This month we look at the level of product technical support you should expect from your supplier.
It is a fact of life that contact center software and hardware sometimes fails. Why? Because new software is installed that isn’t fully compatible with some third party product, environments change, networks lose connectivity, hardware breaks, and so on. Arrangements can be made to mitigate the effects of this through resilient software and comprehensive redundancy, but even then unforeseen issues can occur and when they do, you might need to contact someone who can help with your problem.
Imagine if you were then told “Sorry, but your support contract does not include immediate assistance. We will get back to you in a week.” Aaargh!
At Sytel, we believe that first class customer service should be available to all our customers and then priority should be given according to the severity of the issue.
Consider Rolls Royce and their airplane engines, for example. They offer the Engine Condition Monitoring service, monitoring engine performance in flight, and recommending preventative maintenance actions if it deteriorates.
If you are a frequent flyer, this should be of comfort to you! The issue of engine failure can be a matter of life or death, so it is very reasonable and perhaps necessary to provide this level of preventative care.
Although some might argue that call center operations are life or death, too, there are really only a few operations for which this is true. For instance, if your call center provides cover for emergency services, you need to be up and running 24 hours a day and therefore need 24/7 support. A lack of appropriate provision might well mean life or death.
But for most contact center software users, downtime during a shift means either lost revenue, or wasted agent wages, or both. Therefore a level of care should be offered that recognizes the commercial impact of this downtime.
In any case we believe that there is a minimum level of response that all contact center software vendors should offer and that is the policy we have been following at Sytel for many years – namely to respond to all support issues within one hour. Regardless of what the issue is, our belief is that if customer or partner is going to entrust you with their business, then they deserve to be supported in this way. It doesn’t always mean that there is an immediate answer to the issue in hand but, if not it lets the customer know that you are alert to his questions and concerns and will provide a timely response.
If you are a customer who doesn’t get timely responses to your issues and questions, then in today’s demanding business climate don’t be scared to ask for more.