Tech support process outsourcing : How to choose the right support provider
Outsourcing your tech support can be scary. You want your servers and customers to get the best support, but you don’t have direct control over how the support is delivered on a daily basis.
That is why it is important to choose a support provider whom you can trust to deliver support better than yourself. But, how do you find a trustworthy support partner?
Well, you just have to look at a few core capabilities of a company that helps them provide reliable services. Ask yourself these questions before you signup:
Gauge the experience of your provider
If you provide online services, you know that servers can sometimes throw a curveball error that seemingly doesn’t have a solution anywhere.
When you contract a freelancer or a less experienced company for your support, they’ll end up spending hours to solve a new problem, all the while your customers face service issues.
In contrast, a company with a large pool of experienced engineers can quickly consult each other, and implement a solution before your customers are affected.
To draw an analogy, when you consult your local physician, your options and solutions are limited to the knowledge of just one person. On the other hand, if you go to a multi-specialty hospital, you tap into the combined knowledge of a large pool of experts, which guarantees the right solution the first time.
To gauge the experience of your support provider, ask them these questions:
- How long have you been in existence?
- What is your collective experience?
- What is the average experience of your staff ?
Find out the qualifications of their staff
Many software vendors such as cPanel, Plesk and RedHat provide documentation to take care of server errors. But, no amount of documentation can cover all possible issues that can occur in real life.
That is why you need an expert who can break down a new problem into its basic components, reconstruct the issue, and apply a fix before your customers are affected.
But such expertise doesn’t come easy. That level of knowledge needs to be attained through advanced courses such as Computer Science engineering where engineers go through 4 years of hard work studying Operating Systems Design, Networking and Internet Engineering.
People who claim to be experts in a particular platform (say cPanel), but not others, usually have a superficial knowledge about systems, and that’s usually limited to what is said in the product documentation. The danger with that is, when a serious un-documented issue happens, the techs won’t be able to resolve it, and you’ll be left hunting for emergency help somewhere else.
That is why you need to look for techs who have a solid foundation in Computer science engineering, and additional specialized knowledge in the kind of technology you are using. For example., here at Bobcares, we employ only Computer science graduates with top grades, and provide them many months of additional training on internet & hosting systems.
So, when you’re considering a new provider, ask them:
- Do your techs have Engineering degrees?
See where their staff is located
Off-shoring is a popular way by which companies save cost in tech support. But that doesn’t end up well for many companies. There are stories about how customers find it difficult to understand the techs, or the techs unable to understand cultural nuances.
That leaves the option of choosing support companies that are within your country. But companies those companies are either insanely costly, or they would only posses a superficial knowledge about technology (see why expertise is important) that prevents them from resolving un-documented errors in servers.
So, what’s the way out? How can you get reliable server management expertise and polished front line customer service without breaking the bank?
Here’s how – Look for support companies that have a local front line support, and a back end server management support (which is usually very costly).
When your customers call your number, they should hear a voice that they can relate to, and for that the first line phone support should be served locally. If this team needs in-depth troubleshooting assistance, they should be able to get instant help from an expert server management team located in a place where the service is cheaper.
For example, here at Bobcares, we provide our first line of support delivered over phone from our office in Phoenix, AZ. This team is backed by a team of server experts at our office in Kochi, India. This way our customers get the best of both worlds. End-users hear the voice of a support person they can relate to, and the company always has top-notch expertise to back them up.
So, when considering the quality of support, ask your provider:
- Where is your first line support team located?
When outsourcing your tech support, you should do your due diligence in assessing the capabilities of your support provider. There are a hundred different things like experience, infrastructure, location and more that you can look at, but with a few core indicators you can accurately assess your support provider. Today we’ve discussed the top 3 questions you need to ask yourselves when considering a support provider.