In today’s competitive business and technology oriented environment, the need for customer support is rising. The one thing that differentiates an organization from its competitors is the level and quality of customer service provided. Price, quality and now the support and service customers receive from an organization are changing the paradigms of customer loyalty and business value. Technical support is one service under Customer Interaction services, which requires technical knowledge, and business communications skills.
This is the digital era, wherein companies are leveraging technology to develop new products and services. Similarly customers are demanding more services around it. Sales is no longer a one step process, but an ongoing process of sales support and service which is imperative for building market image, customer loyalty and increasing market share. Need of software, hardware, and resource maintenance is increasing at an amazing rate. This has created a need for companies to establish effective and efficient means of providing technical support to satisfy customer expectations. Catering to general customer complaints, queries and problems are one aspect of customer support, but technical support entails catering to a range of technical product service related problems that the customer may have.
Technical support services can be defined as providing reliable technical support to the end users of companies that deliver technology-enabled products and services.
Qualities of good Technical Support Services
- Responsive – Technical support needs to be immediate in terms of the response – be it problem solving or order logging or escalating the request to the next level. They need to keep the end user informed on the status of their query either by mail or by telephone till the problem is resolved.
- Relevance – Customers need relevant information wherein they expect organizations not to inundate them with excess information or provide minimal information.
- Customized – Technical support needs to be tailored to the product/services of specific to the organizations.
Technical support is provided across the following channels
- Telephone – Live support includes troubleshooting for standard hardware/software issues, connectivity, data and voice configurations.
- Web-based (Email/chat/IM/portals) – This is particularly useful for customers having a high degree of technical knowledge who prefer to use the web for solving problems.
- Remote diagnostic and Collaborative browsing tools – This involves delivering technical support services through the Internet/Intranet/LAN. Examples include net meeting and messaging tools
- Self-help resources, which utilize a knowledge management framework using, advanced technologies, E.g. extranet or the Internet.
Levels of technical support provided
- Level 1 technical support acts as the front end to filter calls to the respective departments. This level team also responds to incoming calls, log calls, attempts resolution and escalates to level 2. This type of support involves answering to basic queries and do not necessarily involve technically qualified staff.
- Level 2 support provides advanced support for problems related to hardware, software and applications. Typical jobs involve troubleshooting, product installation and support, usage support and maintenance issues. This requires certified professionals with the ability to solve typical technical problems.
- Level 3 support provides the highest level of support and requires senior level people with the technical ability to resolve complex problems.
With inputs from Kiran Rao