When business owners think of an answering service, the chances are fairly good that they think of answering calls, taking messages, scheduling appointments, and so on. But can an answering service also provide help desk service and tier 1 technical support? Absolutely. But there is a caveat: knowledge is everything.
Business owners want the people who answer their phones to have enough knowledge to handle most inquiries. Take a medical answering service, for example. Service personnel need a basic knowledge of medical terms and procedures to effectively field phone calls.
A plumbing answering service should be staffed by people who have a working knowledge of common plumbing emergencies, like overflowing sinks and leaking water tanks. An answering service for landscapers should be able to answer basic questions about the types of services offered and their general prices. In a help desk environment, it is the same deal. It’s just that the required knowledge is a bit more technical.
We Have All Had Those Experiences
Why is knowledge everything at the help desk? The answer lies in our own experiences. We have all had them. Most of us have probably called a help desk for assistance with a computer or phone. The person on the other end only knew how to run through a pre-written script. If you had thrown anything at him that wasn’t in the script, he didn’t know what to do.
Yes, we can laugh about such experiences. It is so common that comedians write jokes about them. But think about it. How do such experiences reflect on the companies in question? How likely are customers to trust an organization when it is clear that help desk personnel lack the knowledge for even basic assistance?
They Don’t Have to Be Experts
Help desk personnel do not have to be experts. They don’t have to know everything and anything about their particular industries. But they should have a working knowledge of basic concepts. Help desk personnel should be able to:
1. Provide Basic Support
Help desk personnel begin every interaction with a phone call or chat. Early on, they should be able to provide a basic level of support that can at least recognize what the customer wants or needs. Basic support also includes answering frequently asked questions, troubleshooting problems, and providing first tier solutions.
2. Escalate Complex Issues
It is important that help desk personnel be able to identify complex issues and escalate them to the appropriate departments quickly and properly. At the same time, personnel should not be so lacking in knowledge that everything gets escalated. Too much escalation makes the help desk worthless while too little leaves customers without applicable solutions to their problems.
3. Incident Response
Help desks are designed to provide some sort of technical assistance. That being the case, help desk personnel should be capable of logging and tracking incidents. They should have a good understanding of incident response so as to be able to inform customers at any given point of the status of their situation.
Tier 1 tech support and help desk management are high demand services in an expanding digital world. But companies need to be sure that the people on the other side of their phones and chat apps are knowledgeable enough to make a real difference. Otherwise, their support becomes little more than fodder for comedians.
Apello provides tier 1 tech support along with help desk functions. If you would like to know more about our services, do not hesitate to reach out. We are more than happy to explain how Apello can help make your business better.