Do you take technical support for granted? Some managers do. That’s understandable. Managers are so busy these days they barely have time to think about other issues. With so much going on, it’s easy for managers to forget just how much technical support contributes to business growth.
We live in a digital world where businesses are defined by their technological capabilities. Without the support and knowledge of a tech team, a business can be brought to a halt. Some key advantages generated by technical support in business include:
Put another way, technical support ensures your company’s technology is enabling the company to stay productive and thus maximize their benefits—cost saving, improved productivity, improved product quality, customer satisfaction.
Technical support not only helps companies run efficiently; but they also can generate word-of-mouth advertising and build brand loyalty.
Technical support helps businesses compete. In other words, it generates a competitive edge by helping you execute critical business process quickly and efficiently. That’s hard to beat if you’re a competitor. Technical support also helps you make crucial business decisions that can maximize profitability.
At its most basic, technical support monitors and maintains your computer systems, provides the technical expertise needed to keep your systems running smoothly, and supplies the know how to tailor your system to your specific needs. That boosts efficiency and productivity.
In short, technical support resolves technical issues that can stop a company’s business processes dead in their tracks. Its services include:
Put another way, technical support reduces the downtime due to disrupted IT services, maximizes system uptime and resolves end-user problems, system incidents, and technical issues.
What types of organizations use technical support? All kinds of companies use this tool. These organizations include everyone from Fortune500 companies to small and medium-size firms—and everything in between.
Companies that provide technology products tend to use technical support the most. But professional service organizations such as legal, financial, and medical offices. Manufacturers, retailers, and telecommunication companies also use technical support.
Some companies divide technical support teams into two service areas: Help Desk and Customer Support Service. Help Desk teams focus on fixing and troubleshooting technical issues for internal end-users.
Customer support teams address incidents and service requests from external end users. These teams provide a single point of contact between service providers and users. Sometimes, team members are the only contact a customer has with a company.
Technical support teams are only as good as their people. So, if you’re thinking of creating a technical support team or expanding one, you want to hire dedicated people that have the right skills, commitment, and personality to be on that team.
A technical support specialist’s foundational skill is the ability to solve complex technical problems. To do this, support specialists need to know a variety of programming languages and any relevant information associated with them.
Additional technical support skills include:
Technical support people that deal with end users and customers making inquiries by phone, email, and web chat need good telecommuting capabilities and phone technique. They also need the know how to test new software brought in by a company and train others on how to use these applications.
Companies take different approaches to building and structuring a technical support team, which may be called customer support teams depending on whether they serve internal or external customers. In short, no one size fits all when it comes to building and structuring technical support teams.
Some companies prefer having a technical support team with only a couple of team members and outsourcing partners to handle other issues. This approach lets the company’s internally teams concentrate on the most critical issues.
Others companies prefer having a robust and organized network ready to deploy when needed. This approach can work well if companies focus on cutting costs. The key to building support teams, however, is to create one that fits your needs, not another company’s.
A 2016 IDG TechPulse survey sponsored by CGS points out three challenges companies currently facing technical support. In fact, 93 percent of respondents saw these three headaches as supercritical
All three issues present difficulties that managers need to address to drive business growth. Addressing these issues cost-effectively, however, is easier said than done. More than 40 percent of respondents, for example, said they were struggling with getting-self-service right.
With increasing numbers of companies asking managers to do more with less, outsourcing some phases of technical support is a cost-effective way to beat these three challenges. While technical support staff troubleshoot issues, for example, a service partner can help with customer service.
This approach helps improve customer service, enhance quality, optimize resource usage, and boost scalability, as well as speed disaster recovery, and address call volume issues, which are often unpredictable. When call volume subsides, you can let the service partner go, cutting costs. Meanwhile, you’re still providing epic customer service.
Of course, outsourcing isn’t right for every company. So, look for a service provider that has experience in your industry and provides customized solutions for businesses. That way you can choose a service level that’s right for your business. Also look for outsourcing partners that will train their agents to use your software, cutting operating costs and boosting profitability.
When combined with an internal technical support team, this hybrid approach can create a competitive advantage and help you survive and thrive long term. More importantly, it can help you drive business growth. In today’s hotly contested business environments, that can be just what the doctor ordered.