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Data Drives the Customer Experience for Technical Support

Data Drives the Customer Experience for Technical Support

All companies deliver a customer experience. But, often the most definitive experience for your customers is the interaction they have with technical support when an issue arises with the use of your products. The customer’s experience with technical support offers a few advantages over ad hoc touch points with your customers.
First, it’s personal. The technical support agent has the opportunity to offer an engaging experience, not just transaction-driven care. Second, the calls are monitored and recorded, chat sessions provide transcripts and interpretive notes are entered by the agent into customer records. These activities generate a large volume of data that can be analyzed to uncover potential improvements to the customer experience.
Big Data and Data Analytics are two trends currently receiving a lot of attention. The biggest challenge with data and analytics is the extraction of insights that provide value to the decision making process and serve to inform strategy and direction. This is not always as straightforward as companies would like it to be.
However, your technical support vendor has expertise in these areas. They are adept at both analyzing customer issue resolution processes and using those insights to improve customer interaction design. With the addition of new channels and changing customer preferences, it’s time to consider the benefits that your vendor can provide beyond the support services you contract with them to deliver.

Start with the Customer Experience Model

If your company hasn’t done the work to develop a customer experience model, it will be very difficult to determine which modifications can actually improve customer interactions. Even though nearly all business executives say they recognize the importance of the customer experience, most of them haven’t evolved the discipline needed to support it.
A customer experience must support three primary objectives:

  • Build customer loyalty
  • Support repurchase, cross and up sell
  • Reduce customer churn and attrition

To connect the dots between customer experience and customer satisfaction requires an assessment of what it takes to gain access to information, service, and the effort it takes to gain resolution for the issue that prompted the call.

Technical Support Vendors Provide Insights from Data

Ask your vendor to provide the data and insights necessary to define the customer experience your customer care services are delivering today. Your tech support vendor should be able to help you paint a very realistic picture. Based on the data and the first-hand customer interactions, and the vendor’s expertise, you should be able to gain insights about:

  • Your products; what would they change or recommend to improve the products, as well as your customers’ experience as it relates to the products.
  • Channel effectiveness; given the available channels for customer support (e.g. phone, email, chat, website, social media), which channels are satisfying customer needs, creating emotional attachments and elevating satisfaction? Which channels need improvement and what are the vendor’s recommendations for doing so?

Create an Environment for Continuous Improvement

Technical support vendors are usually contracted for specific delivery of a service. Often, this agreement is created as a silo to overall company objectives; such as the customer experience. Recognizing vendor contributions based on an analysis of the quality and consistency of customer interactions and satisfaction levels will help to encourage them to actively support the need for continuous improvement.
Soliciting recommendations and ideas from the support agents on the front lines can also contribute to product improvements, new feature developments and design improvements. Determine a way to link after-sales support costs to those improvements as an additional metric to evaluate the customer experience model. With this type of mutually beneficial relationship, your customers and your company will gain increased value.