How quick and efficiently are your customers taken care of - This is one of the most important factor that distinguishes your web host support from the others. The customers contacting your support team expects a speedy resolution to the problems that they face. The query from the customers vary.
How can I access a particular feature on my control panel? - Simple :).
I am not able to get my application running, correct it for me ASAP - What could be wrong?
No matter how simple or tough the query is, the support team should be able to find an effective solution to it quickly.
What are the factors that help a support team stay ahead in serving their customers quickly and effectively?
It is definitely the systems that are followed within the team. These systems have a magical effect in determining the output of the team. The following are the important systems that every support team must have for ensuring excellent customer service:
1. FAQ System
This is the most frequent type of query for which the customers contact the support team. An advantage of such queries is that often these are of question and answer format. If the support team has a FAQ system or a similar software to lay up such information for future use, they can be quick in handling such customer concerns. Such a system also avoids the need of re-inventing the wheel every time, and thus saves the time of support engineers. The most important aspect here is that, it helps us in minimizing the time spent on trivial problems and gives more time to concentrate on complex issues. If the team has a proper procedure for documentation, every time a new problem is encountered, it can be added to the FAQ system and thus shared within the team.
If your team can delight the customer with quick and effective solutions, then the time spent on running the technical support team is well worth.
2. Well defined Hierarchy
As mentioned earlier, the complexity of the customer concerns vary. There are problems that require a good amount of dedicated man-hours to find a solution. In cases where the same team handles all levels of issues, the efficiency that is delivered to the simple problems is often affected. The best solution here is to bring in a classification to the levels of customer concerns addressed by the team.
When Level 3 problems are handled by a separate team, it helps the rest of the team to quickly go through the Level 1 and Level 2 issues. In most of the cases, the Level 3 problems are much more time consuming and complex as compared to the Level 1 and Level 2 issues. Thus, having a separate procedure for handling them is often necessary for the team to be able to provide equal importance to all problems.
3. System for analyzing the ongoing Technical Issues
Ideally, all the technical problems can be solved in either 3 or 5 follow ups. Consider the case where the customer is contacting the support on some problem. If the customer has provided all details to troubleshoot it, the next step is to find a solution and update the customer. If all is well, the next follow up will be the confirmation from the customer saying that everything is working fine.
There are cases when the customer does not provide all the necessary details to check the problem. In such a case, we may need to add two more follow-ups, one requesting the necessary details to solve the issue and the next one from the customer that contains the details requested. Once we have these details, the next step is to find a solution and communicate it with the customer and finally get the confirmation from their side.
Many a time, the ideal case does not happen with support tickets. Considering the complexity and other aspects of a customer concern, let’s fix the number of follow ups for a support ticket as 10. The team must analyze each ticket that has more than 10 follow-ups and find a solution for it. This helps the team to identify what went wrong in handling the particular support ticket and avoid such cases in future.
When Level 3 problems are handled by a separate team, it helps the rest of the team to quickly go through the Level 1 and Level 2 problems.
4. Internal Quality Assurance
There must also be a system for guaranteeing the correctness of the information provided. The ideal thing is to form an internal quality assurance team which consists of a few team members with the additional responsibility of checking the precision of the solution that was given to the customer issues. It will not only help to identify the mistakes that were made while handling support tickets, but also to record them and share them within the team. A proper quality assurance system can also help the team to fix a level of quality standards and perform according to these standards.
5. Feedback - A quick review of the service
The team needs to define a method for collecting feedback of the service provided and thus analyzing it. Though this sounds simple, it is a very important factor. Feedback should be collected at least once every two months. Based on the feedback collected, the team should be able to make necessary changes required for the working of team.
A support team must be able to cater to every customer concern. If the team can delight the customer with quick and effective solutions, then the time spent on running the technical support team is well worth. And when it comes to quickness and effectiveness, the above mentioned are the main factors that can help your support team make a difference!
About the Author:
Prasad P M works as a Sr. Software Engineer in Bobcares and specializes in cPanel and remotely managing Datacenters. He currently leads all shared teams at Bobcares and is also the founder and manager of Bob and Knowledge factory - a searchable archive to get help on specific technical issues related to Web Hosting.