Chapter 1 - The Nightmare
The Customer Nightmare
Do you even have a bad technical support experience?
If you had even called your bank, telco or to seek help for an IT product, you would have some story to share. Ok. To be fair you might be one of the lucky few who has found help whenever you reached out to the company or had been able to scrape the internet for the information you need to resolve your problem. But for the majority of us, we would have at least had an experience where the lack of availability of technical support has resulted in some frustration.
Wouldn’t it be great if companies make technical support more readily available?
The Technical Support Staff Nightmare
On the other hand, you could have provided technical support. The stories and experiences are potentially more obnoxious than from the customer side as we all know ‘customers are always right’.
Other than those exceptionable individuals, the nightmare of technical support staff is driven by challenge of communication. Communication problems because of language barriers are easy to solve. However, those driven by a lack of mutual understanding of the technical context with the customers are difficult to overcome. Customers have a huge variance in technical knowledge that has to be bridged by the technical support staff in order to provide helpful diagnosis and also in guiding the customers through to solve the problem.
Take a look at this secret shopper video where a non-technical accountant tries to get technical support for CPU to see the communication problem illustrated.
Wouldn’t it be great if there is a way to close this communication gap with the customers?
The Business Nightmare
From the management perspective, the nightmare is scarier. Running the tech support department is like a dream where you walk a tight road balancing the utilization rate of technical support staff and the quality of service that is provided. Any mistake and a PR disaster ensue. Is it not exciting? All it takes is a bad tech support experience to destroy years of good-will with the customers.
At the same time, this is a situation where having more problems, translate to higher spending. Staffing the technical support department gets more expensive as the companies grow, cross geological markets and serves customer bases that speak different languages/accents.
Wouldn’t it be great if there is a way to provide quality service at sustainable cost to the business?
Understanding the problem is only the start. Continue reading to understand the common approaches taken by businesses to solve the problem.