How would you describe superior customer experience in technical support , and what to prioritize when developing technical support services? During this year we have reexamined these themes in Barona IT.
In this article, I will concentrate on one of the key elements - the preventive aspect in technical support. In the core of preventiveness is the functionality of the processes: how problems can be addressed and corrected before the user becomes aware of it. I personally feel that preventiveness is particularly important element in providing superior customer experience in technical support.
Customer experience is an emotional matter
Let’s think about an example: imagine a situation when you wake up in the morning and you realize it has been snowing hard during the night, yet you are able to walk peacefully to work because somebody has plowed the streets – you are definitely satisfied. If the streets are not plowed but you get them plowed quickly after informing your maintenance about the situation – you are still rather pleased. Not as pleased as in the first scenario because your daily, smooth routines still changed a bit in the latter scenario.
The example has nothing to do with customer experience in technical support. However, it does describe the theme very well. Customer experience is always an emotional matter. In technical support it is built around technical tools in a technical environment, and maintenance services are in a different environment. In both fields "service users" have different expectations about the service. If technical problems persist, it will be more and more difficult to keep the customer happy. If the problems are solved in advance preventively, before the user even realizes that there is a problem, we will save the user's time and s/he’ll get to focus on her/his work.
Right questions at the right time
In technical environment there are always situations that keeps on challenging technical supports functionality because they should be able to find the results rather quickly. The user should always be able to continue his or her work as soon as possible. In these situations, it is possible to change the game and cope with the preventive support. In addition to actually solve the problem, IT support specialists should always offer their help in other possible technical matters too. For example, they could do a quick scan on the tools a person is using, check if there are new updates available just to ensure users smooth everyday working in the coming days too.
A simple question “have you had any other technical issues?” might open up a new potential problem that the IT specialist could fix at the same time before it is a bigger problem that would interrupt the same user in the future.
Today's technology enables us to work in a preventive way in technical support. Only a technical surveillance solution is not enough to make it to be preventive. In addition, you need to have functional processes to ensure that the potential problems are encountered so that they can be prevented. Secondly, you need to have processes for the IT specialist to be able to offer this kind of preventive support for the customer as I described in my earlier example. So, it all goes back to the processes and management. This way you can create the best possible conditions for the success. To quote Shep Hyken “A brand is defined by the customer’s experience. The experience is delivered by the employees”. Especially when talking about service business this quote is a spot on.
Tools for developing cX within tech support
This year we have deepened into the topic of customer experience within technical support very extensively: we have created an e-guide and several expert articles about the topic. In our expert articles we have focused into a specific theme under the topic whereas in the e-guide we have a systematic and more categorized approach. In the e-guide we have expert insights on customer experience present stage and the future in technical field – both the preventive and the process aspect are highlighted in the e-guide. The topic is observed through various, practical examples. If this article was interesting for you, I highly recommend you do download our e-guide and to read our expert articles to learn more about customer experience within tech support. We hope that through these materials and different perspectives you’ll get more tools to develop your customers’ experience.
Henrik Rantala is responsible for business operations at Barona IT. Barona IT employs over 1000 experts annually through various resourcing solutions in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Poland. From Poland we provide a range of Service Desk services to the Nordic countries.