Answering the Growing Need for Strategic Technical Support
November 08, 2012
November 08, 2012
Customer service is a cornerstone of an organization’s customer experience strategy. But customer service is hard to deliver. According to Forrester Research, 86% of customer service decision-makers say that a good customer experience is one of their top strategic priorities. Sixty-three percent say that they want their customer experience to be the best in their industry. Yet only about one-third of the 160 large North American brands reviewed were found to deliver a good customer experience. Surprisingly, Forrester reports that this percentage hasn’t changed much over the last five years, even though customer expectations are rising.
Given those findings, it shouldn’t be a surprise that approximately 30% of a company’s customers have poor experiences. Imagine what could happen if a majority of them decide to defect. The impact could be staggering. For technology companies with increasingly complex product offerings, considering the strategic implications for retention and repeat sales makes the quality of customer service and technical support a critical priority.
Customer service should be a strategic business asset, not an afterthought of tactical execution. In the case of technical support, considering an outsourced partnership may present the best way to gain efficient business improvement while increasing customer satisfaction at the same time.
1. A vendor is motivated to provide the most efficient service delivery at an equally high value with a competitive price. It’s a mutual win based on the best use of expertise.
2. An outsourcer with process improvement expertise will deliver more precise service, with minimal waste, resolving issues quickly and competently to create compelling customer experiences.
3. A proficient technical support vendor will ensure comprehensive data capture for complete records that help to improve service efficiency, resulting in happier customers validated by quantifiable KPIs.
4. A vendor with the potential to serve as a strategic partner will have the analysis skills to identify recurring issues that increase call volume and develop alternative methods of solving them that are less expensive, such as answering a frequently asked question via web self service.
5. The right partner will be able to see the service experience from the customer’s perspective and develop a business model that is effective for customers and efficient for you.
6. An outsource partner brings standardization to ensure that your company provides consistent experiences across all channels of support—including voice, email, web, chat, community, and social interaction channels.
7. With outsourced technical support, the vendor is positioned to scale capacity up or down efficiently based on your business needs—whether seasonal, for product launches or for an event that requires hands-on customer management.
Obviously, selecting an outsourced technical support vendor carries a significant amount of management overhead. But if you work with your vendor and wrap all of the requirements together under one umbrella, you can create a situation that’s motivational and mutually profitable for the partnership.
With this attention to defining scope, the partner will be incentivized to help you to develop a business model focused on minimizing transaction volume, reducing average handle time (AHT), and improving efficiencies to lower costs. Given what’s going on with customer service across industries, imagine the competitive advantages available when your technical support services are delivered as a strategic asset for your business.