In our most recent webinar on technical support best practices, one of the topics we touched upon briefly was key tools for technical support teams as they scale.
While the caliber of agents on a technical support team is immensely important, the tools available to that team may be even more so. Regardless of how experienced or well trained your agents are, if they don’t have the resources available to help them deal with technical support calls quickly and efficiently, the chances of your team hitting key metrics like MTTR, FCR and CSAT are slim to none.
In our opinion, there are a few things every support team needs regardless of its size, such as a ticketing system and an on-boarding process for new agents.
But as teams grow, they experience unique challenges at every stage of that growth and often require additional tools to deal with them.
In this post, we’ll be focusing on some of the main types of tools successful support teams use to help them hit their goals and stay at the top of their game as they grow.
3 tools to help technical support teams hit goals while scaling
1. Chat functionality
When a company is making the initial decision of whether or not to grow its technical support team, it typically means that call volumes are going up and they need more agents to handle the increased demand.
However, adding more agents comes with its own set of problems, some of them insurmountable for relatively small companies. So before going that route, it might make sense to consider alternative channels of support that make your agents more efficient, rather than adding more of them.
Most successful technical support teams begin by adding live chat functionality to their websites as it allows agents to handle more than one ticket at a time, increasing their efficiency.
Pro Tip: Once you’ve got the live chat down, you can think about going a step further and implementing chat bots to handle some of the easier tickets and free up agents even more.
2. Online training & knowledge sharing tools
At the next stage of growth, the biggest hurdles are typically high agent turnover and ramp up time for new agents.
After a certain size, companies can’t afford to sink time and other resources into hosting in person training sessions for new agents and then doing it over and over again with their replacements.
Instead, we’re seeing many mid-sized technical support teams taking their on-boarding and new agent training sessions online, enabling agents to get up to scratch as soon as possible.
Pro Tip: Knowledge sharing tools also make it easy to share specific scripts or debug steps for common problems and is a great first step towards standardizing the support experience across all agents.
3. Workflows & decision trees
Once a technical support team becomes larger than 100-200 agents, companies typically begin to see a serious lack of standardization across agents.
This happens due to the varying degrees of experience and technical know-how of support agents, as well as insufficient knowledge sharing when processes are updated. Some agents in large teams are often unsure of what to say or do at specific times on support calls and this results in each agent basically developing their own processes.
Workflows and decision trees are the solutions to this problem. They give companies the ability to lay out specific steps agents should take at any point during a call.
With a process like this in place, agents don’t have to be specially trained to deal with every possible issue – the system will just guide them through the necessary steps and ensure a standardized support experience for customers, regardless of the agent on the line.
Pro Tip: We’ve built this functionality into the RouteThis platform with the new RouteThis Workflows product so companies can go a step further and implement workflows for debugging and solving complex connectivity issues.
TL;DR: Technical support teams need different tools at every stage of growth
When it comes to tools, it makes sense to do your research and evaluate based on your specific needs. However, we’ve done our own analysis of existing partners and identified the most important tool for technical support teams at every stage of growth.
If you’re just trying to decide whether or not to add more agents to your team, look into live chat. It helps increase agent efficiency by allowing your existing agents to do more with less.
If you’ve added new agents at a rapid pace and are experiencing growing pains like high agent turnover, online training and knowledge sharing tools are key. They help reduce the ramp up time for new agents, so agents can get up to speed ASAP.
And finally, if you already have a relatively large team but want to standardize support processes across agents and improve the customer experience, it might be worth looking into workflows.
At RouteThis, we work with partners at each of these stages to help them streamline and standardize technical support, leading to lower overall support costs, increased customer satisfaction and reduced customer churn. If you’d like to do the same for your organization, you should definitely get in touch.