We all probably have an idea what the difference is and in most cases it is correct. Simply put, it sounds like this: technical support allows us to eliminate a specific problem in product usage, while our customer support provides additional information and shows us what further steps should be taken either toward improvement, or expansion of service.
In the previous blog I wrote that in the selection of products and services offered to the end user, in addition to the technical characteristics, an important factor should be whether the main purpose of the service is user support (customer care) or technical assistance to solving problems (technical support) .
Is there a difference and what does it refer to?
Would you like that all those aspiring engineers who help customers with the technical difficulties are also those establishing the first customer contact with your company, products and services you offer? „The IT crowd – Truest moment about tech support“
Does the way they work have something to do with the software / product being used?
All of us probably have an idea what the difference is and in most cases it is correct. Simply put, it sounds like this: technical support allows us to eliminate a cpecific problem in product usage, while our customer support provides additional information and shows us what further steps should be taken either toward improvement, or for expansion of service.
But there is something more to it, because IT service support can be best described as a set of activities that are defined and organized by procedures, processes and tasks within the organization, which allows control of IT services offered to users (external and internal). Our dear colleague Maja informs us internally about these defined procedures and standards.
On the other (or maybe the first?) hand, today current term Customer Experience(CX) can be simply described as a collection of different interactions between a client and organization during the entire duration of their relationship (usually at duration of the contract). For this reason, customer support is intended for the acceptance and processing of personal demands and needs of the client.
So, in the center of technical support lies a problem that must be resolved, while in the focus of customer service is the user himself and his experience with the organization.
Can a single and the same software be used for both purposes? Ultimately, modern software with enough knowledge, can be customized to do almost everything, but the question is: with how much effort and for what time? Sometimes these changes require certain and almost fundamental change in the product, with the necessary knowledge to carry this all out and to be extremely functional.You always have to ask yourself what a certain solution is really offering. Apart from the usual and mandatory client requirements for the product to be simple, easy to manage and possible to be upgraded (really, is it necessary to note that, because who would say they wanted a product that is complicated and demanding?). What really needs to be taken into account and what you should ask yourselves is whether the product provides the following:
- Can it be upgraded, on a global level, so that the introduction of agents in the operation, even on another continent, allows direct access to all previous interactions of organization?
- Does the product allow you to have insight into all customer interactions regardless of how they were achieved (whether by a phone call, e-mail messages or web-channel)?
- Do you have insight into user profile with all the products he uses via “360 ° view of the customer?” (See blog: „The eye can see everything”)
- Will the interaction be assigned to the agent with the right skills to serve that particular user, taking into account his profile and reasons for the so far interactions?
- Can the same agent handle multiple types of interactions, depending on the channel in use (1 telephone call, 3 e-mail messages, 5 chat-communications)
- There is a great difference between the remote control of the computer (remote control) and co-browsefunctionality (this is discussed in the blog: „To share, but not to distribute“)… In that sense, can technical support agent do the payment through his software on behalf of the user?
- Is there an additional offer, configuration and sales services for the user?
These are just some of the issues that should be taken care of when enabling customer support in case we want to provide a positive and long-term experience in usage and expansion of offered services.
The biggest challenge for us providing best user experience is that the technical support software has become more widely available, and is often offered free of charge as part of another project. There are a lot of products for technical support that are positioned as a product that provides great customer experience and CRM functionality. However, latest Gartner’s researches show that the software purchased for the purposes of technical support, and expanded to facilitate customer support, will be however, by 2020 only used for its original purposes.
For this reason, regardless of what they have heard from different sides, I would recommend to all large organizations when selecting strategic products that should enable client loyalty and devotion, with the intention to attract new ones, to choose those products and services that can actually provide all the above said, and to rely on trusted and proven partners who can do all that and who know how to do that.
Some can be helped by not helping them – Jean-Paul Sartre