A variety of services that businesses offer to their clients for items like software, cell phones, printers, and other electrical, mechanical, or electromechanical goods are referred to as technical assistance (tech support). IT Technical support services often assist consumers in resolving frequent issues rather than providing product usage instructions.
Rozi Academy Explains Technical Support (Tech Support)
Typically, users may get technical help via calling, emailing, instant messaging (IM), calling, or utilizing specialized applications or software extensions. Technical support staff members are exceptionally knowledgeable about every aspect of the products they support. When tech support cannot resolve an issue, it is escalated to the development team and recorded as a bug that will be rectified in a subsequent product update or iteration.
Technical help can be of the following main types:
● Time and Material: This kind of help is typical in the IT sector. Also referred to as "break-fix" IT assistance, the client is responsible for paying the technician service fee as well as the cost of the supplies at a pre-agreed rate.
● Managed Services: Large-scale clients are often provided this rather than individual customers. For a continuing set fee, as specified in the contract, the client receives a list of clearly defined services and performance measures. Services offered might include a 24/7 help desk, server monitoring, and similar things. In cases when difficulties cannot be resolved online, this may need on-site visits.
● Block Hours: This is a prepaid support service where consumers pay a one-time fee for a specified period of time, which can either be used monthly or annually. Thanks to this, customers may take advantage of the flexible hours without having to deal with paperwork or numerous invoices.
The 5 levels of tech support
Tech help is challenging. It could be done via email, live chat support, knowledge bases, or even the phone, depending on the demands of your consumers.
A well-organized tech support system will be divided into 5 separate tiers and be available on multiple platforms. Pre-support, self-service, first-line, second-line, and, in emergency situations, third-line support are the 5 levels mentioned above.
Before the invention of the Internet, individuals would consult an owner's manual or contact their relatives and friends if they had a query about a product. Your users will now just "Google" it.
And as a result, the majority of your clients will hunt for information online before contacting you. Some of your customers will be ardent defenders of your goods, provide fantastic advice on how to maximize their performance, and support other customers in troubleshooting issues.
Incredible, isn't it?
Well, on paper, yes.
But it's crucial to remember that for every positive review, there may be many negative ones from unhappy customers eager to complain online since their concerns weren't resolved. Online forums, social media, and website comments should be considered your first line of defense in light of this. To steer people into your tech support system and maintain customer satisfaction, your business should actively seek out these avenues.
The next level of technical support utilizes knowledge bases, wikis, and FAQs to enable clients to self-serve. For many consumers who would prefer not to call a help desk and wait for an email response, this offers a quick and easy option.
A self-service level may be able to respond to the majority of queries, freeing up first-line assistance for trickier and in-depth questions.
3. First line of support (human contact)
Sadly, FAQs and knowledge bases can't cover all questions. Your users may occasionally need to talk to a live person. First-line assistance is frequently the customer's first point of contact with your business. First-line assistance focuses on the most frequent inquiries you can record, analyze, and utilize to improve your knowledge base.
Tech support personnel at this level have a basic to a comprehensive understanding of the product or service, although they might not always have the knowledge required to resolve complex issues. But this group's goal is to fix 70–80% of user problems before deciding that it's necessary to elevate the situation to a higher level.
In this scenario, the majority of issues will be resolved by email, but when problems get more challenging, customers will start asking for phone support.
4. Second line of support (Complex issues)
Currently, the issues are becoming more challenging.
Especially in light of the fact that end users become more computer literate yearly. In reality, the complexity of support calls is increasing due to consumers' greater technological insight and capacity to solve more straightforward problems on their own, according to 73% of tech support managers polled by the New York Times.
The 25–30% of tech support inquiries that couldn't be answered in first-line assistance show up here on the second line and are far more complex. It needs experts with in-depth product knowledge to handle these support requests, provide technical guidance, and help customers discover a solution over the phone.
However, sometimes, even these needs call for a lot more information.
5. Third line of support (custom support)
For most clients, this is the apex of tech assistance. Third-line tech support is likely to be controlled by a designated super user or even someone from your R&D department since it deals with outlier instances that lower levels of pre-support to the second line could not handle.
Generally, a user issue that reaches the third level of technical help has gotten so complicated that fixing it will probably need bespoke work.
5 Tips for Better IT Technical support
We've defined tech support so far and discussed why it's essential to provide it correctly. But what if you already have a structure in place for tech support? How can it be made better? We've included 5 suggestions for improved tech support to keep your users happy and make sure they stay loyal customers for years to come. Let's move forward.
1. Think before you outsource
You have a fantastic opportunity to shape the general user experience of your product through tech support. However, you must guarantee that your tech support staff is entirely familiar with the product. This is why you should carefully consider your options before outsourcing the management of your tech support.
You can determine whether to outsource tech support by asking yourself the following questions.
● Can you promise that each time, the experience will be the same?
● How can you gauge how well-versed in your products your customer service representatives are?
● Do your clients anticipate speaking with locals and hearing familiar accents?
Outsourcing can be a terrific method to cut expenses if you do it effectively. If you do it wrong, it might undermine all the hard work you've put into creating the product, closing the transaction, and satisfying your customers' demands up to that point.
2. Treat tech support with the same importance as sales
No company should run totally in compartments. Instead, think about how various aspects of your company interact. And technical assistance is no exception.
Your marketing and sales teams depend on top-notch customer service to keep them as customers. And after a new client has installed (or signed in to) your product, tech support will be their first point of contact.
But providing technical help goes beyond only responding to client inquiries. Additionally, you can utilize tech support to upsell and cross-sell services and goods to your clients.
3. Implement the five levels of IT Technical support
Not all businesses have a well-organized tech support infrastructure. Since everyone must start somewhere, it's common for tiny businesses to have their founder or CEO handle all support requests.
However, as your company expands, you must ensure that your client's demands are addressed swiftly and effectively. The 5 tiers of tech support may weed out the "low hanging fruit" and simple issues that a more junior team member can address because it is neither practical nor cost-effective to have your CTO respond to every support request in your queue.
Implementing the five levels of technical assistance will boost your profitability since most issues can be resolved by someone making much less than a CEO or CTO while still keeping your customers pleased (as they receive a quick answer).
4. Control the conversation outside of your ecosystem
The first place your user may turn if they encounter an issue is in a forum or social media.
As a result, you will need to keep an eye on user dialogues on other platforms.
It can be beneficial if you can find the time to follow and participate in internet discussions regarding your product. It won't just take care of the customer's immediate issue; it will also show others that you care and persuade them to become clients.
Leading the charge in this area of tech support for early intervention are businesses like Stripe.
5. Make it easy to contact IT Technical support
Have you concealed the website's footer's tech support link? Nobody wants to waste time searching your website for a tech support link.
In actuality, 79% of website visitors agree to leaving a page if the contact details are hidden. Be present where your clients are and make it simple for them to reach you to avoid this.
You can be sure to keep your customers satisfied and keep them as long-term customers by quickly resolving user support issues and making tech support extremely accessible for them.
A great example here is Apple.
On the Apple website, do you ever have problems finding the "Support" link?
Neither do I.
On the home page of their primary navigation bar, Apple has "Support" listed.
Additionally, users may quickly acquire the assistance they want for their particular product by using Apple's self-segmentation method. Customers may reach live chat support agents very immediately if Apple's comprehensive knowledge base is unable to resolve their issue.
Apple lists " IT Technical support " on the front page of their main navigation bar.
Additionally, consumers may use Apple's self-segmentation technique to rapidly get the support they need for their specific product. If Apple's extensive knowledge base is unable to address a customer's problem, they may immediately contact live chat support representatives.