Historically, as customers, we’re used to calling a help desk line when we need assistance with a technology issue.
In theory, a call may seem like the fastest way to identify and solve a problem through direct interaction with a customer support agent. But in reality, this approach to customer support is costly and often causes more frustration than assistance, due to long hold times, poorly executed call queues, and introductory formalities like pulling up a client account and verifying information.
As more people have moved to remote work over the past year, there’s a greater need to ensure these remote workers know how to properly use the technology needed to collaborate daily. While you might think that means hiring more Tier 1 support staff, it doesn’t have to.
Instead, using a customized support site can provide the value and answers that your customers are looking for without adding to the workload of your customer service team or raising your company costs by hiring more Tier 1 service staff.
COVID-19 has only increased people’s desire to get what they need quickly and on their own as they adjust to working remotely. Many parents are still working from home, now managing their out-of-school children at the same time. This leaves very little room to deal with stubborn IT challenges or wait in long call queues to speak to a service representative.
This emphasizes the need for self-service options, putting the power and capability to solve the problem back in the worker’s hands. IT challenges are inevitable, but having the option of identifying and fixing the situation independently offers a level of flexibility and control that remote workers today rely on. It’s not surprising that 40% of customers now prefer self-service over dealing with a Tier 1 customer service agent.
The Importance of Self-Service
Self-service is not only important to your customers but you and your costs as well. With the growing demand for customer service driven by the shift to WFH, the other alternative is hiring additional Tier 1 support staff, which can drive your costs higher and negatively impact your bottom line.
Relying on Tier 1 customer service employees to field the influx of help desk calls is also an easy way to burn them out, potentially leading to greater churn in that department. Instead, self-service can help reduce the 40% of customer support agents that quit the role within the first year.
Self-service support is a more affordable option than adding more Tier 1 support staff that also reduces user frustration and improves the overall customer experience. Seventy-five percent of customers say the most important aspect of customer service experience is a fast response time, and long call queues won’t meet that expectation, but self-service options easily can.
Our culture is moving in the direction of self-service, whether you’re on board or not. By 2022, Gartner Research predicts that 85% of customer service interactions will begin with self-service, a major increase from the 48% of today.
Self-Service Through Smart-Lynk and B-Lynk Services
Smart-Lynk by B-Lynk is a robust self-service option that can help reduce calls to your support staff so they can dedicate more time to addressing technical issues.
So many Tier 1 support calls revolve around how-tos, which is an unnecessary burden on the IT staff. Using a self-service solution such as Smart-Lynk can eliminate these calls by providing all the pertinent how-to information through an easily accessible and searchable self-service portal.
Smart-Lynk offers a custom-branded portal for you and your customers, packed with the training and support information needed to educate and empower them to solve problems on their own without flooding your Tier 1 support team with phone calls.
It includes training videos, a custom schedule of relevant training videos, articles and FAQs, and so much more. When your customers realize it has everything they need to solve basic IT problems as they arise, they’ll be less likely to call the help desk, freeing your Tier 1 support to handle more demanding tasks and ultimately alleviating the need to hire more customer support staff.
In addition to Smart-Lynk, B-Lynk also offers integrated outsourced live chat that allows those who just need help with a small issue —checking voicemail or changing a setting— to use that resource instead of calling Tier 1 support staff, so they can focus on the truly technical calls.
If you want to reduce your Tier 1 support costs, give them the freedom to work on more pressing matters, and empower your customers to become problem solvers on their own, get in touch with B-Lynk to learn more about our Smart-Lynk support portal and our additional self-service solutions.