Decision Making Changes can Positively Impact Tech Support
The customer is always right. This platitude may sound like a great way to improve customer relations. But businesses understand that if they allow their support personnel free reign when satisfying clients they could lose money. Tech support can be an expensive department to run and maintaining customer satisfaction can be costly. Changing the way the company handles the decision-making process can positively impact tech support for the small business.
Customer Satisfaction or Profits
There are many costs that are included with tech support. Training personnel, hardware and software, office support and infrastructure costs such as lights, phone, and Internet connections are just some of the expenses running a tech support department entails. One cost of doing business is handling customer service. Tech support agents sometimes have to offer free support options, upgrades or equipment in order to resolve the customer’s issues.
The last two years has seen a huge debate between giving front-line employees free reign when it comes to customer resolution and small businesses reducing expenses. Some experts argue that if you keep customers happy no matter what sales will improve. Case studies seem to negate that argument. Customer satisfaction may improve a small amount but it does not offset the amount of money that companies lose in fees and materials.
So is there a better way to help tech support agents satisfy customer needs without businesses going broke? If you change the decision-making process and offer only some leverage to service agents you will be able to help customers while still making profits.
The reason why offering employees the ability to “do whatever it takes” to satisfy the customer doesn’t work is because the employee doesn’t consider stakeholders in the process. This is a business failing because companies don’t always train employees to understand the entire strategy of the business and what the organization’s goals are. An employee may understand what he or she needs to do to perform their duties efficiently but no more than that.
Managers understand the bigger picture but they are not the ones that are handling the calls. If companies create a quality assurance program that includes training employees how to understand the customer’s needs and the business’ need organizations will find relationship management will improve.
What this kind of program would entail would be setting parameters for customer satisfaction. If a client’s needs do not fall within those parameters than the agent should refer to a manager for assistance. All tech support calls should be recorded and reviewed with the agent. The manager can help the agent learn how to handle each individual call and where improvement may be necessary.
This way the employee learns how to handle more calls himself and can satisfy customer needs without hurting business profits. This training program is what many financial companies have done to help improve their call center resolution programs. Businesses like American Express have had great success with this program. It translates well in tech support call centers because they face the same problems as any other service center. When you have an irate customer on the line you will do anything to make them happy.
This is an area where tech support outsource companies have an advantage. They already have parameters they use to help satisfy the customer and use management support if a different solution is needed. They can’t contact the client every time they have a unique situation with an irate customer. If your small business is not organized to be able to enact this kind of quality control program then you may want to consider contacting a tech support outsource company to help you improve customer relations without hurting finances.