They’ll complain. They’ll do it loudly. And they’ll do it online for the whole world to see. They expect answers, and they want solutions. Companies that don’t deliver on these expectations will suffer the consequences of negative publicity.
Allison Matheson learned this the hard way. The thirty-year-old entrepreneur had completed college in three years and immediately set about looking for disruptive shifts that would provide opportunity for her to get in on the ground floor of something big. When the first e-readers came out, Allison knew this provided the opportunity she sought.
Now authors would have options. They could publish their own books and go direct to the buying public. Yet the tools for them to do this didn’texist—not really. However, without the needed software, the option to self-publish was little more than a dream.
This smelled like opportunity—and money—to the forward-thinking Allison.
She assembled a team of developers who began designing the production tools that authors required. Interest in her vision and in the tools sheproduced was high. Early adapters latched onto them and begin publishing their own books for e-readers.
These early adapters, however, were a technically-oriented bunch. With barely a grumble, they figured out the intricacies of Allison’s flagship software.
She didn’t need to provide them with tech support—not really—because they would work through problems on their own. Some even emailed her with feature ideas to make her software better. Then they would patiently wait for the next release.
After the successful launch of her flagship product, Allison begin marketing to a broader range of writers. This group wasn’t as technically savvy, however, and the minimal online, self-help solutions she provided fell short.
They grew frustrated when they couldn’t figure out the software and felt it was too cumbersome to use. Their efforts to seek help bypassed the inadequate online materials. Instead their push for answers ended up in the lap of the engineering team, who didn’t have the time or the inclination to help these newbies learn the software.
A clash was inevitable. Both the company and its new customers suffered. The once rave, five-star reviews begin trending downward. The scores dropped to an average of four and then plunged toward three. Though the product was even better now than when she first launched it, the new buyers didn’t appreciate this, and they sullied the software’s once sterling reputation.
No one was interested anymore, and Allison could barely give her products away. She needed to do something, and she had to do it fast. Her dream of online self-support wasn’t working.
She had to provide live tech support, and she needed it last year. Time worked against her and didn’t allow the opportunity for her to develop a tech support team in-house. What she needed was to find some outsourcing experts who could hit the ground running and handle her tech support needs.
In desperation, Allison emailed her mentor with the subject line of “Help!”
Instead of giving a lengthy explanation, she simply typed, “I need to provide tech support—really good tech support—and I must do it now. Any suggestions?”
Fortunately, Allison’s mentor did have a suggestion. She recommended Allison find a US-based call center that specialized in providing tech support. Following this was a list of five companies that Allison’s mentor knew by reputation. The fifth company was in bold: Direct Call Centers.
Allison reached out to them first. As it turned out, they were the only company she contacted. Direct Call Centers met all her criteria. They were US-based, specialized in tech support, and could get a program up and running fast. Even on the initial consultation they began recommending solutions to problems Allison wasn’t even aware she had. They had more insight into providing technical support for her product then she had herself.
The main challenge was that Allison’s company lacked any sort of technical repository or information resources for the help desk to use. Their online FAQs and self-help solutions didn’t count for much. Direct Call Centers would need to create their own support resources and do it quickly, because Allison couldn’t afford to wait.
They proposed a unique solution. They would dedicate a member of their tech support staff to become the in-house product expert for Allison’s software. He would then develop the needed supporting materials and train the staff. To support him as needed in his learning curve, Allison appointed one of her engineers to act as liaison and single point of contact.
A week later, Direct Call Centers was ready to begin taking level one help desk calls, the most basic form of tech support. Yes, this was a rush and not at all ideal: the needed resources were still under development. But Allison agreed that anything they could do was better than what she was doing now, which was nothing.
Allison agreed to be patient as they got up to speed. What she didn’t realize was just how quickly this would happen. Within weeks most of the online venting had stopped. Direct Call Centers then ramped up their tech support to include level two help desk services, too.
Within a couple of months, positive reviews begin to trickle in again, and they built over time. At this point, Direct Call Centers was handling almost all the tech support calls themselves, and only needed to escalate a few of them to Allison’s company. She couldn’t have been more pleased.
Though it would take several years for Allison’s company to regain their initial cachet and again become the leading provider of choice, she knew they had turned the corner, and it was all thanks to the expert tech support provided by Direct Call Centers.
Sales soon returned to their prior levels, and then they kept moving upward. The tech support solution was in place and working wonderfully just as a new wave of buyers emerged. Because tech support was no longer an issue, Allison’s company captured many new sales.
Looking back to those problems in her company’s early years, Allison shudders. “I naïvely thought I could get by without providing live tech support, and by the time I realized that online, self-help solutions weren’t working, it was almost too late. Without Direct Call Centers coming to my rescue, I know for a fact I wouldn’t be in business today. I owe them everything.”
Don’t be like Allison and ignore tech support. Instead make live tech support and help desk services part of your company from day one. And if you’re already past that point, don’t wait; begin offering tech support as soon as you can.
But don’t think that developing an in-house tech support department is your only option. The wise approach and cost-effective solution often resides in outsourcing. But choose your tech support call center partner with care. Make sure they’re US-based and have a good track record. Allison recommends you go with Direct Call Centers.