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Six tips for providing elite tech support

Technology is designed to make our lives easier, but it's not always a seamless user experience.

When customers contact your technical support team for assistance, how your agents handle those interactions can often mean the difference between building long-term loyalty and pushing a customer toward a competitor.

The stakes are high.

In fact, according to a TELUS International survey, more than a third (44%) of respondents said that nothing — not even price, convenience or brand affinity — excuses a poor customer experience (CX).

Why providing high-quality tech support is essential for brands

In this day and age, customers prize high-quality and effortless customer service to such an extent that they are willing to pay more for it. According to a report by PwC, 43% of all consumers would spend more on a product or service if it meant greater convenience, and 42% would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience.

Brands that can streamline the tech support process, simplify products and solve issues that stymie their users are well positioned to boost brand loyalty and revenue while building customer trust.

Technical support best practices

How can tech brands ensure they're delivering a customer support experience that exceeds expectations and meets customers' unique needs? These six technical support best practices are a good place to start.

1. Hire the right people

There's a direct correlation between staffing and building a positive customer experience. Hiring support agents that have the right technical skills is key, especially if they are going to be tasked with handling higher-level issues. According to Shep Hyken's 2020 Achieving Customer Amazement report, 41% of survey respondents said that their poor experience with a brand was due to customer service agents having a lack of knowledge or expertise.

There's more to hiring than checking off a list of existing qualifications and skills. It's also about having the right attitude and mindset to serve as an ambassador for an organization's products and services. With live support as a significant part of the customer experience, companies should look to hire agents that will humanize their brand and provide empathetic customer service.

2. Invest in training

Technology is always evolving, and tech support agents need to know your products inside and out. To deliver accurate information and useful assistance to customers, support teams need ongoing training to maintain technical prowess. This can be achieved by investing in skill development and core competencies, and offering refresher courses to keep teams up-to-date. Additionally, be sure to hold training sessions whenever new products or enhancements are introduced.

3. Encourage self-service

While many customers prefer human assistance, helping them to help themselves is part of any good customer experience. Simple customer questions are best left to FAQ pages and chatbots, which free up tech support teams to address more complex queries. Robust websites, how-to guides, troubleshooting documents and other instructive tools can all save customers time and energy. What's more, according to a TELUS International survey conducted in partnership with The Harris Poll, almost all consumers (93%) say they like self-service options.

4. Implement internal tools for success

Self-service tools aren't just useful for your customers. Equipping your staff with a centralized internal knowing base and agent assist bots that provide access to critical information can help them work more quickly and effectively. Agent knowledge is precious and tapping into your frontline team members' expertise is also a smart strategy to help build these tools. Develop feedback loops that enable employees to share best practices, tips and strategies that could help your entire team improve processes.

5. Utilize customer analytics

Support ticket data provides critical information about the types of issues plaguing your customers and the nature of queries your team can expect to receive.

Analyzing data — both historical and live — enables tech brands to make adjustments to live service, self-service tools and event products. Leveraging customer intelligence puts you in a better position to address customer pain points, and improve satisfaction, loyalty and retention over time.

6. Focus on reducing agent turnover

Retaining talent is a vital part of providing high-quality technical support, an important consideration when your team has amassed scores of knowledge about your products and services. To keep your agents engaged, implement business practices that promote tenure. A strong corporate culture, devotion to employee well-being, a technology suite designed to reduce agent effort and other employee advocacy programs can all help your workforce thrive.

Looking for some help taking your tech support to the next level? Working with an experienced tech support outsourcing provider can ensure your company is in the best possible position to continually provide the elite support you want consumers to associate with your brand. Reach out to our team of experts to learn more.

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