Technology is here to stay. That said, more and more businesses and companies are trying to integrate different types of technologies into their operations. These technologies not only allow them to be more efficient, but it also increases their customer’s experience as well. It is within this framework that we’ll take a look at outsourcing technical support services.
We’ll cover what technical support is, how they are provided and whether or not your company needs these services.
What is Technical Support?
Technical support, or as many of us call it, ‘Tech Support’, is a customer communication service provided by a company.
Tech support offers a wide range of assistive services for companies that provide electronic products such as mobile phones, software, printers, and other electronic items, as well as mechanical items for their customer base.
Technical support teams are formed to specifically provide users with the technical help they need to solve common tech problems
What is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)?
BPO is a third-party service provider that handles specific parts of another company’s business operations. These operations can include processes, tasks, or functions to include :
- Back office operations – includes Data-entry and IT support
- Front office operations -includes Technical Support, Customer Service, Telemarketing
Technical Support is Different from Customer Support
We think it’s best that we pause here to ensure that you understand that there’s a difference between technical and customer support. More often than not, the two terms are used interchangeably, but when we take a closer look, we’ll see a key difference.
- Customer support handles general issues such as delivery issues, payment details, or when customers are simply not happy with their experience or the service you are providing.
- Technical support is focused on helping customers use their products in a more efficient and effective manner. This service is responsible for handling issues such as installation errors, any type of user issue, and all other technical problems preventing a customer from fully using their product.
How Do Technical Support Services Work?
Technical support services are delivered to customers in various ways, namely:
- Over the phone
- Live chat (aka instant messaging)
- Software that directly connects customers to an agent
When it comes to technical support agents/representatives, they have to know the ins and outs of the products they’re providing the service for.
Within tech support, there can be as many as 5 levels of support offered based on the level of the user’s needs. These levels include the following:
- 1st Line Support
- 2nd Line Support
- 3rd Line Support
For each level accessed by a user, the higher the user has to go, the more complex and or unique their case will be.
Can My Company Benefit from Outsourcing Technical Support Services?
Having gone through all the basics you need to know about tech support, it’s time to determine whether or not your company needs tech support.
The answer to this question is yes, as long as your company provides technology-based products and services.
Customer support alone won’t cut it for a company that provides technology-based products and services, and we established how it differs from tech support earlier on. That said, based on the nature of the products and services you provide, you will need tech support.
Of course, there are benefits in providing tech support for your customers and even greater benefits when you outsource this service from a third party. Here are a few tips to consider when outsourcing tech support:
- Research some companies – Before choosing a tech support BPO, it is always best to weigh your options. When it comes to providing tech support, it plays a huge role in the overall experience your customers have with your company.
- The right company will be consistent in handling your customers and each situation that arises.
- The right company also ensures that its tech support team has an excellent knowledge base for helping your customers.
- Based on the language of the region as well as the culture, are the agents assigned native speakers with accents that are clear and easy to understand?
These are just some of the factors to consider when looking to outsource the right technical support company.
5-level Tech Support
Ensure that your outsourcer of choice can implement the 5 levels of tech support. Whether you’re providing tech support or customer support, your customers must be assisted in a quick and efficient manner.
Ensure They Provide 24/7 Support
As long as you’re outsourcing technical support, it needs to be provided consistently. Your tech support provider then needs to have support staff right around the clock, especially if you serve an international audience.
Do They Handle Non-Core Functions?
By finding the right technical outsourcer, you’re better able to optimize your working environment and get other important things done that are more in line with your job description.
How Do I Go About Outsourcing Technical Support?
And now, it’s time for the meat of the matter. How to go about outsourcing the technical support service that is right for you.
- What type of outsourcer are you looking for? – There are 3 types of BPO service providers. They are as follows:
- Onshore – This means that the BPO provider is located in the same country or region as you are.
- Nearshore – In this case, the BPO provider is located in a country or region that is nearby. For example, you’re located in the U.S., and you employ a company based in Canada.
- Offshore -This is when the BPO provider is based overseas. For example, a company based in the U.S. hires a company based in the Philippines.
By understanding what each service provider can offer, you’ll be better able to make a decision about which type of BPO is best for you.
Identify the Type of Help You Need
It is always a good idea to do a complete and thorough assessment of your business to understand what is and isn’t working before outsourcing any services. By doing this, you might find that you may need to outsource more than one function so that you’re able to be more efficient with your human resources and focused on the goals of the company.
Weigh Up Your Options
We mentioned earlier that one of the best ways to find the right tech support BPO for you is to do some research. By taking a close and detailed look at all the options you have available and knowing and understanding the needs of your company, you’ll be able to make the right choice.
Here are some things you need to take into consideration:
- The reputation of the company
- What is their level of experience?
- Their resources
- The pricing
- The scalability of the company
Draft a Service-Level Agreement
A Service-Level Agreement, also known as an (SLA), is a legal document between a client (you) and a service provider (the BPO), that outlines and defines the degree of service you expect from them. Within an SLA there are metrics that outline the quality of work you expect, All the responsibilities your service provider has, and the team’s availability (e.g. 24 hrs support).
One of the most essential features of an SLA is the legally binding clause that the services agreed upon between the client and the service provider should be maintained.
Be Prepared for the Handover
Transitioning to using a BPO for your technical support services provider requires some preparation. The aim is to have a smooth transition. That said, there are a few things you need to take into consideration during the preparation process:
- Establish a clear understanding of the Business Objectives
- Ensure that the workforce is properly trained and ready to serve
- The technology used should be state-of-the-art and up-to-date
- Everyone should be clear on and work towards the KPIs set
Establish Clear, Constant Communication and Collaboration
Finding the right BPO and getting started with the operations is only the beginning. As the client, you must make a deliberate effort to ensure that everything runs smoothly. This is where communication comes in. It should be clear and it should be constant.
In terms of collaboration, you can keep up-to-date on the account’s progress and how well your tech support team is doing. By doing this, you can also manage what’s happening and make changes or adjustments where necessary.
We can safely conclude that if your company or business has technologies integrated not only into your business operations but also involve your customers, then you can consider outsourcing technical support services. They help you to be more efficient and serve your customers better.
At Day BPO, we pride ourselves on multilingual business process outsourcing services, including technical support. Our dedicated team is available 24/7 and is just waiting for you to get in touch to start.