directly through Techsoup, we were able to reduce delays for partners to meet the needs of charitable organizations using our software more quickly and easily.
Your feedback in our support communities helped build the case that we had an issue that was impactful to partners and helped us identify an opportunity to help improve the experience. Now, with the more streamlined process, partners are able to more easily offer charity pricing to our shared customers – a win for partners, Microsoft, the customer and the broader community.
I’m hoping to share information like this on a regular basis – so please stay tuned.