The customer is king, but is your tech support offering the royal treatment?
From small businesses to large enterprises, a technology company’s support team is one of the primary factors in ensuring customer satisfaction. It is often the difference between positive and negative reviews on public internet forums, and achieving growth by word of mouth recommendations.
In addition to addressing customers’ concerns, support is also responsible for guaranteeing proper function of the product or service at hand. For example, in the cybersecurity industry, tech support is a customer’s lifeline to protecting their most sensitive data. Whether the data consists of banking documents scanned to a consumer’s home computer or legal documents within a law firm, this sensitive information must be safeguarded, and end users need to know that the technology is working as anticipated.
In cybersecurity and beyond, having a strong product portfolio is important, but technology products and services only deliver true value if there is a dedicated support team at the ready to address any needs, concerns or questions. After all, the customer is king – and a multi-layered approach to customer support, with key differentiators, will help ensure the royal treatment. Top-notch service translates into continued customer loyalty, high satisfaction and overall business success.
In order to achieve that business success, companies need to understand how to take their support teams to the next level. To begin improving customer support in technology, consider these often overlooked key differentiators:
1. Live Support
In today’s “on-demand” culture, live support is essential for any company, regardless of size or sector, especially in technology. Being able to easily reach a live agent is crucial to customers, and often makes an impact in long-term retention. Live support should be available via multiple channels, including telephone, chat, email/web and social media. With various channels available to communicate in real-time, technology firms can rest assured customer queries – whether from consumers or businesses – are being addressed in a timely, efficient manner.
2. Local Language Support
After live support has been implemented and achieved, another “must have” support differentiator is local language assistance. There is perhaps nothing more frustrating in customer care when finally reaching a live agent, but then not being able to properly communicate with him or her. In fact, research found that nearly 72 percent of customer service leaders agree that support in a customer’s native language increased their satisfaction with customer support; an additional 58 percent said it increased their loyalty to the brand.
High quality local language support ensures accurate communication, and offers peace of mind to customers that their agent will help them regardless of slang, informalities or even distracting background noises. Communication is key in resolving customer issues; therefore, technology companies should prioritize local language capabilities.
Simpler customer issues can be easily resolved without having to reach a live agent; in fact, some customers prefer trying to figure out the problem themselves before having to call into the support team. Research found that 75 percent of customers feel that self-service is a convenient way to address customer services issues, while 67 percent said they preferred it over speaking to a representative. Customer support teams should embrace this preference, as it allows the team to handle more critical, complex problems on the phone. As consumers grow more technically savvy, having self-service options is a game changer for a competitive advantage as well as saving on resources.
Within a technology company’s self-service toolkit, firms should strive to include an intelligent knowledge base search, documentation downloads and a moderated forum. If you give customers the proper tools they need to succeed, their problems will most likely be resolved on their own, in minimal time.
4. Custom Care
Every customers’ needs are different. For this reason, organizations should provide a selection of support offerings that fits the needs of customer segments in target markets. For example, a consumer requires a different type of customer experience when compared to a large enterprise, and small businesses need yet another type of servicing. Small businesses may want help beyond standard break/fix support, as well as access to senior technical support resources or a managed service provider (MSP), but their issues tend to be less complex than those of enterprise-size businesses. On the other end, large organizations may require fast access to senior technical resources with 24×7-support availability for critical issues, as well as priority response and resolution; they may even require a dedicated on-site support team.
Service options should take on a multi-layered, tiered approach to meet the needs of all customers, and should include a range of offerings such as 24×7 availability, technical account management, remote assistance and more. It’s important to put the ‘custom’ in customer care.
Customer support teams will always be in demand, and it’s a company’s responsibility to ensure end users are being serviced in an effective, timely manner. Customers will encounter several types of issues with technology, ranging from easy to solve to more difficult in nature, and support teams have to be equipped to quickly resolve these issues and deliver the royal service treatment.
By implementing the top four differentiators into your support teams, technology companies will discover more efficient resolutions, leading to outstanding experiences. This ultimately translates into increased retention, faster growth and greater business success, powered by a strong support team.