In 2022, great technical support is the backbone of your business. Sometimes it can be the first and only interaction that you have with customers, and the experience will dictate whether they come back for more.
As a small business owner, you don’t have the time or resources to design and maintain an in-house support solution. That's why we've compiled this list of essential features every business should look for when choosing external support services:
1. Great Customer Service
When it comes to a technical support service, the most important thing is the customer experience. That’s what you should be striving for—an exemplary one. Remember that technical support may be the only time that a company is directly communicating with the customer. You have to deliver on your brand promise.
What does it mean to provide exemplary service? It means your customers should get their questions answered quickly and efficiently. It means they should be able to contact you anytime, day or night with no hassle. It means they should never feel like their questions are not important or heard by a real human being who cares about them as an individual (and not just as a ticket). In short: it means you need a great system that makes every interaction between company and customer one worth remembering—for all the right reasons!
2. Limited or No Automated Answering
Automated answering systems are frustrating and lead to notoriously bad experiences for customers.
The automation can be limiting, requiring users to speak in a certain way that is hard for the system to understand. If the system fails, a person will likely not be available to help immediately; instead, you will have to navigate through multiple pages and waiting rooms until an actual person gets back to you with your answer. This is why automated answering systems should be used as a last resort.
3. Strong Technical Knowledge
You are probably familiar with this situation: You have a problem, you call the technical support line and then get placed on hold for 45 minutes. Once you finally reach a live person, they will say something like “I’ll connect you to another agent who can help you with that issue.” Then the next agent does nothing but read from a script and tell you what steps to follow as if the first conversation hadn't happened.
This is 2022—you shouldn’t be dealing with this anymore! Your technical support team should be able to handle any technical issue that comes up, no matter how complex or obscure it is. And what if they do not know the answer immediately? They should be able to research it quickly enough so they can provide answers in real time instead of putting more work on your plate by sending you through multiple layers until someone finds out what is wrong and how to fix it.
4. On-shore, Live, Experienced, HUMAN agents
People are social creatures and need to talk with real human beings. This is especially true when you are trying to resolve a problem that is holding your business back. It’s not surprising then that the most successful technical support teams use humans at the initial contact point, who understand your customers and are familiar with your business.
When you do not have access to an agent or are met with a series of bot-driven questions, it can be frustrating. Customers not knowing how long they will have to wait stuck behind a wall of automation for assistance may cause them to lose trust that their issue will even get resolved. Live agents provide faster responses than automated messaging machines. On top of this, they're more flexible because they can take calls during off-hours if there's an urgent situation — again increasing productivity while saving money by reducing overtime pay costs. Having a team of live agents means better customer service — without any delays because an individual is out sick or on vacation! Finally: trained and expert on-shore agents make all conversations flow more smoothly and quickly as well; which means fewer hang-ups from frustrated customers!
5. 24x7x365 Support
You need 24x7x365 support.
Why? Because your technical support team is the gateway to all of your customer communication.
Let's say your customer needs help at 9pm, but your support team is gone for the day. That valuable customer cannot get what they need from you because there is no one around to help them out It does not matter how awesome your product is; if your customers can't get in touch with your technical support team when they need it, they will stop buying from you.
The solution? You need to be available 24x7x365. If you can't afford a full-time support staff, then at least hire someone who can cover for your team when they are unavailable. But whatever you do, do not let your customers down by leaving them hanging.
6. Flexible, Cost-Effective Plans
If you decide to outsource your technical support needs, then the plans should be flexible, offering plans that are cost-effective and scalable. If it does not make sense to have a fully-staffed team; you can opt for a less expensive plan. On the other hand, if you want to offer around-the-clock support, or need an extra set of hands during busy seasons, then you should be able to adapt without breaking the bank.
The other advantage of having flexibility in your support capability is internal employee happiness. Bringing in high-quality outsourced technical support team during holidays and busy seasons means that your employees are not overworked and available to be with their families.
7. Your Technical Support Team Should Help Your Business Grow
The technical support service you choose should be able to help your business grow.
This is the most important feature of all. You want a system that will not only keep track of support requests and their resolutions, but also provide instant feedback that allows you to improve your product offerings that lead to an increase in revenue.
As the saying goes: “Time is money." A good technical support team will satisfy and help retain your customers, while also freeing up bandwidth for the decision makers and development teams to focus on improving and growing the company.
We have all had bad experiences with technical support services.
You have had to endlessly navigate a series of option pages while being guided by a vaguely human-sounding automation, or you have had to speak to someone who is reading off a script and cannot find the answer you need. Learn from these experiences when you are building your team. Having exemplary technical support service will continue to drive the message of quality and promote loyalty to your company. It is an integral component of the brand promise that you are offering your customer.