Many companies are offering technical support for software. Oftentimes, this support is working with a technician that is the expert on the software. Other times, it may come in the form of a knowledgebase, documentation, or even videos being provided. Despite the media in which support is given, it is important to have this support. The main reason most people and companies purchase support is to fix critical issues that directly affect production. This would be your traditional break/fix support, which is often the baseline for a technical support service. However, I have provided technical support for several years and have noticed many other benefits to having a technical support service, whether it is explicitly stated or not.
So what are these perks and takeaways? What can you gain from technical support that you may not notice? Maybe the bigger question is, why do you need a technical support service? My answers to these questions are outlined below.
Issue Resolution – This goes without saying; after all, it is the bread and butter of technical support. More than likely, this is the main reason you use support. If you’re in a pinch, they are there to bail you out.
Expertise – Most of the support technicians you may work with can be considered an expert in the software they are supporting. Most technical support service companies require their support techs to have some sort of certification or to take a crash-course training session on the product they are supporting. In addition, they work with the product all day every day. This expertise provides you more insightful tidbits of knowledge and quicker resolution times.
Knowledgebase, documentation, and videos – Many technical support services have some sort of knowledgebase and generally have documentation or videos for the software they support. Even if they don’t own or have any documentation/videos for a certain product, subject, or task, they may be able to obtain or create some in order to assist you. This can prove invaluable, especially for those tasks you may not perform often, or for training material for new hires or backups.
Knowledge (and/or training) – Although it may not be advertised as a benefit or something you can directly request from a technical support service, you are provided with some informal training on the product. You indirectly learn about the software, as well as learn why and how an issue may have occurred. You will also be able to resolve the issue in the future, especially if the service provides a ticket with detailed information pertaining to the issue, such as steps taken to troubleshoot and resolve the issue. As a technical support provider, I firmly believe in empowering my customer. A majority of the time, this comes by explaining what something is, why something may have happened, and how to resolve issues or implement a solution. If at all possible, I try to work with the customer on anything they have asked of me, rather than just performing the task.
Assistance – For many companies, there is only one person or a small team that is responsible for resolving issues, implementing changes, working on technical aspects of a project, or any other task that may be assigned. This is in addition to the normal, everyday tasks. This can be a lot to take on. Having another person to lean on or utilize can be extremely useful. A technical support team can resolve any issues you are having, complete some of the more tedious tasks that need to be done, or can assist you on the projects. This frees you up to work on the more important business projects and assisting other employees.
Collaboration – With technical support, you can get advice on whatever you may be working on. Discussing your task or issue with a support technician may provide you a solution or alternate approach. I know that there have been times that I have begun to discuss an issue with someone, and then all of a sudden the solution just hits me. Collaborating with technical support can be very valuable and save you time.
Relationships – When you sign a support service contract, you effectively signed a business partner. You have invested in them, and in return they invest in you. A support service builds a relationship with you and are there to assist you and help you grow. They want you to succeed, just as much as you. In addition to the business relationship, a personal relationship is also established. The personal relationship allows a support technician to tailor their work in a way that is most beneficial to you based on your knowledge, tendencies, and goals.
Peace of mind – One of the best values provided by a technical support service is the peace of mind. Should all hell break loose, you don’t need to worry about a thing. They are there to bail you out of any major issues that may go down. You can reduce stress and time worrying just knowing technical support is available.
Scapegoat – Although I wish it wasn’t like this, support has been used as a scapegoat. Sometimes support technicians are blamed for causing an issue or for a task not being completed on time. Just know, most of the time, it is not their fault.
You might be thinking “Those are some nice perks, but why should I get a technical support service?” My answer to this question is two-fold. First off, if something is a pain, something is broken, you need help, or you don’t have the expertise, then you need support. Secondly, you should get support because it provides you with another team member who is an expert on the software and can provide documentation, informal knowledge transfer, and training while resolving issues, implementing changes, or giving advice. Oh! I forgot to mention that they are super friendly, helpful, and could save your butt one day. That sounds like a worthwhile investment!
So now you know why you need a technical support service. Also, you know what additional value the service can provide you. The next step is to go out and actually purchase or renew your technical support service. And if you already have one, it’s time to extract all the value you can from it.
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