Best Technical Support
Technical support teams today are so evolved, with their tiers, and their specialists. In fact, a multi-tiered support system, instead of one general support group, does provide the best possible service in the most efficient manner.
However, multi-tiered technical support can actually degrade the quality of your service if agents don’t maintain a clear and strong sense of ownership over problems. Using tiers as an excuse to pawn off problems slows resolution times, frustrates customers, and lowers NPS. It also wastes opportunities for engineers to grow and improve their skills.
So, what’s the big threat to ownership, and how do you combat it? Let’s look at the issue in greater depth, and learn from some examples from my experience managing a team of technical support engineers.
Multi-tiered technical support is awesome
In multi-tiered technical support engineers are grouped based on their skill, and tickets are routed to the best engineer for the incident. But, like all such systems, multi-tiered support alone cannot guarantee accelerated ticket resolution.
So the collaboration model was born, which we could call ‘tiered support 2.0.’
Instead of just having three or four layers of engineers, tiered support 2.0 takes the severity of the problem and importance of the customer into account before assigning an engineer or group. This means we may have more than one group within each tier.
It’s not my problem anymore.
The problem occurs when you combine multi-tier tech support with the pressure to solve tickets quickly. Sometimes agents focus on getting rid of issues rather than resolving them.
This type of situation comes up most often when we are troubleshooting different technologies with one product, which is my situation.
A recent incident involved a backup failure on system state. During troubleshooting we found that the volume shadow copy was in a failed state and the VSS error was related to the operating system. Thus, it would have been easy to ask the customer to contact the support desk for the operating system, passing the customer off to them instead of solving their problem ourselves.
But that’s making “It’s not my problem anymore” the goal.
It’s obviously not good for the customer either. Waiting for a resolution and getting passed around from support group to support group because the engineer is not focused on resolving the problem is not a good feeling and will have a negative impact on your Net Promoter Score.
Another way agents and technicians will make an issue “not their problem” is to ask a team member for help, then drop the ticket.
For example, while reviewing one of my engineers’ queue I found one ticket which he had not worked on in three days. He was troubleshooting and found that he couldn’t solve the problem on his own. So he contacted the specialist, explained the problem, and shared the logs and his findings. When I asked him about it, he told me he was waiting on the specialist for the next action.
Simply waiting on other lines of support is a huge source of technical support delays. One group will wait for the next line, or the front line will wait on the advanced line for next actions. Meanwhile, the tickets get old and your average ticket resolution time shoots up and away.
Going back to the first example; if the goal had been to just get rid of the customer, the solution would have been to ask the customer to contact support for the operating system. But the way to actually solve the issue was to debug further and do some research to find if this VSS error itself was caused by our application. Then, if we found out it was, to get in touch with the OS vendor along with the customer and troubleshoot together.
The first way is a “It’s not my problem anymore” approach. The second, better one, is a “It’s not problem anymore” approach.
Trying to offload problems instead of solving them binds and limits our thinking. Passing off a problem doesn’t teach you anything, except how to weasel out of work. Like watching TV instead of working out, it feels good in the moment but over time you’ll get bored and realize your skills are atrophying.
Owning an issue means whether it’s a new issue or one recently transferred, that it’s still your responsibility.
As engineers, we need to be very conscious about owning our issues. When we embody an attitude of ownership over our outcomes, we work with a sense of purpose.
Getting resolution requires focus, passion, and a sense of responsibility. That doesn’t mean we can’t collaborate with others or even escalate to the next level when we don’t know how to resolve an issue.
However, we must learn to collaborate with a team or escalate to the next level while maintaining a sense of ownership of the ultimate outcome. At the end of the day, even if you get help, you are the one taking care of the customer.
The other attitude that leads to success is considering every challenge a learning opportunity. When you work with people on your team, instead of just moving on to other tickets, take time to learn from them. You can also learn from other teams, like with the example of the OS support, above. It’s always good to know how to solve problems, even if they’re not your specialty.
Refuse to wait
If you’re a level-one engineer you may need help from different groups. That’s the point of multi-tiered technical support. And sometimes that means you may have to wait on them. That does not mean you have to stay dormant. Be impatient. Sure, this word might have a negative connotation, but impatience is a virtue when it comes to supporting customers. Think of it more like “an eager desire for relief or change; restlessness” or “intolerance of anything that thwarts, or delays.”how solution concentration who company owns tgif restaurant how much solution for hoover carpet cleaner where does engineers work how product managers prioritize features where to download solution manuals for free how many science bear quests are there how entrepreneur is helpful in creating jobs how much entrepreneur make a year what is the most popular technology used today london who to vote for how many management theories are there how start up a business where lauren london from why design matters book how often is frequent how much product to use in curly hair where to go from london by train where is development geography where technology comes from where to manage amazon subscriptions why project management where teachers get paid the most which manufacturer of losartan is recalled when entrepreneurs develop new products who devised the trojan horse what science is taught in 8th grade how many equipment points kill team why project management interview question how much start up who project in kenya how much business class philippine airlines when solutions of kcl and pb no3 2 are mixed what london station goes to cambridge which business is an example of a multinational corporation how many start ups in the uk roadmap what is agile why solutions architect which solutions would you use how many manager challenges in baseball how creative solutions why business school how often factory reset iphone whu business school how london looks like which management tool implements standards how many equipment in an equipment deck what startup accelerators really do how much science do we know which manager has the most trophies which manager has the most champions league titles how many company in usa why tech sales interview question where entrepreneur came from how many science credits are required to graduate whu business psychology who owns the most businesses what design can do how tech companies are valued who workers salary whom synonym how much design patent cost whose solution is used for whitewashing where manufacture iphone where do workers live on nantucket why startups fail summary how science and technology affects society how science goes wrong who solution definition how many engineering fields are there where is temple from design star who technical report how solution set how many company in usa how far london to rome how many engineering fields are there who technical officer salary where to find company registration number how london got its name why project based learning where to get business license what workers have the worst jobs where is fresh product from where from infinix company what workers want which technology simulates higher order thinking who workers compensation insurance what development accounted for the failure weegy does development mean progress when products are redesigned as postponable products what device did you plug in what entrepreneur should i be where to teach online why management training is important what design style is studio mcgee who science is it which device is a general purpose computing device where system32 what solutions are neutral where management consultant where co cash from where manufacturing overhead whu business school ranking where civil engineering work where's device manager where to design clothes online where london bridge is located who's the most technologically advanced country where is manufacturer part number how often does technology fail how science is unlocking the secrets of addiction why teaching middle school is the best on start up meaning how many technology companies in the world how far route 66 what project is stitch where to file workers comp claim which system engages in mass activation