Your customers will contact your support team once they run into some problem. However, they are not going to contact regular support. They are going to contact IT support for tech-related issues.
The problem can be a technical issue, a bug, or a user error. However, this doesn’t matter to your users. They want their problem to get solved as quickly as possible.
Your users will contact your IT support if they can’t log in to your portal. They will contact your IT support if some function is not working properly. Thus, all the questions related to your product should be answered by an IT expert.
If you don’t have access to a good IT support team, then your customers will move to other products. IT support is very important for businesses that have a product-based revenue model. However, there is a big challenge with IT support.
IT support is very expensive. It is 100 times more expensive when compared to the self-service channels. You are wasting money if your IT expert is unable to solve some queries.
This is even more important if you have a subscription-based model. Your customers can subscribe to multiple user licenses. Thus, it is important to make sure that you are providing a good experience to your customers.
In this article, we are going to talk about the importance of IT support. Also, this guide will help you in learning about how IT support works and how you can improve your tech support.
What is IT Support?
Technical support is provided by product-centric companies to their users. It is to make sure that their users can get the maximum value from their products.
This is mostly done by using live chat, phone, or email. The main aim of IT support is to solve the technical problems that your user is facing. These technical difficulties can have a negative impact on your customer user experience.
Most companies think that IT support and customer support are the same things. However, this is not true.
Difference between Customer Support and IT support
Most people imagine old call centers when they hear tech support. They think that IT support is a place where unhappy customers are just venting their frustrations. However, issues related to delivery and payment are handled by another team. Your customer support will help you in managing these issues.
Tech support handles different types of issues. They are responsible for solving all the installation issues. Your IT support is also responsible for handling user issues and IT problems. In simple words, IT support will ensure that your customers can use your product more effectively.
According to research from the CMO Council, providing better IT assistance and advice is the best way to improve the user experience. Companies can increase their customer retention rate by providing better IT advice to their users.
You should focus on providing better IT support and advice to your customers. Support levels are another important difference between customer support and IT support. IT support has more levels when compared to customer support. There are only two levels of customer support. The first level of support is provided by the customer service agent. The second level of support is provided by the customer support manager.
Different levels of IT support
IT support is more complicated when compared with customer support. You can provide email, knowledge bases, call, and live chat support to your users. The choice will ultimately depend on your user base.
A good IT support system is usually split into 5 different levels. These 5 levels will help you in covering all the cases.
People used to ask their family and friends in the pre-internet era. Companies also sent a big owner’s manual to customers. Customers used to check these manuals before the internet. However, now your users can simply Google their problems.
This simply means that most of your users are going to check the internet before they try to contact you. If you have a loyal user base, then your other customers will write great reviews about your product. They will also help other users in solving their problems. However, this only works on paper.
You will find countless users complaining about your products on the internet if you are not solving their problems. Thus, you should check the online forums, website comments, and social media sites. Most good sites are providing social media support to their users.
You should also proactively check out these communication channels. It will help you in guiding users towards your IT support system.
Self-service can help you in reducing your IT support costs. Your customers can solve their problems without contacting your IT support. You can provide self-help wikis to your users. Your customers don’t need to wait for a response from your IT support team.
The self-service level will help you in resolving most of the common queries. This will ensure that your IT support team won’t waste their time in solving some problems.
Help desk (1st line of support)
Knowledge bases and FAQs can help your users in solving simple problems. However, they can’t help your users in solving every IT issue. Thus, sometimes your customers need to talk with an IT expert.
The first line of support is generally your help desk. They will mainly focus on the most common questions. You can easily record these solutions add them to your knowledge base.
IT support personnel at this level should have a basic understanding of your product. However, they won’t have enough skills to deal with complex issues. The main aim of the first line of support is to handle 70-80% of simple IT problems.
Most companies provide email support at this level. However, sometimes the issue can be more complex. Your customer might need quick access to answer. Thus, you can also provide phone support to your customers at this level.
