Helping customers resolve technology issues is no easy task. By 2030, there will be 125 billion connected devices, or about 15 connected devices per person1By 2030, Each Person Will Own 15 Connected Devices — Here’s What That Means for Your Business and Content, 2019, MarTech Advisor. Now imagine your parents, grandparents, boss or tech support team trying to resolve technical issues for all those connected devices. Nightmare!

“Help me help you. Help me help YOU.” – quote from Jerry Maguire movie

Tech companies know they need to embrace self-service customer support — it is how consumers want to resolve technical issues; A report from Harvard Business Review found that 81% of all customers attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative2Kick-Ass Customer Service, 2017, Harvard Business Review. Businesses are also looking at self-service support to reduce overhead and improve customer satisfaction.

Unfortunately, customers still report bad experiences across all support channels. Almost 70% of customers surveyed found it hard to navigate automated and web-based self-support systems3Supercharging the Self-service Customer Experience with Conversational AI, Customer Think. The challenge for businesses is that they need to deliver quick, easy-to-find, easy-to-follow resolution to support issues or consumers will abandon them for another brand – almost 95% of survey respondents said customer service was key to brand loyalty, and 61% changed brands due to bad customer support4Microsoft’s State of Global Customer Service Report.

So, how do you set your self-service technical support system up for success? Here are five critical and proven tips for success.

TIP 1: Help customers find answers to their support questions quickly and easily.

Did you know that tech support reps spend nearly 90% of their work day repeating the same answers to the same questions about the same issues?59 Ways Technology Will Affect the Future of Customer Service, HubSpot Imagine serving those answers to your customers instantly, creating a better customer experience and freeing your tech support team to focus on customer issues that require more personal attention. A robust search capability lets customers quickly find the information they need. Create category lists that customers can scan for relevant articles, but also provide advanced search capabilities using intelligence about the search terms customers use and their search behavior to serve up the most relevant and helpful answers to users’ technical questions.

TIP 2: Support customers’ entire tech ecosystem – not just one product.

With over a dozen connected devices per customer, you have to provide tech support for the customer’s entire tech suite. Nothing frustrates a customer more than when a support tech blames another product for the issue, sending them on a tech-support wild goose chase. You need access to libraries of support content for thousands of devices that will help your tech support team discover the right solution for the technology issue at hand – quickly and easily.

TIP 3: Use your team’s knowledge to provide the best answers to tech questions.

Your teams are an untapped wealth of knowledge — call center, product, sales, customer success, even marketing. And don’t overlook the power users in your user community. Harnessing that tribal knowledge, validating it and sharing it across the organization is critical to efficient technical support. It helps you identify new issues quickly and offer improved approaches to problem resolution. Here are three critical tips for successful knowledge sharing:

  1. Senior technical experts must validate crowd-sourced solutions.
  2. Conduct tests in labs and consult with reliable third-party partners to verify the resolution.
  3. Test the solution with front-line team members to ensure that it works and the way you’re communicating makes sense to consumers.

TIP 4: Emulate real-world decision making through dynamic decision points and branching logic.

Ask customers key questions about their operating system or device early in the conversation so you can more quickly and efficiently connect them to the right content to resolve their issue. If you want a more advanced approach, automatically drive them to trouble-shooting advice based on dynamic context from a backend system, a login, portal or an app. Using dynamic context with extensive API support along with a sophisticated decision-tree, you can present customers with troubleshooting options that are focused on the devices they own, their status as a customer, or even the specific path to resolution if an error message is passed to the software, helping them resolve technical issues more quickly and easily. And if they can’t find what they need, make sure to get them to a qualified technical support person as quickly as possible – and don’t make them repeat all of the info they’ve already shared.

TIP 5: Keep your self-serve tech support content current and relevant.

Technology is changing faster than most of us can keep up with, but consumers won’t trust a self-service technical support system that is clearly outdated. Find a technology solution that will help you monitor rapidly changing technology devices, software and integrations. When a new operating system is released, it creates tech support ramifications across a wide range of products and interactions. You want to be able to update your support content once and have the new and improved solution populated – automatically – wherever that device is mentioned so you are providing the most recent and effective tech support information to your team and your customers.

If you want to know more about how you can leverage technology to improve your customer tech support experience, boost customer satisfaction, and improve your bottom line, check out Support.com. Support.com offers a range of services to help businesses offer a better customer experience including self-support tools and content, live agents and virtual house calls, as well as customized outsourced call center services for SMB to large enterprise to retailer to MSO

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