Understanding, and staying abreast of the different technological advancements that are made each year is an important part of operating most successful businesses in today’s modern world. We are at a point in civilization where increases in efficiency and effectiveness are growing wildly, instead of the shorter increments seen throughout most of the rest of humanity’s existence. As technology is the primary driving force behind this growth, understanding it as much as possible allows you to take full advantage of different, individual advancements that relate to your field in specific.
Tech Support In 2016
Supporting tech is obviously going to be an industry where understanding everything that is tech related can only enhance your company’s performance, exponentially. Each year sees new, hot trends in the way things are being handled, and how new devices and software can affect this performance in many different ways. Following are some of the most important trends you will find in tech support continuing throughout 2016.
Broader Knowledge Base
When tech first started becoming the mainstay that it currently is today, tech support for products was primarily handled by the individual companies that produced them. The sheer volume of different brands and manufacturers that we revel in today was much smaller, with tech support usually focusing primarily on a single brand.
2016 has certainly been a year that has really brought this change home. More and more companies, both those solely dedicated to tech support and the customer service and help desk departments of other companies, have made it their goal to make sure that their experts are well versed on as many tech devices and services as possible.
This is becoming a necessity in terms of staying competitive, with the fast-paced nature of people and business today making it a priority to attain an answer to all problems in as few interactions with support staff as possible. One of the quickest ways to drive away a new customer is by being unable to answer all of their questions, even when it is one that references a competitor’s technology.
One of the inevitable results of making information so easily accessible to the average person is that many of these people will want to use what they learn to fix problems on their own. Some may have a working knowledge in the appropriate area, and simply need a little additional information to complete what they already know. Others may prefer not to have to try and explain what they are trying to do, and would rather learn everything using resources that are provided online. Regardless of the reason, 2016 has been a year of increasing self service.
The benefits to a company with this are obvious: when a customer learns what he needs to know without having to be assisted by a company rep, less resources have to be dedicated to assisting customers. Sure, there will always be those who would rather have the help of a person, especially if they are severely lacking in personal experience or training. However, as more and more people become savvy with even more-advanced technologies and services, expect the demand for informational tools they can use on their own to increase.
Fortunately, the methods by which a company can offer their customers self service are comparatively less expensive, as well as easily implemented even by smaller companies. These methods are also quite plentiful, ranging from the very basic on up to extremely interactive. More basic would include a simple database of all the information a company has on the products they sell, and known fixes for simple problems. Or, you could create a system that interacts with customers, to create a much more individualized feel to it. Videos have also become an extremely effective tool when it comes to walking a novice through a problem, with the visual aids and cues much more stimulating and effective than simply reading text on a screen.
There are very few new advancements made by the human race throughout all of history that have had such a pronounced impact on the average person’s life than social media. The capacity to stay connected to so many people in many times, very intimate ways, has made services like Facebook and Twitter true powerhouses in today’s business world.
What many businesses have begun to realize is that social media has much larger uses when it comes to not only answering and helping customers, but doing so in a way that other people can see how well problems are addressed. Even when it comes to a simple question being posted on a company’s Facebook page, the response given is able to be seen by whoever visits the page, or has it liked. This makes it of utmost importance for a company to have an effective presence taking care of their social media support, one that can provide help and feedback that can stand the test of many eyes. A failure to do so can result in a negative impact on your brand that can tank your business’ brand in much less time than seen in times before the rise of social media.
Tech support used to be solely the purview of the telephone, even up until relatively recently. While other channels existed, they were not nearly as utilized as you see today. The only other channel that came even close to telephone support was email, and even that has always been in the shadow of the voice call for many industries.
The last few years have seen the rise of newer ways to obtain customer service, and have only increased in popularity throughout this year. No longer is the first line of defense the telephone, that honor can now be claimed by the chat box seen on so many support pages for different companies. A chat box can be navigated while performing other tasks, unlike a phone call that takes more solo attention. This caters directly to the fast-paced lifestyle that so many of us have, with the ever-present search for new ways to get more done in the same amount of time such a high priority. If a customer can interact with a rep virtually, they can do so while working on other things during any periods of delay.
Texting is another medium that has exploded in the last few years, and 2016 is no different. Some companies have found this to be an effective tool for customer service, especially when the provided fix is simple to relate. Skype is another channel that has become a mainstay of businesses both small and large.
One of the most innovative and well-liked new products to have graced us in recent years is the digital assistant. Siri, the most well-known of these marvels, has become more than simply a tool for many people, and almost like a friend who has the answers to all your questions. The human-like attributes of the way Siri interacts and fields questions have made it almost like dealing with a person, without the stresses social interaction can bring for many people.
Recently, we have seen similar products launched by some of the biggest names in tech today. Our choices now include Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Echo, to name just a few. Expect digital assistants to increase in popularity even more than they have in 2016, especially when it comes to matters of tech support.
Mobile Is King
Use of mobile devices has recently eclipsed that of desktops, and shows no sign of slowing this trend whatsoever. As such, a successful business needs to understand not only how the technology works, but also how it interacts with specific devices and software that are either produced or handled directly by your company.
Because the rise in mobile computing has been so pronounced, many companies are opting to create their own app, one that deals specifically with their product or service. The amount of tech support and customer service possible in these small collections of code is endless, effectively able to stop many problems before the need for a tech support call is even reached.
Cloud Support and Utilization
Aside from social media, one of the most helpful and useful technologies that continues to rise in popularity in 2016 is the cloud. Cloud services, including SaaS (Service as a Solution), have become the virtual watchwords of tech use at this point.
While its ability to access data and information from wherever you happen to be is surely one of great importance to the end user, its ability to be seamlessly integrated with client systems is where it shines in regards to tech support. Technicians can access client systems remotely, dealing with most problems without having to leave their office chair. Not only does this spell a huge savings in terms of resources dedicated to in-person support calls, it can have your customer’s issue fixed completely in much less time.
Customer Service Is Key
While most companies have always touted their ability to support and service their products, customer service was usually considered a maintenance action, rather than one of clear importance. Now, a disgruntled customer can leave heated feedback, or post angry complaints on a variety of websites and services, which could easily tarnish the good name of your brand if you aren’t careful.
This year is the culmination of several years where customer service has become one of the most important parts of doing business, rather than the afterthought it once was, especially with businesses run solely online. Businesses have discovered that the ramifications of shoddy customer service can go viral at the drop of a hat, making the treatment of even difficult customers of vital importance.
While these are only a small portion of the trends that have dominated this year, their importance in achieving the ultimate goal of satisfied customers gives them pride of place the top of the list. With more and more advances seen in the coming years, expect the tech support tools and resources the average company has at their disposal, to grow by leaps and bounds. Contact Network Depot for more information on tech support in 2016.