Complex IT issues (2nd line of IT support)
The IT issues will become more complex in this stage. End-users are becoming more tech-savvy with time. According to a report from New York Times, more than 73% of IT support managers think that the complexity of support calls is becoming more complicated with time. Most users can solve simple issues without contacting any support. Thus, they generally contact tech support for complex problems only.
More than 30% of IT queries from the first stage actually come here. These queries are very complicated. Thus your IT support staff should have in-depth knowledge of your product. This will ensure that they can handle these complicated queries. They should also talk with your customers on the phone. This will help your users in solving their problems. However, some requests can be even more complicated.
Custom IT support
This is the last stage of IT support. However, very few customer queries will reach this level.
This line of support will deal with cases that your second line can’t handle. These requests are mostly handled by a superuser. Members of the research and development department can also help your customers in solving the issues. These issues will generally involve some custom work. Thus, they should be handled by superusers only.
How to improve IT support?
We have discussed the importance of IT support. Also, we have explained the different levels of IT supports. Most businesses already have an IT support system. However, they don’t know how to improve their IT support. We are going to share some tips that will help you in improving your IT tech support.
Give importance to your IT support
You should understand the impact of your IT support on different parts of your organization. Your sales and marketing team works hard to attract new customers. They are counting on your IT support team to retain these customers. Your customers are going to have the first contact with your IT support after installing your product.
IT support is not limited to handling your customer queries only. Your IT support can also help you in cross-selling or upselling products to your customers. For example, your customer might have a problem that can’t be solved in the current pricing plan. Thus, your IT support will suggest your customers upgrade their plans. This will help you in increasing your revenue. It will also ensure that your customers will stick with your products.
Implement all the levels of IT support
Most companies don’t have a good IT support system. You should start by implementing all the different levels of IT support. Most support queries actually directly go to the CEO in a small business.
However, this is not a good thing for a medium-sized business. You should focus on providing quick and efficient solutions to your customers. Your CTO won’t have time to respond to support tickets. Thus, you should implement all the levels of IT support. This will help you in filtering out the requests. Only complex requests will be solved by your brilliant employees.
This will ensure that your customers are also happy. They will get a fast response from your business. It will also increase the profitability of your business as most queries will be handled by a normal employee.
Make sure that your customers can contact IT support
Many companies hide their IT support link in the footer or sidebar of their website. Your customers don’t have time to find hidden links on your website. If your customers can’t find contact information, then they will leave your website.
You should ensure that your customers can easily contact your time. Make sure that you are quickly solving support issues. You can keep your customers happy by making your IT support accessible.
Big websites like Apple and Amazon are the best example of this. You can easily find the Support link on their website. Everything is available on their front page.
Learn from your customers
All the information shared by your customers is gold for your business. They can give you great insights into your product. You should listen to the queries that your customers are sending. This will help you in improving your product. You can use this information for providing better IT support to your users.
If you are receiving a lot of issues related to login, then you can add a note related to the issue on your login screen. This will ensure that other customers can solve the issue without contacting your IT support.
Use the right tools
An email is a great tool for your business. However, you can’t use Outlook or other simple email platforms for handling your IT support. You should use the right tools for providing tech support to your customers. There are various customer service tools available in the market that you can use.
The best tools will help you in handling your incoming support chats, knowledge bases, escalation, live chat, and queries. These tools will help your team in keeping up with the IT issues.
You should ensure that you are managing a good relationship with your customers. There are various tools available in the market that can help you in managing your relationship with customers. These tools will easily integrate with the CRM and sales operations. This will ensure that all your team members are keeping up.
How can Bleuwire help your business?
IT support is a very important element for your business. You can improve the overall user experience by improving your IT support. However, you need a lot of resources for delivering good IT support to customers. Thus, you should consider working with a good MSP like Bleuwire. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire can provide IT support to your employees and customers. They have access to the best tools and IT staff. Thus, you don’t need to worry about hiring IT experts for your business. Bleuwire will help you in handling your customer queries. This will help you in maintaining a good relationship with your customers. If you need more information regarding IT support, then you can contact Bleuwire.