So, having spent a lot of time on general coverage customer support, maybe it’s time technical support got some specific attention. A lot of the practices and caveats we’ve cited about customer service – in fact all of them, are just as readily applicable to technical support, as well, and we’ll touch on them briefly later. But, let’s talk about how to improve technical support.
Like any other industry within the customer service niche, technical support is in a bit of a disarrayed state right now as a result partially of our adherence to old, outdated technologies due to comfort zones associated with their use. As a result, there’s a lot of room for improvement to be had this day and age for customer service, given the new technologies that can alleviate some overload and flaws with dated systems.
First, though, when we look at how to improve technical support, let’s address actually interacting with the customers. This is independent of how it is facilitated, the only difference is the pacing of the interaction and significance of inflection.
Be mindful that they want to not have techno-babble thrown at them, but also don’t want to be condescended to. You will also, increasingly in modern times, encounter those who are very tech literate just unable to solve a problem without you. So, let them talk for a bit and gauge their level of knowledge, and go from there. If they’re technologically illiterate, talk professionally, but in English terms they can understand. Be willing to explain anything they question, in a passive tone, neither sympathetic nor superior.
Second, if you’re using a phone tree, then consider avoiding the following things. First, simplify your menus as much as possible, and make sure all can escape to speaking to an agent. Make getting a person, even if they turn out to be the wrong person, possible. Ensure everyone can redirect calls to everyone else as well. Avoid speech recognition for now, and loop elevator music or adverts while on hold. We can’t alleviate hold times this way.
To alleviate hold times, branch out into other systems. Since tech support requests will likely be at computers or comfortable with them, consider using social networks and other online mediums for communication. It makes things a lot easier for you.
Also, consider tapping the community for tech support as well. Incentivize the other users to help people in distress whose problems are basic. This alleviates more workload on that call center, and at minimal extra cost to you.
Finally, consider using self service in tandem with dynamic FAQ to create a guidance system to smartly solve problems posed by users. Sites do this now, and it has proven very successful with things like this. It can’t replace actual human contact but it can certainly help tow the line.
Well, when considering how to improve technical support, these are the biggest steps you can take to see the biggest difference for the smallest effort. There are a ton of finer tweaks you can make on your support structure that can add a lot more result, but are more intensive to implement and some would seem externally obscure.
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