Reinventing Tech Support

Randy Miller

Many organizations view technical support as a cost that must be borne and little else. It receives very low budget priority and is a perpetual source of customer complaints. But a well managed reorganization of the technical support department can turn it into a valuable customer retention tool. Here’s how one company did just that.

One of the largest and most significant projects I have ever had to undertake was redesigning my technical support team. I have managed this team for seven years, and when I first began, we were hemorrhaging angry customers. As my training and experience was not in this area, I asked both the CEO and Vice President of Sales what they wanted me to achieve. One of them said, “I’m tired of getting yelled at by customers for lousy support.” The other said, “I’m tired of seeing salespeople do technical support instead of selling.”
 
With that, I was able to craft a winning plan. In retrospect, I can see things that should have been done sooner as well as things that shouldn’t have been done, and with this knowledge, I will outline the plan and give practical advice on how to put it into action.
 
So what is wrong with support in the first place? First of all, it is incredibly difficult to hire quality staff. Everyone views tech support as a dead-end job, and no one wants to listen to people …

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"Life begins at 40, but often so does arthritis and the habit of telling the same story three times to the same person."

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