If your company provides a product or service, there’s likely a support element involved with it. The effort to provide this assistance to customers is tech support.
There are different levels of tech support, and each level can be successfully outsourced to a call center that specializes in providing technical support services to its clients.
Here are the four common types of tech support:
The basic level of technical support is a help desk. The help desk is a telephone hotline to provide basic assistance to callers who experience a problem or have a question with a product, application, or service. Though the support level with help desk is restricted to basic inquiries, this can encompass up to 80 percent of all support phone calls.
At a starting point, this encompasses the type of information normally found on an FAQ page or self-help website, but help desk builds upon this to offer a deeper amount of assistance. Though there may be some corporate pressure to automate help desk calls, the more effective solutions employ telephone agents to directly address callers’ concerns. Calls that can’t be handled with a help desk are escalated to Level 1 tech support.
Most of the calls that go beyond the capabilities of help desk staff are adeptly handled by Level 1, or Tier 1, technical support, sometimes called L1 or T1. This might include help in resetting a password, configuring software, or some basic troubleshooting assistance. Agents who handle Level 1 tech support don’t need a technical background, but they do receive specialized training to handle the technical concerns common to callers. Level 1 tech support can address the majority of calls it receives, and those that require advanced help are escalated to Level 2 tech support.
Level 2 or Tier 2 technical support (L2 or T2) handles more in-depth technical support issues not covered by the Level 1 support staff. Level 2 tech support is staffed by personnel with a technical background in that specific industry. Because Level 2 tech support employs trained technicians, the cost of Level 2 tech support is higher than for Level 1 or help desk.
For this reason, all callers should be first directed to help desk services and Level 1 support, where the cost in providing assistance is much less. Level 2 support technicians are equipped to address a wide array of issues that go beyond the standard types of problems handled by Level 1 support agents. Level 2 technicians are prepared to handle most of the calls escalated to that level, while a small percentage of calls will require advanced expertise and therefore need to be escalated to Level 3 tech support.
Level 3 technical support, also called Tier 3 tech support (L3 or T3), is a higher level of tech support, which is staffed by advanced technicians with expanded industry experience. Of the four levels of tech support it’s the most expensive to provide. For this reason Level 3 tech support staff should only be reached after Level 2 tech support determines advanced skills are required to resolve the problem.
Outsource call centers can provide various levels of technical support. Most can handle help desk and Level 1 support, but only advanced outsourcing call centers have the capabilities to provide Level 2 and 3 support.
When you select a call center to provide tech support, anticipate what your long-term needs are. Even if you only need help desk support now, what if you want to expand to Level 1, 2, or even 3 in the future? Will your call center be able to expand with you? That’s why it’s important to select a call center that can provide the services you need today and be ready to provide the services you may need tomorrow.
Direct Call Centers provides call center and contact center services to clients across the United States and around the world. Specializing in business process outsourcing (BPO), Direct Call Centers is your single source for essential contact center work and critical BPO support services, with a focus on four primary horizontal market niches: customer service, tech support, lead processing, and chargeback support. Get a free quote today to explore if Direct Call Centers is the right match for your company’s BPO needs. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer for the call center industry.