For many device and software vendors, tech support is an ongoing challenge. Even the best-designed consumer electronics and apps require occasional assistance – or just simply break down – leaving customers frustrated and anxious for a solution. Unfortunately, the cost of maintaining a tech support staff is expensive, and each call comes at the expense of profitability.
If your business is faced with these challenges, it’s time to re-invent your tech support business unit. Seventy-four percent of companies don’t have a well-developed customer experience strategy, which presents an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by moving to a better model. In this slideshow, global customer care provider Sitel reveals five strategies for transforming your tech support offering to not only enhance customer satisfaction, but also increase ROI.
Transforming Tech Support
Click through for five strategies vendors can use to transform their tech support business units, enhance customer satisfaction and increase ROI, as identified by Chandra Venkatesan, senior vice president Global Premium Tech Support, Sitel.
Move to paid tech support
Most companies view technical support as a costly, non-revenue generating department. However, it’s a critical customer touch-point. Paid technical support (PTS) can turn your support team into a profit center. PTS provides more than just improved customer experience and happy buyers – it also delivers bottom-line results.
Harris Interactive reports that 86 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a product that provides better service. This creates an opportunity to move upward in product pricing simply by increasing the value of post-sale support. The satisfaction of an issue resolved with a paid tech support engagement is far greater than that of typical free support, and consumers are eager to receive the assistance.
Use your tech support team as a sales force
Tech support staff have the unique opportunity to promote product or service upsells during their customer interactions. From a customer’s perspective, hearing the upgrade benefits from a technology specialist can often carry more influence than from a sales associate. To the same degree, customers are more likely to engage with a tech support specialist when their initial question or problem is resolved, giving your team a segue into discussing upgrade opportunities. In one case, a global electronics manufacturer aimed to improve service proficiency and increase revenue by identifying monetization opportunities in current call queues. This resulted in improved client satisfaction and revenue of more than $250,000 per month.
Another consumer electronics company experienced similar results, creating a solid revenue stream in just three months. Agents achieved a 96 percent customer satisfaction rating while increasing upsell conversion rates by 25 percent. This strategy not only delivers net profit to the company’s bottom line, but also results in increased customer satisfaction.
Improve the customer experience and increase loyalty
Fifty billion devices will be on the Internet by 2020, and rapid technological innovations sometimes translate to steep learning curves and disappointment. Each of these painful experiences erodes customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. It’s critical to maintain a clear channel of communication with customers through these challenges.
With the increasing dependence on technology, excellent technical support is critical in enhancing customer experience and maintaining loyalty. Quality technical support is just as important as the quality of the product itself. Technical frustrations can quickly result in a poor reputation, customer erosion and, consequently, lost revenue. Yet a positive tech support experience can produce repeat buyers.
Own the customer
Consumers are reaching out for assistance with the 6.3 connected devices in their homes, including tablets, printers, SmartTVs and more. Become the sole source for solutions by providing device-agnostic technical support service for the entire connected-home ecosystem. This includes complementary products. For example, the customer calls for help with their XYZ brand computer and challenges with their ABC brand printer. Typically, the computer manufacturer will not support the printer, but you can. This provides opportunity to offer an enhanced customer experience and generate revenue.
By employing expert staff members, your customers won’t need to make another call to get issues resolved. This presents an opportunity to become the single trusted advisor for all technical issues, earning influence in future buying decisions.
Adopt an omni-channel strategy
How are your customers reaching out for technical assistance? Phone calls are becoming less common, and email requests are virtually extinct. Meanwhile, social media queries continue to increase. Engage in resolving inquiries in the channel of choice, without dragging customers to offline channels.
And make sure you have a robust self-service offering. We’ve already seen the dawn of the “digital natives” generation who prefer to conduct all interactions through online or through mobile devices. Most prefer self-service whenever possible. Deliver optimized experiences that enable a seamless escalation to channel-specific assistance when self-service applications prove inadequate.