The Role of Consistency in Professional Support – Part 2: Troubleshooting Skills


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Con­sis­tent trou­bleshoot­ing skills are inte­gral to pro­vid­ing world class cus­tomer ser­vice in sup­port cen­ters. Cus­tomers want timely, pro­fes­sional, and con­sis­tent issue res­o­lu­tion – every time.

Ben­e­fits of Con­sis­tent Trou­bleshoot­ing Skills

Ulti­mately, com­pa­nies desire to keep cus­tomers happy. Pro­vid­ing sound res­o­lu­tions, deliv­ered as fast as pos­si­ble, is the num­ber one way to main­tain cus­tomer loy­alty. Here are four rea­sons sup­port tech­ni­cians must pos­sess effi­cient trou­bleshoot­ing skills:

  1. Increased Cus­tomer Sat­is­fac­tion: Resolv­ing cus­tomer issues quickly decreases the incon­ve­nience for the cus­tomer and increases sat­is­fac­tion. There is a direct rela­tion­ship between res­o­lu­tion time and cus­tomer satisfaction.
  2. Reduced Oper­a­tional Costs: Reduc­ing time to res­o­lu­tion increases effi­ciency, reduces the labor require­ment, and the total cost per call.
  3. Improved Inter­nal Com­mu­ni­ca­tion: Hav­ing a com­mon lan­guage and process for solv­ing prob­lems improves com­mu­ni­ca­tion between depart­ments and dif­fer­ent lev­els of sup­port. Improved com­mu­ni­ca­tion not only expe­dites issue res­o­lu­tion, but also reduces employee stress.
  4. Improved Employee Sat­is­fac­tion: Tech­ni­cians who are bet­ter skilled are more adept at resolv­ing cus­tomer issues. This increases their con­fi­dence and moti­va­tion to per­form well on the job.

Can Train­ing Help?

When cus­tomers have issues, soft skills train­ing teach tech­ni­cians learn to open the call in a way that quickly builds rap­port, dif­fuses cus­tomer anx­i­ety, and focuses the cus­tomer on the process of find­ing a solu­tion. But can train­ing improve diag­nos­tic trou­bleshoot­ing skills for IT pro­fes­sion­als? Yes! It is impor­tant to set cus­tomers’ at ease, but it’s equally impor­tant to con­sis­tently iden­tify and solve issues cor­rectly – the first time. Diag­nos­tic trou­bleshoot­ing train­ing will stream­line processes and ensure all tech­ni­cians are approach­ing com­mon issues the same way.

Steps for Con­sis­tent Troubleshooting

Tech­ni­cal sup­port pro­fes­sion­als must pos­sess good deci­sion mak­ing skills and the abil­ity to quickly antic­i­pate and devise solu­tions to a seem­ingly unend­ing list of poten­tial prod­uct or ser­vice issues.

Good deci­sion mak­ing requires clear, log­i­cal, and sys­tem­atic think­ing habits as well as the apti­tude for con­cep­tu­al­iz­ing, ana­lyz­ing, and eval­u­at­ing infor­ma­tion rapidly. Deduc­tive rea­son­ing –deter­min­ing a con­clu­sion based on pre­vi­ously known facts–will come read­ily for more sea­soned agents. Hav­ing a stan­dard­ized process for known issues col­lected in a knowl­edge base or process guide book will assist new tech­ni­cians and shorten their the time to resolution.

To pro­vide con­sis­tent tech­ni­cal sup­port agents must have the diag­nos­tic trou­bleshoot­ing skills nec­es­sary to:

  1. Ver­ify the problem
  2. Define the problem
  3. Iso­late the problem
  4. Iden­tify the problem
  5. Jus­tify the solution
  6. Resolve the problem

Hav­ing a stan­dard­ized process for open­ing, iden­ti­fy­ing, resolv­ing, and clos­ing issue-related calls will assist agents in pro­vid­ing con­sis­tent ser­vice. Using a com­mon process for dif­fi­cult calls will also calm the tech­ni­cian and allow him or her to more read­ily engage with cus­tomers’ and quickly assess their needs. A knowl­edge base or process guide book is no doubt use­ful, but the tech­ni­cian must also pos­sess crit­i­cal think­ing skills to effec­tively pro­vide con­sis­tent support.

Sup­port cen­ters are cru­cial touch points in cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment and some­times the only way for a com­pany to dif­fer­en­ti­ate itself from com­peti­tors. Com­pa­nies that imple­ment a stan­dard­ized process for ser­vice deliv­ery and invest in diag­nos­tic trou­bleshoot­ing skills train­ing will be known as lead­ers in con­sis­tently pro­vid­ing world class support.

This post is part two in The Role of Con­sis­tency in Pro­fes­sional Sup­port series. Click here to read The Role of Con­sis­tency in Pro­fes­sional Sup­port — Part 1: Employee Coaching.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Rachel Miller
Rachel Miller is the Customer Engagement Manager at Nimble - a simple, affordable social relationship manager.


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